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On March 7, 1992, at about 1430 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172G, N5972R, was substantially damaged following a collision with terrain, during takeoff from a private sod airfield, near Jackson, Georgia. The private pilot and his two passengers were fatally injured in the accident. The aircraft was owned and being operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident, and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight. The intended destination of the flight was Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
According to witnesses, the flight was departing runway 10. Witnesses stated that the aircraft, when seen on the departure roll, had the flaps in the extended position. The aircraft contacted the terrain about 100 feet north (left) of the departure end of runway 10.
Pilot information may be obtained in this report under section titled First Pilot Information.
Aircraft information may be obtained in this report under section titled Aircraft Information.
The wind at the time of the accident was from 230 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 27 knots.
Additional meteorological information may be obtained in this report under section titled Weather Information.
The private sod airfield is located in a wooded area, with trees approximately 100 feet in height along the sides and the ends of the runway. The runway crosses a ridge line at approximately the midpoint of the runway. There is a rise in elevation from the ends of the runway to the top of the ridge line of approximately 150 feet.
The 3600 foot runway (Runway 10) slopes upward about five degrees from the departure threshold to the runway midpoint, where it crests the hill. It then slopes abruptly downward about 15 degrees.
The aircraft impacted the trees and terrain approximately 100 feet off the left side of the departure end of Runway 10. The aircraft came to rest inverted at about a 45 degree angle, with the tail in the air. The tail cone was separated and bent to the right and toward the front of the aircraft. The floorboard in the cabin area was buckled.
The right front seat was located outside the cabin area. One of the seat legs was broken off, and the seat claws were spread apart. The seat rollers were in good condition. The left front seat was attached to the rail and in good condition. The rear bench seat was attached to the floor. The seat belts and buckles appeared to be in good condition. No shoulder harnesses were installed.
There was evidence of a small fire in the carburetor area of the engine compartment. There was no evidence of fire outside the engine compartment, and all sooting was vertical. Fire damage was limited to burned hoses on the bottom right side of the engine.
Examination of the wreckage revealed that there was continuity of the aircraft flight controls into the cockpit area.. The flap jackscrew had no threads showing, which, according to the manufacturer, corresponds to a flaps "UP" position. The flap indicator in the cockpit showed flaps in the 40 degree down position. The elevator trim jack screw measured one and three eights inches, which, according to the manufacturer corresponds to five degrees nose up trim.
The propeller mounting flange was separated approximately one quarter way around the flange. One of the propeller blades was bent back, and the other blade was not damaged in the impact.
The fuel found on board the aircraft was red in color, and had the odor of automotive fuel. A test of the fuel, both on board the aircraft and at the refueling site, for the presence of water was negative. The fuel selector was in the "Both" position.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An Autopsy was performed by Dr. Steven F. Dunton of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Division of Forensic Sciences, Atlanta, Georgia on March 8, 1993.
The Toxicology Report was negative for drugs and ethanol.
TEST AND RESEARCH
An examination of the engine was conducted on March 8, 1993 with the following results.
Cylinder Compression Before Staking After Staking Cylinder #1 30/80 64/80 Cylinder #2 40/80 70/80 Cylinder #3 24/80 62/80 Cylinder #4 30/80 66/80 Cylinder #5 74/80 Cylinder #6 61/80
Magneto Timing to Engine: The left magneto was found timed to the engine at 22 degrees before top dead center. The right magneto timing could not be checked, as the "P" lead post had been broken off.
Spark Plugs: The top spark plugs were removed and visually inspected. All plugs were dark in color, and the number 4 & 6 plugs were coated with oil.
Starter and Starter Adapter: The starter and starter adapter were removed and inspected, with no damage noted.
Oil Pump: The oil pump and gear were removed from the accessory case and visually inspected. The gears were intact, and not damaged. The housing was also intact, and showed no evidence of scoring. Lubrication was found throughout the housing.
Oil Screen: The oil screen was removed and visually inspected. The screen showed no evidence of metal deposits.
Exhaust System: Moderate impact damaged was observed.
Induction System: Moderate impact damage was observed.
Carburetor: The carburetor was a Marvel Schebler. There was a two piece venturi installed in the carburetor which was not in compliance with Marvel Schebler Service Bulletins, however, the venturi was in place. There was a composite float installed in the carburetor, not in compliance with Marvel Schebler Service Bulletin.
Gasolator: The gasolator was inspected and found to be clean of deposits.
Cylinders: All cylinders were intact, and there was no evidence of damage to the valves. There was light carbon build up at the dome of the cylinders.
Pistons: All pistons were intact. There was black deposits of carbon on the dome of all the pistons. There was no evidence of metal transfer noted on the skirts of any of the pistons. All piston rings were intact, and free to rotate.
Crankcase: The crankcase was separated and visually inspected. No damage was noted to the crankcase. All bearings were in place, and there was no sign of heat stress on the bearings. Lubrication was noted throughout the crankcase halves.
Crankshaft: The crankcase was removed and visually inspected. The propeller mounting flange was bent and separated on one side, and cracked on the other. All journals were intact, without evidence of discoloration or scoring.
Camshaft and Lifters: All cam lobes were intact, and no evidence of damage. All lifters were intact, and no evidence of damage.
Connecting Rods: The rods were free to rotate on the crankshaft, and showed no evidence of discoloration or bending.
The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Phil Powell, the owner's insurance representative, on March 9, 1993.