September 22, 2007, Worthington, Ky., Grumman AA-5A


At about 1455 Eastern time, the airplane was ditched in the Ohio River. Visual conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot received fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged.

Earlier, before takeoff, the pilot added four quarts of oil to the engine. Upon arrival at a second airport, he noted an oil leak and discovered the vacuum pump he had installed earlier in the day was installed incorrectly, causing the oil leak. He corrected the discrepancy and added more oil to the engine. He then took the airplane for a test flight and returned. The pilot then attempted the flight home.

During the ground run-up before takeoff, the engine overheated. Witnesses advised the pilot not to fly the airplane until the reason for the overheating was determined. The pilot said he would look into it and then departed. A witness saw the airplane ditch in a river in a flat attitude. The airplane floated for a moment, then nosed over and went completely underwater. The pilot was unable to exit the airplane after it submerged.


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