Friday, September 15, 2017

Beech C23, N2120W, operated by Maine Instrument Flight: Accident occurred September 14, 2017 at Machias Valley Airport (KMVM), Washington County, Maine

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

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Maine Instrument Flight:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 14, 2017 in Machias, ME
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N2120W
Injuries: 1 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 September 14, 2017, about 1130 eastern daylight time, a Beech C23, N2120W, operated by Maine Instrument Flight, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power while on approach to Machias Valley Airport (MVM), Machias, Maine. The private pilot was not injured. The instructional 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 flight that departed Augusta State Airport (AUG), Augusta, Maine, about 1015.

The pilot was accruing cross-country flight experience for his commercial license. The pilot reported that he and his flight instructor reviewed his flight planning for a three-leg cross-country flight and he departed with full fuel. During the first leg, about 10 miles from MVM, the pilot descended the airplane to the airport traffic pattern altitude. While in the traffic pattern, as the airplane was turning on to a left base leg for the runway, the engine began to run rough. The pilot verified that the mixture was full rich and the fuel boost pump was on. He also applied carburetor heat, but the engine lost all power about 15 to 20 seconds later.

The pilot then turned the airplane directly toward the runway, which resulted in a 45° angle to the runway threshold. The pilot realized that the airplane was not going to glide all the way to the runway threshold and prepared to land in a grass area just prior to the runway. During the landing, the landing gears sank into soft ground and the nosewheel touched down hard, which collapsed the nosegear. The airplane spun 180° and came to rest upright in the grass area.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed damage to the right wing spar. The inspector noted that 20 gallons of fuel per wing were removed from the airplane. The magnetos, fuel boost pump and engine driven fuel pump tested satisfactorily. The carburetor was intact and its screens were absent of debris. The fuel bowl was also absent of debris. The inspector rotated the propeller by hand and noted camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity to the rear accessory section of the engine. The engine was retained for a possible test run.

Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB), Bar Harbor, Maine was located about 40 miles west of the accident site. The recorded weather at BHB, at 1156, was: wind from 180° at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 24° C; dew point 17° C; altimeter 29.83 inches of mercury.

A 1973 Beechcraft Sundowner C23 lost power during its approach to the Machias Valley Municipal Airport on Thursday, Sept. 14.

The Machias Fire Department was called to the scene of the ensuing crash, which did not injure the pilot. 

There were no passengers.

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