UAE Releases Preliminary Report On A U.S Registered G-21 Plane Crash


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UAE Releases Preliminary Report On A U.S Registered G-21 Plane Crash

By Jim Douglas

April 6, 2011 - United Arab Emirates (UAE) department of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has released it preliminary report on a U.S registered Grumman G-21 that cashed and killed four onboard.   

On February 27, 2011, at approximately 1556 UTC, a Grumman G-21, registration N221AG Aircraft, with total four persons onboard, departed its parking ramp located in Al Ain International Airport. The purpose of the flight was to perform one circuit with a low approach then onwards clearance to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  

The Aircraft taxied on Taxiway ?E? to reach Runway 19 that was the planned takeoff runway. After approximately eight minutes of taxiing, the aircraft lined up on the threshold of RWY 19.  

The Aircraft waited for approximately one and half minutes until takeoff clearance was obtained. The Aircraft started to move and accelerate normally. GCAA reported that witnesses reported that shortly after takeoff, and during its initial climb, the aircraft veered to the left and kept airborne until impacted with down nose and left roll attitude. There was no significant weather at the time of the accident.  

The Aircraft went for a distance of approximately 104 feet until it came to a complete stop. The Aircraft was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire. All occupants were fatally injured. The pilot was 28 years old was an ATP rated pilot. The aircraft was a 1996 Grumman G21G with 9912 hours. The aircraft last annual was June 2010, it Certificate of Airworthiness was issued by the FAA. 

The initial collected documents brought to the UAE Investigation Team?s knowledge that the Aircraft was modified in sometime before entering the UAE, the Team is in ongoing communication with the United States National Transportation Safety Board (?NTSB?) for obtaining more exact information from the aircraft records.  

During its stay in Al Ain Airport from the period between, August 24, 2010 until the date of the accident, the Aircraft was kept parked inside a hangar which owner witnessed that he didn?t experience any maintenance or preservation work since the aircraft entry.

The owner added that only some preventive maintenance works were performed on the day of the accident in addition to activities pertinent to installation of extra fuel tank with no exact information of whether the tank was fixed at its place onboard the aircraft, connected to the fuel system or refueled.


The following is a summary of the communication sequence as made between the Aircraft and Al Ain International Airport tower

15:44:483 N221AG conducted radio checks with ground controller (?GMC?)
15:46:09 N221AG requested clearance for Riyadh
15:46:47 N221AG clarified his request advising one circuit with a low approach will be required then onwards clearance to Riyadh
15:49:02 Al Ain GMC advised N221AG he could start at his discretion.
15:50:46 N221AG advised engine start on the Horizon ramp
15:52:16 N221AG requested taxi clearance from the parking ramp
15:52:20 GMC cleared N221AG to the holding point RWY 19 which was acknowledge by N221AG
15:52:38 GMC advised N221AG the QNH was 1014 which was read back by N221AG
15:52:58 N221AG was advised to expect a left hand closed circuit not above two thousand feet VFR. GMC advised N221AG to request IFR clearance from the Tower airborne.
15:53:08 N221AG read back the clearance for the ?left traffic? VFR two thousand or below.
15:53:53 GMC requested persons onboard from N221AG which was reported as four (4).
15:55:13 N221AG advised he will delay taxi at the parking ramp for three minutes. 15:56:03 N221AG reported ready for taxi and was cleared to taxi to the holding point RWY 19
15:57:53 GMC issued N221AG IFR clearance which was read back and verified by the GMC.
16:02:38 N221AG contacted the Tower Aerodrome Control (?ADC?) reporting ready for closed circuit. ADC held N221AG at the holding point due to traffic.
16:02:55 The controller clarified that N221AG only required one circuit, which was confirmed 16:03:56 N221AG was instructed by ADC to line up and wait.
16:05:37 N221AG was cleared for takeoff by ADC with surface wind passed and requested to report left downwind which was acknowledged.

    The main wreckage was almost one unit; the wings, flight controls, engines mainframe were damaged but stayed at their original place. The two propellers and the left hand tyre were found at various locations but close to the main wreckage.   

The cockpit was the most severely damaged zone where the windows scattered and the seats out of place. The cargo door as well as the passengers? door disintegrated and departed the aircraft. Most of passengers? seats also departed their fixtures and scattered.

The post impact fire consumed the majority the Aircraft left side structure, whereas the right side exhibited less damage and burnt metals. The nose of the Aircraft was heading about 060? Green smears and narrow scars were observed at the yellow edge of the asphalt paved TWY (?F?) with lose green head rivets which could indicate that the smears were drawn and scars were engraved by the Aircraft nose belli green skin.  

Another impact scar was observed at a lateral distance of approximately 27 feet from the green smear mark. The distances were matching with the aircraft wing dimensions with both floats-up configuration which could introduce a clue that the scar was engraved by the left wing float.  

Three propeller slash marks were observed at the left side of the green smears whereas two were to the right side, the pitch distances of the right and left slash marks were almost similar with an average of 1 foot. Neither scars nor smears were noticed along a distance of approximately 85 feet from the last impact mark, engraved by the right propellers, to the Aircraft final settlement. 

Lab examinations on one of or both engines and propellers are going to be performed at a GCAA?s determined engine/propeller overhaul facility. The cockpit central instruments panel is going to be examined and the necessary indicators will be examined as well.

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