Accident Jeffair Barracuda N5926,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 37135
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Date:Monday 26 May 1997
Time:12:30 LT
Type:Jeffair Barracuda
Owner/operator:James K. Stevens
Registration: N5926
MSN: 287
Total airframe hrs:93 hours
Engine model:Franklin 6A-350
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Antonia, MO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Branson, MO (KPLK)
Destination airport:Columbia, IL (H49)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A witness 'heard a plane flying very low and the engine was cutting in and out.' He looked across the valley and saw 'a small aircraft flying below the ridge very erratic.' The witness said he saw the airplane go into a roll and descend at a 45-degree angle. 'Just as I lost sight (of the airplane), the engine seemed to rev up slightly, then stop. I could hear the plane hitting the tree tops and then a loud thud.' Another witness said that he saw the airplane 'enter the clouds and then re-appear at tree top level in a descending left turn.' The witness said that as the airplane disappeared from sight, the engine sound increased, then decreased, followed by the sound of the airplane crashing into the trees. The pilot was not instrument rated. The weather was reported as broken to overcast ceiling of 400 feet mean sea level (MSL), 2 miles visibility, and winds from 110 degrees at 7 knots. There was no report that the pilot received a weather briefing before flight. The outboard 8 feet of the left wing was located 405 feet east-northeast of the main wreckage, and the left flap was found about 435 feet east-southeast of the main wreckage. An exam of the left wing revealed evidence of an in-flight breakup. The left main spar was bent upward and splintered. The wood laminates covering the forward and aft surfaces of the spar section showed wood fibers pulled apart in an upward vector. No anomalies were found that would have occurred before the in-flight breakup.

Probable Cause: inadvertent flight by the pilot into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), spatial disorientation of the pilot, which led to his loss of aircraft control, and the pilot exceeding the design stress limits of the airplane, which led to an in-flight breakup of the airplane. Factors related to the accident were: the pilot not obtaining a weather briefing before flight, an encounter with adverse weather (low ceiling and fog), and the pilot's lack of instrument experience.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CHI97FA146
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 8 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Apr-2024 15:18 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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