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On January 1, 2006, at 2007 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-180, N2169T, registered to Haskell Aircraft Enterprises LLC and operated by a private-rated pilot, as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees during an approach into Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Georgia. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces, and the private pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Craig Municipal Airport, Jacksonville, Florida, on January 1, 2006 at 1536.
At 1708, the pilot checked in with Atlanta Approach Control, and requested the localizer 10-approach at the Macon Downtown Airport, Macon, Georgia (MAC). The pilot was radar vectored to intercept the localizer, and cleared for the localizer 10-approach at MAC. At 1745, the pilot contacted the Atlanta Approach Control, and advised that he had over flown the localizer. Atlanta Approach advised the pilot that he was about a mile north of the localizer, and issued vectors back to the localizer 10-approach. The pilot was cleared for the localizer 10-approach, and established on the localizer. Atlanta Approach Control advised the pilot he could cancel IFR and change to advisory frequency. At 1756, the pilot advised Atlanta Approach Control that he was having trouble staying on the localizer and requested to go to the Middle Georgia Airport, Macon, Georgia (MCN). Atlanta Approach Control issued vectors for MCN, and advised the pilot to expect the ILS runway 5-approach.
At 1819, Atlanta Approach Control cleared the pilot for the ILS runway 5-approach to MCN. The MCN tower advised Atlanta Approach Control that the pilot had panicked and went missed approach. Atlanta Approach Control contacted the pilot, and asked if he was all right. The pilot responded "that he was a little worn out from flying, and would try to get it under control". At 1830, the pilot contacted the MCN tower, reported that he had lost the localizer, and had flown through it. The pilot requested if he could be taken around to do the approach again. He was issued radar vectors back to the ILS runway 5-approach. At 1844, about one half mile from the approach the pilot requested to come around for another approach after drifting off course.
At 1859, Atlanta Approach Control cleared the pilot for the ILS runway 5-approach, and was given instructions to keep him from drifting off course. At 1903, the MCN tower had the airplane insight over the runway, and reported that he was climbing back out. The pilot advised Atlanta Approach that he needed to try it again because he had totally missed it. The pilot was issued radar vectors again for the ILS runway 5-approach.
At 1922, the pilot apologized for turning off of the localizer course, and Atlanta Approach issued a climb to 2,000 feet. Atlanta Approach requested the fuel status of the airplane. The pilot replied that the right tank was getting low, and left tank was half full. Atlanta Approach Control advised the pilot that he could go to another airport where the weather was better. The pilot acknowledged, and was radar vectored to the Peachtree City Airport-Falcon Field (FFC) localizer 31-approach. At 2004, Atlanta Approach cleared the pilot for the approach, one-mile from the final approach fix, and the pilot acknowledged.
At 2007, the controller lost radar and radio contact with the flight, and a search was initiated to locate the airplane. At 2105, the airplane was located one mile southeast of the approach end of the runway 31.
Review of the pilot's FAA records revealed, that he was issued a private pilot certificate on March 3, 2003, for airplane single- engine land. The pilot was issued an instrument rating on June 10, 2005. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed, he had a total flight time of 437.8 flight hours. The pilot logged 17.1 flight hours of actual instrument flight time, and 133 flight hours of simulated instrument time. The private pilot held a third class medical certificate dated June 25, 2004, and was valid when wearing corrective lenses.
The accident airplane was a 1971 Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee (serial number 28-7205019). It was a four-place; low-wing aircraft of predominantly aluminum construction with a fixed tricycle landing gear configuration. A 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360-A4A engine (serial number L-15971-36A) powered the airplane.
Review of aircraft maintenance logbooks indicated that the last recorded altimeter, static, and transponder system checks were completed on August 23, 2005. The last annual inspection was conducted on March 10, 2005. The tachometer time at the annual inspection was 2008.55 hours. At the time of the accident the tachometer indicated 2071.88 hours.
Selected surface weather observations for the destination and accident area, in part, follow. No observations were available for Macon Downtown Airport (MAC).
Peachtree City Airport/Falcon Field (KFFC), Atlanta, Georgia: field elevation 808 feet msl, located approximately 331 degrees at 1 nautical mile from the accident location, Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), alternate airport:
Time-1953; wind-variable at 3 knots; visibility-4 miles; present weather-mist; sky condition-overcast 800 feet; temperature-13 degrees Celsius; dew point-13 degrees
Celsius; altimeter setting-30.00 inches hg; remarks-rain ended 1923 ceiling 500 feet
variable 1,100 feet
Middle Georgia Regional Airport (KMCN), Macon, Georgia: field elevation 354 feet msl, augmented ASOS, alternate airport
Time-1753; wind-calm; visibility-2 miles; present weather-mist; sky condition-overcast 600 feet; temperature-14 degrees Celsius; dew point-13 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting-30.02 inches hg; remarks-rain ended 1735 ceiling 200 feet variable 700 feet
The main wreckage was located at 33.21:16N, 084.34:11W, one mile from the approach end of runway 31 in a heavily wooded area. Examination of the crash site revealed that the airplane collided with trees and the ground. The crash debris line was 300 feet in length on a heading of 330-degrees magnetic.
The cockpit section of the airplane was crushed. The flight, and communication instruments were destroyed. The throttle position was aft and bent. The mixture control was full rich, and the ignition switch was in the both position. The fuel selector was on the left tank, and the fuel primer was in the locked position. The flap handle was down, indicating flaps up.
The fuselage was split vertically at the forward edge of the baggage area. The right side of the fuselage, aft of the baggage area was crushed inward. The entry door at the right side of the fuselage was detached and damaged. Flight control continuity was established to all flight controls in the cockpit. The Gascolator was disassembled and one ounce of fuel was observed in the unit. The nose wheel assembly was still attached to the engine mounts.
All components of the left wing were located at the crash site. The left wing separated from fuselage at the wing root and separated into two pieces. The aileron was attached to the outboard 4-foot section of wing, with the aileron weight attached. The inboard portion of wing had the flap attached. The fuel tank bladder was separated, and located in the debris field. The left flap mechanism indicated that the flaps were in the up position. The aileron cables were attached to the bellcrank, and separated at the wing root. The left main landing gear was separated from the wing, and located in the debris field.
All components of the right wing assembly were located at the crash site. The right wing was fragmented into several pieces throughout the wreckage debris field. The inboard section of flap was attached to the outboard wing section. The detached outboard flap section was located in the debris field. The right fuel tank bladder was fragmented throughout the debris field. A detached five-foot section of the main spar was located in the debris field with the main landing gear attached. The outboard four-foot section of the wing had parts of aileron attached. The main section of the aileron was located in the debris field, and damaged. The aileron cable was attached to the aileron bellcrank, which was attached to a small separated section of wing. The aileron cable was intact to the center fuselage; the balance cable was broken. The right flap mechanism was in the up position.
The vertical stabilizer had impact damage on the top 18 inches of the leading edge, and the rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The rudder cables were attached to the rudder horn and intact to the center fuselage. The left hand portion of the stabilator was detached, and had impact damage. The control arm of the anti-servo tab remained attached to the fuselage. The right-hand section of the stabilator was detached and fragmented into several pieces. The stabilator cables were attached to the balance bar and intact to the center fuselage.
The propeller revealed one blade was bent rearward 90-degrees 14 inches from the tip. "S" bending, and chordwise scoring was evident in the bent section of the blade. The second blade was bent rearward approximately 15-degrees, showed chordwise scoring, and "S" bending along the entire length. The engine remained partially attached to the firewall. Impact damage was noted on the right side, and bottom of the engine. The exhaust system was crushed. The crankshaft was rotated 360-degrees; which established valve train continuity. All four cylinders produced compression, and boroscope examination did not reveal any anomalies. Both magnetos were removed from the engine, and produced spark from all towers when rotated. All spark plugs were removed for examination, and exhibited light gray deposits. Seven of the eight spark plugs were Champion REM38E. The number 3 bottom plug was an Autolite Urem40E.
The carburetor was intact and secure on the manifold, and residual fuel was observed inside the throttle body. The throttle lever on the carburetor was at idle. The mixture control was full rich. The carburetor heat valve was in the cold position. No external stains were observed on the carburetor. The carburetor was opened, and removed for examination. The plastic float was intact. The needle valve and seat was free to move and operated normally. The main nozzle, and internal passages were clear of obstructions. The inlet screen was clean. The fuel pump was intact and secure on the case and removed for examination. The pump was found to contain residual clean fuel. The pump arm was manipulated by hand and pumping action was noted. The induction air box was impact damaged. The induction air filter was intact.
The Office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation preformed a postmortem, and Toxicological examination of the private pilot on January 2, 2006. The reported cause of death was blunt force trauma. The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol.
The wreckage of the airplane was released to CTC Aviation, Atlanta, Georgia, on September 5, 2006.