Sunday, February 22, 2015

Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, C-GVZW: Fatal accident occurred February 22, 2015 near Felts Field Airport (KSFF), Spokane, Washington

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/06/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot was conducting a cross-country flight from Canada to California and had landed to clear customs into the United States and to refuel his airplane. The pilot then departed to continue the flight. During the initial climb after takeoff, the engine experienced a total loss of power, and the pilot attempted to make an off-airport forced landing. The right wing struck railroad tracks at the top of a hill, and the airplane continued down an embankment, where it came to rest adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge. 

Postaccident interviews revealed that, when requesting fuel from the fixed-base operator (FBO), the pilot did not specify a grade of fuel to be used to service the airplane. The refueler mistakenly identified the airplane as requiring Jet A fuel, even though the fuel filler ports were placarded “AVGAS (aviation gasoline) ONLY.” The fueler subsequently fueled the airplane with Jet A instead of aviation gasoline. Additionally, the fueling nozzle installed on the fuel truck at the time of the refueling was not the proper type of nozzle. Jet A and AvGas fueling nozzles are different designs in order to prevent fueling an airplane with the wrong type of fuel. 

Following the fueling, the pilot returned to the FBO and signed a receipt, which indicated that the airplane had been serviced with Jet A. There were no witnesses to the pilot’s preflight activities, and it is unknown if the pilot visually inspected or obtained a fuel sample before takeoff; however, had the pilot done this, it would have been apparent that the airplane had been improperly fueled. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to the refueler’s incorrect refueling of the airplane. Contributing to the accident was the fixed-base operator’s improper fueling nozzle, which facilitated the use of an incorrect fuel, and the pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA-46-350P airplane, Canadian registration C-GVZW, was destroyed during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The pilot, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK), Stockton, California.

According to family members, the pilot was traveling to SCK from Canada to participate in recurrent flight training. He had called his wife prior to departure from SFF; he said that his flight to SFF was great, and that he was in good spirits. She could hear the engine in the background as she spoke to her husband, and nothing sounded abnormal.

Air traffic control voice communication information proved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the airplane was cleared for takeoff from runway 22R, and the pilot was instructed to turn to a heading of 190° after takeoff. When the controller observed on radar that the airplane had not turned to the 190° heading, he queried the pilot. The pilot responded that he was having engine trouble. The controller cleared the pilot to return to the airport and land on any runway. The pilot stated that he was not going to make it back to the runway, and asked if the controller had any suggestions for an alternate landing site. No further radio transmissions were received from the pilot.

One set of witnesses heard the airplane engine sputtering. They saw the left-wing drop, and the nose pitch up, the right wing dropped, and they lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge.

WITNESS INFORMATION

The fixed-base operator (FBO) employee who serviced the airplane with fuel stated that the pilot contacted him on the day of the accident and requested to have his airplane fueled. The pilot did not specify what type of fuel was required, but only that he had cleared customs; he also told the fueler where his airplane was located. The fueler stated that the pilot was not present when he arrived to fuel the airplane. He stated that the majority of the Piper Malibu airplanes that he had serviced required Jet A fuel, so he fueled the accident airplane with Jet A. Once the fueling was complete, he returned to the FBO, and waited for the pilot to return to pay for the fuel. Both the written receipt and credit card receipt provided to the pilot specified that the airplane had been serviced with Jet A. The pilot paid for the fuel and left.

There were no witnesses to the pilot's preflight activities, and it is unknown if the pilot visually inspected or sumped the fuel before departing. Following the accident, an FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from the FBO; the log indicated that the accident airplane had been fueled with 52 gallons of Jet A.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a Transport Canada single-engine and multiengine land certificate with night ratings. He held a third-class medical with the limitation that glasses must be worn. The pilot had received training in the accident make/model airplane, and was endorsed for proficiency in its operation in March 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350-horsepower, turbocharged, reciprocating engine. According to the journey record (aircraft logbook), the last annual inspection was performed on July 23, 2014, at an airframe total time of 2,324.0 hours. The last maintenance performed included an oil and filter change on January 15, 2015, at a total airframe time of 2,388.9 hours. There were no recorded flights between January 15, and February 22, 2015.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in a commercial area near a railroad yard.

The majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The fuel tanks had been ruptured during the accident sequence; however, a strong smell of Jet A fuel was present at the accident site. As a result of the ruptured fuel tanks, a fuel sample was not obtained.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed by the Spokane County Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was determined to be blunt impact to the head, and the manner of death was an accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for volatiles. The pilot initially survived the accident; as a result, there was positive test results for drugs that were administered to the pilot while he was in the hospital, including ephedrine detected in urine, but not detected in blood, and etomidate, lidocaine, pseudoephedrine, and salicylate detected in blood.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The airplane was equipped with its original fuel equipment, and was appropriately marked with an "AVGAS (aviation gasoline) ONLY" placard at each wings fuel port, which indicated that the airplane operated on aviation gasoline. Both fuel ports were checked by an FAA inspector, and identified as having the appropriately-sized fuel collar for AVGAS.

There were no other malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
Inspection of the fuel truck after the accident revealed that the fuel hose nozzle was the round type, typically used to service helicopters with smaller fuel filler ports. When the FAA returned the next day to inspect the truck, the smaller rounder fuel nozzle that had been on the fuel truck the night before had been replaced with a flat duck-bill fuel nozzle. When the owner of the FBO was questioned about the switch, he stated that it was for safety reasons, and that he was making sure the appropriate nozzle was attached.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the airplane's pilot operating handbook, while performing the preflight checklist, one of the items called out is for the pilot to do a visual check of the fuel supply for both wings, and assure that the fuel cap is secured.

Located at the airport is an FBO that performs turbine conversions on the accident make and model airplane.


 


The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
Piper Aircraft, Inc.; Vero Beach, Florida
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Edmonton, AB

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA-46-350P airplane, Canadian registration C-GVZW, was destroyed during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The pilot, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK), Stockton, California.

According to family members, the pilot was traveling to SCK from Canada to participate in recurrent flight training. He had called his wife prior to departure from SFF; he said that his flight to SFF was great, and that he was in good spirits. She could hear the engine in the background as she spoke to her husband, and nothing sounded abnormal.

Air traffic control voice communication information proved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the airplane was cleared for takeoff from runway 22R, and the pilot was instructed to turn to a heading of 190° after takeoff. When the controller observed on radar that the airplane had not turned to the 190° heading, he queried the pilot. The pilot responded that he was having engine trouble. The controller cleared the pilot to return to the airport and land on any runway. The pilot stated that he was not going to make it back to the runway, and asked if the controller had any suggestions for an alternate landing site. No further radio transmissions were received from the pilot.

One set of witnesses heard the airplane engine sputtering. They saw the left-wing drop, and the nose pitch up, the right wing dropped, and they lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge.

WITNESS INFORMATION

The fixed-base operator (FBO) employee who serviced the airplane with fuel stated that the pilot contacted him on the day of the accident and requested to have his airplane fueled. The pilot did not specify what type of fuel was required, but only that he had cleared customs; he also told the fueler where his airplane was located. The fueler stated that the pilot was not present when he arrived to fuel the airplane. He stated that the majority of the Piper Malibu airplanes that he had serviced required Jet A fuel, so he fueled the accident airplane with Jet A. Once the fueling was complete, he returned to the FBO, and waited for the pilot to return to pay for the fuel. Both the written receipt and credit card receipt provided to the pilot specified that the airplane had been serviced with Jet A. The pilot paid for the fuel and left.

There were no witnesses to the pilot's preflight activities, and it is unknown if the pilot visually inspected or sumped the fuel before departing. Following the accident, an FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from the FBO; the log indicated that the accident airplane had been fueled with 52 gallons of Jet A.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a Transport Canada single-engine and multiengine land certificate with night ratings. He held a third-class medical with the limitation that glasses must be worn. The pilot had received training in the accident make/model airplane, and was endorsed for proficiency in its operation in March 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350-horsepower, turbocharged, reciprocating engine. According to the journey record (aircraft logbook), the last annual inspection was performed on July 23, 2014, at an airframe total time of 2,324.0 hours. The last maintenance performed included an oil and filter change on January 15, 2015, at a total airframe time of 2,388.9 hours. There were no recorded flights between January 15, and February 22, 2015.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in a commercial area near a railroad yard.

The majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The fuel tanks had been ruptured during the accident sequence; however, a strong smell of Jet A fuel was present at the accident site. As a result of the ruptured fuel tanks, a fuel sample was not obtained.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed by the Spokane County Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was determined to be blunt impact to the head, and the manner of death was an accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for volatiles. The pilot initially survived the accident; as a result, there was positive test results for drugs that were administered to the pilot while he was in the hospital, including ephedrine detected in urine, but not detected in blood, and etomidate, lidocaine, pseudoephedrine, and salicylate detected in blood.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The airplane was equipped with its original fuel equipment, and was appropriately marked with an "AVGAS (aviation gasoline) ONLY" placard at each wings fuel port, which indicated that the airplane operated on aviation gasoline. Both fuel ports were checked by an FAA inspector, and identified as having the appropriately-sized fuel collar for AVGAS.

There were no other malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
Inspection of the fuel truck after the accident revealed that the fuel hose nozzle was the round type, typically used to service helicopters with smaller fuel filler ports. When the FAA returned the next day to inspect the truck, the smaller rounder fuel nozzle that had been on the fuel truck the night before had been replaced with a flat duck-bill fuel nozzle. When the owner of the FBO was questioned about the switch, he stated that it was for safety reasons, and that he was making sure the appropriate nozzle was attached.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the airplane's pilot operating handbook, while performing the preflight checklist, one of the items called out is for the pilot to do a visual check of the fuel supply for both wings, and assure that the fuel cap is secured.

Located at the airport is an FBO that performs turbine conversions on the accident make and model airplane.























NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA46-350P airplane, Canadian registry CGVZW, experienced a loss of engine power during climb out from runway 22R at Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The Canadian certificated pilot, the sole occupant, succumbed to his injuries on February 24, 2015. The airplane was destroyed during the attempted emergency landing after it struck a railroad track. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight that originated shortly before the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK) Stockton, California. 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and identified two different groups of witnesses. The first set of witnesses observed the airplane with the engine sputtering. They observed the left wing drop and the nose pitch up. The right wing then dropped, and the witnesses lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The witnesses reported that the airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge. 

Responding investigators stated that the majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both of the wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The investigators stated that the fuel tanks ruptured during the accident sequence, and there was a strong smell of Jet fuel present. 

The FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from Western Aviation at SFF; the fuel log indicated that the accident airplane had been refueled with 52 gallons of Jet fuel prior to takeoff. SPOKANE, Wash. – The family of a pilot who died from his injuries in a Spokane plane crash after the wrong fuel was filled into his plane has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the refueling company.

Monday marked one year since the crash at Spokane's Hamilton Street overpass.

Michael Clements, 61, from Alberta was on his way to California and stopped at Felts Field to refuel.

His plane crashed shortly after takeoff.  He died at the hospital two days later from severe injuries.

The NTSB investigation later confirmed his Piper Malibu was filled with Jet A fuel, instead of the AV gas the aircraft required.

The lawsuit claimed it was a Western Aviation employee who filled the plane full of the wrong fuel, pumping 52 gallons of Jet A into the two tanks over the wings.

The lawsuit also claimed that employee ignored and disregarded numerous safety measures designed to avoid that type of error.

Aviation experts said pump nozzles for the two types of fuel are supposed to be different, but in this case, the lawsuit stated the fuel attendant used a "rogue nozzle," allowing the plane to be filled with the wrong fuel.

The lawsuit also stated the employee ignored labels on the aircraft itself that warned to only fill the plane with AV gas.

The attorney handling the case for Clements family said the family is deeply saddened on the one year anniversary of his death.

The attorney added the family’s experts continue to independently and thoroughly investigate the accident and identify the responsible parties.

Western Aviation did not return calls seeking comment on whether the company had changed its refueling regulations.

The FAA and NTSB said the investigation into what happened is still in the preliminary stage.  Neither agency said when it expected to complete the investigation.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.krem.com

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA46-350P airplane, Canadian registry CGVZW, experienced a loss of engine power during climb out from runway 22R at Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The Canadian certificated pilot, the sole occupant, succumbed to his injuries on February 24, 2015. The airplane was destroyed during the attempted emergency landing after it struck a railroad track. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight that originated shortly before the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK) Stockton, California. 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and identified two different groups of witnesses. The first set of witnesses observed the airplane with the engine sputtering. They observed the left wing drop and the nose pitch up. The right wing then dropped, and the witnesses lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The witnesses reported that the airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge. 

Responding investigators stated that the majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both of the wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The investigators stated that the fuel tanks ruptured during the accident sequence, and there was a strong smell of Jet fuel present. 

The FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from Western Aviation at SFF; the fuel log indicated that the accident airplane had been refueled with 52 gallons of Jet fuel prior to takeoff.











































































The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
Piper Aircraft, Inc.; Vero Beach, Florida
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Edmonton, AB

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA-46-350P airplane, Canadian registration C-GVZW, was destroyed during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The pilot, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK), Stockton, California.

According to family members, the pilot was traveling to SCK from Canada to participate in recurrent flight training. He had called his wife prior to departure from SFF; he said that his flight to SFF was great, and that he was in good spirits. She could hear the engine in the background as she spoke to her husband, and nothing sounded abnormal.

Air traffic control voice communication information proved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the airplane was cleared for takeoff from runway 22R, and the pilot was instructed to turn to a heading of 190° after takeoff. When the controller observed on radar that the airplane had not turned to the 190° heading, he queried the pilot. The pilot responded that he was having engine trouble. The controller cleared the pilot to return to the airport and land on any runway. The pilot stated that he was not going to make it back to the runway, and asked if the controller had any suggestions for an alternate landing site. No further radio transmissions were received from the pilot.

One set of witnesses heard the airplane engine sputtering. They saw the left-wing drop, and the nose pitch up, the right wing dropped, and they lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge.

WITNESS INFORMATION

The fixed-base operator (FBO) employee who serviced the airplane with fuel stated that the pilot contacted him on the day of the accident and requested to have his airplane fueled. The pilot did not specify what type of fuel was required, but only that he had cleared customs; he also told the fueler where his airplane was located. The fueler stated that the pilot was not present when he arrived to fuel the airplane. He stated that the majority of the Piper Malibu airplanes that he had serviced required Jet A fuel, so he fueled the accident airplane with Jet A. Once the fueling was complete, he returned to the FBO, and waited for the pilot to return to pay for the fuel. Both the written receipt and credit card receipt provided to the pilot specified that the airplane had been serviced with Jet A. The pilot paid for the fuel and left.

There were no witnesses to the pilot's preflight activities, and it is unknown if the pilot visually inspected or sumped the fuel before departing. Following the accident, an FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from the FBO; the log indicated that the accident airplane had been fueled with 52 gallons of Jet A.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a Transport Canada single-engine and multiengine land certificate with night ratings. He held a third-class medical with the limitation that glasses must be worn. The pilot had received training in the accident make/model airplane, and was endorsed for proficiency in its operation in March 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A 350-horsepower, turbocharged, reciprocating engine. According to the journey record (aircraft logbook), the last annual inspection was performed on July 23, 2014, at an airframe total time of 2,324.0 hours. The last maintenance performed included an oil and filter change on January 15, 2015, at a total airframe time of 2,388.9 hours. There were no recorded flights between January 15, and February 22, 2015.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in a commercial area near a railroad yard.

The majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The fuel tanks had been ruptured during the accident sequence; however, a strong smell of Jet A fuel was present at the accident site. As a result of the ruptured fuel tanks, a fuel sample was not obtained.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed by the Spokane County Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was determined to be blunt impact to the head, and the manner of death was an accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The results were negative for volatiles. The pilot initially survived the accident; as a result, there was positive test results for drugs that were administered to the pilot while he was in the hospital, including ephedrine detected in urine, but not detected in blood, and etomidate, lidocaine, pseudoephedrine, and salicylate detected in blood.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The airplane was equipped with its original fuel equipment, and was appropriately marked with an "AVGAS (aviation gasoline) ONLY" placard at each wings fuel port, which indicated that the airplane operated on aviation gasoline. Both fuel ports were checked by an FAA inspector, and identified as having the appropriately-sized fuel collar for AVGAS.

There were no other malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
Inspection of the fuel truck after the accident revealed that the fuel hose nozzle was the round type, typically used to service helicopters with smaller fuel filler ports. When the FAA returned the next day to inspect the truck, the smaller rounder fuel nozzle that had been on the fuel truck the night before had been replaced with a flat duck-bill fuel nozzle. When the owner of the FBO was questioned about the switch, he stated that it was for safety reasons, and that he was making sure the appropriate nozzle was attached.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the airplane's pilot operating handbook, while performing the preflight checklist, one of the items called out is for the pilot to do a visual check of the fuel supply for both wings, and assure that the fuel cap is secured.

Located at the airport is an FBO that performs turbine conversions on the accident make and model airplane.

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA46-350P airplane, Canadian registry CGVZW, experienced a loss of engine power during climb out from runway 22R at Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The Canadian certificated pilot, the sole occupant, succumbed to his injuries on February 24, 2015. The airplane was destroyed during the attempted emergency landing after it struck a railroad track. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight that originated shortly before the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK) Stockton, California. 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and identified two different groups of witnesses. The first set of witnesses observed the airplane with the engine sputtering. They observed the left wing drop and the nose pitch up. The right wing then dropped, and the witnesses lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The witnesses reported that the airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge. 

Responding investigators stated that the majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both of the wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The investigators stated that the fuel tanks ruptured during the accident sequence, and there was a strong smell of Jet fuel present. 

The FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from Western Aviation at SFF; the fuel log indicated that the accident airplane had been refueled with 52 gallons of Jet fuel prior to takeoff.
===========


SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Department of Ecology is investigating a deadly E. Spokane plane crash and what type of fuel the plane may have used.

The investigation began after the officials cited concerns that the small plane that crashed in Spokane on Sunday was running on the wrong type of fuel.

It remains unclear if the pilot, who died Tuesday, used self serve fuel at Felts Field, or a truck/attendant. The Federal Aviation Administration is also concerned that the plane had used the wrong fuel.

Western Aviation, manages fuel at Felts Field, and told KREM 2 News that it would not be appropriate to comment until the investigation is complete.

Western Aviation at Felts Field released a statement Wednesday regarding the deadly plane crash. It reads:

"Western Aviation would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the pilot's family and everyone involved in this tragedy. We are currently cooperating with the NTSB and FAA in providing any information that may help determine the cause of the accident."

http://www.krem.com




SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -  A plane piloted by a Canadian man may have been doomed before he attempted to takeoff last weekend as it may have been fueled up with the wrong type of gas at Felts Field, causing the plane to lose power and crash.

The Piper Malibu, piloted by Michael Clements, went down near the Hamilton Street overpass Sunday afternoon within moments of takeoff from Felts Field.

Numerous pilots and mechanics have confirmed the Piper Malibu that crashed runs on aviation gas, which is essentially a high octane version of automotive gasoline. At Felts Field you can purchase either AV gas or jet fuel; in fact the fuel pumps are side-by-side on the tarmac.

The sign on the gas pumps at Felts Field clearly say 'Self Serve' but it's not known if he filled his own tank with fuel.

While the Piper Malibu should have been filled with AV gas at Felts Field, a report from the Washington Department of Ecology, which responded to the crash scene because of the fuel leaking from the wreckage, said that one of the first FAA inspectors at the scene was concerned "about maybe having Jet 'A' when the plane runs on aviation fuel."

According to instructors at Spokane Community College's aviation maintenance school, if you put jet fuel in a piston-powered plane, like the one that crashed, it won't run very long because it doesn't have any octane and will actually start tearing up the engine.

Last summer in Las Cruces, N,M. four people were killed when the twin engine Cessna 421C air ambulance they were flying crashed shortly after takeoff. The NTSB's preliminary report into that crash said the aircraft took on 40 gallons of the wrong type of fuel and crashed shortly after takeoff.

Multiple attempts have been made to contact Western Aviation, the fixed base operator at Felts Field, both on the phone and in person, for comment on this story. So far they have not responded to any of our requests.

Clements, who had been in critical condition since the crash Sunday, succumbed to his injuries Tuesday afternoon.

The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the crash is ongoing. Typically it can take up to a year for their final report on a mishap to be published.

http://www.kxly.com





















FELTS FIELD, Wash. - The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation in a plane crash over the weekend near Felts Field that left the pilot in critical condition. 

Michael Clements, the pilot, had flown into Felts Field from Canada and had to check in with US immigration officials before heading any further south. After meeting with customs officials he had lunch at the Skyway Cafe and several KXLY sources say he fueled up his plane for the next leg of his trip to Stockton, California.

However, just seconds after taking off to the west, the tower heard Clements radio out a mayday and his single-engine Piper Malibu went down. Went down between Sprague and Trent on North Erie Street.

Spokane police and civilian eyewitnesses braved leaking fuel from the aircraft to pull Clements from the wreckage.

“Apparently, he possibly clipped his wing on the railroad tracks over there and flipped and was actually upside down against the ground here,” Spokane Police Sergeant Chris Crane said.

That made freeing Clements so difficult as his head was pinned against the roof of the crumpled cockpit.

“I didn't know but Sergeant Vigessa was already inside the aircraft, behind the pilot's seat, which was upside down and the pilot was hanging from his seat belt upside down with his head crunched against the ceiling,” Crane said.

Curtis Neal, a civilian who witnessed the crash, tried to knock out a window to give police an escape route, and at that point officers realized they could remove the pilot's head rest and give themselves a little more room to work.

“At that time Sergeant Vigessa reached up with his knife and cut the seat belt, which released the pilot and we were able to get him down and into a flat position and then as best as we could, we carried him from the downed aircraft's position to the grass over here,” Crane said.

Crane spoke with Clements' adult son, who is a paramedic. He said his father picked the railroad tracks for an emergency landing because he didn't want to hurt innocent people on Sprague or Trent Avenue.

The wreckage of Clements airplane was removed from the crash site Monday morning. Meanwhile, the NTSB is checking to see if contaminated or the wrong type of fuel put in Clements' aircraft contributed to this crash. Calls to Western Aviation, the fixed base operator that manages Felts Field, for comment on this story have not been returned.

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police pride themselves on being prepared for anything, but officers say there's no training for the plane crash they responded to Sunday.

"I've been doing this 24 years and I've never had a rescue like this," Sgt. Chris Crane said. Crane arrived on-scene to find fellow Spokane Police Sgt. Kurt Vigesaa already inside the plane helping the pilot.

Meanwhile, the plane was crushed up against an overpass and leaking fluid.

"I just wanted to get [the pilot] out," Sgt. Vigesaa said. But it wasn't as simple as pulling the man from the aircraft. He was pinned upside down, and Sgt. Vigesaa risked hurting him further if he prematurely tried to remove him.

"It wasn't until he stopped breathing, then the choice was clear," Sgt. Vigesaa said. "We need to remove him immediately and open up his airway."

Both sergeants explained they're not really trained for a scenario like this. For each, it was the first plane crash they've responded to, so the answers weren't obvious upon arrival.

"It's almost 100 percent improvisation," Sgt. Crane said.

The pilot, Michael Clements of Alberta, Canada, was taken to Sacred Heart and remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon. Spokane Police says without the quick work of their officers Clements likely wouldn't have survived. But the officers didn't walking away praising themselves as heroes.

"You just sit back and think, what could you have done better?" Sgt. Vigesaa said. "Did you do everything right?"

"I dreamt about it all night and thought about it all day," Sgt. Crane said.



































The pilot of a small airplane was critically injured today when the single-engine Piper Malibu crashed east of downtown Spokane.

The plane had taken off from Felts Field and went down about 1:30 p.m. just north of East Sprague Avenue at North Erie Street, near the Hamilton Street bridge over the Spokane River.

It hit the top of a BNSF railroad viaduct over Erie and fell to the ground there, Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sabo said.

Curtis Neal, who witnessed the crash, said the plane banked left, appeared headed toward a building, banked right, then crashed. Neal was first on the scene.

“I ran over there and tapped on the window,” he said. “He didn’t respond.”

Neal broke out a window to try to free the pilot, who was suspended upside down.

“It looked bad,” Neal said.

Two Spokane Police officers then arrived, and one of the officers cut the seat belt holding the pilot. They pulled the pilot out through a narrow opening.

“They were concerned about a fire hazard,” Sabo said.

Although some fuel spilled from the plane, there was no fire, he said.

The pilot was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and was listed in critical condition.

The plane, registered in Canada, lost power a short time after it took off, Sabo said.

The BNSF tracks were closed to rail traffic to preserve the scene, he said.

Story and photos:  http://www.spokesman.com

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police and Fire Department are on the scene of a small plane crash near Erie and Sprague.

One man was pulled from the wreckage and taken to the hospital. He is in critical condition at Sacred Heart.

Spokane Fire Chief Sabo says the single engine plane registered in Canada took off from Felts Field and lost power shortly after. The plane hit train tracks. BNSF has shut down the tracks while evidence is collected, but they don't believe tracks are damaged.

Fuel was spilled at the scene, but no fire broke out.

"We're extremely fortunate no people on the ground were injured," Sabo said.

Bystander Curtis Neal pulled the man from the plane. He told KHQ reporter Cynthia Johnson the pilot's breathing was shallow and that he was upside down in his seat. He said he used a piece of landing gear to break the window of the plane and get to the man inside.

Story, comments and photo gallery:  http://www.khq.com

SPOKANE, Wash. - A small plane crashed near Trent and Erie on Sunday.

Authorities said the pilot has been transported to the hospital. He is currently in critical condition.

Curtis Neal rushed in and helped pull the pilot from the plane. He told KREM 2 News that the pilot was in "bad shape."

KREM 2 News has learned the plane, a Piper PA-46-350P, is registered in Alberta, Canada. The pilot had just cleared Customs at Felts Field and then was headed to Stockton, California.

The plane went down shortly after takeoff.

Spokane Police and fire crews are securing the scene until the FAA investigators arrive.

BNSF tracks are shut down until further notice.

Story and photo:  http://www.krem.com






























Curtis Neal
Man who helped save the pilot in the crash 
(Photo: Lingenfelter, Tesia)


Curtis Neal












































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