On January 27, 2002 about 1400 eastern standard time, a homebuilt Jodel F-12, N722Z, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground during an approach to the Marks Municipal Airport (W63), Clarksville, VA. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A witness who had just landed on runway 22 observed the accident airplane approach the airport. The witness attempted to communicate with the pilot on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), 122.9, to inform him of his position on the runway. The accident pilot did not make any transmissions on the frequency. The witness then observed the airplane "bank to the right (north) and go down behind the tree line." The witness stated that when the airplane banked, "it did not seem to have the power it needed to stay airborne."
A second witness observed the airplane from a golf course located about 1 1/2 miles from the approach end of runway 22. The witness stated that the airplane's engine was "not running," and that the propeller was "being cranked in an attempt to start the engine." The witness reported that the engine then appeared to be running as the airplane passed overhead. He subsequently saw the airplane bank sharply to the right and descend out of view.
According to the owner of the airplane, it had not been flown since 1991, when it was involved in an accident that damaged the propeller. As a result of the accident, the engine was overhauled and reinstalled in the airplane with a new wooden propeller. The airplane was then restricted to "10 hours of flight in the local area," by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to ensure it was airworthy. According to the owner, once the airplane had flown 10 hours without malfunction, the restriction would be lifted. On the day of the accident, the pilot was performing a familiarization flight to determine if he would agree to fly the 10 hours of restricted flight time for the owner.
An FAA inspector performed the on-scene examination. According to the inspector, all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The outboard section of the right wing was separated, and the outboard portion of the left wing was folded aft. The engine was separated from the airplane; however, the propeller remained attached to the engine. One of the wooded propeller blades was separated about 8 inches outboard of the propeller hub. The other blade remained attached to the hub, but was "buried" in the ground. The position of the carburetor heat knob could not be determined due to impact damage sustained by the instrument panel. Additionally, a frequency of 122.8 was set in the airplane's radio, and the Hobbs meter read 80.3 hours.
The Lycoming 0-320-B3A engine was retained, and a test run was performed on March 12, 2002, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. According to the inspector, the #1 and #4 push rod tubes, the #1 bottom spark plug, and the ignition harness had sustained impact and fire damage during the accident. The components were removed and replaced, in order to run the engine. The engine driven fuel pump was also removed, and a gravity feed fuel test cell was configured. The engine was started, and ran continuously at various power settings for approximately 15 minutes.
Examination of the airplane's logbooks revealed that the engine was overhauled, inspected, and approved for flight in September 1993, at which time, the Hobbs meter read 78.6 hours. On August 30, 1995, the airplane was issued "Phase I Operating Limitations," by the FAA, which approved the airplane for 10 hours of flight in the local area. An entry on November 17, 2001, stated that the airplane was "refueled to full tanks," and the Hobbs meter indicated 79.9 hours. The last entry in the logbook was an annual inspection, which was performed on December 14, 2001.
According to the Airport Facility Directory, the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was 122.9.
The pilot's most recent FAA second class medical was issue on June 26, 2000. At that time, he reported a total of 3,900 flight hours.
The weather reported at Mecklenburg-Brunswick Regional Airport (AVC), South Hill, Virginia, 25 miles to the east of the accident site, at 1359, included winds from 230 degrees at 5 knots, clear sky, 10 miles visibility, temperature 68 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 43 degrees Fahrenheit, and barometric pressure 30.27 inches Hg.
According to an FAA Carburetor Icing Probability Chart, the reported temperature and dewpoint at the time of the accident, fell within the "serious icing at glide power" region of the chart.