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On October 22, 1993, at 1615 eastern daylight time, a Beech S-35, N8688Q, collided with trees 1/4 mile west of the West Georgia Regional Airport, Carrollton, Georgia. The personal flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91 with a valid instrument flight clearance. Instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post impact fire; all four occupants were fatally injured. The flight departed Burlington, North Carolina, at 1247 hours.
At 2146, on October 21, 1993, a man, who identified himself as the pilot of N8688Q, telephoned Williamsport Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and requested a planning weather briefing from Brandywine Airport in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Carrollton, Georgia. The Air Traffic Control Specialist gave the pilot the current weather forecast, and the pilot said he would call back the following morning for weather updates.
At 0720, on October 22, 1993, the pilot of N8688Q telephoned Williamsport AFSS, and requested a weather briefing to Atlanta with an enroute stop in Burlington, North Carolina. Again, the pilot was given the current weather forecast for his planned route of flight. After the weather briefing, the pilot filed an instrument flight plan which included both legs of the flight; the flight between West Chester and Burlington was uneventful.
At 1247, the flight departed Burlington with an instrument flight clearance. At 1443, the pilot established radio contact with Atlanta Approach Control; the pilot was given the Atlanta current weather, and altimeter setting (Carrollton current weather was not available). At 1507, the pilot was issued an approach clearance for the localizer runway 34 approach to the West Georgia Regional Airport. Radar vectors were provided to Carrollton NDB. At 1507:50, Atlanta Approach Control instructed the pilot to contact Carrollton UNICOM for airport advisories.
According to an eyewitness at the airport, the airplane descended out of the clouds about 3/4 down the runway from the approach end. He noticed that the landing gear and wing flaps were extended. At 1512, the pilot reported a missed approach to Atlanta Approach; the pilot was instructed to climb to 3000 feet and turn left to 280 degrees; the pilot acknowledged the instructions.
As the airplane approached the end of the runway, the pilot executed a steep left climbing turn. Another eyewitness observed the airplane in the steep left climbing turn which developed into what he described as a spin; the airplane vanished into trees about 1/4 mile west of the airport (see attached witness statements).
Information on the pilot is included in this report at the data field labeled first pilot information. The pilot's flight logs were not recovered for examination and verification of the pilot's instrument flight experience. The pilot's flight time displayed in the "Flight Time Matrix" of this report was recovered from his last Application For Airman Medical Certification, dated June 15, 1992.
Information on the aircraft is contained in this report at the data field labeled aircraft information. The aircraft and engine logs were not recovered for examination. Aircraft information was obtained from the repair station (Ellis Technical School, Danielson, Kentucky) where recent maintenance had been accomplished. The last annual inspection date and aircraft time were not determined.
Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Meteorological information is contained in this report at the data field labeled weather information. West Georgia Regional Airport was equipped with an operational but uncommissioned Automatic Weather Observing/Reporting System (AWOS). At 1521, Carrollton's AWOS recorded the current weather as 400 feet overcast, five miles visibility and an altimeter setting of 30.26 inches. At 1534, a special observation taken at Fulton County Airport recorded 900 feet scattered, 2,000 feet overcast, visibility 2.5 miles and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inches. The witness at the airport estimated a 400 foot ceiling at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The main wreckage was located in a wooded area 1/4 mile northwest of the approach end of runway 34. Wreckage was orientated on a 140 degree magnetic heading with aircraft debris scattered over an area 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. All major airframe components were located in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage. Examination of the wreckage disclosed that the left wing assembly leading edge was displaced aft. Both wing assemblies sustained fire damage from the wing root outboard. The aircraft's nose, cockpit and center sections were also fire damaged; the empennage section was fire damaged forward the ruddervator installation (see attached photographs).
Examination of the airframe wreckage, and the subsequent examination of the engine failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or a component failure. The pilot and the witnesses did not report experiencing or hearing an aircraft problem.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. John Parker, at the Georgia Department of Forensic Science in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 23, 1993. The toxicological examinations were negative for alcohol and drugs.
According to the Localizer Runway 34 approach procedure, the weather minimums used for this procedure are based upon current altimeter information reported at Carrollton or Fulton County Airport. Weather minimums for the approach procedure were 350 foot ceiling and one mile visibility with a local altimeter setting, and a 500 foot ceiling with one mile visibility with altimeter information from Fulton County Airport.
At 1800, the Carrollton County contract airway facility personnel arrived at the airport. He and a person, from the airport manager's office, conducted a ground check of the approach and navigational aides. The ground check disclosed that both the localizer and the nondirectional beacon were operational and were within normal operating limits.
The wreckage was released to: Mr. Harry Brooks (Insurance Adjustor) Atlanta, Georgia.