Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, Aeroflight Executive Services Inc., N66886: Accident occurred April 09, 2014 near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

Piper PA-31-350, N66886
Location: Field near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
Date of occurrence: 09 April 2014
Category: Commercial Air Transport - Fixed Wing


The aircraft was on a ferry flight from Seattle in the USA to Thailand via Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and across Europe. However the flight crew abandoned the aircraft in Greenland late in December 2013 after experiencing low oil pressure indications on both engines. This may have been due to the use of an incorrect grade of oil for cold weather operations. The aircraft remained in Greenland until 28 February 2014, when a replacement ferry pilot was engaged. Although the engine oil was not changed prior to departing Greenland, the flight continued uneventfully to Wick, in Scotland. Following some maintenance activity on the right engine, the aircraft departed for Le Touquet in France. However, approximately 25 minutes after takeoff, the engines successively lost power and the pilot carried out a forced landing in a ploughed field. Examination of the engines revealed that one piston in each engine had suffered severe heat damage, consistent with combustion gases being forced past the piston and into the crankcase.

A stricken plane suffered successive engine failures before crash landing near the A90, air accident investigators revealed today.

Eyewitnesses watched in horror as smoke billowed from the private aircraft before it came down in farmland next to the busy A90 dual carriageway near Stonehaven.

The pilot risked his life in the accident in April last year to bring the twin engine aircraft to a controlled skid through the muddy field - before emergency services arrived on scene.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said an examination of the aircraft revealed that pistons in each engine had suffered heat damage.

The AAIB report concluded: "Ultimately, it was not possible to establish why pistons in both engines had suffered virtually identical types of damage, although it is likely to have been a 'common mode' failure, which could include wrong fuel, incorrect mixture settings (running too lean) and existing damage arising from the use of incorrect oil in cold temperatures."

The pilot of the small plane managed to avoid a disaster when he glided the aircraft down over the road and landed it on its belly in the mud on April 9 last year.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang as the aircraft passed over the town of Stonehaven, heading from Wick to France.

They watched in horror as smoke came from the aircraft as it descended towards the busy A90 around rush hour.

The pilot had been on the second leg of a journey from Canada to deliver the eight-seater plane to its new owners in Thailand.

The pilot was put in a neck brace and taken to hospital for treatment having managed to initially walk away from the wreck of the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain.

He was uninjured in the accident.

Original article can be found at:

No comments:

Post a Comment