Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mooney M20C Ranger, N6833N, Mooney 6833 November Corp: Accident occurred August 20, 2017 near Flagler Executive Airport (KFIN), Palm Coast, 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; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Mooney 6833 November Corp:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA284
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 20, 2017 in Palm Coast, FL
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N6833N
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 August 20, 2017, about 2055 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N6833N, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Flagler Executive Airport (FIN), Palm Coast, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The airplane was owned and operated by the Mooney 6833 November Corp. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he and the passenger were flying back to FXE from a flight earlier in the day to St Marys Airport (4J6), St Marys, Georgia. They stopped at FIN for fuel. During the subsequent takeoff, the pilot noticed that the engine did not seem to be producing full power. During the initial climb, he felt the engine continue to lose power and about 400 ft above ground level, the engine lost total power. He told the local air traffic controller that the engine lost all power and was going to land on a road. During touch down, he noticed flames coming into the cockpit around the passenger's feet. He stopped the airplane and both occupants egressed as quickly as possible. The pilot further stated he did not turn off the master switch or boost pump, nor could he get back in the airplane to turn it off as the flames were too intense at that time.

Examination of the wreckage at a salvage yard revealed that the cabin section was consumed by fire. The engine compartment was black from soot but intact. The wings, tail section, and landing gear were intact.

The four-seat, low-wing airplane, was manufactured in 1968. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360 series, 180-horsepower engine, driving a Hartzell two-blade, constant-speed propeller.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Despite the fiery scene, no one was injured Sunday night when a single-engine plane went down on the S.R. 100 bridge in Flagler Beach.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at 8:03 p.m. Jacksonville Region Communication Center received a call in regard to a plane crash on State Road 100, east of County Road 201 in Flagler Beach.

At 8:06 p.m., a trooper was dispatched to respond to the plane crash, according to the FHP report. Upon arrival on scene at 8:27 p.m., the trooper found the aircraft located in the left travel lane, eastbound on State Road 100 east of County Road 201.

The report stated that the pilot, Stevan Locki, 35, of Fort Lauderdale, and his passenger, Brandi Lee Bishop, 34, of Miami, were examined by medical personnel but sustained no injuries.

The aircraft was identified as a 1968 Mooney M20C with a Lycoming engine.

According to the report, Locki stated that after refueling at Flagler Airport, the aircraft begun to lose all power as its engine and all electronics on board failed in mid-flight. He stated that he had no choice but to land the aircraft on the roadway as traffic was clear prior to landing.

Flagler Beach Police, Flagler Beach Fire Department, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the Flagler County Fire Department all assisted during this incident, which closed traffic in both directions. An FAA representative was contacted on scene by the Flagler Beach Police Department.

Upon clearing the scene, the aircraft was removed by Flagler Air Exchange and transported to its facility for further processing/investigation, according to the FHP report.

The FAA and NTSB will be conducting a separate investigation.

Brianne Lehan witnessed the incident.

“I saw it coming down as I was driving. It was really low and I looked up and one engine was on fire,” Lehan said. “The couple and their dog got out completely unscathed and even declined being looked at. Incredible and so glad they were OK.”

Flagler Beach Fire Department crews responded to the incident, which closed traffic in both directions.

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A single-engine plane executed an emergency landing on the Flagler Beach bridge at 7:50 this evening. The plane either was on fire or caught fire after it landed. Two people aboard escaped injuries.

The occupants were pilot Stevan Locki, 35, of Fort Lauderdale (that was the spelling of the name authorities provided) and Brandi Lee Bishop, 34, of Miami.
A small dog was also among the occupants, in its own kennel. The dog was also uninjured.

“As they were climbing out is when the fire was coming into the cockpit,” Lt. Dusty Snyder of the Flagler Beach Fire Department said. Snyder was in command of the fire scene, which he suppressed with firefighters Alan Forehand and Jimmy Conroy, one of the newest department recruits. Flagler County’s Engine 92 assisted, particularly with water (there are no hydrants on the bridge), and Rescue 11 stood by, but was not needed.

The occupants “self-extricated,” Snyder said.

Flagler County Fire Rescue Capt. Jamie Burnsed took the pilot and the passenger to safety at the eastern foot of the bridge. Their names are not yet released.

The plane landed on the eastbound lanes of the bridge, toward the mainland, and ended up facing southeast when it came to a final rest.

The plane is a single-engine Mooney with retractable gear. It had flown from Georgia to Flagler’s airport. Problems developed son after it took off from Flagler again.

It is not yet clear why specifically the plane was forced to make an emergency landing. Traffic was not impeded. “They smelled smoke and that’s what prompted the landing,” Sgt. David Acieri of the Flagler Beach police said.

“There’s no injuries, everyone is fine, FHP is going to do the actual investigation,” Acieri said, referring to the Florida Highway Patrol.

An FHP investigator reported overnight: “During my interview with Mr. Locki, he stated that after refueling at Flagler Airport, the aircraft begun to lose all power as his engine and all electronics on board failed while in mid flight. The pilot stated that he had no choice but to land the aircraft on the roadway as traffic was clear prior to landing.”

The plane at one point was engulfed in flames, after it was on the ground. “When I came up I just saw the flames, they were putting it out,” said Flagler County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kim Davis, referring to the Flagler Beach Fire Department, which handled the fire swiftly.

“The cockpit itself was fully engulfed,” Snyder said.

Neither occupant of the plane had to be transported to a hospital. A man and a woman were the plane’s occupants.

“There was a good knockdown on the fire,” Flagler Beach Fire Chief Bobby Pace said, “One of the bigger concerns was fuel went down into the drain, which the guys are flushing out with foam.”

Gregg Shugg, a Flagler Beach pilot who specializes in gliders, was near the scene of the forced landing, observing the circumstances. He said the pilot “did an amazing job” bringing the plane down, likely with traffic, going westbound. “Given the choice, that’s the only choice I’d have taken.” He said the pilot would have to calculate a landing between light poles, the bridge’s concrete median, electric wires, and of course traffic.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take possession of the plane Monday morning and conduct a crash investigation, which usually takes months, with a preliminary report released first, then a final report.

The Federal Aviation Administration release the following statement: “A Mooney M20C made an emergency landing on State Road 100 in Palm Coast, FL tonight at 7:55 pm. The pilot reported engine problems. The aircraft departed the Flagler Executive Airport, Palm Coast FL and was going to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale.”

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