Friday, July 8, 2016

Piper PA-32-300, Ledfordopolis II LLC, N1495J: Accident occurred July 08, 2016 in Windermere, Orange County, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA250
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 08, 2016 in Windermere, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32-300, registration: N1495J
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 July 8, 2016, at 1810 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA 32-300, N1495J, was substantially damaged while ditching in Lake Down, Windermere, Florida, following a total loss of engine power. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida, about 1800, and was destined for Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the third flight of the day. There were no issues noted with the airplane on the first two legs. The first was from ORL to Jacksonville Executive Airport at Craig (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida. The airplane was fully fueled at CRG, and he estimated that during the return flight to ORL, about 15 gallons of fuel was used from the right wing tip fuel tank. He recalled switching to the left wing tip fuel tank before departing on the accident flight. About 5 minutes after takeoff, while in cruise flight at 1,500 feet mean sea level (msl), the pilot began a climb to 4,500 feet msl. About 2 minutes later, he heard a "popping" sound from the engine. The pilot contacted the ORL air traffic control tower and stated "…I'm having engine trouble, need to return immediately." About 30 seconds later, he advised "I'm losing engine power, I may have to ditch." The pilot stated that initially the engine sustained a partial power loss, and he performed the "engine power loss in flight" checklist, but he was unable to diagnose the problem. The engine lost complete power shortly thereafter.

A witness who was located about one-half mile east of the accident site reported hearing an aircraft fly over his house near the time of the accident. As it did, the engine initially sounded like it was "running smoothly, but at reduced power", and then stopped for about four or five seconds. The noise then resumed for several seconds, and again sounded like an engine running at reduced power, and then the noise stopped again. At no time did the engine sound like it was "sputtering or surging."

A witness captured the last few seconds of the flight on video, as the airplane ditched in the lake about 10 miles southwest of ORL. The video depicted the airplane descending into the water in a nose low, left wing down attitude.

According to FAA records, the pilot's last FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 25, 2016, at which time he reported 275 hours of flight experience.

Maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection occurred on October 1, 2015, at which time the engine had accrued a total of 3,750 hours, with 56 hours since overhaul. The airplane flew about 39 hours since that inspection.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility where a post-accident examination was conducted by an FAA inspector and representatives from the airframe and engine manufacturers. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls through recovery cuts to their respective control surfaces, with the exception of the left aileron, which was continuous through one overload fracture at the aileron input rod end at the bellcrank. The left wing was found separated from the fuselage at the root end and exhibited leading edge damage and skin separations along the entire span. The left fuel tank was breached and absent of fuel. The left tip fuel tank was separated from the wing and was not recovered. The right wing was largely undamaged and remained attached to the fuselage, and was subsequently removed by recovery personnel for transport. About 25 gallons of fuel were recovered from the right main wing tank. According to recovery personnel, water poured from the right tip tank quick-drain during recovery. The three recovered fuel caps (left main, right main, right tip) were found secure with their vent valves in place. The three corresponding fuel pickup screens were free of debris and clear of obstruction when checked with low pressure air. The fuel selector valve was out of detent, between the right main and right tip tank positions.

The engine and nose gear were partially separated from the firewall. Both propeller blades were bent slightly aft at mid span. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand at the propeller. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed to the rear accessory section and valve action was observed on all 6 cylinders. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all cylinders. The fuel lines leading from the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel servo and from the fuel servo to the flow divider, the flow divider valve and lines to the fuel nozzles, were absent of liquid. All 6 fuel nozzles were clear of debris and unobstructed. Neither of the two magnetos produced spark when rotated.

The fuel servo, both magnetos, electric fuel pump, and an engine monitor were retained for further examination.

A man and his 9-year-old daughter were injured Friday evening when a small plane plunged into Lake Down near Windermere, Orange County Fire Rescue said.

The Piper PA-32 plane, which departed from Orlando Executive Airport, plunged into the lake shortly before 6:15 p.m., officials said.

The man was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and his daughter was brought to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Their conditions weren't known, officials said.

Neither person was publicly identified.

Two boaters were credited with rescuing the man and his daughter. Austin Keaton and João Pacheco said they immediately jumped into action to help them.

“When it started going down lower, we were, like, that doesn't look right, so we turned the boat around to boat over to them if they crashed,” Keaton said. “All he was concerned about was his daughter. 'Get her on board. Get her on board.' That's all he cared about.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it received reports of engine problems from the plane before it crashed.

“It's just one of those things you'll never think you'll see until it happens,” Pacheco said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Story and video:


Two people were injured Friday evening when a small plane crashed into Lake Down near Windermere, Orange County Fire Rescue said.

The twin-engine plane plunged into the lake shortly before 6:15 p.m., firefighters said.

One adult was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert.

A child was brought to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Their conditions weren't known, officials said.

No one else was in the plane.

It's not yet known what caused the plane to crash.

Original article can be found here:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —The Orange County Sheriff's Office has responded to a report of a plane down, possibly in the West Orange County area, near Florida's Turnpike, according to officials.

Two people, including a juvenile, were pulled from the plane and taken to the hospital as trauma alerts.

Original article can be found here:

WINDERMERE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Boaters rescued an adult pilot and a child passenger from a small plane that crashed in an Orange County lake early Friday evening.

Deputies responded to Lake Down, located in Windermere, in reference to an aircraft crash around 6:15 p.m.  The airplane was a single-engine aircraft occupied by a father, 49, and his daughter, 9.  Their identities were not immediately released.  

Two men fishing at the lake witnessed the crash.  They were able to rescue the two and bring them to shore in their boat.    The girl sustained a non life-threatening injury and was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.  Her father was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with no visible injuries.  

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and will investigate the cause of the crash. 

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