Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yakovlev Yak-52, N132MD: Accident occurred April 29, 2017 in Porterville, Tulare County, 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; Fresno

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA094 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Porterville, CA
Aircraft: YAKOVLEV YAK 52, registration: N132MD
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 April 29, 2017, about 1015 Pacific daylight time, a Yakovlev Yak 52 airplane, N132MD, experienced a total loss of engine power while en route to Porterville Municipal Airport (PTV), Porterville, California. The airplane was substantially damaged during the off airport forced landing to a field. The air transport pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from PTV.

The pilot reported that after participating in a formation flight, he detached from the group and proceeded back towards the airport at traffic pattern altitude. Suddenly, the airplane's engine started to run rough. He checked the ignitions, fuel quantity, and other engine instruments, all showing normal indications. The engine continued to run rough for a brief time before it lost all power. The pilot executed a forced landing onto a field; when the airplane touched down, the nose wheel sunk into the dirt and the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.  The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Two people taking part in a flight training event at the Porterville Municipal Airport Saturday walked away with minor injuries after their airplane suffered mechanical issues and caused the pilot to make an emergency landing in a vineyard.

The training event, hosted by the The Red Star Pilots Association, was a formation training clinic which started started Thursday and was expected to finish Sunday. Association President Hartley Postlethwaite confirmed Sunday that the pilot and passenger were participating in the event. The training marked the 16th year of the event.

Postlethwaite said the plane came down about six miles from the airport. Tulare County Sheriff’s Lt. Harold Liles said the exact location was in a vineyard in the area of Road 192 and Avenue 184. Liles added that the landing caused “quite a bit of damage” to the plane.

The aircraft is described as a Yak-52 plane. Postlethwaite said the pilot is experienced, and the off-field landing with minor injuries “is directly attributable to his previous experience which was augmented by the training at the All Red Star event.”

The report was made around 10:23 a.m. Saturday about a plane going down in a field. At noon, the California Highway Patrol was reporting the occupants were out of the plane. Liles said the pilot was taken to Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville for observation, but would be OK. The passenger walked out of the landing with minor injuries, Liles added.

Porterville Municipal Airport Manager Jim McDonald said the plane was in a storage unit at the airport Sunday. The Federal Aviation Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board were conducting an investigation. The agencies could not be reached Sunday. Roadways were not affected by the aircraft landing, according to the CHP reports.


FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a small plane crash in Tulare County.

The plane went down in an orchard around 10:30 a.m. just north of Porterville. 

Investigators say the plane was participating in the All Red Star event at the city airport.

Action News was there Friday when the plane was on display. 

Investigators say the pilot experienced mechanical trouble and was forced to make an emergency landing.

A passenger inside the plane suffered minor injuries.

The hard landing comes just two days after a 75-year-old man from Phoenix was killed when his plane crashed while planning to attend the same event.

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