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On September 10, 2004, at 1856 eastern daylight time, a Lemoine Marvin, Christian Eagle II, Home Built airplane, N83BL, registered to and operated by the Airline Transport Pilot, collided with trees while maneuvering near Cleveland, Georgia. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The pilot and passenger received fatal injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated in Cleveland, Georgia, from a private airstrip on September 10, 2004, at 1800.
According to several witness, the airplane made four passes near their locations. On each pass the witnesses saw the airplane do a slow roll or a loop, and on two passes the airplane did both a roll and a loop. On one of the passes, the airplane rolled over and flew inverted for a short distance, then righted itself and went around to make the next pass. One witness stated that he did not remember the exact order of the maneuvers. However, he did remember what happened on the last pass just before the airplane crashed. He stated that after the airplane completed the next-to-last pass, it circled to the south. From the witnesses vantage point, he was able to see the airplane approaching Serendipity Park from the east on a westerly heading. He said the airplane did a slow aileron roll, flew a short distance and did an inside loop, at the time of the loop the airplane was not directly over his area. However, he was still able to see the airplane clearly. As the airplane came out of the loop, it never came back to horizontal. It flew out of the bottom of the loop in a shallow dive at an angle of about 15 degrees from horizontal. It then continued approximately due west, in a straight line, still in the shallow dive until he lost sight of it in the trees and heard the crash a few seconds later. Witnesses telephoned the 911 operator and reported the accident.
A review of information on file with the Federal Aviation Administration Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, and an Airline Transport Pilot certificate for airplane multiengine land. The pilot held type ratings for the BE-400, CE-500, CE-650, DA-20, DA-50, DH-125, LR Jet, and the MU-300. There were no records located for the pilot to indicate that he had aerobatic training. A review of records on file with the FAA Aero Medical Records revealed the pilot held a limited first class medical certificate issued on October 2, 2003, with a restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported on his application for the medical certificate that he had accumulated 14,500 total flight hours.
A review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane had been inspected in accordance with 14 CFR Part 43, Appendix D, Conditional Inspection Guidelines, and was determined to be in an airworthy condition by the pilot/A&P on October 15, 2003 at a tachometer time of 613.9 hours. The airplane was registered to the owner on August 1, 2000.
The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was Marietta, Georgia. The 1845 surface weather observation was; Sky clear, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 25-degrees Celsius, dewpoint temperature 19-degrees Celsius, wind 330-degrees at five knots, and altimeter 30.02. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the accident site found several medium to large diameter trees damaged and/or broken along the crash debris line of the airplane to where the cabin area and fuselage rested at the base of a large diameter oak tree. The debris line was 130 feet in length and 70 feet wide.
Numerous pieces of the fabric covered wooden and metal airplane were located along the crash debris line. The engine, and a portion of the cockpit area at the instrument panel were observed forward of the cabin area resting against a tree. Examination of the cockpit area found the flight controls would move forward, aft and left to right and were attached to their cables. Several tree branches were observed with a 45-degree cut similar to that of a propeller strike near the initial point of impact. The post-accident examination of the airframe, flight controls and engine revealed no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction. All components necessary for flight were present at the crash site.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Forensic Medicine Associated, Inc., Lawrenceville, Georgia conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot on September 12, 2004. The reported cause of death was "Generalized Blunt Trauma, and the manner of death Accident." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. There was no Carbon Monoxide or Cyanide detected in the blood, and no Ethanol or drugs detected in the urine.
The airplane wreckage was released to the family of the pilot on September 15, 2004.