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This report was modified July 20, 2007.
On May 12, 2006, at 1147 eastern daylight time, a Cessna C-150L, N1715Q, registered to an operated by a private owner as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the ground after departing Mathis Airport (GA27), Cumming, Georgia. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airline transport (ATP) rated pilot and pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.
A witness at the airport stated that on the morning of the accident he spoke to the pilot for about 10 minutes. He watched as the pilot and passenger conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane. After the preflight inspection the pilot taxied the airplane to the fuel pumps, where he topped off both fuel tanks with fuel. He stated that the pilot had the flaps extended between "5 and 10 degrees" prior to take off. The pilot taxied out to runway 21, conducted an engine run-up, and began the take off roll. The witness noted that the take off roll was much longer than he expected. The airplane did not rotate and climb until it reached the end of the of the runway. The airplane was in a climb attitude and the airspeed was slow. According to the witness "the airplane just failed to climb". The airplane reached an altitude of approximately 50 feet, and was not going to clear the hill and trees directly off the end of the runway. The airplane "drifted to the left through a low spot in the tree cover on the southwest boundary of the airport". The witness was concerned about what he had seen, got into his vehicle, and departed the airport, believing that there might have been an accident. Shortly thereafter he heard the sounds of emergency vehicles in the distance.
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash and located the airplane inverted resting against the side of a house in a residential subdivision approximately 1/4 mile west of the airport.
Review of information on file with the FAA airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed that the pilot was issued a flight engineer certificate on April 23, 1982, with ratings for turbojet-powered aircraft. The pilot was issued an airline transport pilot certificate on December 10, 2002, with ratings for airplane single engine and multi-engine land. The pilot's aircraft ratings were for the B-727, B-757, B-767, G-S2, MD-11, and B-777. The pilot held a first class medical issued on November 17, 2005, with limitations for lenses that correct for distant vision and possession of glasses that correct for near vision. The pilot's logbooks were not recovered for review.
Review of information on file with the FAA airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the passenger was issued a private pilot certificate on August 2, 2002. The certificate revealed he had ratings for rotorcraft-helicopter, and 153 hours of civilian flight time. The pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on June 2, 2005, with no medical restrictions.
The airplane is a 1972 Cessna 150L, serial number 15073015. It is a two-seat, high-wing airplane of predominantly aluminum construction with fixed tricycle landing gear. The powerplant is a Teledyne Continental Motors O-200-A, engine serial number 67377-7-A. A review of the maintenance logbooks revealed that the last annual inspection was conducted on January 18, 2006, at an indicated tachometer time of 344.1 hours, and a total time in service of 4952.5. On January 15, 2001, a new tachometer was installed in the airplane at a tachometer time of 4572.57 hours. At the time of the accident the tachometer time indicated a total of 357.6 hours. The Hobbs meter at the accident site indicated 4542.3 hours. The total time since major overhaul was 1008.04 hours. Review of the tachometer time revealed that there were 13.5 hours since the last annual inspection.
The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was the Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia, located 12 nautical miles southeast of GA27. The 1050 surface weather observation was: wind 310 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 statute miles; clouds scattered at 2,900 feet, temperature 61 degrees Fahrenheit, altimeter 29.87. Witnesses present at GA27 stated that the winds were very gusty.
The Mathis Airport, GA27 has a paved 1,550-foot long runway that is 20 feet wide with an elevation of 1,170 feet. Runway 21, the departing runway has 75-100 foot trees at the departure end with an uphill grade. During an inspection of the runway, it was noted that it curves slightly to the right at the departure end.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane was located resting against the side of a residential home in the Laurel Springs Subdivision in Chaucer Circle. The airplane was in a nose down attitude inverted lying against the sidewall of a local residence. The airplane was approximately 1/4 mile west of the departure end of the runway.
Examination of the airframe revealed the propeller spinner was crushed aft and showed rotational twisting. The engine cowling was crushed around the engine. Removal of the cowling revealed that the engine was displaced aft into the firewall. The firewall was displaced upwards and aft towards the forward doorpost. The nose landing gear assembly was broken away from the nose strut.
The cockpit section was compressed upwards and displaced aft towards the empennage section of the airplane. Both doors were separated from the fuselage, and were buckled upwards. The baggage compartment was crushed to the empennage. The left and right main landing gear struts were attached to the fuselage section of the airplane. The left main landing gear wheel and brake assembly were broken from the landing gear strut. The right main landing gear wheel assembly was connected to the landing gear strut. The right wheel pant was connected to the wheel assembly.
The empennage was broken away from the baggage compartment and was crushed approximately 3-feet aft of the baggage compartment bulkhead. The right horizontal stabilizer exhibited buckling throughout the surface, and the elevator was bent upward on the outboard side of the flight surface. The elevator trim tab was noted in the 2-½ degree tab up position. The left horizontal stabilizer exhibited buckling on the outboard side of the flight surface. The vertical stabilizer was damaged on the top of the stabilizer where the rudder mounted to the stabilizer. The vertical stabilizer and the top of the rudder containing the balance weight were crushed. There were no separated or disconnected flight control cables. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to all primary and secondary flight control surfaces. The wing flap actuator was found in the retracted position.
The left wing forward spar carry through was broken away from the wing spar. The wing attachment point was connected to the forward spar, and the rear spar. The left wing outboard leading edge was crushed aft. The left wing tip was broken. The left aileron was attached to the wing assembly and exhibited buckling. The left flap was attached to the left flap track and exhibited buckling. The left wing strut was attached to the wing and broken away from the fuselage. Examination of the left fuel tank revealed that it was not breached, and the fuel filler cap was locked. There were blue fuel stains around the fuel filler cap, and the soil under the left wing was heavily soaked with fuel. The vegetation under the wing exhibited browning.
The right wing assembly was attached to the forward spar attachment point. The rear drag spar was broken from the attachment point on the center wing section. The leading edge and wing tip of the wing assembly was crushed aft. The aileron was attached to the wing and the outboard section was bent downward. The flap was attached to the flap track assembly and exhibited buckling. The wing strut was attached to the wing assembly and fuselage. Examination of the right fuel tank revealed that it was not breached and the fuel filler cap was locked. There were blue fuel stains around the fuel filler cap, and the soil under the left wing was heavily soaked with fuel. The vegetation under the wing exhibited browning.
Examination of the fuel selector revealed it was found in the on position. The airplane was inverted for over 24 hours and when turned upright approximately 1 gallon of fuel was drained from the right tank. Approximately 5 gallons of fuel was drained from the left tank, and no fuel was found in the fuel lines. A small amount of fuel was found in the carburetor bowl. All fuel found in the airplane was field-tested with SARGEL and no water was noted. The fuel at the airport was tested with SARGEL and no water was noted in the fuel. Examination of both wing tank fuel finger screens found them free of blockage and debris.
Examination of the engine found it partially attached to the engine mounts on the firewall. Two of the upper engine mounts were broken away from the engine. The exhaust and intake system were impact damaged. The throttle control at the carburetor was at the idle cutoff position, and the carburetor control knob in the cockpit was three inches aft in the idle position. The mixture control cables remained attached to the carburetor, and the control knob in the cockpit was in the locked position. The ignition switch was in the left magneto position. Examination of the magnetos revealed the right hand magneto produced spark on all leads and the impulse coupling engaged when rotated by hand. The left hand magneto produced spark on all leads and impulse coupling engaged when rotated by hand. The ignition wire harness was intact and impact damaged. The spark plugs were removed from the engine for examination and were Champion REM40E. The number four top sparkplug was oil soaked. The remaining sparkplugs exhibited dark deposits in the electrode area. When compared to the Champion check-a-plug chart, all sparkplugs were consistent with normal wear. The oil sump was impact damaged and partially torn open at the crankcase mount. An undetermined amount of oil was observed within the oil sump. The oil suction tube and screen were impact damaged. The oil screen was removed and examined and found free of debris and blockage.
All of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and visually appeared undamaged. The cylinders were borescoped in accordance with TCM SB03-3 and exhibited normal operating signatures. Cylinder one and three exhibited a normal amount of combustion deposits on the piston head and combustion chamber. Cylinder two exhibited little combustion deposits on the piston head and combustion chamber. Cylinder number four exhibited some combustion deposits on the piston head and combustion chamber. All rocker arms were oil coated and moved accordingly when the engine was rotated. Compression was achieved on all four cylinders, and valve train continuity was established to the rear accessory section of the engine. The alternator and starter remained attached to the engine. The carburetor was broken from its mount. The carburetor was disassembled, and the carburetor float bowl had a small amount of fuel in its cavity. The floats and needle float valve remained intact and undamaged. Examination of the fuel inlet screen revealed it was free of debris and blockage. The vacuum pump was broken from the mount and impact damaged. The vacuum pump was disassembled and the vanes and rotors were found broken.
The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. The blades were marked "A & B", and blade "A" exhibited chordwise scratching on the blade tip. Blade "A" was bent aft approximately mid-span of the length of the blade. The blade tip was curled opposite of the direction of rotation, and the leading edge of the blade tip exhibited gouging. The blade was also slightly twisted. Examination of blade "B" exhibited chordwise scratching, and was bent aft approximately 8 inches from the blade root. Chordwise scratching was also observed on the blade tip along with leading edge gouging. The blade was slightly twisted and the tip was curled opposite of the direction of rotation.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Atlanta, Georgia performed the postmortem examination of the airline transport pilot on May 13, 2006. The reported cause of death was blunt force injuries. 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, drugs and alcohol, and traces of Naxproxen were detected in the urine.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Atlanta, Georgia performed the postmortem examination of the pilot rated passenger on May 13, 2006. The reported cause of death was traumatic injuries, and probable mechanical asphyxia. 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, drugs and alcohol.
Review of the performance data in the Cessna Owners Manual revealed that a 1,600-pound airplane at an approximate density altitude of 1,400 feet, would require approximately 1,539 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle using 0-degrees of flaps on a level runway. Takeoff data is not published for 10 degrees of flaps, 0 degrees of flaps are recommended by the Cessna Owners Manual for performance takeoffs to clear obstacles. Review of the weight and balance of the airplane with both occupants and full fuel revealed that the airplane weighted approximately 1,620 ponds at the time of the takeoff. The maximum allowable takeoff weight is 1,600 pounds.
Review of data contained in a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that was found operating in the wreckage showed that as the airplane approached the last 400 feet of the runway at recorded time 11:46:45 eastern standard time (11:46:45 EDT), the groundspeed was 42 mph and altitude was 1,152 feet msl, or approximately airport elevation. As the airplane passed a point about 400 feet past the end of the runway at 11:46:53 EDT, the groundspeed was 52 mph and the altitude was 1,197 feet. The airplane made a left turn and at the groundspeed reached a maximum value of 60 mph and the highest attained altitude was 1,248. The last recorded data prior to the accident was at 11:47:13 EDT, when the airplane was at 60 mph, at an altitude of 1,240 feet.
The airplane was released to the owner a private individual on August 2, 2006.