Monday, March 06, 2017

Cessna 150J, Ellsworth Aircraft LLC, N60939: Accident occurred March 05, 2017 near Argyle Airport (1C3), Washington County, New York

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Albany, New York

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Ellsworth Aircraft LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 05, 2017 in Argyle, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 150J, registration: N60939
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 March 5, 2017, at 1036 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150J, N60939, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after a loss of engine power landing in Argyle, New York. The flight instructor and student pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight, conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed from Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport (GFL), Glens Falls, New York about 0930. 

According to the flight instructor, she was operating the airplane to keep proficient in the airplane type, as she was applying to become a flight instructor at a local flying club. She stated that she brought along a friend for company as she would rather fly with someone rather than alone.

The flight originated at GFL. After having the fixed base operator (FBO) assist in removing the airplane from the hangar. She then conducted a preflight inspection and then had the FBO top the airplane off with fuel. She then took off, performed a couple of touch and go landings, then proceeded towards Argyle, New York. During this portion of the flight, the airplane was operating normally and she did not notice anything wrong. She then performed "slow flight" and a power off stall, and recovered normally. She then performed another power off stall and when she went to add power, there was no response from the engine, and then it lost all power. She went through the procedures to diagnose what was wrong by checking the mixture, carburetor heat, and engine primer. She then attempted to restart the engine with the starter, but without success. 

She could not remember if she saw the propeller turning when she attempted to restart the engine since she was now focused on where to land the airplane. After finding a suitable field, she "slipped" the airplane to land in the field. After touching down, the airplane traveled uphill, crested the hill and then came down the other side and struck trees that were located at the end of the field. During the impact with the trees, the plexiglass windshield popped out of the frame, entered the cabin, and struck the flight instructor and student pilot. After moving the windshield out of the way, they egressed through the left door.

According to the student pilot, the flight instructor had given him lessons a few times. There was already some fuel in the airplane's fuel tanks, and prior to the flight they added another 6 gallons of fuel to each tank. After takeoff, they performed a couple of touch and go landings, and then departed the traffic pattern for the practice area. Upon reaching the practice area, they performed slow flight, then a power off stall. Then they performed slow flight again, along with another power off stall, then the engine "quit." The student pilot advised that, "I told" the flight instructor, and "she did the engine failure checklist," and "we tried to start the engine." It would not start and then they performed the forced landing to the field and then hit trees. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and airplane multi-engine land, with commercial privileges for rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument-helicopter. She also held type ratings for the BE-300, CE-500, and EA-500S. She possessed a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine, rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument-helicopter. Her most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on September 12, 2016. She reported that she had accrued 3,050 total hours of flight experience, 305 of which was in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the student pilot held a student pilot certificate. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on August 28, 2014. He reported that he had accrued 20 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1969. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on June 10, 2016. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 3,341 total hours of operation, and the engine had accrued about 470 hours since major overhaul. 

The reported weather at GFL, at 1053, included: variable wind at 4 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, sky clear, temperature -08 degrees C, dew point -19 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.68 inches of mercury.

ARGYLE — The two people injured in a Sunday afternoon plane crash were identified Monday as a flight instructor and student pilot who were hurt when the plane had to make an emergency landing because of engine problems, police said.

State Police said a Cessna 150J apparently had carburetor problems that may have been caused by ice from cold weather.

The plane, owned by Ellsworth Aircraft LLC of Lake George, was being used by flight instructor Jessica Giovanni, 32, of Latham and student pilot Amir Karimi, 42, of Loudonville when the 10:39 a.m. crash occurred.

Giovanni suffered face and knee injuries, while Karimi had shoulder and knee injuries, officials said. They were taken to Glens Falls Hospital by Argyle Rescue Squad, where their conditions were not available as of early Monday. They were not listed in the hospital's public directory.

Authorities said the plane had taken off from Warren County airport in Queensbury for a flight lesson, and Karimi was practicing "power on, power off" maneuvers in which the engine is brought down to low RPM before the pilot increases them.

The engine stalled when the RPMs were reduced, and Karimi was unable to re-start it, according to State Police.

The pilot and instructor tried to find a field for an emergency landing, but the plane was heavily damaged when it came down in a field off county Route 47, near the intersection with Street Road, and then hit several trees. It had a fuel tank that was nearly full.

State Police said the cockpit went between two trees, allowing the wings to take the brunt of the impact and the two passengers to avoid serious injuries.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration inspected the plane at the crash scene, and determined that it appeared the carburetor -- which feeds fuel to the engine -- may have developed a blockage from ice that formed within it.

Federal records show Karimi does have a pilot's license.

A phone message left for Giovanni was not returned Monday afternoon.

Ellsworth Aircraft is owned by contractor Daniel Ellsworth, and the company shares an address on Route 9 in Lake George with Ellsworth Contracting. The plane was based at Warren County airport.


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