HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On October 29, 1993, at 1720 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5A, N26462, was substantially damaged following a collision with water near Richmond Hill, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured in the accident. The aircraft was being operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed for the local, personal flight. The flight departed Richmond Hill, Georgia, at an undetermined time.
Witnesses in the area stated that they observed the aircraft flying over the Ogeechee River. The witnesses stated that the engine sounded as if it was running normally. The aircraft appeared to dive toward the river, and then follow the river, barely missing a set of power lines. The witnesses stated that the aircraft appeared to be turning to the right when the right wing struck the water. The right wing separated from the aircraft as the aircraft entered the water. The pilot was observed to surface for a brief moment and then disappeared beneath the surface of the river.
The pilot, Mr. Kenneth A. Samer, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. His pilot log book showed a total of 537 hours of flight time logged, and approximately 270 hours of flight time in the Grumman AA-5A.
Mr. Samer held a second class medical certificate, which was issued on July 1, 1992.
Additional personnel information may be obtained on page 3 of this report under section titled First Pilot Information.
The Grumman American AA-5A is a single engine, fixed tricycle gear, four place airplane. The airplane is powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2B engine.
The last annual inspection of the aircraft was performed on April 3, 1993, and the aircraft had approximately 1,409 flight hours at the time of the accident.
Additional aircraft information may be obtained on page 2 of this report under section titled Aircraft Information.
Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident.
Additional meteorological information may be obtained in this report beginning on page 3 under section titled Weather Information.
The aircraft impacted in the waters of the Ogeechee River. The Ogeechee River, in the accident area, is approximately 35 feet in depth and strewn with logs and other material.(See Record of Conversation With Mr. Rickerson attached to this report.) The water, at the time of the accident, was very murky.(See Record of Interview with Mr. Mendz attached to this report.)
The right wing and aircraft engine were not recovered.(See Record of Conversation with Mr. Rickerson attached to this report.)
The aircraft fuselage, left wing, and empennage were intact, and there was continuity of the flight controls into the cockpit area from the attached control surfaces. The firewall showed signs of compression on the left side. The left wing had horizontal slashes on the leading edge.(See Record of Telephone Interview with Mr. Hodges attached to this report.)
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The body of Mr. Samer was recovered from the river November 2, 1993.
An autopsy was performed on November 3, 1993, by Dr. William S. Medart, a forensic pathologist associated with The Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
In Dr. Medart's description, he stated that the heart showed patchy atherosclerosis, with the left anterior descending artery densely calcified and apparently occluded. He stated that there were patchy white areas of old scarring in the interventricular septum. Sections of the coronary arteries showed advanced, calcific, occlusive atherosclerosis, and in one area there was recent hemorrhage into the plaque.(See Final Anatomic Diagnosis of Mr. Samer attached to this report.)
Dr. Medart's analysis stated "The cause of the crash, and thus the ultimate cause of death, appears to be a heart attack. Head injury from the crash was probably the immediate terminal event. The manner of death is natural".(See Final Anatomic Diagnosis of Mr. Samer attached to this report.)
The toxicological report was negative for the presence of ethanol and cyanide. The report lists the following drugs found in blood and urine samples.(See Forensic Toxicological Report attached to this report.)
0.104 (ug/ml, ug/g) Nordiazepam detected in blood. 0.043 (ug/ml, ug/g) Oxazepam detected in blood. Unspecified quantity of Temazepam detected in blood.
0.420 (ug/ml, ug/g) oxazepam detected in urine. Unspecified quantity of Nordiazepam detected in urine. Unspecified quantity of Temazepam detected in urine. 3.000 (ug/ml, ug/g) Fenoprofen detected in blood.
Nordiazepam, Oxazepam, and Temazepam are all members of the benzodiazepine family of tranquilizers. They are normally used as a sedative in the treatment of anxiety, and may be used as an adjunct for acute withdrawal symptoms in chronic alcoholics. Fenoprofen is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic medication used for relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
As a result of the delay in recovery of the aircraft wreckage, the wreckage was never taken into custody by the National Transportation Safety Board.