FTW02FA037
FTW02FA037

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 19, 2001, at 1730 central standard time, a Grumman American AA-1B single-engine airplane, N6530L, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a loss of control during takeoff initial climb at the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport near Patterson, Louisiana. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The non-certificated pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident, with a planned destination of Thibodaux, Louisiana.

A witness, reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge, that the pilot taxied the airplane to runway 6 for takeoff. The witness further reported that after liftoff, the airplane began a "shallow climb." The witness stated that when the airplane was at an approximate altitude of 90-100 feet agl, the engine lost power, regained partial power and then lost power again. The witness further stated that he thought the airplane was going to continue straight ahead; however, the airplane made an "abrupt" steep right bank. The airplane then impacted the ground in a nosed low attitude. The witness stated that the airplane's bank angle "appeared to go past 90 degrees."

Another witness reported that as the airplane was taking off, the "engine sputtered and quit." The airplane made a "right banking turn and ...steadily got steeper" before impacted the ground near vertical with the right wing and engine impacting first.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot was never issued a pilot certificate. An altered commercial pilot certificate was found at the accident site with the pilot's name, an address, and the pilot's signature. The certificate number was traced to a pilot residing in Arkansas, who had lost his pilot certificate. The pilot's flight logbook was not located, therefore, the date of his last biennial flight review, and time in make and model of the accident airplane could not be determined. FAA records indicate the pilot reported having accrued a total of 9,000 flight hours, with 52 flight hours accrued in the last 6 months on his application for a second class medical certificate, dated December 1, 2000. The medical certificate stipulated a limitation to wear corrective lenses while operating an aircraft.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 1973-model Grumman American AA-1B, was a low wing, single-engine, two-place airplane, which had fixed tricycle landing gear. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235-C2C engine rated at 108-horsepower, and a McCauley, two-bladed, fixed pitch propeller. On October 16, 1998, the pilot purchased the airplane from a private individual who resided in Lafayette, Louisiana. On October 28, 1998, a special flight permit was issued for a flight from Lafayette to Thibodaux. On February 10, 1999, the pilot submitted a registration application for the accident airplane to the FAA. According to FAA records, on June 14, 1999, the airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate.

A review of the aircraft maintenance records, by the NTSB investigator-in-charge, did not reveal evidence of any uncorrected maintenance defects. The airplane underwent its last annual inspection on February 15, 2001, at a total aircraft time of 1,705.49 hours. At the time of the accident, the aircraft had accumulated 1,723.80 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1735, the Harry P Williams Memorial Airport's Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) reported the wind from 250 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 0 degrees C, and altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground at an approximate 60 degrees right bank, in a nose down attitude. The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of 120 degrees, approximately 61 feet from the initial point of ground impact. The nose of the airplane was displaced down and to the right. The right wing was separated at the fuselage and found laying near the right side of the fuselage. The fuselage was buckled and torn at the right side rear window, and the canopy was separated from the fuselage. The tail was buckled, torn and displaced to the left at the vertical stabilizer. The left horizontal stabilizer was damaged, and the outboard portion of the left elevator was bent. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.

The engine remained attached to the mounts. The throttle plate was found in the full open position, and the mixture arm was in the full rich position. Both magnetos were attached to their respective mounts. Both magnetos sparked when rotated by hand. The crankshaft rotated freely and completely. Continuity was confirmed to all rocker arms and the accessory gearbox, and thumb compression was confirmed on all 4 cylinders.

Examination of the fuel system revealed the fuel selector was in the off position, and the left and right main fuel tanks were breached; however, there was usable fuel found in the left main tank, and there were indications of fuel spillage near the separated right wing.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Jefferson Parish Forensic Center in Harvey, Louisiana, conducted an autopsy of the pilot. Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute's (CAMI) Forensic Toxicology and Accident Research Center at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicological tests were negative for alcohol and drugs.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses; however, the pilot was wearing a lap belt.

ADDITIONAL DATA

The airplane was released to the owner's representative on November 21, 2001.

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