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On May 10, 1997, about 0935 eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 14-13, collided with trees and the ground during a forced landing near Stockbridge, Georgia. The airplane was operated by the owner/pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan was not filed for the personal flight. The private pilot was fatally injured, his private pilot rated passenger was seriously injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Origination of the flight was a private airstrip named Jim, with an intervening stop for his passenger at Berry Hill Airport. The flight was returning to the Jim private strip at the time of the accident.
A friend of the passenger reported that the passenger stated that the engine quit following a go-around from a landing approach at the Jim private airstrip. Ground witnesses reported that the engine was heard sputtering. The airplane collided with a tree, then the ground, about 300 feet short of an empty field, about 1.5 miles south of the Jim airstrip.
Entries in the pilot's logbook indicated that he obtained his private certificate on March 19, 1974. He held a single engine land rating. Additionally, the pilot was issued a mechanic's certificate, with airframe and powerplant ratings, on November 28, 1980. A third class medical certificate was issued to the pilot on December 23, 1996, with the limitation to wear glasses for distant vision and to possess glasses for near vision. Another entry in his pilot log indicated the pilot received a biennial flight review on February 9, 1997, using his airplane, N86734. Friends and family members of the pilot stated he had been working on the airplane for 10-12 years, restoring it. His work on the airplane was described as meticulous. His pilot log indicated that the first flight after rebuild was on December 6, 1996. Additional pilot information is contained on page 3 of this form, under the heading First Pilot Information.
Information regarding the pilot rated passenger is contained in Supplement E to this report.
The airplane's records indicated that the previous log book had been lost and it was certified by the previous owner to have 2,135 total hours on October 14, 1970. The airplane was certified as complying with Aircraft specification A-733-9 and engine specification E-228-16, on the same date. An airworthiness certificate was issued by Central Region General Aviation District Office 3-2-19, Springfield, Illinois, on October 15, 1970. The airplane was registered to the pilot/owner on April 20, 1983.
The engine was installed on the airplane, according to the engine log, at zero hours on April 10, 1971. A top overhaul of the engine was completed, according to the engine log, on January 26, 1997, which coincided with the last annual inspection on the airplane. Additional aircraft information is contained on page 2 of this form under the heading Aircraft Information.
The Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) is contained on page 4 of this form under the heading Weather Information. The temperature and dew point were noted to fall within the range that was conducive to carburetor icing.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The main wreckage was found in an empty field, resting upright, with the nose of the airplane pointing toward 201 degrees, magnetic. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane, except for the portion of the left wing, outboard of the wing fuel tank.
The first pieces of wreckage found were paint chips, that were similar in color to the paint on the airplane, and broken tree branches located about 223 feet south of the main wreckage. Left wing debris led toward the main wreckage along a magnetic heading of 356 degrees. About 80 feet south of the main wreckage a portion of the left aileron was found draped over a tree limb, about 20 feet above the ground. A section of wing spar was found on the ground, beneath the hanging portion of aileron. Two additional tree limbs were broken off directly above the aileron section in the tree, consistent with an airplane attitude 90 degrees left wing down.
About eight feet south of the main wreckage, a crater was noted containing the top of the engine cowling. Dirt was displaced northward from the crater toward the main wreckage.
The propeller spinner was uniformly crushed aft around the propeller hub. One propeller blade was bent aft in a shallow, broad arc. There were chordwise mud scuffs on the leading edge of the blade from the hub outboard about 12 inches. The opposing blade was bent in an "S" shape with the tip bent forward. The blade also exhibited chordwise scratches on its cambered side. The mud on the propeller blades was similar in color to the red, clay soil at the accident site The engine was displaced aft, with concurrent rearward crushing of the fuselage, on the left side of the airplane, that extended behind the cockpit seats. The tail cone and empennage were undamaged.
As noted earlier, the left wing was separated from the fuselage outboard of the fuel tank, with broken pieces of the wood laminate skin, ribs, and spars found along the debris trail. The left wing spar was broken off at the outboard side of the metal fuel tank with the root stub displaced aft impinging on the forward side of the fuel tank. The front wall of the left fuel tank was crushed rearward and the tank exhibited hydraulic bulging. It was breached at the front, outboard corner.
The right wing leading edge outboard three feet was broken off and the spar at the tip was broken. The leading edge of the right wing tip cap was bent down. A section of the right wing leading edge at the root was also broken away from the airplane.
Flight control continuity was established to all of the control surfaces, including the left aileron portion that remained with the main wreckage. The right main landing gear were extended and the flaps were retracted. The position of the left main landing gear could not be confirmed because of damage to the wing. The cockpit elevator trim indication depicted the trim set at the fully nose up position, which corresponded to the position of the trim tab. The cockpit fuel selector was found on the left fuel tank, which was confirmed by blowing air through the fuel lines. The throttle was found in a mid range position, the mixture rich, and the carburetor heat was in the cold, or off, position.
The engine was removed from the airframe and taken to a local salvage facility for examination. All of the spark plugs were removed from the engine and found to be heavily sooted. A spark plug manufacturer's comparison chart states that "carbon fouled" plug electrodes may result from "excessive ground idling, idle mixture too rich, or plug type too cold." Subsequently, the engine was placed on a fork lift, restrained, and operated at a low power setting, without altering the engine's accessories. 100 LL fuel added to the carburetor bowl was the sole fuel source used to operate the engine.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The pilot was transported from the accident site by a life flight helicopter to a local hospital. He died the day of the accident. A post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Division of Forensic Sciences, 3121 Panthersville Road Decatur, Georgia 30034.
Toxicological examinations of the pilot were conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center P. O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125. The report of the examination contained the following: > 0.051 (ug/ml, ug/g) of Midazolam detected in blood >Midazolam was detected in Urine >Phenylpropanolamine was detected in Urine >37.700 (ug/ml, ug/g) Salicylate detected in Urine.
Midazolam is an intravenous sedative normally used prior to surgical procedures. Phenylpropanolamine is an over-the-counter decongestant, and Salicylate is the active form of aspirin. The pilot's wife stated he would take a decongestant and a BC powder when his hay fever disturbed him and that he had taken a BC before retiring the evening prior to the accident.
The wreckage and the aircraft records were released to Harry Brooks, Carson and Brooks P. O. Box 888525 Atlanta, Georgia 30356.
The pilot's logbooks, two (2), were released to Mrs. Derek A Joiner 4811 Cook Road Stockbridge, Georgia 30281.