Bellanca BL17-30A Collided With Trees And Burst Into Flames
On January 1, 2000, a Bellanca BL-17-30A, N8821V, collided with trees and burst into flames in a heavily wooded area near Monteagle, Tennessee. Instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was destroyed; the private pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Asheville, North Carolina, at an undetermined time.
Circumstances of the flight are not known, however seconds before the airplane collided with trees, a witness near the accident site heard the airplane overhead. He stated that he heard a high revving engine sound followed by the sound of the airplane colliding with trees. Another witness reported hearing an explosion during the sequence of events.
Subsequent to the collision, smoke was sighted in the vicinity of the accident site. Within minutes of the collision, emergency response personnel from the surrounding counties were on site. According to Monteagle Chief of Police, upon arriving at the accident site, he noticed that fog and low clouds were about 20 feet above the ground, and the top of the mountain was obscured. Examination of the accident site disclosed that wreckage debris was scattered over an area approximately 800 feet long and 60 feet wide. Wreckage debris was orientated on a northwesterly magnetic heading. Several freshly broken trees were scattered along the wreckage path. Fire damage was confined to the last third of the wreckage path. The main wreckage, which consisted of the cockpit and center section of the airframe, was heavily fire damaged. The engine assembly was located approximately 100 feet northwest of the main wreckage.
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