Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stinson 108-2, N9366K: Accident occurred May 16, 2017 near Eagles Nest Airport (31E), West Creek, Eagleswood Township, Ocean County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA182 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in West Creek, NJ
Aircraft: STINSON 108, registration: N9366K
Injuries: 1 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 May 16, 2017, about 2030 eastern standard time, a Stinson 108-2, N9366K, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near West Creek, New Jersey. The private pilot received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was privately registered to and operated. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The flight originated from Eagles Nest Airport (31E), West Creek, New Jersey, around 2020, and was destined for Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), Frederick, Maryland.

According to the pilot, he departed earlier that morning from FDK, flew to Sanford, Maine, and was returning to FDK, with several scheduled fuel stops. Throughout the day, he landed at seven airports, and reported no anomalies with the airplane. Before he departed 31E for the final leg of the flight back to FDK, he topped the airplane off with 26 gallons of fuel. After departure, the pilot flew toward the coast of New Jersey, and about 2,000 ft mean sea level, the engine began to "shake." He immediately turned the airplane back toward 31E, and soon after the engine lost all power. Smoke filled the cockpit and the pilot noticed an "orange glow" under the floor boards near the firewall. The pilot initiated an emergency descent, turned the fuel selector to the off position, and noted that the "orange glow" stopped. The pilot attempted to return to 31E, however, the airplane struck trees and terrain about 1 mile from to the approach end of the runway.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that it came to rest in a near vertical attitude. Both wings exhibited leading edge crush damage and the empennage was bent toward the right. The engine remained attached to the airframe. Examination of the engine revealed a breach in the top section of the crankcase.

The engine was retained for further examination.

To the Editor: 

On May 16 at about 8:30 p.m. a transient aircraft departed Eagles Nest Airport. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot turned back to Eagles Nest and prepared to make an emergency landing. With insufficient altitude, his glide required an off-airport landing and he landed on Laurel Lane. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

I want to commend the immediate and professional response of the Eagleswood Volunteer Fire Co., Eagleswood Mayor Michael Pasternak and the State Police. I also want to acknowledge the community response and the assistance of the residents living on Laurel Lane and the surrounding streets.

John Pallante, James Girgenti Sr. and Nick Caricato, pilots who maintain aircraft at Eagles Nest, responded on my behalf in accordance with our emergency response plan. Their professional assistance on the scene was most helpful and appreciated by the State Police and me. I was in telephone contact throughout the evening with my team, the mayor and the State Police.

This was an unfortunate accident. I continue to monitor and improve safety and enforce rules and regulations at Eagles Nest and will work with the community and town leadership to maintain safety.

Peter Weidhorn, manager

Eagles Nest Airport

Eagleswood, New Jersey 

Original article can be found here:

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