Pilot Purchased The Airplane About 6 Months Prior And Had Not Flown It Previously
Location: Bay Minette, AL Accident Number: ERA22FA153
Date & Time: March 11, 2022, 02:30 Local Registration: N5774L
Aircraft: Grumman AA1 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On March 11, 2022, about 0230 central standard time, a Grumman AA1, N5774L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Bay Minette, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to a family member, the pilot purchased the airplane about 6 months prior and had not flown it previously. He departed his residence in Mobile, Alabama about 0030 and traveled to Bay Minette Municipal Airport (1R8), Bay Minette, Alabama to run the airplane’s engine and taxi around the airport property.
At 1309 a US Coast Guard helicopter conducting a training flight approached runway 8 at 1R8 and observed an airplane inverted west of the taxiway leading to runway 8. The flight crew contacted Mobile Approach Control who contacted local law enforcement. The airplane was found inverted in grass, 130 ft from the west end of the taxiway; additionally, tire marks consistent with left and right main landing gear tire braking were observed on the asphalt taxiway for 20 ft up to the edge of the taxiway.
The airplane came to rest on a heading of 082°. The top surface of the right wing was separated from the bottom surface near the wing tip. The left wing was impact damaged near the wing tip. The fuselage cabin roof was crushed near the sliding canopy frame and the rudder tip was crushed consistent with impact damage. The engine showed signs of impact damage and the engine mounts were broken. The caster nosewheel and strut separated from the airplane and were located about 20 ft east between the airplane and taxiway.
All engine structural components, fuselage and flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit. Steering control continuity was confirmed.