Friday, April 15, 2016

Cessna U206F Stationair, N1346Q: Incident occurred April 15, 2016 off Haulover Beach, Miami-Dade County, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA158 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 2016 in Atlantic Ocean, Unknown
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/06/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA U206, registration: N1346Q
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 reported that, before departing on the overwater cross-country flight, he performed a preflight inspection and noted that the engine oil quantity was full. He also performed an engine run-up before takeoff, during which no discrepancies were noted, and he specifically stated that the oil pressure was satisfactory. After takeoff, the flight proceeded toward the destination. About 20 minutes from the destination, the pilot noticed a sudden loss of oil pressure and saw smoke coming from the engine compartment. The engine subsequently lost power, and the pilot ditched the airplane into the ocean. The airplane sank in about 2,360 ft of water and was not recovered. Although the engine oil and oil filter were changed the day before the accident flight, no correlation could be made between that event and the reported loss of engine power. Because the airplane and engine were not recovered and could not be examined, no determination could be made as to the reason(s) for the sudden loss of oil pressure, smoke, and then subsequent total loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power for reason(s) that could not be determined because the airplane was not recovered.

On April 15, 2016, about 1010 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206F, N1346Q, was ditched in the international waters of the Atlantic Ocean about 23 nautical miles east of the shoreline of North Miami Beach, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was not recovered; therefore, it was considered to be substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Aircraft Guaranty Corp Trustee, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about 0955, and was destined for South Bimini Airport (MYBS), North Bimini, Bahamas. 

The pilot stated that prior to departure of the accident flight he performed a preflight inspection, which included a check of the oil quantity and noted that it was full. The preflight inspection and engine run-up before takeoff were satisfactory with no discrepancies noted; the oil pressure was satisfactory. The flight proceeded with visual flight rules flight following, and when they were about 20 minutes from the destination, the pilot noted a rapid decrease in oil pressure, and saw smoke coming from the engine cowling. The engine then ceased producing power, and he declared an emergency with the air traffic controller. He briefed the passengers about the ditching procedures, and ditched the airplane near two boats. All occupants exited the airplane, boarded a life raft, and shortly thereafter he noticed another airplane orbiting their position. They were rescued by a yacht that motored to their location. The airplane permanent maintenance records were on-board at the time of the ditching and were not recovered. 

The day before the accident, the engine oil and oil filter were changed by an airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authorization (this same mechanic had maintained the airplane for several years). As part of his procedure, he visually inspected the oil filter adapter and did not see any evidence of oil seepage or leakage. He also checked the oil filter adapter and confirmed it was tightly installed. He reported torqueing the Tempest AA48108-2 oil filter to the recommended value of 16 ft/lbs and safety wired it. Following the oil and oil filter change, he ran the engine twice, to about 1,800 rpm, with the engine cowling installed and noted no issues. After each engine run he checked the engine compartment for oil leaks and did not find any associated with the oil change. While in the engine compartment he did notice dampness at the starter adapter pulley. As part of his oil change he also cut open the oil filer and inspected the filter element finding only carbon deposits (normal), but no metal. He did not submit a sample of oil for oil analysis testing. He returned the airplane to service by making a hand written entry in the permanent maintenance records; he did not make a copy of the entry. After hearing of the ditching, he inspected the ramp where the airplane had been parked after the oil change and he did not find any evidence of oil leakage on the ground. 

Documents provided by the airplane owner indicated the engine was overhauled by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved repair station in August 2007, and subsequently installed in the airplane. According to FAA airworthiness records, in May 2008, an oil filter adapter was installed in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SE09356SC. The STC replaced the original engine metallic oil screen and allowed for the installation of a full flow oil filter. The mechanic who installed the oil filter adapter, and who was the same mechanic who performed the most recent oil change, reported applying anti-slippage material in two places at installation. The first place was at the top of the hex head that was torqued and safety wired, and the second place was at the bottom of the casting of the adapter where it met the accessory case of the engine. 

According to the pilot, the engine had accrued approximately 700 hours since major overhaul at the time of the accident. 

A review of the oil filter adapter Instructions for Continued Airworthiness specify to inspect for oil seepage, to inspect the safety wire for security and integrity, and to inspect integrity of fit. 

According to the captain of the yacht that rescued the occupants, the water depth in that area was about 2,360 feet. Because of the depth, the insurance adjuster indicated the airplane would not be recovered, and could not be examined. 

The airplane was ditched in international waters of the Atlantic Ocean; therefore, in accordance with ICAO Annex 13 as State of Registry, the investigation was the responsibility of the U.S. Government National Transportation Safety Board.

AIRCRAFT GUARANTY CORP TRUSTEE: http://registry.faa.gov/N1346Q

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA158
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 2016 in
Aircraft: CESSNA U206, registration: N1346Q
Injuries: 3 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 1010 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206F, N1346Q, was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean about 23 nautical miles east of the shoreline of North Miami Beach, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane will likely not be recovered; therefore, it was considered to be substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Aircraft Guaranty Corp Trustee, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida about 0955, and was destined for South Bimini Airport (MYBS), South Bimini, Bahamas.


The pilot stated that prior to departure of the accident flight he performed a preflight inspection which included a check of the oil quantity which was full. The preflight inspection and engine run-up before takeoff were satisfactory with no discrepancies noted. The flight proceeded with VFR flight following and when about 20 minutes from his destination, he noted a rapid decrease in oil pressure followed by seeing smoke coming from the engine cowling. The engine then quit, and he declared an emergency with the controller. He briefed the passengers about the ditching procedures, and ditched near 2 boats. All occupants exited the airplane, boarded a life raft from the airplane, and shortly thereafter he noticed an airplane orbiting their position. They were rescued by a yacht that motored to their location.




From left: Sandra Rasmussen, Carol Rasmussen


A small Bahamas-bound plane with three passengers Friday lost power between Florida and the Bahamas, in the middle of the Gulf Stream, causing the plane to crash into the water around 10:30 a.m.

The pilot was able to navigate the crash near a yacht, owned by Sandra Rasmussen, 79, of Des Moines.

"They don't know what happened," said one of the yacht passengers and Sandra's daughter-in-law, Carol Rasmussen, 52, of Ojai, Calif. Carol said the pilot told her it had been a reliable plane up until that point. "It was pretty genius on his part (to steer the crash near them)."

Sandra and Carol said the plane pilot had his own life raft that he quickly deployed and he and the survivors boarded.

Sandra said the yacht captain did not see the plane "so much as a splash," and, knowing something was wrong, he began traveling north.

"If we had been just a little further back, it would have been very hard to see that little yellow raft," Sandra said. "I'm very grateful we were where we were. I think God had something to do with it."

The yacht was about a mile and a half away from where the plane hit water, Carol said. They reached the survivors in under 10 minutes and were able to get them on board. The plane sank in about four minutes.

"Every once in a while you could see this little boat and then it would be gone," Carol said. "We made a beeline for this raft … it felt like an hour."

The survivors "didn't have a scratch on them," Carol said, describing the group as calm.

The plane passengers were heading to a birthday party. One of the survivors was a 17-year-old girl who had never been on a plane before, Carol said. Sandra added the girl did not know how to swim.

Sandra said a medical responder who arrived later checked out the survivors, adding the girl was shaking and close to shock.

The Rasmussen family was bringing the yacht back to Fort Lauderdale, where it stays in the off-season, from the Bahamas. Carol said the yacht is 105 feet long and carried eight passengers, including crew, prior to picking up the survivors.

Sandra said she had been on the yacht since January. She returned to Iowa on Saturday where, with the exception of family trips, she will stay through August.

"It is some of the best water in the world for boating, honestly," Sandra said about the Bahamas area.

Source:  http://www.desmoinesregister.com



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Three people were rescued by good Samaritans on a yacht after a Cessna plane crashed in the ocean, east of the Haulover Inlet, Friday.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Cessna 206 plane crashed into the waters 22 miles east of Aventura, at approximately 10:30 a.m. The pilot had reported engine problems, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft had departed Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport en route to Bimini in the Bahamas.

The three people on board the the plane were rescued by people aboard a yacht called the Free Spirit. The boaters witnessed the plane plummet into the ocean and headed toward the crash scene to help.

A passenger on the yacht described the captain's swift rescue. "I was down below, and the captain saw the plane go down, saw the waves break and he beelined to them pretty quickly," he said. "There were three people on the life raft, and he got them on board pretty quickly. Everyone was unscathed."

Speaking with reporters, yacht owner Sandra Rasmussen said she was glad to be able to come to the passengers' rescue. "I really can't give you the odds, but I praise God we were there because if we left there just a little bit earlier or a little bit later, we would not have seen it, and we would not have been able to do what we did."

"We made sure that they had water and blankets and towels, and they were just very grateful," said boater Carol Rasmussen.

Once the three people were rescued from the water, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue sent two paramedics via fire boat to the yacht to evaluate those rescued.

Those rescued were not injured. "I expected to see at least some bruises and cuts, and actually, there were no bruises, no cuts," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedic Eli Malcon.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue waited for the yacht to arrive with ambulances at the 15th Street Fisheries inside Lauderdale Marina in Fort Lauderdale. Once the yacht docked, rescuers confirmed no one needed transport to the hospital.

The survivors said they were grateful to be back on dry land. When asked whether she feels lucky to be alive, a woman who was on board replied, "Thank God for life." 

Family members said the Cessna's passengers may have been traveling to the Bahamas to celebrate a birthday.

The FAA will investigate the crash.

Story and video:  http://www.wsvn.com

The yacht Free Spirit pulling into a dock in Fort Lauderdale.

Luckily for the three people aboard a Cessna that crashed offshore after leaving Fort Lauderdale Friday morning, nearby yachties saw the aircraft splash into the ocean and raced to their rescue.

With an eye on the plane's tail protruding from the water, the luxury yacht's captain gunned it full throttle for 10 minutes until they got to the survivors bobbing in a life raft and plucked them from the sea, the yacht owner said.

The trio — a man, woman and a teenage girl from Bimini — were in good condition and did not require hospitalization when the yacht docked at a Fort Lauderdale boat landing about 12:30 p.m.

"They look good. They're in good health and in good spirits," said Lt. Lisa Bullard, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. "They're pretty lucky."

It was about 10:15 a.m. when the single-engine Cessna 206 crashed about 25 miles off of Haulover Inlet in north Miami-Dade County after leaving Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport enroute to Bimini, officials said.

"The pilot reported engine problems," Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said via email. The agency will investigate the crash, she said.

"The [yacht] captain saw the tail end, he saw a huge splash, and we're always looking for huge splashes because that means fish, but it wasn't a fish, it was a plane," said Carol Rasmussen, the yacht owner's daughter-in-law.

The captain of the Free Spirit, a 105-foot North Star yacht, took a hard right turn and opened up the throttle to reach the downed plane within 10 minutes, said Ian Rivero, a family friend of the Rasmussens.

"We kept our binoculars on the life raft," Rasmussen said. "Every once in a while we could see a head and by the time they got to the boat we did see three people."

From the yacht they threw a life ring, went to the life raft in a pontoon and brought the three aboard. The male pilot and his two passengers, a mother and her teen daughter, remained calm and repeatedly thanked their rescuers, Rasmussen said.

"They were very happy, very grateful and, well, obviously in shock," she said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue sent a boat to the yacht while it was still at sea, a paramedic boarded and assessed the survivors' conditions. The girl's heart was racing and the paramedic chalked it up to shock, Carol Rasmussen said.

"Every rescue is different but they were very lucky and the way the seas work, and to land the plane without having any serious injuries is pretty good," said Eli Melcon, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Paramedics also met the yacht when it docked at 1784 SE 15th St. but nobody required hospitalization, said Capt. Greg May, of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

The three met with customs agents aboard the yacht then relocated to the marine patrol station at the landing. They are making arrangements to return home to Bimini.

"I really can't give you the odds but I praise God we were there, because if we had left just a little bit earlier or a little bit later, we would not have seen it and we would not have been able to do what we did," said yacht owner, Sandra Rasmussen, 79, of Des Moines, Iowa. "We're just very, very grateful that we could help them."

Story and video:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com

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