Thursday, November 10, 2016

North American Navion, N8849H: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2016 (and) Incident occurred December 12, 2015 at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Warren County, New Jersey

Samuel Singer
~


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N8849H


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Blairstown, NJ
Accident Number: ERA17LA042
Date & Time: 11/10/2016, 0915 EST
Registration: N8849H
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry 

Analysis

The private pilot had not flown the accident airplane for almost 1 year while it underwent repairs following a gear-up landing. The purpose of the accident flight was to ferry the airplane to a nearby airport to receive an annual inspection after completion of the repairs. On the morning of the accident, a mechanic taxied the airplane and performed an engine run-up; he did not note any anomalies. The pilot fueled the airplane and started the engine for the flight. Upon starting, the engine went immediately to full power, where it remained as the airplane taxied at high speed about 1,000 ft into a tree. Witnesses reported that the pilot was awake and alert after the accident; thus, there was no evidence of pilot incapacitation. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies. Based on the positions of the throttle and mixture control, and the high speed taxi after engine start, it is likely that the pilot started the engine with the throttle lever accidently in the full-forward position. After the engine started, the pilot could have reduced or ceased engine power by retracting the throttle, retracting the mixture, or turning the magnetos off.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper engine start procedure, which resulted in a loss of control on the ground and collision with a tree. 

Findings

Aircraft
Surface speed/braking - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)
Incorrect action selection - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Standing-engine(s) start-up
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Taxi
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On November 10, 2016, about 0915 eastern standard time, a North American Navion, N8849H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during engine startup at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned personal flight to Capital City Airport (CXY), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic who witnessed the accident, the pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, last flew the accident airplane in December 2015; it was damaged during a gear-up landing at 1N7. The airplane remained at the airport while the mechanic repaired the damage. The repairs were completed, and another pilot had planned to ferry the airplane to CXY for an annual inspection the day before the accident, but the flight was postponed due to poor weather. The other pilot was not available on the day of the accident, and the owner elected to fly the airplane to CXY himself.

On the morning of the accident, the mechanic taxied the airplane from the hangar to the fuel pump. During the taxi, he performed an engine run-up and did not notice any anomalies. The mechanic added that he had performed several run-ups while the airplane was at 1N7 and never experienced any anomalies with the throttle control or brakes. After fueling the airplane and completing a preflight inspection, the pilot started the engine and it went immediately to full power. The engine remained at full power and the airplane taxied about 1,000 ft at high speed into a tree. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 73, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/16/2015
Flight Time: 1478 hours (Total, all aircraft), 422 hours (Total, this make and model), 0 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

The pilot, age 73, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,445 hours. The most recent entry in the pilot's logbook was dated February 1, 2016. According to the logbook, the pilot had accrued a total flight experience of about 1,478 hours. The pilot reported 422 hours in the accident airplane make and model on his most recent insurance application. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: NORTH AMERICAN
Registration: N8849H
Model/Series: NAVION UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: NAV-4-849
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/21/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 14 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2066 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-BB
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 285-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The pilot purchased the airplane in 2009. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 2,052 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated about 417 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for about 14 hours between the time of the last inspection and the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MPO, 1915 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 305°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1200 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / -1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 310°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Blairstown, NJ (1N7)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Harrisburg, PA (CXY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EST
Type of Airspace: 

Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, was located about 15 miles northwest of the accident site. The 0853 recorded weather at MPO included wind from 310° at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 1,200 ft; temperature 3°C; dew point -1°C; altimeter 30.02 inches Hg. 

Airport Information

Airport: Blairstown (1N7)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 371 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used:  N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.971111, -74.997500 (est) 

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The inspector noted that the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all in the full-forward position. Additionally, the engine had separated forward of the airframe during the collision with the tree.

The wreckage was examined again by an NTSB investigator after recovery. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and all three blades exhibited rotational signatures, such as torn blade tips, chordwise scrapes, and leading edge gouges. The throttle body/fuel metering unit was separated from the engine and remained attached to the induction system inlet and wye plenum, which were also separated from the airplane. The throttle and mixture control levers were fractured and their respective shafts were bent. The fractured control lever ends remained attached to the control cable rod ends. Examination of the throttle body/fuel metering unit revealed that the throttle lever was loose on the throttle control shaft; however, it was displaced and bent. No preaccident anomalies were noted with the unit.

The airplane was equipped with push-button Vernier throttle, mixture, and propeller controls. The propeller control knob was fractured and its cable was cut. Examination of the throttle control knob in the cockpit revealed that it was stuck in the full forward position and could not be pulled aft by depressing the push-button release. Examination of the mixture control revealed that it was also in the full forward position. Manual manipulation of the mixture control (both the push-button rapid adjustment mode, and the rotational fine adjustment mode) resulted in normal movement of the control knob with no anomalies noted. The throttle and mixture control knobs and cables were removed from the airplane and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning of the throttle and mixture controls revealed that the outer sleeve within the throttle control did not appear to be fully seated within the knob, consistent with the throttle cable being pulled forward during engine separation in the accident sequence (for more information, see Computed Tomography Specialist's Factual Report in the public docket for this investigation). 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Morris County Medical Examiner, Morristown, New Jersey, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "multiple injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Review of the toxicology report revealed:

5.172 (ug/ml, ug/g) Ketamine detected in Urine
2.634 (ug/ml, ug/g) Ketamine detected in Blood (Cavity)
1.834 (ug/mL, ug/g) Norketamine detected in Urine
0.736 (ug/mL, ug/g) Norketamine detected in Blood (Cavity)
Midazolam detected in Blood (Cavity)
Naproxen detected in Urine

Katamine, Norketamin, and Midazolam were consistent with emergency medical treatment that the pilot received after the accident. Naproxen is a non-sedating analgesic and not considered impairing. Additionally, according to an ambulance report, the pilot was awake and alert after the accident. 


December 12, 2015 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania 

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date:     12-DEC-15
Time:     15:45:00Z
Regis#:     N8849H
Aircraft Make:     NORTH AMERICAN
Aircraft Model:     NAVION
Event Type:     Incident
Highest Injury:     None
Damage:     Minor
Flight Phase:     LANDING (LDG)
City:     BLAIRSTOWN
State:     New Jersey


























NTSB Identification: ERA17LA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Blairstown, NJ
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION, registration: N8849H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 November 10, 2016, about 0915 eastern standard time, a North American Navion, N8849H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during engine startup at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Capital City Airport (CXY), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic who witnessed the accident, the pilot/owner last flew the accident airplane in December 2015, when it experienced a gear-up landing at 1N7. The airplane remained at the airport while the mechanic repaired damage from the gear-up landing. The repairs were completed and the airplane was supposed to be ferried to CXY for an annual inspection during the day prior to the accident. A different pilot was going to ferry the airplane, but poor weather postponed the flight. That pilot was not available on the day of the accident and the owner/pilot elected to fly the airplane to CXY himself.

During the morning of the accident, the mechanic taxied the airplane from the hangar to the fuel pump. During which, he performed an engine run-up and did not notice any anomalies with the airplane. The mechanic added that he had performed several run-ups while the airplane was at 1N7 and never experienced any anomalies with the throttle control or brakes. After fueling the airplane and completion of a preflight inspection, the pilot/owner started the engine and it went immediately to full power. The engine remained at full power and the airplane taxied at high speed into a tree.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The inspector noted that the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all in the full forward position. The hydraulic and alternate air controls were in the retracted position. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot/owner, age 73, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,445 hours.

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, serial number NAV-4-849, was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 285-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The pilot purchased the airplane in 2009. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated approximately 2,052 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated about 417 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for about 14 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.
Samuel Singer


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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N8849H

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Blairstown, NJ
Accident Number: ERA17LA042
Date & Time: 11/10/2016, 0915 EST
Registration: N8849H
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry 

On November 10, 2016, about 0915 eastern standard time, a North American Navion, N8849H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during engine startup at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned personal flight to Capital City Airport (CXY), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic who witnessed the accident, the pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, last flew the accident airplane in December 2015; it was damaged during a gear-up landing at 1N7. The airplane remained at the airport while the mechanic repaired the damage. The repairs were completed, and another pilot had planned to ferry the airplane to CXY for an annual inspection the day before the accident, but the flight was postponed due to poor weather. The other pilot was not available on the day of the accident, and the owner elected to fly the airplane to CXY himself.

On the morning of the accident, the mechanic taxied the airplane from the hangar to the fuel pump. During the taxi, he performed an engine run-up and did not notice any anomalies. The mechanic added that he had performed several run-ups while the airplane was at 1N7 and never experienced any anomalies with the throttle control or brakes. After fueling the airplane and completing a preflight inspection, the pilot started the engine and it went immediately to full power. The engine remained at full power and the airplane taxied about 1,000 ft at high speed into a tree. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 73, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/16/2015
Flight Time: 1478 hours (Total, all aircraft), 422 hours (Total, this make and model), 0 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

The pilot, age 73, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,445 hours. The most recent entry in the pilot's logbook was dated February 1, 2016. According to the logbook, the pilot had accrued a total flight experience of about 1,478 hours. The pilot reported 422 hours in the accident airplane make and model on his most recent insurance application. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: NORTH AMERICAN
Registration: N8849H
Model/Series: NAVION UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: NAV-4-849
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/21/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 14 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2066 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-BB
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 285-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The pilot purchased the airplane in 2009. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 2,052 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated about 417 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for about 14 hours between the time of the last inspection and the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MPO, 1915 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 305°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1200 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / -1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 310°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Blairstown, NJ (1N7)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Harrisburg, PA (CXY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EST
Type of Airspace: 

Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, was located about 15 miles northwest of the accident site. The 0853 recorded weather at MPO included wind from 310° at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 1,200 ft; temperature 3°C; dew point -1°C; altimeter 30.02 inches Hg. 

Airport Information

Airport: Blairstown (1N7)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 371 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used:  N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.971111, -74.997500 (est) 

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The inspector noted that the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all in the full-forward position. Additionally, the engine had separated forward of the airframe during the collision with the tree.

The wreckage was examined again by an NTSB investigator after recovery. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and all three blades exhibited rotational signatures, such as torn blade tips, chordwise scrapes, and leading edge gouges. The throttle body/fuel metering unit was separated from the engine and remained attached to the induction system inlet and wye plenum, which were also separated from the airplane. The throttle and mixture control levers were fractured and their respective shafts were bent. The fractured control lever ends remained attached to the control cable rod ends. Examination of the throttle body/fuel metering unit revealed that the throttle lever was loose on the throttle control shaft; however, it was displaced and bent. No preaccident anomalies were noted with the unit.

The airplane was equipped with push-button Vernier throttle, mixture, and propeller controls. The propeller control knob was fractured and its cable was cut. Examination of the throttle control knob in the cockpit revealed that it was stuck in the full forward position and could not be pulled aft by depressing the push-button release. Examination of the mixture control revealed that it was also in the full forward position. Manual manipulation of the mixture control (both the push-button rapid adjustment mode, and the rotational fine adjustment mode) resulted in normal movement of the control knob with no anomalies noted. The throttle and mixture control knobs and cables were removed from the airplane and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning of the throttle and mixture controls revealed that the outer sleeve within the throttle control did not appear to be fully seated within the knob, consistent with the throttle cable being pulled forward during engine separation in the accident sequence (for more information, see Computed Tomography Specialist's Factual Report in the public docket for this investigation). 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Morris County Medical Examiner, Morristown, New Jersey, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "multiple injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Review of the toxicology report revealed:

5.172 (ug/ml, ug/g) Ketamine detected in Urine
2.634 (ug/ml, ug/g) Ketamine detected in Blood (Cavity)
1.834 (ug/mL, ug/g) Norketamine detected in Urine
0.736 (ug/mL, ug/g) Norketamine detected in Blood (Cavity)
Midazolam detected in Blood (Cavity)
Naproxen detected in Urine


Katamine, Norketamin, and Midazolam were consistent with emergency medical treatment that the pilot received after the accident. Naproxen is a non-sedating analgesic and not considered impairing. Additionally, according to an ambulance report, the pilot was awake and alert after the accident. 

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Blairstown, NJ
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION, registration: N8849H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 November 10, 2016, about 0915 eastern standard time, a North American Navion, N8849H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during engine startup at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Capital City Airport (CXY), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic who witnessed the accident, the pilot/owner last flew the accident airplane in December 2015, when it experienced a gear-up landing at 1N7. The airplane remained at the airport while the mechanic repaired damage from the gear-up landing. The repairs were completed and the airplane was supposed to be ferried to CXY for an annual inspection during the day prior to the accident. A different pilot was going to ferry the airplane, but poor weather postponed the flight. That pilot was not available on the day of the accident and the owner/pilot elected to fly the airplane to CXY himself.

During the morning of the accident, the mechanic taxied the airplane from the hangar to the fuel pump. During which, he performed an engine run-up and did not notice any anomalies with the airplane. The mechanic added that he had performed several run-ups while the airplane was at 1N7 and never experienced any anomalies with the throttle control or brakes. After fueling the airplane and completion of a preflight inspection, the pilot/owner started the engine and it went immediately to full power. The engine remained at full power and the airplane taxied at high speed into a tree.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The inspector noted that the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all in the full forward position. The hydraulic and alternate air controls were in the retracted position. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot/owner, age 73, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,445 hours.

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, serial number NAV-4-849, was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 285-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The pilot purchased the airplane in 2009. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated approximately 2,052 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated about 417 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for about 14 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.


December 12, 2015 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania 

Aircraft landed gear up.



Date:     12-DEC-15
Time:     15:45:00Z
Regis#:     N8849H
Aircraft Make:     NORTH AMERICAN
Aircraft Model:     NAVION
Event Type:     Incident
Highest Injury:     None
Damage:     Minor
Flight Phase:     LANDING (LDG)
City:     BLAIRSTOWN
State:     New Jersey



Samuel Singer was a decisive man, a quality a former colleague said served him well in the business world.

So how the 73-year-old pilot could have failed to act in the small plane crash that took his life Thursday is a mystery to Rich Faherty.

The fellow aviator who worked with Singer for some 20 years was among the first to learn Singer's plane had crashed about 9:30 Thursday morning at a Blairstown Township airport in northern Warren County. Another pilot had called him, saying emergency officials needed his help to get in touch with Singer's family.

Authorities have said the plane finished refueling, then went full-throttle across the runways before crashing into trees. Singer, of Warren Township in Somerset County, was pulled from the wrecked aircraft and flown to Morristown Medical Center, where he later died.

"As a pilot, the first thing you think of is if the plane suddenly went full throttle, what would you do? ... I would assume Sam would have the same mental checklist," Faherty said Friday. "The fact that Sam didn't stop the plane before it struck the trees makes me believe that something else prevented him from going through the mental checklist."

Faherty is the executive vice president of administration at BioReference Laboratories, where Singer worked for 30 years. Under Singer's guidance as chief financial officer, the company based in Elmwood Park — which provides testing services for physicians, hospitals and other clinics — went from making $1 million a year to almost $1 billion by the time he retired in 2015, Faherty said.

Singer's family said that he served in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserves, for about 20 years starting in the 1960s. He was a father to five and a grandfather to three, devoted to his local Catholic parish and other charities. Three of his children have or are working at BioReference, Faherty said.

Singer served for nine years as a trustee at Mount St. Mary Academy, a Catholic prep school for girls in Watchung.

"The death of Sam Singer is a profound and devastating loss for the Mount St. Mary Academy community," the school said in a statement Friday. "He demonstrated a steadfast devotion to the academy's mission and values and was deeply devoted to his Catholic faith. He was a loyal friend and member of our family who will always be appreciated and missed."

A post from October on the school's Facebook page congratulated him on his retirement from the board, noting that his four daughters all graduated from the school and a granddaughter is applying there.

Singer had gotten into flying later in life, Faherty said. Federal Aviation Administration records say he got his license in 2011, though Faherty said his colleague had been flying for 10 years, frequently logging hours in the sky.

FAA records also say Singer owned the plane that crashed Thursday, a North American Navion fixed-wing, single-engine craft manufactured in 1947. The same plane was involved in a crash last December at the airport.

Faherty said it is part of the piloting community to meet up at various airports — he had met Singer and others at Blairstown Airport before.

When he heard of the crash, Faherty got in touch with Singer's wife. At the time, he said, it sounded serious but not fatal.

It wasn't until Thursday night that Faherty said he found out from another former colleague that Singer was gone. The Warren County Prosecutor's Office on Friday said Singer died of blunt force trauma, and his death was ruled an accident.

"It's really sad," Faherty said. "This is a man who was a wonderful family man, a great business associate, someone I worked with for many years. ... I missed him because he had retired. I used to see him virtually every day.


"I know how much he loved to fly," he continued. "Certainly, no one would ever have expected this to happen to him. ... The last thing you want to do is have a car accident in your plane. And that's virtually what this was."

Story, comments and photo gallery: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

---Fatal Plane Crash Update---

At 9:23 AM, police responded to the Blairstown Airport for a plane crash. Upon arrival police found the pilot, identified as Samuel Singer of Warren Township, entrapped with serious injuries. Blairstown Hose Company and police used the jaws of life to extricate the pilot from the aircraft. Atlantic Air 1 transported the pilot to Morristown Medical Center where the pilot later passed away from his injuries. A witness stated the plane had just been refueled and the plane went full throttle across both runways and into the trees. It's still unclear what caused the plane to be in full throttle. The FAA is still investigating the cause of the crash. Blairstown Ambulance Corps, Paramedics from Atlantic, Warren County Prosecutor's Office, Warren County Hazmat, and Blairstown OEM also assisted at the scene.






BLAIRSTOWN — The pilot injured when his plane went off the runway and struck trees at Blairstown Airport on Thursday morning died at the hospital Thursday evening, according to police.

Samuel Singer, 63, of Warren Township, Somerset County, died at Morristown Medical Center as a result of his injuries.

The North American Navion aircraft crashed around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The pilot had finished refueling the aircraft and was preparing to take off when the plane went full throttle, shot across the runway and hit trees on the outskirts of the runway, according to Lt. Scott Johnsen of Blairstown police. Investigators will determine if the issue was caused by mechanical or operator error.

Singer was extracted from the plane by Blairstown Police officer Paul Choe and a member of Blairstown Hose Company. He was flown to Morristown Medical Center. Johnson said the pilot suffered broken bones.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Blairstown Hose Company, Atlantic Health Systems, Blairstown EMS, Blairstown police and Warren County Hazmat responded to the scene.


Source: http://www.njherald.com





A pilot sustained major injuries during a runway mishap Thursday morning at Blairstown Airport that resulted in his single-engine aircraft leaving the runway and crashing into trees, according to Blairstown police.

Lt. Scott Johnson said the crash occurred while the pilot was taxiing onto a runway and the plane somehow "got stuck in full-throttle position."

An Associated Press article previously cited Federal Aviation Administration officials reporting that the plane struck trees and crashed while landing. The plane, in fact, crossed two runways while still on the ground and before crashing into nearby trees, Johnson said.

The injured pilot was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center by Atlantic Ambulance's Air 1 helicopter, according to Johnson. The pilot was not identified and his condition is unknown.

Township police and members of the Blairstown Hose Co. and Office of Emergency Management responded and extricated the pilot from the wreckage, according to Johnson. The Blaistwon Ambulance Corps, haz-mat unit and the FAA also responded to the scene.  The crash is still under investigation.

Source:   http://www.dailyrecord.com




























A small plane struck a tree while landing about 9:15 a.m. Thursday at Blairstown Airport, the Blairstown Township fire chief said.

The pilot survived and was being removed from the plane by medical personnel just after 9:30 a.m., Chief Darren Occhiuzzo confirmed by text.

The plane was leaking fuel and Warren County's hazardous materials team was called in, county Public Safety Director Frank Wheatley said.

The pilot was loaded into a medical helicopter just before 10 a.m., Occhiuzzo said. The pilot was taken to Morristown Medical Center, according to Wheatley.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration search based on the plane's registration number, N8849H, the North American Navion is owned by Sam Singer, of Warren, New Jersey, in Somerset County. 

The fixed-wing single-engine plane was built in 1947, according to the FAA.

It was not immediately confirmed that Singer was piloting the craft at the time of the crash. Calls to a number listed for his home went unanswered Thursday afternoon.

The same plane was involved in a incident last December at the airport.  Township police, fire and emergency medical personnel responded Thursday, as will the FAA, Occhiuzzo said.

Source:   http://www.lehighvalleylive.com




BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. - The pilot of a plane suffered multiple injuries when the aircraft crashed at an airport in Warren County, New Jersey, on Thursday.

The single-engine plane somehow got stuck in full throttle and went across two runways at the Blairstown Airport before hitting some trees around 9:30 a.m., according to Blairstown police Lt. Scott Johnsen, who said that the plane did manage to get a few feet off the ground before the crash.

"It was just like a weird sound like a crash,” said Blairstown resident, Chris Wester. “Thought it was a car accident."

The pilot was taken to a hospital with broken bones, but his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, Johnsen said.

Police have not released the name of the pilot or where he was heading to.

The pilot was the only person on the four passenger, North American Navion aircraft and emergency crews used the jaws of life to remove him from the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration is leading the investigation. 

Story and video:  http://www.wfmz.com

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