Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N7598R: Accident occurred April 15, 2015 in Lancaster, New York

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA187
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in Lancaster, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N7598R
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 April 15, 2015, about 1530 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N7598R, experienced a total loss of engine power during takeoff from Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport, Lancaster, New York. The private pilot, the sole occupant was not injured during the forced landing on airport property, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight was originating at the time of the occurrence.

The pilot stated that she did an "extremely thorough preflight inspection of the airplane" while in the hangar because the airplane had not been flown since January 2015. She checked the fuel, oil, and then pulled the aircraft from the hangar. She indicated the total fuel on board was 39 gallons, of which 20 gallons were in the left tank and 19 gallons were in the right tank; she believed the fuel selector was on the left tank position.

After engine start she performed an engine run-up and reported, "everything was fine." She indicated the rpm dropped 50 during a check of each magneto. She checked the automated terminal information service (ATIS) and noted the wind favored runway 08. She taxied to runway 08, and did the pre-takeoff checklist items. She taxied onto the runway, applied full power and reported the tachometer indicated full red-line rpm. She rotated at 60 miles-per-hour, and when at the end of the runway at an estimated altitude of 200 feet, the engine coughed and the airplane began losing altitude. The engine power was restored, and she thought about turning to land on runway 26, but the engine quit again. She knew she had to land straight ahead, and touched down first on the main landing gear in an abandoned field with high grass. The nose landing gear hit rising terrain causing it to collapse. The airplane came to rest in a nose-low/tail-high attitude, and after coming to rest she could hear the electric fuel pump operating. She secured the airplane, and found her cell found and called the mechanic/airport manager to notify him of the accident.

 Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N7598R:

A small aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at the Buffalo Lancaster Regional Airport on April 15, just after it took off.

According to Lancaster police, the pilot was forced to make the emergency landing due to an engine failure but was not injured.

The landing took place on a grassy area, as the pilot was not able to make it back to the runway.

While no one was injured in the crash, some residents who live in the vicinity of the airport were not feeling secure following the accident.

David Hangauer, who resides on Nichter Road near the airport, spoke of his concerns to the Lancaster Town Board during its meeting on Monday night.

According to Hangauer, planes at the regional airport typically take off toward the west. Hangauer said an engine failure for a plane heading in that direction could put the residents of Nichter Road in serious danger.

In last week’s incident, Hangauer said, a shift in the wind caused the plane to instead take off toward the east.

“What I want you to think about, is had that wind not changed, we would have been ground zero,” Hangauer said.

According to Hangauer, pilot training is a relatively frequent occurrence at the small regional airport and includes “touch-and go” or “stop-and-go” procedures, meaning a pilot practices taking off and touching down repeatedly.

Hangauer argued that this practice puts residents in the area at a statistically higher risk because of the issues that can arise during takeoff and landing around those residential areas.

“The more times an aircraft takes off and comes over you, the greater the risk,” he said.

There are voluntary procedures, which Hangauer said could be implemented at the airport, that would cause pilots to reach greater altitudes before making turns that put them directly above residential areas such as Nichter Road. The Federal Aviation Administration cannot force an airport to implement such voluntary procedures, however.

“It’s a little less convenient, and they just won’t do it,” he said.

Following his presentation to the Town Board, Hangauer said he is looking into the legality of the Town of Lancaster enforcing stricter safety precautions regarding flight paths, and if instituting any such policies would be legal on the town’s part. Supervisor Dino Fudoli indicated that he would like to see the results of that inquiry.

Hangauer also suggested that those who are doing touch-and-gos could easily fly to the Genesee County Airport located in Batavia in roughly 10 minutes, which has a longer runway and fewer residential areas in its direct vicinity.

Original article can be found here:

Regis#: N7598R
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Rochester FSDO-23
State: New York


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