Friday, May 5, 2017

Cessna 150L, N6622G; Fatal accident occurred June 27, 2016 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan and accident occurred February 12, 2011 in Trenton, Michigan




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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan 

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

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

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

Registered to Drake Aerial Enterprises LLC, and operated by Air America Aerial Ads: http://registry.faa.gov/N6622G

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA236 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2016 in Detroit, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 150L, registration: N6622G
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 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 was conducting a banner-tow flight. He reported that the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power after being airborne for at least 3 hours 9 minutes. He informed the tower controller of his emergency, released the banner, and conducted a forced landing to a nearby street. The airplane collided with a power line during the forced landing. The pilot reported that he had used a higher-than-normal engine power setting to maintain altitude throughout the accident flight.

A postaccident examination of the fuel system established that the left fuel tank was empty, that the right fuel tank contained residual fuel, and that the gascolator contained a few ounces of fuel. A subsequent test run established that there were no anomalies with the engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The operator had a policy that limited all banner-tow flights in the accident airplane to 3 hours or less to avoid fuel exhaustion. The operator also noted that environmental considerations, such as operating at a high-density altitude and/or in windy conditions, could require a higher-than-normal engine power setting and increased fuel consumption. Additionally, the operator told its pilots that banner-tow flights operating in such conditions should be reduced to between 2 hours 30 minutes and 2 hours 45 minutes. The pilot had received a verbal briefing within a month of the accident that covered the operator’s policy regarding the maximum allowable flight duration in the accident airplane while towing banners and acknowledged knowing these procedures.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s disregard of the banner-tow operator's policy regarding the maximum allowable flight duration, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

On June 27, 2016, about 2100 eastern daylight time, a Cessna model 150L single-engine airplane, N6622G, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Detroit, Michigan. The commercial pilot was not injured. An individual on the ground was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Drake Aerial Enterprises, LLC, and operated by Air America Aerial Ads, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the banner-tow flight that departed from Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport (DET), Detroit, Michigan, about 1748.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he initially remained in the airport traffic pattern while he retrieved the banner to be towed. After retrieving the banner he proceeded to orbit the Detroit River until 2053 when he decided to return to the airport. While en route to the airport, about 2057, the engine began to run roughly. The pilot reported that he enriched the fuel mixture and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump following the loss of engine power. The engine ran for a few additional seconds before it experienced a total loss of power. The pilot informed the tower controller of his emergency, released the banner, and completed a forced landing to a nearby street. The airplane collided with a power line during the forced landing. An individual, who had been retrieving items from her parked vehicle, was seriously injured when she came in contact with the severed live power line and subsequently died, on July 6, 2016, while being treated at a local hospital.

The accident airplane was powered by a 180 horsepower Lycoming O-360-A4A engine, serial number RL-20646-36A. The engine had been installed in conformance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) No. SA4795SW. The airplane was also equipped with extended-range fuel tanks, installed in conformance with STC No. SA5733SW, that increased the fuel capacity to 40 gallons (37.2 gallons usable). The pilot reported that the airplane had a full fuel load when it departed on the accident flight.

According to the operator, a typical banner-tow flight in the Cessna 150 had an expected fuel consumption rate of 9.5-10.5 gallons per hour. Additionally, to avoid fuel exhaustion situations, it was company policy that all banner-tow flights in the Cessna 150 be limited to 3 hours or less. However, the operator also noted that environmental considerations, such as operating at a high density altitude and/or in windy conditions, could require a higher-than-normal engine power setting and increased fuel consumption. Further, the operator told their pilots that banner-tow flights should be reduced to between 2 hours 30 minutes and 2 hours 45 minutes in those conditions that required increased fuel consumption. According to the operator, the accident pilot had received a verbal briefing, within a month of the accident, that covered the company's policy regarding the maximum allowable flight duration in the Cessna 150 airplane while towing banners.

According to the pilot's statement, the accident flight was at least 3 hours 9 minutes in duration. Additionally, the pilot reported that a higher-than-normal engine power setting had been used to maintain altitude throughout the accident flight. Further, when interviewed, the pilot acknowledged knowing the company's policy that limited banner-tow flights in the Cessna 150 to 3 hours or less.

A postaccident examination was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector before the wreckage was recovered from the accident site. The FAA examination of the fuel system established that the left fuel tank was empty, the right fuel tank contained residual fuel, and the gascolator contained a few ounces of fuel. A subsequent test run established that there were no anomalies with the engine that would have precluded its normal operation.

Federal regulation 14 CFR Part 91.151 stipulates that no person may begin a flight in an airplane, in day visual meteorological conditions, unless (after considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to reach the intended destination, plus 30 minutes while at a normal cruising speed.

In response to the accident, in order to enhance the safety of future banner-tow operations and to ensure future compliance with regulation 91.151, the operator updated their company policy to limit banner-tow flights in the Cessna 150 airplane to 2 hours 45 minutes or less. Additionally, the operator agreed to install cockpit placards, in each Cessna 150 airplane used for banner-tow operations, which will reinforce the updated company policy limiting banner-tow flights to 2 hour 45 minutes or less. Finally, the operator committed to install fuel flow/totalizers in all of their banner-tow airplanes and provide training on their proper use.







NTSB Identification: CEN16LA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2016 in Detroit, MI
Aircraft: CESSNA 150L, registration: N6622G
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 June 27, 2016, about 2100 eastern daylight time, a Cessna model 150L single-engine airplane, N6622G, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Detroit, Michigan. The commercial pilot was not injured. An individual on the ground sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Drake Aerial Enterprises, LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the banner-tow flight that departed from Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport (DET), Detroit, Michigan, about 1748.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he initially remained in the airport traffic pattern while he retrieved the banner to be towed. After retrieving the banner he proceeded to orbit the Detroit River until 2053 when he decided to return to the airport. While en route to the airport, about 2057, the engine began to run roughly. The pilot reported that he enriched the fuel mixture and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump following the loss of engine power. The engine ran for a few additional seconds before it experienced a total loss of power. The pilot informed the tower controller of his emergency, released the banner, and completed a forced landing to a nearby street. The airplane collided with a power line during the forced landing. An individual, who had been retrieving items from her parked vehicle, was seriously injured when she came in contact with the severed live power line.

The accident airplane was powered by a 180 horsepower Lycoming O-360-A4A engine. The engine had been installed in conformance with Supplemental Type Certificate No. SA4795SW. The airplane was also equipped with extended-range fuel tanks that increased the fuel capacity to 40 gallons (37 gallons usable). The pilot reported that the airplane had a full fuel load when it departed on the accident flight.

According to the operator, a typical banner-tow flight in the Cessna 150 had an expected fuel consumption rate of 9.5-10.5 gallons per hour. Additionally, to avoid fuel exhaustion situations, it was company policy that all banner-tow flights in the Cessna 150 be limited to 2 hours 45 minutes. According to the pilot's statement, the accident flight was at least 3 hours 9 minutes in duration. Further, the pilot reported that a higher-than-normal engine power setting had been used throughout the accident flight.

A postaccident examination was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector before the wreckage was recovered from the accident site. The FAA examination of the fuel system established that the left fuel tank was empty, the right fuel tank contained residual fuel, and the gascolator contained a few ounces of fuel.



NTSB Identification: CEN11LA182
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 12, 2011 in Trenton, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 150L, registration: N6622G
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 pilot had been conducting a banner towing operation for about 55 minutes when he felt a heavy vibration and heard a “loud bang.” The airplane's engine subsequently lost power, and the pilot executed a forced landing. 

During the forced landing, the nose landing gear collapsed when it contacted "heavy snow and unimproved terrain," resulting in substantial damage to the firewall. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that one of the connecting rods had separated from the crankshaft. Metallurgical examination determined that one of the two connecting rod bolts had failed in overstress. The second connecting rod bolt was deformed but otherwise intact; its associated nut had separated from the bolt and was undamaged. The lack of damage to one of the connecting rod nuts in conjunction with the overstress failure of the opposing bolt was consistent with a loss of installation torque on the intact nut. The engine had accumulated 2,836 hours since overhaul. The operator did not supply engine overhaul maintenance records but provided a statement indicating that the installed bolts and nuts were new at the engine cylinder's last maintenance (an engine manufacturer service bulletin instructs that connecting rod bolts and nuts be replaced any time they are removed). However, due to the lack of maintenance records and the number of hours since last overhaul, the investigation could not conclusively attribute the loss of preload torque to the overhaul operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of preload torque on a connecting rod nut and bolt, which precipitated a separation of the connecting rod from the engine's crankshaft and resulted in the total loss of engine power.

On February 12, 2011, about 1150, eastern standard time, a Cessna 150L airplane, N6622G, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Trenton, Michigan, following an in-flight loss of engine power. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant on board the airplane, reported no injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Drake Aerial Enterprises, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a banner towing flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The local flight departed from the Oakland/Troy Airport, near Troy, Michigan, about 1100, and was destined for the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport, near Grosse Ile, Michigan.

The operator's accident report stated that the pilot was flying the airplane with a banner in tow for about 55 minutes when the pilot felt a heavy vibration and heard a loud bang. The airplane "instantly" lost power and the pilot was unable to "keep the engine running." He released the banner over an area away from people and structures and performed a forced landing. During the forced landing the nose landing gear collapsed when it contacted "heavy snow and unimproved terrain." Substantial damage occurred when the collapsed nose landing gear bent the firewall.

The airplane was a 1970 Cessna 150L, serial number 15072122, was an all-metal, high-wing, semimonocoque design airplane. The airplane was powered by a Lycoming O-360-A4A, serial number L-28947-35A, installed under supplemental type certificate SA4795SW. The installation was documented on a major repair and alteration form, dated December 8, 2003. The airplane was maintained under an annual inspection program and the operator reported that the airplane’s most recent annual inspection was conducted on February 7, 2010. The airplane reportedly accumulated 8,201 hours of total time and the engine accumulated 2,836 hours since overhaul

A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the no. four connecting rod had separated from its crankshaft. One of the two corresponding connecting rod bolts was deformed. However, the associated nut had separated from the bolt and appeared undamaged. The second connecting rod bolt was fractured near the midpoint of the shank. Metallurgical examination of the fracture surface revealed features consistent with overstress separation.

The Lycoming Service Bulletin No. 240W, Mandatory Parts Replacement at Overhaul and During Repair or Maintenance, in part, stated:

AT OVERHAUL OR UPON REMOVAL: ... Any time the following parts are removed from any Lycoming reciprocating engine, it is mandatory that the following parts be replaced regardless of their apparent condition: ... Stressed bolts and fasteners, such as: ... Connecting rod bolts and nuts

The operator indicated that the installed connecting rod bolts and nuts were new when the last maintenance was performed on this cylinder.

1 comment:

Jim B said...


Cutting corners on maintenance and ignoring instructions.

Killed some poor lady on the ground.

Pull their business license before they hurt anyone else.