Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Piper PA-28R-200, N55612, Father & Daughter Aviation LLC: Accident occurred July 12, 2017 near Pembroke Pines, Broward County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:
Father & Daughter Aviation LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA266
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in Pembroke Pines, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N55612
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 July 12, 2017, about 1146 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N55612, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on a levy near Pembroke Pines, Florida. The flight instructor and pilot-rated student were not injured. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated about 1112 from North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida.

The flight instructor stated that about 30 minutes into the flight while performing a pre-maneuver checklist, the fuel selector was switched from the right to left tank position. Shortly afterwards the engine began to run rough accompanied by a loss of engine power. The fuel selector was then changed back to the original position which restored engine power. The flight instructor elected to return to HWO, and about 2 minutes after switching to the right tank, the engine lost power again, and could not be restored. He maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing on a nearby levy.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the accident site, two distinct marks were noted on the sloped portion off the right side of the levy. Farther along the direction of travel, a continuous mark from the left main landing gear was noted on the sloped portion off the left side of the levy. The airplane came to rest on the top of the levy with the right main landing gear collapsed, and no damage to the propeller. Although there was fuel leakage from the right fuel tank due to puncture, an adequate supply of uncontaminated fuel remained in each fuel tank. The engine was started at the site and operated to full power for a short duration with the fuel selector positioned to the left and right position. Safety concerns prevented prolonged engine runs while at the accident site. The fuel selector was retained for further examination.

Two men survived without injuries Wednesday after their Piper single-engine plane made an emergency landing in the Everglades at the edge of western Broward County, authorities said.

The fallen plane prompted rescue helicopters from two counties and the U.S. Coast Guard to help.

First on the scene, about six miles southwest of Interstate 75, was the Coast Guard’s orange MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The crew — pilots Lt. Drake Thornton, Lt. Mark Amendolara, flight mechanic L.A. Walker and rescue swimmer Ian Jobs -- were in the middle of patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, looking for migrants or drug smugglers off Miami, when they got the call.

After flying northwest at 130 mph, they were above the sawgrass and the fixed-wing aircraft in about 15 minutes.

“Two crew members were out of the aircraft, and appeared to be making phone calls,” Thornton said of the men. “We landed on the levee a little bit away from them and sent our rescue swimmer to confirm that nobody was injured.”

Amendolara said the levee travels in a north-south direction and the plane was pointed south. Its left wheel appeared damaged.

The crew offered the two men a lift to U.S. Coast Guard Station Miami at Opa Locka Executive Airport, but they wanted to stay with the plane, Thornton said.

“We were happy they were calm and everything was OK,” Amendolara said.

The Coast Guard was soon joined by helicopters from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, whose crews checked things out and, not being needed, departed.

It was ultimately determined that the crash happened in Broward County, about a mile west of Everglades Holiday Park which extends west from the end of Griffin Road, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating and said the crash happened about 11:30 a.m.

The Piper is based at North Perry Airport in Hollywood, said Allan Siegel of Broward County Aviation, which manages that air field.

“The tower chief received a mayday transmittal from the aircraft and it ditched west of U.S. 27, about 14 miles west of the airport,” Siegel said.

The plane is registered to a corporation called Father & Daughter Aviation LLC which has an address in an apartment building in the 19300 block of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. It was not known how it would be towed out of the Everglades.

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