Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stinson SR-9B Reliant, N17154: Accident occurred August 14, 2015 near Brown Field Municipal Airport (KSDM), San Diego, California




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

Additional Participating Entity:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California 

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N17154

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA240
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 14, 2015 in Chula Vista, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/06/2017
Aircraft: STINSON SR 9B, registration: N17154
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 private pilot stated that, after about 30 minutes airborne on the local flight, the engine experienced a partial loss of power and the airplane began to lose altitude. The pilot switched the fuel selector to the other fuel tank and made a forced landing onto a highway. After touching down on the highway, the engine regained power and the pilot departed again; but shortly thereafter, the engine experienced a total loss of power. During the subsequent off-airport landing in a field, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

The pilot initially reported that he departed with about 20 gallons of fuel on board but was unsure of the exact quantity. He later stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane, and that the loss of power was likely the result of fuel starvation or exhaustion. During postaccident examination, there was no odor of fuel present around the wreckage and no evidence of fuel in the wing tanks or the fuel lines.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot’s failure to verify the fuel quantity before the flight.







On August 14, 2015, about 0700 Pacific daylight time, a Stinson SR-9B, N17154, experienced a total loss of engine power and landed in a dirt field in Chula Vista, California. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injury; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight departed from Brown Field Municipal Airport, San Diego, California, about 0620. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated that he departed for a short practice flight with about 20 gallons of fuel on board, but was not sure of the precise quantity. After about 30 minutes airborne, as he began his return flight back to the airport, the engine power reduced and the airplane began to lose altitude. He switched the fuel selector to the other fuel tank and made a forced landing onto the 125 highway. After touching down on the highway, the engine regained power and became airborne before he had time to react. He attempted to return back to Brown Field but shortly thereafter, the airplane experienced a total loss of power. He again prepared for an off-airport landing and during the landing roll in a dirt field adjacent to Eastlake Parkway and Hunt Parkway, the airplane flipped over and came to rest inverted.

The pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, noted that the last annual inspection occurred about one month prior to the accident and had flown one hour since that maintenance. The pilot later stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures and the loss of power was likely the result of a fuel starvation or exhaustion.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors responded to the accident site. They stated that there was no smell of fuel present upon arrival. They further stated that removal of the wings and corresponding fuel lines revealed no evidence of fuel present in the tanks at the time of the accident; the fuel tanks did not appear breached. They opined that the loss of engine power was a result of fuel exhaustion.

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