Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Grumman-Schweizer G-164C, N6674K: Accidents occurred April 29, 2018 and May 26, 2017 in Maxwell, Colusa 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; Sacramento, California

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N6674K

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Maxwell, CA
Accident Number: WPR18LA128
Date & Time: 04/29/2018, 1530 PDT
Registration: N6674K
Aircraft: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER G 164C
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 29, 2018, about 1530 Pacific daylight time, a Grumman ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER G-164C/C, tail-equipped, turbine-powered agricultural airplane, N6674K, was substantially damaged following a forced landing due to a loss of engine power near Maxwell, California. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned by Richter Aviation, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The airplane departed Richter Airport (12CN), Maxwell, California, about 5 minutes prior to the accident.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the intent of the flight was to determine if the left side entry door would stay shut after maintenance had been performed on the door; it had opened in the air on previous flights that day. The pilot stated that about 5 minutes into the flight at an altitude of about 200 ft above ground level and in close proximity to the airport, the engine surged three times, which was followed by what he believed was a total engine failure. Unable to return and land at the departure airport due to his low altitude, the pilot made a forced landing to a plowed field about 200 yards west of the south end of the airport. The airplane was substantially damaged when it nosed over during the landing roll. It was subsequently recovered to a secured salvage facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER
Registration: N6674K
Model/Series: G 164C C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MYV, 64 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 27 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Maxwell, CA (12CN)
Destination:  Maxwell, CA (12CN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.264722, -122.119167

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

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


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


Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Maxwell, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA305
Date & Time: 05/26/2017, 1315 PDT
Registration: N6674K
Aircraft: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER G-164
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Analysis 

The pilot reported that, a few minutes after takeoff for an agricultural application flight, while maneuvering to a field he intended to spray, the engine lost power and that he then attempted to land on a dirt road. He added that the airplane bounced on touchdown and "went off the road and struck a ditch." He further added that when the engine lost power, the fuel gauge indicated about half full. Postaccident, the pilot reported that the fuel gauge was "stuck in the middle," that he did not visually check the fuel quantity before flight, and that he had exhausted the fuel supply.

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The Federal Aviation Administration Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge stated, in part:

Fuel Gauges

The fuel quantity gauges indicate the amount of fuel measured by a sensing unit in each fuel tank and is displayed in gallons or pounds. Aircraft certification rules require accuracy in fuel gauges only when they read "empty." Any reading other than "empty" should be verified. Do not depend solely on the accuracy of the fuel quantity gauges. Always visually check the fuel level in each tank during the preflight inspection, and then compare it with the corresponding fuel quantity indication. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to visually check the fuel quantity during the preflight inspection and ensure that sufficient fuel was onboard for the flight, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)
Fuel - Inadequate inspection (Cause)
Fuel indication system - Malfunction

Personnel issues
Preflight inspection - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft inspection event

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)

Landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Waiver Time Limited Special
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/14/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/29/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 7170.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3485 hours (Total, this make and model), 7116.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 205 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 205 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRUMMAN ACFT ENG COR-SCHWEIZER
Registration: N6674K
Model/Series: G-164 C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 16C
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/07/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 10113.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Honeywell (Garrett)
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: TPE-331-6-5AM
Registered Owner: RICHTER AVIATION INC
Rated Power: 1000 hp
Operator: RICHTER AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Agricultural Aircraft (137) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: NONE
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Develan, CA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Develan, CA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1310 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 39.286111, -122.185000 (est)

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