The Canopy Was About 1.5 Miles From The Main Wreckage

Location: Chattahoochee, FL Accident Number: ERA22FA036
Date & Time: October 31, 2021, 13:20 Local Registration: N479JJ
Aircraft: Vans RV4 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On October 31, 2021, about 1320 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Vans RV-4, N479JJ, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Chattahoochee, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot departed the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH), about 1303 destined for Monroe County Aeroplex Airport (MVC), Monroeville, Alabama. After departure, the air traffic controller terminated radar services and approved the pilot to change radio frequencies. According to preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane continued westbound for about 17 minutes before radar contact was lost.

An off-duty highway patrolman was performing outdoor yardwork at his residence when the canopy from the airplane fell in his yard. The canopy was about 1.5 miles from the main wreckage.

The accident site was located in a wooded area and the wreckage path was about 550 ft long. The airplane was heavily fragmented and scattered along a debris path on a heading of about 220° magnetic. The outboard portion of the right wing, which included the aileron was separated in the vicinity of an initial tree strike. Small pieces of sheet metal, wheel pants, pieces of the carburetor, fuel tank wing sections and stringers were located along the wreckage path for about 400 ft. The empennage was leaning against a tree with impression marks observed about 15 ft up the tree. The inboard section of the left wing was found about 500 ft along the wreckage path. The fuel tank was breached, and the left wing was fire damaged. The engine, propeller, pieces of the landing gear, and parts of the instrument panel were located at the end of the wreckage path. Both propeller blades were impact separated.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.