SEA05LA052
SEA05LA052

On February 22, 2005, about 0204 Pacific standard time, an experimental Avery Glasair, N262WG, registered to a private individual and flown by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the ocean about five miles southeast of Brookings, Oregon. Visual night meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The aircraft departed from Portland, Oregon, about one hour and 35 minutes before the accident.

Interviews of persons that encountered the pilot and aircraft reported that the pilot landed at Crescent City on February 21 before 2000 to pick-up the passenger. The pilot fueled the aircraft at the self serve pump before takeoff. Personnel who maintained fueling records reported that the aircraft took on 24.27 gallons of fuel. A lineman from the fueling facility reported that after fueling, the pilot was having trouble starting the engine and he was called over to assist. The lineman reported that he assisted the pilot in "jump-starting" the engine. Once started, the lineman reported that the engine was running fine.

The flight then took off from Crescent City at 2015, and was bound for Portland, Oregon. The purpose of the flight was to travel to Portland for dinner. The aircraft landed at Portland International Airport about 2200. Records obtained from the Fixed Base Operator indicated that the pilot checked a car out at 2215. The Operator reported that the pilot did not require any assistance nor did the aircraft take on fuel before their departure at 0029 on February 22.

Radar data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Air Force 84 RADES indicated that the aircraft was picked up on radar at 0036. The radar tracking indicated a southerly heading as the aircraft returned to Crescent City.

About 0045, the pilot contacted Seattle Air Route Traffic Control and reported level at 7,000 feet, Flight following was initiated and the pilot was given a transponder code of 4665. Routine advisories were given to the pilot as the flight continued southbound. About 0157, the pilot requested an update on the winds at Crescent City. The controller responded with the Crescent City 0156 METAR observation of wind from 070 at seven knots. Visibility was 10 miles and the sky was clear. The temperature was 12 degrees C, with a dew point of 6 degrees C. The altimeter was 29.86 in Hg.

About 0200, the pilot contacted the center controller and reported that he had Crescent City in sight. The controller responded for the pilot to squawk a 1200 transponder code and stated that frequency change was approved.

About 0203, the pilot contacted the center controller stating, "Seattle Glasair 2WG." The controller responded, "Glasair 2WG Seattle go ahead." The pilot did not respond.

Radar data indicated that the flight path was directly over the town of Brookings, and Brookings Airport, just before the flight traveled out over the ocean. The flight had been descending from about 7,500 feet and was about 4,000 feet when it crossed the coast line continuing out over the water. The flight was at 3,600 feet above sea level when the pilot reported the airport at Crescent City in sight. The airport was about 14 miles southeast at this time. The flight tracking indicated that about 36 seconds later, the tracking started a left turn to the east for unknown reasons, and continued to descend at about 1,000 feet per minute. The tracking indicated an approximate 180 degree turn back toward the Brookings area. At 0204, the aircraft had descended to 400 feet above sea level when radar contact was lost shortly after the last transmission at 0203. The last radar target was located at 42 degrees 01.09 minutes north latitude, 124 degrees 15.28 minutes west longitude, about 5 miles southeast of the shoreline near Brookings.

The passengers body was found by a fishing vessel in the morning on February 22. The cause of death was determined to be drowning.

On February 28, 2005, the fuselage, minus the engine, washed ashore. Documentation of the wreckage indicated that the outboard section of the left wing was broken away. The fuselage and cockpit area were intact minus the top of the cabin. The right wing remained attached at the wing root with damage noted to the wing tip and to the leading edge of the wing. The flaps appeared to be extended. The empennage was partially attached while in the surf, and broke free as the wreckage washed ashore. All fixed and moveable control surfaces remained attached to their respective positions. Several small pieces of the fuselage and wing control surfaces were recovered from the surf.

The engine was not located.

The gascolator, the line from the gascolator to the electric boost pump and the output fuel line running from the electric boost pump to the engine driven fuel pump were removed from the firewall. The output fuel line from the electric boost pump was intact. The b-nut on the end of the line which would attach to the inlet fitting on the engine driven fuel pump was intact. That b-nut was further inspected by the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory in Washington DC. The Senior Materials Engineer reported that "Some thread damage was observed on the threads at the fitting end of the nut. All damage was limited to within one to two threads from the end." The engineer further reported, "The thread peaks of two threads closest to the fitting end of the nut were deformed and smeared toward the fitting end." The deep threads within the nut were not damaged.

The pilots body was found washed ashore on March 3, 2005. An autopsy was performed by the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office, Central Point, Oregon. The Medical Examiner reported that the pilot's cause of death was "Severe blunt craniofacial trauma due to single engine, fixed wing aircraft crash over water, pilot and aircraft owner." The Medical Examiner reported that there was no evidence of injury which would indicate if the pilot was wearing the lap and shoulder harness.

Samples were taken for toxicology analysis. Those samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for analysis. The results of the analysis were positive for 1.881 (ug/ml, ug/g) Amphetamine detected in Urine. Amphetamine was not detected in blood.

The aircraft, an amateur built, experimental category Avery Glasair, serial number 262, was built and completed by an individual in 1983. Federal Aviation Administration aircraft records indicate that the aircraft is registered to an individual in Eugene, Oregon. Additional documentation obtained from the FAA located a Bill of Sale application dated March 12, 2003, reporting the sale of the aircraft from the individual in Eugene to another individual in Marysville, CA. A letter dated April 30, 2003, from the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch to this individual requested additional information before the aircraft could be registered. That information was not returned to the FAA. Family members to the pilot involved in the accident reported to the FAA Inspector and National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge that the pilot purchased this aircraft from the person in Marysville sometime in 2003, and he had been operating it since. No registration certificate in the pilot's name has been located.

At the time the aircraft received its airworthiness certificate on November 23, 1983, FAA records indicated that the aircraft was equipped with a 180 horsepower Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine. A representative of the family was asked to locate and provide both airframe and engine maintenance logbooks. To this date, those logbooks have not been located.

At the time of the accident, the pilot held a private pilot certificate for single engine land aircraft which was issued on August 21, 2003. The pilot held a third class medical certificate dated August 30, 2004. No waivers or limitations were reported. At this time, the pilot reported a total flight time of 465 hours, and 115 hours in the previous six months. Another pilot who worked with the accident pilot, and is also a flight instructor, reported that the accident pilot had just recently completed training for the instrument rating, but had not yet taken the check-ride. The pilot frequently flew during the course of his business and had been accumulating flight time. The pilot's flight logbook has not been located.

Items retained for further testing were returned to Plain Parts, Pleasant Grove, California, on May 12, 2005.

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