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On September 21, 1999, at 1640 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N8446W, piloted by the holder of a foreign pilot certificate, was destroyed when it impacted level terrain approximately 0.25 miles west of the Fort Scott Municipal Airport, Fort Scott, Kansas following an aborted landing on runway 35 (4,400 feet by 72 feet, dry/asphalt). The pilot, who was a British citizen, was fatally injured. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The point and time of origin of the flight is unknown.
A witness to the accident stated that, on initial touchdown the aircraft bounced 10 to 15 feet into the air at which time he heard the engine power increase. He said the aircraft then turned in a westerly direction at a steep angle-of-attack. The witness said that the aircraft was approximately 200 to 250 feet above the ground when, "... it stalled [and] entered [a] 1/2 turn spin and collided with the ground."
The pilot, born March 11, 1964, was the holder of a foreign pilot certificate. He did not hold United States pilot or medical certificates. According to the pilot logbook, he had accumulated 53.5 hours of flight time on July 22, 1999. The logbook indicates that the pilot had 51.1 hours in Cessna 150/152 aircraft and 2.4 hours in Cessna 172 aircraft. There were no logbook entries after the July 22, 1999 entry.
The airplane was a Piper PA-28-180, N8446W, serial number 28-2679. The recording tachometer indicated 3,503 hours at the time of the accident. The most recent annual inspection was conducted on March 20, 1999 at 3,495 hours.
Documents found within the aircraft indicate that the pilot purchased the aircraft on September 17, 1999.
The Chanute, Kansas weather reporting station reported clear skies, 10 miles visibility, winds from 040 degrees magnetic at 7 knots, temperature 64 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches of mercury. The report was taken about 14 minutes after the accident. The reporting station is located 35 miles and 257 degrees magnetic from the accident site.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane impacted level terrain about 0.5 miles west of the runway. The entire airplane was located and accounted for at the wreckage site. The airplane impacted near a north-south tree line. There was a break in a tree located approximately 21 feet north and 9 feet west of the cockpit section of the aircraft. The cockpit and forward portion of the fuselage were oriented on an approximately 110-degree magnetic heading. The fuselage was oriented about 5 degrees nose down. A triangular portion of the left wing leading edge was bent upward about 10 degrees. The fuselage aft of the cabin section was bent to the left. The left wing was separated from the fuselage at the root. Flight control continuity was established through the airplane. No preexisting anomalies were detected with respect to the airframe or systems.
Fuel was found in the right wing tank and the carburetor bowl. The left wing tank was ruptured. All fuel lines within the engine compartment were found to be intact. The engine driven fuel pump was disassembled and examined. The fuel selector valve was found positioned for the right fuel tank. No anomalies were noted with respect to the fuel system.
The engine magnetos were removed and each magneto produced a spark when rotated by hand. The spark plugs were removed and inspected. No anomalies were detected with respect to the spark plugs. Crankshaft and valve train continuity was established. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand and "thumb" compression was verified on all cylinders. There were no preexisting anomalies noted with respect to the aircraft engine or systems.
The propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratching, "S" bending, and forward bending.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Ferguson's Medical Laboratories, Inc. of Joplin, Missouri, performed a post mortem examination of the pilot on September 23, 1999. The cause of death was stated in the report as "... multiple traumatic injuries..."
A toxicological examination of specimens from the pilot was negative for ethanol and drugs.
Parties to the investigation were The New Piper Aircraft Company, Textron Lycoming, and the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office in Wichita, Kansas.
The aircraft wreckage was released on September 22.