Thursday, May 8, 2014

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, N4506W, Dayton Pilots Club Inc: Accident occurred May 07, 2014 in Covington, Tennessee

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:  http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Dayton Pilots Club Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/4506W 



NTSB Identification: ERA14LA227
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 07, 2014 in Covington, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N4506W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the instrument flight rules flight plan filed by the pilot, the airplane departed on an estimated 3.1-hour-long flight and had sufficient fuel on board for an estimated 4.8-hour-long flight. A direct 20- to 25-knot headwind existed at the airplane’s cruise altitude. Based on the tachometer reading, about 4.2 hours into the flight, the pilot announced over the destination airport’s common traffic advisory frequency that the airplane was “out of fuel.” The airplane subsequently impacted swampy, wooded terrain 3 miles from the airport. The cockpit and cabin areas were destroyed by impact. There was no evidence of fuel in the wreckage or fuel spillage at the accident site. A detailed examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact mechanical anomaly with the airframe, engine, or fuel system that would have precluded normal operation. 
According to the engine manufacturer, at the minimum allowable fuel flow, the engine had a fuel consumption rate of slightly less than 6 gallons per hour (gph) at 45 percent of rated power to slightly less than 15 gph at 100 percent power. Operators of similarly powered airplanes reported that the engine usually consumes 8.8 to 8.9 gph in a cruise configuration, which did not account for fuel used during taxi, takeoff, and climb. A review of flying club logs and aircraft fueling records revealed that the airplane consumed about 10 gph of fuel during the 12 flights in the month before the accident. According to the airplane manufacturer’s Pilot’s Operating Handbook, the performance charts are unfactored, and the effect of conditions not considered on the charts, including wind aloft on cruise and range performance, must be evaluated by the pilot. The handbook recommends that pilots conduct in-flight fuel flow and quantity checks. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper preflight and in-flight fuel planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent total loss of engine power over unsuitable terrain.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 7, 2014, at 1107 central daylight time (CDT), a Piper PA-28-181, N4506W, operated by the Dayton Pilots Club, Inc., was destroyed when it collided with wooded terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power on approach to Covington Municipal Airport (M04), Covington, Tennessee. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), Dayton, Ohio, about 0710 CDT. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

Air traffic control information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane was at an altitude of 6,000 feet and 8 miles northeast of M04 when the pilot reported the destination airport in sight, and cancelled his IFR clearance. The controller then issued the airplane a frequency change to the M04 common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). There were no further communications from the accident airplane.

In a telephone interview, the airport manager stated he was monitoring the CTAF when the accident pilot announced he was 7.5 miles from the airport, and in-bound for landing. The manager recognized the pilot's voice, as they had spoken by telephone the previous day, and was aware of the pilot's plans upon arrival. He advised the pilot that parking, fueling of his airplane, and ground transportation had been arranged. Approximately 2 minutes later, the pilot announced over the radio that he was "out of fuel, and putting [the airplane] down short of the airport." The manager stated there were no further radio transmissions from the accident airplane.

Due to his injuries, the pilot was not interviewed, but he provided an NTSB Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator report through a personal friend; an airline transport pilot (ATP) and flight instructor.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued March 26, 2014. According to a friend who reviewed the pilot's records, the pilot had accrued approximately 272 hours of flight experience, of which 196 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The pilot was issued his private pilot certificate on September 8, 2010. His instrument rating was added to his certificate on August 15, 2013. The pilot did not hold a flight engineer certificate or any other FAA certificates

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. Its most recent annual inspection was completed December 9, 2013, at 7,945 aircraft hours.

The airplane had a fuel capacity of 50 gallons, of which 48 gallons were usable. According to a line technician at MGY, he serviced the airplane with 13 gallons of aviation gasoline prior to the accident flight, which filled the tanks. Interpolation of flying club logs and aircraft fueling records revealed that the airplane consumed approximately 10 gallons of fuel per hour over the 12 flights in the month previous to the accident. 

The airplane tachometer reading was 321.1 hours at the completion of the flight previous to the accident flight, and the tachometer showed 325.3 hours when examined after the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1050, the weather conditions reported at Millington Regional Jetport (NQA), 20 miles southwest of M04, included few clouds at 2,500 feet, 10 miles of visibility, and winds from 180 degrees at 9 knots. The temperature was 25 degrees C, the dew point was 17 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 29.98 inches of mercury. An NTSB meteorologist observed that the winds aloft at the airplane's cruising altitude of 6,000 were from about 225 degrees at 20 to 25 knots. Throughout the flight, the airplane maintained an approximate ground track of 225 degrees.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane came to rest in standing water among wooded terrain. The cockpit and cabin areas were destroyed by impact, and had also been cut by first responders. The empennage appeared separated from the fuselage, but still attached by cables. The left wing separated before the airplane came to rest, and the left main fuel tank was breached. According to detectives of the Tipton County Sheriff's Office, there was no odor of fuel, no evidence of fuel in the airplane, and no evidence of fuel spillage at the scene. The Chief of Detectives stated she did not order any environmental remediation of the crash site due to fuel spillage because "there was nothing to remediate."

On September 5, 2014, a detailed examination of the wreckage was completed at a recovery facility. Continuity of the fuel system was confirmed from the fuel tanks, through the fuel lines, the fuel selector, and to the fuel pump. Several breaks were noted due to impact damage, and cutting by rescue and recovery personnel.

The fuel tank fuel caps were serviceable and properly vented. Both fuel tank intake finger strainers were intact, and absent of blockage or debris. The drain petcocks were intact, functioned properly, and displayed no evidence of leakage or fuel staining. Both left and right fuel quantity indicating sensors were secure and free to move through their full-travel range. 

The fuel selector valve was free to move, displayed a positive detent in all positions, and the spring-loaded lock-out function for the "off" position functioned as designed. The fuel lines from the left and right tanks were separated at the fuel valve, but the fuel line to the gascolator was intact. There was no evidence of blockage in the fuel selector or the fuel line to the gascolator. The line from the gascolator to the electric fuel pump was intact and secure. There was no evidence of blockage in the line. The line from the electric pump to the engine driven pump was secure at the electric pump, but impact-separated from the engine driven pump.

The engine driven fuel pump was broken and separated by impact. The gascolator and filter element were separated by impact, and not recovered. No evidence of preimpact damage or deterioration of the fuel system was noted. No evidence or staining indicative of static or dynamic fuel leakage was noted anywhere in the fuel system or surrounding aircraft structure.

The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller flange. Continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section. Creek water was ejected from the sparkplug holes during rotation. Compression was confirmed on all cylinders using the thumb method. Intake and exhaust valve operation was confirmed. The magnetos were removed, and rotated by electric drill. Neither magneto sparked due to water immersion and corrosion. 

The carburetor was disassembled, and no mechanical anomalies were noted. The carburetor bowl contained several ounces of creek water. The floats were intact and moved freely. The filter screen was clear and absent of debris or blockage.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the statement prepared by the pilot's friend, the airplane departed with 48 gallons of useable fuel on board. Prior to departure, the pilot told his wife that based on his planned flight time and taking winds "into consideration," he should arrive at his destination with 13 gallons of fuel remaining. The friend calculated that the airplane's engine produced 65 percent power at 6,000 feet while consuming approximately 8.5 gallons per hour. He then calculated the airplane should have landed with "14 gallons of fuel (1.4 hours of flight time)."

At 0538, the pilot filed a flight plan through an online commercial vendor (CSC DUATS). The pilot filed an estimated fuel endurance of 4.8 hours and an estimated time en route of 3.1 hours.

According to the engine manufacturer, at the minimum allowable fuel flow, an O-360 engine had a fuel consumption rate of slightly less than 6 gallons per hour at 45 percent of rated power to slightly less than 15 gallons per hour at 100 percent power. Operators of similar powered airplanes reported that the engine usually consumed 8.8 to 8.9 gallons per hour in a cruise configuration, which did not account for fuel used during taxi, takeoff, and climb.

According to FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Standards, the examiner ensures the pilot applicant "Corrects for and records the differences between preflight groundspeed, fuel consumption, and heading calculations and those determined en route." 

According to the airplane manufacturer's Pilot's Operating Handbook, Section 5, Performance:

The performance charts are unfactored and do not make any allowance for varying degrees of pilot proficiency or mechanical deterioration of the aircraft. This performance, however, can be duplicated by following the stated procedures in a properly maintained airplane.

Effects of conditions not considered on the charts must be evaluated by the pilot, such as the effect of soft or grass runway surface on takeoff and landing performance, or the effect of winds aloft on cruise and range performance. Endurance can be grossly affected by improper leaning procedures, and inflight fuel flow and quantity checks are recommended.In a letter to the Chairman of the NTSB, the Ohio Attorney General stated that the pilot graduated from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS), was a 20-year Air Force veteran, and after retirement spent 11 years as a "professional flight engineer." He suggested that the NTSB had predetermined the probable cause of the accident, that the pilot's experience made an operational cause unlikely, and requested that the NTSB inspect the wreckage for problems that could not be detected through normal maintenance or preflight inspection.

According to the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, the pilot attended Flight Test Engineer (FTE) Class 78B from July 31, 1978 to July 16, 1979, and an official history and curriculum from the class was examined.

When asked to draw a distinction between an Air Force Test Pilot and a Flight Test Engineer, representatives of the school stated, "[The] role as an FTE encompasses data collection, safety of test, technical adequacy, and data analysis. FTEs are not trained to be navigators or fuel planners. They are provided with a basic intro to aviation, which includes performing fuel calculations using flight manuals, but not to the extent of planning fuel or [estimated time en route] calculations for cross-country sorties. Cross-country planning is neither taught nor evaluated at TPS. That type of training would be covered in Undergraduate Pilot/Nav training (UPT or UNT), but FTEs do not obtain any of this training at TPS since they are trained to be flight test engineers, not navigators. Additionally, unlike military pilots, FTEs cannot apply any military flying training/experience to get credit towards an FAA rating." 

According to the head of the FTE Airmanship Program, and a graduate of FTE Class 82A, the current airmanship program began in 2000. Prior to that year, students were not flown in light aircraft as an introduction to the course. Students were instructed on the use of Pilot Operating Handbooks to compute fuel consumption rates; "however, cross-country flight planning was neither taught nor evaluated."


NTSB Identification: ERA14LA227
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 07, 2014 in Covington, TN
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N4506W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 7, 2014, at 1107 central daylight time (CDT), a Piper PA-28-181, N4506W, operated by the Dayton Pilots Club, Inc, was destroyed when it collided with wooded terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power on approach to Covington Municipal Airport (M04), Covington, Tennessee. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), Dayton, Ohio, about 0710 CDT. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Preliminary air traffic control information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane was at an altitude of 6,000 feet and 8 miles northeast of M04 when the pilot reported the destination airport in sight, and cancelled his IFR clearance. The controller then issued the airplane a frequency change to the M04 common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). There were no further communications from the accident airplane.

In a telephone interview, the airport manager stated he was monitoring the CTAF when the accident pilot announced he was 7.5 miles from the airport, and in-bound for landing. The manager recognized the pilot's voice, as they had spoken by telephone the previous day, and was aware of the pilot's plans upon arrival. He advised the pilot that parking, fueling of his airplane, and ground transportation had been arranged.

Approximately 2 minutes later, the pilot announced over the radio that he was "out of fuel, and putting [the airplane] down short of the airport." The manager stated there were no further radios transmissions from the accident airplane.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued March 26, 2014. According to club records, the pilot had accrued approximately 242 hours of flight experience, of which 178 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. Its most recent annual inspection was completed December 9, 2013, at 7,945 aircraft hours.

At 1050, the weather conditions reported at Millington Regional Jetport (NQA), 20 miles southwest of M04, included few clouds at 2,500 feet,10 miles of visibility, and winds from 180 degrees at 9 knots. The temperature was 35 degrees C, the dew point was 17 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 29.98 inches of mercury. An NTSB meteorologist observed that the winds aloft at the airplane's cruising altitude of 6,000 were from about 225 degrees at 20 to 25 knots. Throughout the flight, the airplane maintained an approximate ground track of 225 degrees.

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane came to rest in standing water among wooded terrain. The cockpit and cabin areas were destroyed by impact, and had also been cut by first responders. The empennage appeared separated from the fuselage, but still attached by cables. The left wing appeared to have separated before the airplane came to rest.

According to detectives of the Tipton County Sheriff's Office, there was no odor of fuel, no evidence of fuel in the airplane, and no evidence of fuel spillage at the scene. The Chief of Detectives stated she did not order any environmental remediation of the crash site due to fuel spillage because "there was nothing to remediate."


 
Kent Wingate 
~

"We are optimistic that he will be healed and come back to us as a whole person," said Dr. Katherine Wingate, Kent's wife


Kent Wingate (left) 
This photo taken by Dayton Daily News photographer Ty Greenlees in September, 2013. 



MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Leo "Kent" Wingate, as he approached Covington (Tenn.) Municipal Airport, Wednesday morning, sent his wife a text message in Dayton that he'd be landing in 45 minutes.

A call Katherine Wingate expected him never came.

Hours later, she learned that his 1979 Piper Archer PA-28 Cherokee crashed two miles from the airport in a wooded area in rural western Tennessee. There were no passengers on the plane.

Wingate, 62, had radioed the Covington airport to inform them that he'd have to make an emergency landing because he was low on fuel. The Xenia resident had taken off from the Dayton-Wright Bros. Airport in Miami Twp. to attend a close friend's funeral, his wife said.

Two crop dusters located the wreckage and rescued Wingate, a retired Air Force administrator and chairman and an instructor of Sinclair Community College's aviation program.

"It's your worst nightmare," Katherine Wingate said Friday during a video interview with the newspaper from the Elvis Presley Trauma Center at Regional One Health hospital in Memphis, where her husband was listed in critical but stable condition Friday night.

Katherine Wingate, a physician herself, said she's felt helpless to treat her husband. He remains unconscious and needs a ventilator to assist with his breathing since his lungs collapsed during the crash. Wingate underwent surgery to repair broken bones, and doctors still don't know the extent of the brain injury he suffered, his wife said.

"I'm usually the one calling the shots, giving the orders, healing the sick," Katherine Wingate she said. "It's kind of hard to be the one on the other side of the equation. I just want to hear his voice."

Although authorities believe her husband's plane crashed because it ran out of fuel, she said it's unlikely he miscalculated how much fuel he'd need.

Crashes not uncommon

The National Transportation Safety Board, the investigating agency for this incident, should have preliminary results in a few weeks, officials said.

Aircraft running out of fuel and crashing is not uncommon in the United States.

Since 2005, there have been 328 such crashes involving airplanes and helicopters, according to NTSB data the Dayton Daily News requested.

Of those crashes, three were in Ohio - Middletown, 2013; Louisville, 2009 and Edinburg, 2007.

In the nationwide crashes, 51 people died, 77 were seriously injured and 145 people received minor injuries.

Nearly 300 people suffered no injuries in those crashes, according to the data.


Source:   http://www.daytondailynews.com

 
Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
 
COVINGTON, Tenn. (WDTN) – The Xenia, Ohio pilot injured when his single-engine plane crashed in Tennessee remains in the Intensive Care Unit of a Tennessee hospital.

Kent Wingate has shown signs of being able to breathe on his own, but a respirator is being used because he has a collapsed lung, officials told 2 NEWS. He also has multiple broken bones, yet his overall condition is steady/stable and is not worsening. However, they said he has shown signs of some amount of traumatic brain injury, the level of which is not known yet.

Wingate took off from the Wright Brothers Airport south of Dayton Wednesday and crashed about seven miles north of Covington, Tenn.

The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Billy Daugherty said the plane was found in a rural, heavily wooded area in neighboring Lauderdale County.

Wingate is retired from the Air Force where he was an aeronautical engineer.  He is also on staff at Sinclair Community College.


Source:   http://wdtn.com

 Kent Wingate.


COVINGTON, TN - (WMC) - Kent Wingate, the pilot who crashed into a wooded area near Covington Municipal Airport on Wednesday, remains in the ICU trauma unit at the Regional Medical Center. 

 Kent was flying from Ohio to Covington for a funeral when he crashed around 11 a.m. His wife, Dr. Katherine Wingate, says while he is alive, he is not out of the woods yet.

"We are optimistic that he will be healed and come back to us as a whole person," she said.

Kent is showing signs of being able to breathe on his own, a respirator is being used because he has a collapsed lung.  He also has multiple broken bones, but his overall condition is steady and is not getting worse. Doctors say the pilot is showing signs of some traumatic brain injury, so they are watching him closely.

Dr. Wingate was practicing at her pediatric clinic in Dayton, Ohio, when she found out her husband had crashed.

"We had texted about 45 minutes before he was scheduled to land," she said. "And I didn't hear anything for several hours."
 
Dr. Wingate said her husband had enough fuel in his plane to get to Covington. She thinks something else must have happened to cause the crash.

"I truly believe God's purpose will be fulfilled in this," she said.

Kent would not be alive without the fast actions of the rescuers that saved his life, said his wife. But Rick Finney does not consider himself a hero.

"I really just had a chance to make a difference," said the former firefighter and EMT.

At first, Finney flew a crop duster around the river bottom to locate the plane. He then landed in a field, walked to the banks of the Hatchie River, then jumped in and started to swim across the river to reach Kent. A passing fisherman picked Finney up and took him the rest of the way across the river.

"I gave him some first aid, cleared his airway, supported his head and spoke to him like he was your mother, letting him know help was on the way," explained Finney.

He continued first aid for about 40 minutes until the rest of the rescue team could make it across the river. Finney said Kent was in and out of consciousness the whole time.

"I told him everything was attached to him that was supposed to be attached and that I'd gotten hurt a lot worse than that on a swing as kid," added Finney, who had actually survived plane engine failure himself in the past.

The crash, Finney said, should serve as a lesson to everyone to pay it forward.

"I think any time you can make a difference, you should," he said. "It wasn't by accident that I had EMT training and had skills to land that plane there."



Story, photo gallery and video:    http://www.wmcactionnews5.com


"I think any time you can make a difference, you should," he Rick Finney, who rescued Kent. "It wasn't by accident that I had EMT training and had skills to land that plane there."  


(Photo source: Tipton County Sheriff's Office)




Wingate lives in Xenia, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. He works at Sinclair Community College.



Leo "Kent" Wingate



COVINGTON, TENNESSEE -   – The small plane that went missing around 11 a.m. on Wednesday was found crashed in a wooded area two hours later.
 

According to the Tipton County sheriff, the pilot's name is Kent Wingate, 62. Firefighters on the scene say Wingate was unconscious, but his heart rate and blood pressure were stable. He was taken to Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

"I really don't understand how he could survive something like that. People are resilient. It just wasn't his time," said pilot Ben Baker, who helped in the search.

Wingate and his Piper Archer single engine plane were found near the Hatchie River in Lauderdale County.

The plane went missing as it prepared to land at Covington Municipal Airport. The airport's manager said that Wingate told him he was out of fuel and was going to land the plane; it never landed.


Images from Chopper 5 show the plane wedged in thick trees about two miles north of the airport. The crash site was located by tracking the emergency signal being transmitted from the plane.

"It was so thick back there in the area of the backwater ... Some of the slews, the foliage really thick," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley.

A boater on the Hatchie River was flagged down by emergency personnel to take them across the river to the wreckage.

Wingate was flying into town for a funeral. He retired from the United States Air Force where he was an aeronautical engineer.

According to our NBC affiliate, WDTN, Wingate lives in Xenia, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. He works at Sinclair Community College.

"Kent Wingate is the chair of the Aviation Technology department," Sinclair spokesman Adam Murka said in a written statement. "Sinclair officials have been in touch with Kent's family to offer our support and the entire Sinclair community will keep Kent and the Wingate family in our thoughts during this difficult time."


Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on their way to the crash site to investigate.


 Sinclair Community College: https://www.facebook.com

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.wmcactionnews5.com