ATL94FA028
ATL94FA028

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 10, 1993, at 1805 eastern standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N4195B, collided with a tree one mile from the approach end of runway 31 at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport, LaGrange, Georgia. The business flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91 with an instrument approach clearance. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed, and the pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed Brunswick, Georgia, at 1555 hours.

At 1112, a man who identified himself as the pilot of N4195B, telephoned Macon, Georgia, Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) and requested a preflight instrument briefing to LaGrange, Georgia, from Brunswick, Georgia. At the conclusion of the briefing, the pilot filed an instrument flight plan to the LaGrange Airport. At 1505, the pilot of N4195B telephoned Macon AFSS, and obtained an abbreviated preflight briefing (see attached transcript of communication).

Several minutes before the pilot departed, he requested a power boost (jump start) from Glynco-Jai Aviation. According to the maintenance person from Glynco-Jai Aviation, the pilot said the aircraft battery was dead because he accidentally left the loran on. During the conversation with the maintenance person, the pilot said he had experienced low battery conditions on previous stopovers into Brunswick. The maintenance person urged the pilot to recharge the battery before departing, but the pilot said he had a meeting in LaGrange and had to depart immediately.

At 1555, the pilot of N4195B established radio contact with Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and requested an instrument flight clearance to LaGrange. At 1612, radar contact was established with Jacksonville Center; routine air traffic handling was observed throughout the remainder of the flight.

At 1753, the flight was cleared for an ILS (Instrument Landing System) runway 31 approach at LaGrange. The pilot was further instructed to change to the LaGrange UNICOM frequency and report Instrument Flight Rules cancellation. The pilot established contact with LaGrange UNICOM and was given the current weather and airport advisories; this was the last radio contact with the flight (see attached FAA personnel statements).

At 1805, an employee at the United Parcel Service (UPS) service center, observed the airplane as it maneuvered over the tree line near the accident site. He said that the airplane was in such an attitude that the top of the airplane was clearly visible. The witness also said that he did not observe lights on the airplane as it maneuvered, and before it collided with the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

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. According to friends of the pilot and insurance documentation, the pilot claimed that he was instrument rated (see attached aircraft insurance application). A review of the pilot's FAA records failed to reveal an instrument qualification (see attached Certified True Copy of pilot's certification).

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft is contained in this report at data field labeled Aircraft Information."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Weather Information." According to the pilot of another airplane holding over LaGrange at the time of the accident, there was a 300 foot scattered cloud layer at the airport at the approximate time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane rested in a washed out area (ravine) about 250 feet northeast of a tree with freshly broken branches and approximately 300 feet west of the final approach course. Wreckage debris was scattered on a 042 degree magnetic heading over an area 225 feet long and 45 feet wide. Examination of the accident site disclosed freshly cut tree branches from a pine tree 200 feet southwest of the main wreckage. Relative to the horizon, there was approximately a 20 degree swath through the top of the same pine tree (see attached photographs of accident site).

Debris from the airplane and tree, was scattered 175 feet north east of the pine tree. At the 175 foot mark, there was a perpendicular imprint in the ground of the leading edge from the right wing; leading edge debris, including the navigation light from the right wing, was buried in the dirt (see attached photographs of accident site). The plywood type structural wing material splintered, exposing the laminated wood wing spar.

Debris from the fuselage and left wing assemblies was located in the ravine. The cockpit roof and pilot's station was torn open exposing the interior to ambient conditions. The cockpit deformation included the displacement of the instrument panel and the vertical displacement of the flooring material.

The engine and propeller assemblies separated from the airframe and were located at the accident site with the main wreckage. Both components sustained impact damage, and the examination of both assemblies failed to reveal a mechanical problem.

The flight control surfaces were also located near the main wreckage. Examination of the control surfaces and connecting components revealed control continuity.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. Randy Hanzlick at the Georgia Department of Forensic Science in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 11, 1993. The toxicological examinations were negative for alcohol and drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

During the conversation with the maintenance person in Brunswick, Georgia, the pilot said he had experienced electrical problems when the airplane was in instrument weather conditions. Examination of the airplane disclosed that electrical wires and other electrical components, including the aircraft battery, were separated from their normally installed positions. Impact forces also damaged both vacuum and electrically operated flight instruments.

The wreckage was released to : Mr. Harry Brooks ( Insurance Adjustor) Atlanta, Georgia

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