Saturday, January 28, 2017

Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow II, Wisconsin Aviation- Four Lakes, N300KR: Accident occurred November 05, 2016 near Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Wisconsin

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

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

WISCONSIN AVIATION-FOUR LAKES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N300KR


NTSB Identification: GAA17LA090 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 05, 2016 in Watertown, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N300KR
Injuries: 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.

The commercial pilot reported that he entered the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern higher than pattern altitude to avoid a traffic conflict. While on downwind, he switched the fuel selector and turned on the electric fuel pump. As he turned from downwind onto the base leg of the traffic pattern, he reduced engine power to idle and initiated a glide toward the runway. On final approach, the pilot realized that the airplane was too low; he added engine power, but the engine “failed to respond.” He cycled the fuel pump, the engine surged, and the airplane impacted treetops and landed short of the runway. The pilot further reported that, after landing, he taxied the airplane to the ramp, thus it is unlikely there was a fuel issue.

A postaccident engine examination and test run revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.  

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to attain a proper glidepath on approach for landing, which resulted in impact with trees. Contributing to the accident was a partial, temporary loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

On November 5, 2016, about 1500 central standard time, a Piper Arrow II airplane, N300KP, had an engine hesitation when the pilot added power during short final approach to Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, Wisconsin. The airplane subsequently landed short of the runway. The airplane was registered to and operated by Wisconsin Aviation, Watertown, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane departed RYV about 1400 and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that upon returning to the airport, after a local flight, he heard another aircraft in the left traffic pattern; he remained high when he entered the downwind leg, because he had lost sight of the other aircraft. He switched the fuel selector to the left fuel tank and turned the electric auxiliary fuel pump on. He reported that to help locate the other aircraft, he "slipped" the airplane for "a while" by applying "left rudder only," but then realized that he was still too high. He reduced the power to idle and glided from the downwind position to final. On final, he saw the airplane was going to be too low so he added power, but the engine "failed to respond." The pilot cycled the fuel pump switch off then back on and the "engine surged". The airplane struck treetops, the engine "sputtered", and the airplane landed short of the runway. 

The pilot reported that after landing, the propeller continued to rotate and he switched the fuel selector to the right fuel tank. He reported that he taxied the airplane to the tarmac without further incident. 

The pilot reported that during his preflight inspection, he drained fuel from all the fuel drains and did not observe any contaminants or debris in the fuel samples. He also reported that both fuel tanks were nearly full when he departed.

The accident was not reported to the NTSB until 30 days after the accident, and the fuel quantity could not be verified.

During a postaccident engine and airframe examination at an aircraft maintenance facility, the engine was run and all systems operated normally. The engine ran on both the right and the left fuel tanks. A visual inspection of the engine and its systems showed no defects. 

In the Operating Tips section of the Piper Arrow II Pilot's Operating Manual, it states in part:

The shape of the wing fuel tanks is such that in certain maneuvers the fuel may move away from the tank outlet. If the outlet is uncovered, the fuel will be interrupted and a temporary loss of power may result. Pilots can prevent inadvertent uncovering of the outlet by avoiding maneuvers which could result in uncovering the outlet.

Extreme running turning takeoffs should be avoided as fuel flow interruption may occur.

Prolonged slips or skids which result in excess of 2000 feet of altitude loss, or other radical or extreme maneuvers which could cause uncovering of the fuel outlet must be avoided as fuel flow interruption may occur when tank being used is not full.

The Federal Aviation Administration published the Advisory Circular (AC) 90-66A. This AC discusses recommended traffic pattern practices at airports without operating control towers and states in part:

Arriving aircraft should be at the appropriate traffic pattern altitude before entering the traffic pattern. Entry to the downwind leg should be at a 45-degree angle abeam the midpoint of the runway.


It is recommended that airplanes observe a 1000-foot above ground level (agl) traffic pattern altitude.

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17LA090
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 05, 2016 in Watertown, WI
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N300KR
Injuries: 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 November 5, 2016, about 1500 central standard time, a Piper Arrow II airplane, N300KP, experienced an engine hesitation during approach to Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, Wisconsin. The airplane subsequently landed short of the runway. The airplane was registered to and operated by Wisconsin Aviation, Watertown, Wisconsin, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane departed RYV about 1400 and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern too high. The pilot further reported that he reduced engine power to idle and glided from the downwind leg to final. He noticed that on final, the airplane was too low and he applied power, but the engine failed to respond, so he cycled the fuel pump and the "engine surged". The airplane hit the top of a tree and landed short of the runway.

The pilot further reported that he taxied the airplane to the tarmac without further incident.

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