Thursday, September 22, 2016

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N7663Y: Accident occurred September 21, 2016 near Mineral Wells Airport Mineral (KMWL), Wells, Cherokee County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Fort Worth AFW FSDO-19 ; Irving, Texas
Piper Aircraft Inc; Florida 
Lycoming Engines; Pennsylvania 

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N7663Y

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA380 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Mineral Wells, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30, registration: N7663Y
Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 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.

On September 21, 2016, about 1920 central daylight time, a Piper PA-30 airplane, N7663Y, was substantially damaged following a forced landing near Mineral Wells Airport (MWL), Mineral Wells, Texas. The airline transport certificated pilot and one passenger were seriously injured and one passenger was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The cross-country flight departed Marfa Municipal Airport (MRF), Marfa, Texas, at 1655 and was en route to MWL.

According to the written statements provided by the pilot, he departed Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (TPL), Temple, Texas, on the day of the accident, to fly to MRF to pick up two passengers. He wrote that when he departed TPL the main fuel tanks, the auxiliary fuel tanks, and the tip tanks were all full; a total of 114 gallons of useable fuel. After landing at MRF 19.38 gallons of fuel were added. The pilot did not recall how many gallons were added in each tank; he only recalled that he did not add fuel to the tip tanks as he had "burned those off on the way" from TPL to MRF. The pilot was assisted in fueling the airplane by an airport employee.

In the written statements submitted by the pilot, he described using the "Shadin fuel flow [instrument] to lean each engine to 8.7 to 8.9 gallons per hour at level cruise." He also described using fuel out of the tip tanks by switching "the little silver switch" to burn fuel out of the tips." The pilot did not mention the position of the fuel selector valve handle or the illumination of the red fuel transfer light when the tip tanks were selected. During the flight from TPL to MRF, he estimated flying on the tip tanks for one hour and twenty minutes and then flying on the auxiliary fuel tanks for an additional hour and ten minutes. He used the main fuel tanks for takeoff and landing only.

The pilot wrote that during the flight from MRF to MWL he only flew on the auxiliary tanks and the main tanks. As the flight passed San Angelo, Texas, he switched back to main tanks and remained in that position for the duration of the flight. While on approach to runway 13 at MWL, he advanced the mixtures to rich about 7 to 10 miles from the runway, at which time the right engine began to surge. He "turned on both electric fuel boost pumps" and established that the fuel gauges did not indicate anything abnormal. He elected not to shut down the right engine.

As the pilot maneuvered the airplane for landing, the left engine started to "do the same thing" as the right engine. The airplane started to "loose [sic] airspeed" and the pilot maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing in the "clear", away from trees and obstacles.

During the impact with the ground, the fuselage and wings were crushed and wrinkled and the empennage separated partially from the fuselage. The airplane was recovered to a hangar for examination under the auspices of the National Transportation Safety Board, assisted by a FAA inspector, and air safety investigators from Piper Aircraft and Lycoming Engines.

The right wing fuel system included the tip tank (15 gallons useable), outboard or auxiliary tank (15 gallons useable), and the inboard or main tank (30 gallons total, 27 gallons usable). The right tip tank was impact damaged and compromised. No fuel was recovered from the tip tank. The damage to the tip tank was consistent with the fuel tank being full at the time of impact.

The right auxiliary tank fuel cap was in place and the bladder was in place but was crushed up and wrinkled consistent with the impact damage to the wing. The auxiliary tank was borescoped and revealed no anomalies and no evidence of tearing or breach of the fuel tank bladder. The tank float was unremarkable. Evidence of fuel was documented at the finger screen and there was no evidence of a fuel leak on the upper or lower surface of the wing.

The right main tank fuel cap and bladder were in place. The main tank was borescoped and revealed no anomalies and no evidence of tearing or breach of the fuel tank bladder. The tank float was unremarkable. One gallon of fuel was recovered from the right main tank fuel lines.

The right side fuel filter was removed and exhibited trace fuel. There was no evidence of visible contamination in the fuel filter.

The left wing fuel system included the tip tank (15 gallons useable), outboard or auxiliary tank (15 gallons useable), and the inboard or main tank (30 gallons total, 27 gallons useable). The left tip tank was impact damaged and compromised. No fuel was recovered from the tip tank. The damage to the tip tank was consistent with the fuel tank being full at the time of impact.

The left auxiliary tank fuel cap and bladder were in place and the bladder was wet with a small amount of fuel on the bottom. The auxiliary tank was borescoped with no evidence of tearing or breach of the fuel tank bladder. The tank float was unremarkable. Evidence of fuel was documented at the finger screen and there was no evidence of a fuel leak on the upper or lower surface of the wing. Three gallons of fuel were drained from the left auxiliary tank.

The left main tank fuel cap and bladder were in place. There was no evidence of fuel in bladder. The main tank was borescope with no evidence of tearing or breach of the fuel tank bladder. The tank float was unremarkable.

The left side fuel filter was removed and exhibited trace fuel. There was no evidence of visible contamination in the fuel filter.

The tip tank fuel lines for the left and right tanks contained several ounces of fuel. When the lines were opened and the solenoid activated the tip tank light illuminated.

The forward fuel sump contained 3 ounces of fuel. The filter was free of visual contamination. The rear fuel sump contained 2 ounces fuel. The filter was free of visual contamination.

There were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane fuel system that would have precluded normal operation at the time of the accident.

The left engine data plate identified the engine as a Lycoming IO 320 B1A. The upper bank of spark plugs were removed and illustrated signatures consistent with lean state. The internal exhaust tubing was white in color/residue consistent with a lean mixture. No evidence of fuel was found in the main fuel line between the fuel pump and manifold. Both magnetos were removed and driven with a power drill. Spark was observed on all leads. The engine was rotated through at the propeller. Tactile and audible detection of air movement was documented on all cylinders. Valve train and accessory case continuity was confirmed. The turbocharger spun freely when rotated by hand.

The fuel pump was rotated through by hand without resistance or hesitation. The fuel screen was free of visual contaminants. The fuel injector nozzles were free of visible particulates. There was no evidence of fuel in the engine. There were no mechanical anomalies with the left engine that would have precluded normal operation at the time of the accident.

The right engine data plate identified the engine as a Lycoming IO 320 B1A. The upper bank of spark plugs were removed and illustrated signatures consistent with lean state. The internal exhaust tubing was white in color/residue consistent with a lean mixture. No evidence of fuel was found in the main fuel line between the fuel pump and manifold. The magnetos were removed and driven with a power drill. Spark was observed on all leads. The engine was rotated through at the propeller. Tactile and audible detection of air movement was documented on all cylinders. Valve train and accessory case continuity was confirmed. The turbocharger spun freely when rotated by hand.

The fuel pump rotated through by hand without resistance or hesitation. The fuel screen was free of visual contaminants. The fuel injector nozzles were free of visible particulates. Trace fuel was observed in the fuel servo. There were no mechanical anomalies with the right engine that would have precluded normal operation at the time of the accident.

According to the Piper PA-30 Owners Handbook and the Piper PA-30 Turbo Twin Comanche (located in the accident airplane), the airplane as equipped had 114 gallons of useable fuel. The manual stated, "Fuel should be used from the main fuel cells during take-off, landing, climb, and descent. Auxiliary fuel and tip tank fuel is to be used in level flight only."

The "Tip/Aux Fuel Management Instructions" placard in the airplane, just above the fuel selector valves, advised on the fuel selector valve handle and toggle switch placement to select fuel from each tank. Specifically for fuel use from the tip tank, the fuel selector valve handle should be selected in the aux position and the toggle switch selected to tip tanks.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA380
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Mineral Wells, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30, registration: N7663Y
Injuries: 2 Serious, 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 September 21, 2016, about 1920 central daylight time, a PIPER PA-30 airplane, N7663Y, was substantially damaged following a forced landing near Mineral Wells Airport (MWL), Mineral Wells, Texas. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured and one passenger was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The cross-country flight departed Marfa Municipal Airport (MRF), Marfa, Texas, at 1515 and was en route to MWL.

According to the FAA inspector who took the accident notification, the pilot cancelled radar flight following 10 miles west of MWL. About one mile from the airport the engine lost power. The airplane was unable to reach the runway and during the forced landing the airplane was substantially damaged. One witness reported seeing the airplane flying low to the ground, not gaining any altitude. The fuselage and wings were crushed and wrinkled and the empennage separated partially from the fuselage.





A twin-engine Piper lost power and crashed Wednesday night in a field west of Mineral Wells Municipal Airport, injuring two of three men aboard.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Ricky Hunter said the plane went down in a field at around 7:21 p.m., coming to rest along the side of Municipal Highway 379, about a quarter mile west of FM Road 1195.

He said two men in the front seats, including the pilot, were injured and flown from the scene by medical helicopters to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The rear-seat passenger was not injured and said to be talking and walking around the scene.

The three men are not from Mineral Wells, Hunter said.

“The pilot is 37, and I'm not sure of the ages of the other two,” Hunter said. “I don't think they are going to be related. They were coming back from a hunting trip, is what the passenger told me. They were coming in from Marfa.”

The passenger said the plane lost power. Hunter could only speculate the pilot attempted to make it to the airport before the plane fell to the ground.

The roadway was closed to traffic as fire department personnel attempted to clean up spilled engine fuel and clean up other debris. Hunter said they were awaiting Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials to arrive and investigate.

According to online data based on the plane's tail number, the plane was registered Sept. 2 to a resident of Temple, Texas. It was previously owned since 2012 by Pahrump Valley Flyer LLC, of Pahrump, Nev.

Its air worthiness was listed as standard/normal, and flew as recently as two weeks ago between Temple and Austin.

The four-seat, 1965 Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche (two fixed-wing engines) craft has a Lycoming IO-320 Series (reciprocating) engine with 150hp. It weighs 12,500 pounds and has a speed of 139 mph.

Source:   http://www.mineralwellsindex.com



A small plane has crashed near the Mineral Wells Municipal Airport, injuring two people, officials say Wednesday evening.

The twin-engine Piper Comanche had three people on board when it went down at about 7:20 p.m. while attempting to land, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the plane lost power and went down in a field, coming to a rest on the shoulder of MH 379, near Highway 1195, northwest of the airport.

The pilot and one passenger were transported by air ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for treatment of unknown injuries, and a second passenger was not injured.

Lunsford said the pilot had reported some sort of engine trouble before the crash.

The FAA is investigating, and additional details have not been released.

Source:  http://www.nbcdfw.com 

MINERAL WELLS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mineral Wells Police confirm a small plane crashed about a quarter of a mile short of the runway at Mineral Wells Municipal Airport.

It happened around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday off FM 1195.

According to the FAA, three people were on board the plane. 

The pilot and front seat passenger rushed to the hospital via air ambulance.

The pilot is in critical condition.  

No word on the front seat passenger’s condition.

The rear seat passenger was not injured.

The DPS says a power failure caused the crash.

The plane, a twin-engine Piper Comanche, came down in a field just west of FM 1195 and skidded to a stop on the shoulder of Municipal Highway 379.

Source:  http://dfw.cbslocal.com

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