Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cessna 207, registered to and operated by Waters Aero Marine Inc, operator does business as Penobscot Island Air, N207GM: Accident occurred June 26, 2017 at Vinalhaven Airport (ME55), Knox County, Maine

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

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

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


Location: Vinalhaven, ME
Accident Number: ERA17CA213
Date & Time: 06/26/2017, 0741 EDT
Registration: N207GM
Aircraft: CESSNA 207
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing area overshoot
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled

The pilot reported that the approach appeared normal, but during the landing on the 1,500 ft gravel strip, the airplane firmly struck the runway and bounced. He added that the bounce was high, and the remaining runway was too short to correct the landing with power. The pilot elected to go-around, applying full power and 20° of flaps for the balked landing procedure. During the climb, the airplane drifted to the left towards the 50 ft trees about 150 ft from the departure end of runway 24. Unable to climb over the trees, the airplane struck the tree canopy; the nose dropped and the pilot instinctively reduced power as the airplane descended through the trees and impacted terrain. The wings and fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/05/2016
Flight Time:  15438 hours (Total, all aircraft), 356 hours (Total, this make and model), 10655 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 32 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 23 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N207GM
Model/Series: 207 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 20700217
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/23/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 12458 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-LCF
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Penobscot Island Air
Operator Designator Code: O59

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RKD, 55 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1156 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 75°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ROCKLAND, ME (RKD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Vinalhaven, ME (ME55)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0730 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: VINALHAVEN (ME55)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 72 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1510 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  44.070556, -68.821667 (est)

Today June 26, at approximately 7:41 a.m., Knox County Sheriff Deputies Robert Potter and Paul Simonetti responded to the airstrip on Vinalhaven for an airplane crash. 

More than 15 volunteer Vinalhaven firefighters, with three fire engines, and four EMTs responded immediately to the scene. 

A family nurse practitioner and a physician’s assistant also responded, when they heard the call.

A small mail plane belonging to Penobscot Air crashed at the end of the 1,500-foot runway into trees. 

The aircraft was a Cessna 207, a single-engine plane, with fixed landing gear.

Pilot Ted Westlake was alert and conscious, but with apparent injuries, according to Sheriff Donna Dennison. There were no passengers with him.

“He was up and walking,” she said in a news release. “He could not remember what happened and was flown to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.”

Penobscot Island Air immediately dispatched another plane to the island to transport Westlake when personnel heard of the crash.

According to Vinalhaven’s public information officer, Jeff Aronson, the weather conditions on Vinalhaven this morning included a light breeze under clear skies. The temperature as about 70 degrees F.

The Vinalhaven air strip, which runs northeast to southwest, is town-owned, and closed but for the use of Penobscot Air, whose headquarters are at Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head. Westlake was approaching the airstrip from the southwest.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified, per regulation.

At 1:15 p.m., a spokesman for Penobscot Air said Westlake was “doing fine.”

Westlake had been delivering mail to Vinalhaven when the crash occurred. 

“It was a routine morning mail delivery,” said Aronson.

A regular crew was waiting for his arrival to take the mail and distribute it around the island. When the crash occurred, the firefighters and EMTs were on scene immediately, said Aronson.

Westlake extracted himself from the wreckage and began walking away from the plane, as rescuers hurried down the strip to help him.

“He knew enough of what to do,” said Aronson.

Incident commander was Jessica Martin, who assumed control of the scene. Vinalhaven’s Fire Chief Marc Candage was on the mainland this morning, and per protocol, had assigned command already to Martin before he left for the day.

Vinalhaven firefighters and EMTs worked seamlessly, and their quick and efficient response reflected their commitment to constant and consistent training.

Penobscot Island Air is the region’s charter service and runs regularly to the islands, maintaining vital services and making deliveries. It also assists in transporting injured and ill patients from Vinalhaven, when needed.


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