Saturday, April 22, 2017

Grumman American AA-1C, N9556U: Accident occurred November 10, 2016 in Hemet, Riverside County, California

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

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Hemet, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2017
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA 1C, registration: N9556U
Injuries: 2 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 private pilot reported that the airplane was last refueled and operated about 1 month before the day of the accident. He added that, on the morning of the accident, he believed the airplane still had about 17 to 18 gallons of fuel for the flight. The pilot mentioned that the airplane’s fuel float gauges were not accurate; therefore, he looked inside of the left fuel tank from the filler cap and observed fuel. He did not check the right fuel tank because the style of tank restricted his view of any fuel. He departed the airport with the left fuel tank selected. After practicing standard maneuvers, the engine hesitated for a second. The pilot switched to the right fuel tank, which resolved the issue, but he turned back toward the airport. About 1 minute later, he switched to the left fuel tank and continued to fly at full power, which led him to believe fuel was in that tank. One to 2 minutes later, the pilot switched back to the right fuel tank and climbed to 8,000 ft, circled the town once, and then proceeded back toward the airport; the engine then suddenly lost power. The pilot attempted emergency procedures and troubleshooting to no avail. The pilot located a suitable field for the emergency landing; however, during the landing roll on the soft, dry, and rocky terrain, the airplane nosed over and then came to rest inverted. 

Recovery personnel removed a small amount of fuel from the left auxiliary fuel tank, but the right auxiliary fuel tank and the main fuel tanks were empty. In addition, there were no observable breaches in the fuel tanks nor smell of fuel at the accident site. Given the pilot knew the airplane’s fuel gauges were not accurate, he should have ensured that the airplane had sufficient fuel for the flight and his failure to do so led to the subsequent exhaustion of the fuel supply and total loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to ensure that sufficient fuel was available for the flight, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.




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

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9556U



NTSB Identification: WPR17LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Hemet, CA
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA 1C, registration: N9556U
Injuries: 2 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.

On November 10, 2016, about 1135 Pacific standard time, a Grumman American AA-1C airplane, N9556U, experienced a complete loss of engine power and landed on a field east of Hemet, California. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT), at 1043.

The pilot reported that the airplane was last refueled, and operated, about one month prior to the day of the accident. The morning of the accident, he believed the airplane still had about 17-18 gallons of fuel for the flight. The pilot mentioned that the airplane's fuel float gauges are not accurate; therefore, he peered inside of the left fuel tank from the filler cap and observed fuel. He did not check the right fuel tank because the style of tank would restrict his view of any fuel. They departed the airport with the left fuel tank selected and practiced a few standard maneuvers; during which, the engine hesitated for a brief second. The pilot switched to the right fuel tank and they turned back towards the airport; about one minute later he switched to the left fuel tank and continued to fly at full power. After feeling confident there was fuel in the left tank, the pilot switched back to the right fuel tank and climbed to 8,000 feet, continuing the flight as normal. Shortly after, they proceeded back towards the airport when the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot attempted emergency procedures and troubleshooting, but to no avail. The pilot located a suitable field for the emergency landing, however, during the landing roll on the soft, dry, and rocky terrain, the airplane nosed over, coming to rest inverted. 

Recovery personnel reported that during the recovery process he removed very little fuel from the left auxiliary fuel tank, otherwise, the right auxiliary fuel tank and the main fuel tanks were empty. In addition, he mentioned that he did not observe any breaches in the fuel tanks, nor did he smell any fuel at the accident site.



NTSB Identification: WPR17LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Hemet, CA
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA 1C, registration: N9556U
Injuries: 2 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 10, 2016, about 1135 Pacific standard time, a Grumman American AA-1C airplane, N9556U, experienced a complete loss of engine power and landed on a field east of Hemet, California. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were uninjured; the airplane sustained substantial damage throughout. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT), Hemet, at 1043.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he climbed to 5,000 feet when the engine lost partial power. The pilot switched fuel tanks and the engine operated normally. He continued the local flight and climbed to about 8,000 feet. While cruising, the engine suddenly lost complete power. The pilot attempted to restart the engine multiple times, however, to no avail. He landed the airplane uneventfully onto a nearby field; the airplane rolled along the rocky field and nosed over coming to rest inverted.

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