Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Piper PA-23-150 Apache, Time Machine LLC, N3180P: Accident occurred July 14, 2016 in Kona, Hawaii

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

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

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

TIME MACHINE LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N3180P

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Honolulu FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA140
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2016 in Kona, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/12/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-150, registration: N3180P
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 commercial pilot was conducting a personal, cross-country, overwater flight in the multiengine airplane with another commercial pilot on board, who was the nonflying pilot. The pilots reported that, at departure, both of the fuel gauges indicated 3/4 tank. While in cruise flight at 5,500 ft, both engines began running roughly; however, after descending the airplane to 3,500 ft, both engines seemed to smooth out. Shortly thereafter, the right engine surged and lost power, followed by the left engine surging and losing power. The pilots reported that they turned on both auxiliary fuel pumps and followed the emergency checklist but that power was not restored to either engine. They added that, at the time of the power loss, the fuel gauges indicated 1/2 tank. The pilot subsequently ditched the airplane in the ocean, and both pilots successfully evacuated the airplane. The airplane was unable to be recovered, which prevented any examination; therefore, the cause of the loss of engine power could not be determined. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of power in both engines during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was not recovered from the ocean.

On July 14, 2016, about 1515 Hawaii standard time, a Piper PA-23-150, N3180P, registered to Time Machine LLC., and operated by the pilot, ditched in the Pacific Ocean near Kona, Hawaii, after a loss of power in both engines. Both pilots sustained minor injuries. The airplane sank, and was not recovered. The cross country personal flight departed John Rodgers Airport (JRF), Kapolei, Hawaii, en route to Kona International Airport (KOA), Kona, Hawaii, about 1345. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan had not been filed.

The pilots reported that on departure both fuel gauges indicated 3/4 full. While in cruise flight at 5,500 feet, both engines began to run rough. The pilots descended to 3,500 feet, and the engines seemed to smooth out a bit. Shortly thereafter, the right engine surged before losing all power followed by a surge in the left engine and a total loss of power. The pilots reported that they turned on both auxiliary fuel pumps, and followed the emergency checklist, both of which failed to restore power to either engine. At the time of the power loss, the fuel gauges indicated 1/2 tank according to the pilots. They opened the entry door prior to water contact, and successfully evacuated the airplane after touchdown.


Review of the maintenance records revealed that the last airframe annual inspection was conducted on October 10, 2015. On April 20, 2016, engine oil servicing, spark plug reconditioning, leak check, and magneto checks were performed on both engines with no anomalies noted by maintenance personnel. 

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA140
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2016 in Kona, HI
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-150, registration: N3180P
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 14, 2016, about 1515 Hawaii standard time, a Piper PA-23-150, N3180P, ditched in the Pacific Ocean near Kona, Hawaii, after a loss of power in both engines. Both pilots sustained minor injuries. The airplane sank, and was not recovered. The cross country personal flight departed John Rodgers Airport (JRF), Kapolei, Hawaii, en route to Kona International Airport (KOA), Kona, Hawaii, about 1345. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan had not been filed.

According to the pilots, they departed with the fuel tanks 3/4 full. While in cruise flight at 5,500 feet, both engines began to run rough. They descended to 3,500 feet, and the engines seemed to smooth out a bit. Then the right engine stopped producing power followed within a few minutes by the left engine. The pilots reported that the fuel gauges were showing 1/2 full.

Two missing people who were aboard a plane that went missing off Kailua-Kona Thursday afternoon have been found alive on Friday and are back on land, according to Coast Guard officials.  They sustained minor injuries.  They were taken to Kona International Airport to be checked out by paramedics.

The Federal Aviation Adminstration says the pilot, David McMahon, reported engine trouble and the plane was ditched in the ocean shortly after.

The Coast Guard initially said McMahon and Sidney Uemoto were flying from Maui to Kona, but they were actually flying from West Oahu to Kona.  The FAA confirmed the West Oahu to Kona flight path.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

10 a.m. Friday

Search and rescue crews with the New Zealand Air Force spotted debris in the ocean about 52 miles off of Kailua-Kona Friday morning, according to the Coast Guard.  A Coast Guard Cutter is en route to that area.  The area where debris was seen is already part of the search area.  It is unclear at this time if the debris is from the missing plane.

The search area has been extended to 45 miles offshore.

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and a crew from the New Zealand military participating in RIMPAC are searching for a plane that went missing while traveling to the Big Island Thursday afternoon. 

They are searching 40 nautical miles off the coast of Kona, after the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received notification from Honolulu control facility personnel that the pilot of Piper PA23 aircraft with two people aboard radioed an in-air emergency.

The Coast Guard identified the pilot of the plane as 26-year-old David McMahon of Kailua. Sidney Uemoto, 22, was also aboard the missing plane, according to the Coast Guard.

David's father tells KITV his son is a commercial pilot for Mokulele Airlines, but that David and his friend are not in a Mokulele aircraft.

David's family is hoping aviators, boaters, and people who know him will assist in the search.

After David and his friend radioed an in-air emergency, the tower confirmed that's when they lost contact and the plane no longer appeared on radar.

The plane was reportedly traveling to Kona from Maui, with the last known position approximately 25 miles northwest of Kona.

On scene conditions at the aircraft's last known position are reportedly 12 mph winds from the northeast with waves 2 feet or less and an east swell of 4 feet. Visibility is limited with haze, isolated showers and darkness.

Story and video:  http://www.kitv.com

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