Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jackson Clipper, N2754A: Accident occurred on June 14, 2014 in Altamont, New York


 NTSB Identification: ERA14CA310
 Accident occurred Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Altamont, NY
Aircraft: JACKSON FRED M JACKSON CLIPPER, registration: N2754A

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

 Guilderland --   Fred Jackson admits he quietly left his single-engine airplane in the trees between two properties on Gray Road in Altamont, where he'd crashed it a week ago, because he didn't want to report the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Guilderland police reported the incident to the FAA Saturday, a week after it happened, in response to a call from Eugene and Nancy DiCerbo. The couple were scratching their heads Saturday morning after finding the plane at the edge of their bucolic 40-acre Altamont property at 166 Gray Road.

Eugene, 72, spotted it when he'd gone out to a large shed behind the stable where the couple keeps two horses. No one was in it. And as it was camouflaged by a stand of trees, the DiCerbos weren't sure how long it had been there. The couple is used to hearing small aircraft, as a private landing strip is located nearby, at 125 Gray Road.

By early afternoon, neighbors had gathered at their home, speculating on a bona fide mystery. What happened to the pilot, they wondered. Was the plane stolen?

Town police tracked the plane down to Jackson, a 75-year-old pilot who said he had been flying from Hamilton, Madison County, to the Altamont landing strip when he had engine trouble, overshot the runway and crashed into trees, Sgt. Michael A. Minette said.

Jackson, found at his Niskayuna home watering his patch of 1,500 German stiff-head garlic bulbs, offered more details.

A pilot since he was 17, he prized the plane, built from a frame he bought in 2000 to replicate a 1949 Piper Clipper. He has spent about $100,000 restoring it. It hadn't been airborne for three or four years until last week, as it was undergoing restorations, including longer wings with tips made to droop. He was going to show it off at a Piper Aircraft "fly-in" in Lock Haven, Pa., where the planes were once made.

Jackson was excited to get his plane in the air last week. He left Hamilton, where restoration work had been completed, at about 11:30 a.m. Less than an hour later, he was ready to land in Altamont, but things didn't go as expected. The engine failed, and Jackson "didn't have the feel" for how it handled, as the restorations had affected its flight. Jackson expected the plane to descend faster, for one thing. Fearing he would hit a building, he steered for the trees and a relatively soft landing.

He got that, and a quiet landing, too, he said, as the engine wasn't spinning. He climbed out of the plane and down a tree. He had merely a scratch, where the bridge of his eyeglasses had pushed against his face on the way down.

"It's almost impossible to kill yourself in a Piper," Jackson said, smiling, and adding that this isn't the first time he's crashed.

Jackson said, he told the occupant of the home next to the DiCerbos about the incident. Neighbors said that occupant was renting the property from Carver Laraway of Carver Companies. A Laraway's representative said Saturday he was aware of the plane.

Jackson, a retired project engineer for Jackson Demolition in Niskayuna, the business his father started, said he planned to use tractors from the business to move the aircraft. Trouble is, he didn't do it right away. Jackson said Saturday that he regrets that decision now.

Instead, he went to Pennsylvania Tuesday, to enjoy the company of other Piper enthusiasts, even without his plane. He's been going to these fly-ins since 1988.

Saturday, Jackson was considering how his plane has caused him nothing but trouble, and how with a little repair, he could get it back in the air.

"It was just bad luck," he said of the accident. "And good luck." 

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 GUILDERLAND - An abandoned plane was found in a row of trees at a Guilderland home on Saturday, the pilot nowhere to be found.

Guilderland Police say on Saturday, a 1949 Piper Clipper was found several feet off the ground in some trees at 167 Gray Road.

An investigation revealed that 75 year old Fred Jackson was flying the plane back on June 14 from from Hamilton, NY to a landing strip, not far from where he crashed on Gray Road.

While attempting to land, Jackson experienced what police say was mechanical failure, passed the runway, and crashed into the tree line while attempting another pass.

Jackson was not injured in the crash, however he did not report the accident to the FAA or police.

The investigation is now being handled by the FAA. Charged have not been filed as of yet to Jackson.

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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – Police were on the scene of a week-old plane crash in Guilderland on Saturday.

According to Guilderland Police, officers responded to 167 Gray Road for a reported plane crash, shortly before noon on Saturday.

An investigation revealed that a 1949 Piper Clipper had crashed on June 14 around 12:30 p.m. Police say the pilot, Fred Jackson, 75, was flying the plane from Hamilton, New York to a landing strip on 125 Gray Road.

Police say that while Jackson was attempting to land, the plane experienced a failure. Jackson passed the runway, was unable to make another landing attempt, and crashed the plane into a row of trees.

Jackson, the sole occupant of the plane, was not injured. Police say the man did not report the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration  or any police department.

No charges are being filed by Guilderland Police.

The Federal Aviation Administration has since been contacted about the incident and the report has been filed. They will conduct an investigation into the incident.

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