Friday, October 21, 2016

Piper PA-60-601P Aerostar, N601UK: Accident occurred October 20, 2016 in Carrollton, Carroll County, Georgia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Carrollton, GA
Aircraft: SMITH AEROSTAR601, registration: N601UK
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to reposition the airplane to another airport for refuel. During preflight, he reported that the airplane's two fuel gauges read "low," but the supplemental electronic fuel totalizer displayed 55 total gallons. He further reported that it is not feasible to visual check the fuel quantity, because the fueling ports are located near the wingtips and the fuel quantity cannot be measured with any "external measuring device." According to the pilot, his planned flight was 20 minutes and the fuel quantity, as indicated by the fuel totalizer, was sufficient.

The pilot reported that about 12 nautical miles from the destination airport, both engines began to "surge" and subsequently lost power. During the forced landing, the pilot deviated to land in grass between a highway, the airplane touched down hard, and the landing gear collapsed.

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported in the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/ Operator Aircraft Accident Report that there was a "disparity" between the actual fuel quantity and the fuel quantity set in the electronic fuel totalizer. He further reported that a few days before the accident, he set the total fuel totalizer quantity to full after refueling, but in hindsight, he did not believe the fuel tanks were actually full because the wings may not have been level during the fueling. 

The "Preflight" chapter within the operating manual for the fuel totalizer in part states: "Digiflo-L is a fuel flow measuring system and NOT a quantity-sensing device. A visual inspection and positive determination of the usable fuel in the fuel tanks is a necessity. Therefore, it is imperative that the determined available usable fuel be manually entered into the system."

Ian McMahon

Ian McMahon was flying his plane to the airport in Carrollton when it ran out of fuel and was forced to land on the highway in Carroll County.

CARROLL COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -   Pilot Ian McMahon lived to tell the story about the time his Piper PA-60-601P Aerostar ran out of fuel forcing him to make an emergency landing in the median along Highway 166 in Carroll County.

“I’m based over in Hampton and I was coming over to Carrollton to fill it up with fuel for a trip and I guess the totalizer was recording inaccurately because it ran out,” McMahon said.  “With no power on this airplane it drops pretty quickly so I had to keep the nose down and keep the speed up and I saw the median and aimed for it.” 

To say he nailed the landing is an understatement. He put the aircraft down safely going 130 miles per hour.
“I think I did an okay job, I didn’t hit any cars and I didn’t kill myself,” McMahon said.

Eyewitness Nicholas Izzo couldn’t believe his eyes.  He was driving on the highway when he saw the plane fall out of the sky.

“I looked back in my side view mirror just for curiosity and saw a big puff of dirt smoke and I immediately take a U-turn in the median and come back and check on the pilot, to check on any injuries that may have happened,” Izzo said.

There were no injuries, other than a little back pain for the pilot. 

“Uh you know a day like any other, just crash on a highway. Might as well do it with style,” McMahon said.

And what an ending this was, when McMahon’s wife arrived.  The two embraced and counted their blessings.

Story and video:

HAMPTON, Ga., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A small plane made a bumpy landing on a highway median in Georgia when it ran out of fuel on its way to an airport to refuel.

Pilot Ian McMahon said he was flying from Hampton, Ga., to the West Georgia Regional Airport in Carrollton to fuel up the aircraft for an upcoming trip when the plane ran out of fuel in mid-air.

"I'm based over in Hampton and I was coming over to Carrollton to fill it up with fuel for a trip and I guess the totalizer was recording inaccurately because it ran out," McMahon told WGCL-TV. "With no power on this airplane it drops pretty quickly so I had to keep the nose down and keep the speed up and I saw the median and aimed for it."

McMahon successfully landed on the median between the lanes of Highway 166 in Carroll County.

He said the landing was a bit bumpy due to his 130 mph speed.

"I think I did an okay job, I didn't hit any cars and I didn't kill myself," McMahon said.

McMahon said he suffered some minor back pain as a result of the rough landing, but there were no other injuries.

Story and video:

Carrollton motorists got a shock this morning when a small plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the median of the Hwy. 166 bypass near the intersection of Blandenburg Road.

The pilot, identified as Ian McMahon, was not visibly injured but was transported to Tanner Medical Center after complaining of back pain from the impact.

McMahon took off from Hampton in the Piper PA-60-601P Aerostar and said he planned to refuel at West Georgia Regional Airport in Carrollton. However, he ran out of fuel before he reached the airport and both engines shut down.

The emergency landing occurred at around 11 a.m. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.



  1. Pilot quoted as saying "I think I did an OK job...". Look at your airplane....consider the lives you put at risk all because you were too stupid and lazy to fuel your airplane assbite.... did swell!

    Steven Frost

  2. No kidding. Even better, Hampton actually sells fuel. This "pilot" destroyed his airplane over 0.80 cents per gallon.

  3. One stupid pilot! Blames his fuel totalizer, I physically look in my tanks 100% of the time, and touching down at a claimed 130mph? A 601 p stalls at 77 kts or or about 88 mph, at 130 mph that plane would most likely be pieces, if this guy keeps flying I'm sure you'll be reading about him again, unfortunately he will most likely take someone with him.

  4. It's incidents like this that make me glad the FAA is around. I hope they take a big bite out of his stupid as.