Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cessna 172C Skyhawk, N1827Y: Accident occurred October 19, 2016 near George T. Lewis Airport (KCDK), Cedar Key, Levy County, Florida

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

Analysis

Two witnesses reported that, during the first takeoff attempt, the accident airplane's engine was "sputtering," and the pilot aborted the takeoff about halfway down the 2,355-ft-long runway. The noncertificated pilot reported that, during the accident takeoff, the airplane would not climb out of ground effect. (The witnesses stated that the engine sounded normal.) When the airplane reached about 100 ft above ground level, the pilot attempted to return to the airport; however, the airplane descended and impacted shallow water about 600 ft short of the runway. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed damage consistent with a

Review of weight and balance data and loading information revealed that the airplane's gross weight at the time of the accident was about 50 lbs over its maximum allowable gross weight and that the center of gravity was at or beyond the forward limit. The pilot's loading of the airplane placed it outside of its operating envelope, which likely significantly degraded its performance.

Postaccident examination of the engine found one exhaust valve stuck in the "open" position. If the valve had been stuck during all or a portion of either takeoff, the airplane's acceleration and climb performance would have been significantly degraded.

It is likely that the airplane was unable to attain a positive climb rate due to a combination of the stuck exhaust valve and the pilot's operation of the airplane over its weight limit. It is also likely that, while attempting to return to the airport instead of landing straight ahead, the pilot failed to maintain adequate airspeed and exceeded the airplane's critical angle of attack, which led to an aerodynamic stall.

Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A partial loss of engine power due to a stuck exhaust valve and the noncertificated pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in the airplane being overloaded, both of which led to the airplane's inability to attain a positive climb rate. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision to attempt to return to the airport at low altitude and his subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack, which led to an aerodynamic stall. 

Findings

Aircraft
Recip eng cyl section - Malfunction (Cause)
Climb rate - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Maximum weight - Capability exceeded (Cause)
Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Factor)
Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Factor)

Personnel issues
Weight/balance calculations - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Factor)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Factor)
Qualification/certification - Pilot

Environmental issues
Water - Contributed to outcome
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1827Y

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Cedar Key, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N1827Y
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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 October 19, 2016, about 0725 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172C, N1827Y, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during an attempt to return to the airport immediately after takeoff from George T. Lewis Airport (CDK), Cedar Key, Florida. The pilot was not injured and the two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The airplane was privately owned, and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, during takeoff from runway 05, the airplane "wasn't climbing" as he attempted to climb "out of ground effect." At an altitude about 100 feet above ground level, the pilot attempted to return to the airport and land on runway 23. The airplane then descended and impacted a swamp about 600 feet short of the runway. The pilot indicated that the engine sounded normal, and there were no issues with the airplane other than the climb performance.

Two witnesses reported that the pilot had aborted a previous takeoff immediately prior to the accident takeoff. They reported that the airplane's engine was "sputtering" as it accelerated. When it was approximately halfway down the runway, the pilot aborted the takeoff, then turned around and performed the accident takeoff. They indicated that the accident takeoff roll was unremarkable.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot's certificate status was "revoked", effective July 2005. He had held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held private pilot certificate with privileges for airplane single engine sea. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in January 2009, at which time he reported a total of 1,800 flight hours of flight experience.

The four-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 1962, and was equipped with a Continental O-300D, 145-horsepower reciprocating engine. According to the pilot, its most recent annual inspection was completed on October 3, 2015, at 5,013 total aircraft hours, and 1,031 hours since engine overhaul. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not recovered.

CDK was located at an elevation of 11 feet mean sea level, and was surrounded by water. The airport was equipped with one asphalt runway, oriented 05/23, which measured 2,355 feet long by 100 feet wide.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that it came to rest upright and partially submerged in shallow water. The outboard 3 feet of both wingtips were crushed aft and bent upwards. Both ailerons were damaged. The fuselage was buckled on the right side in the area of the cabin door, and the firewall was damaged. The airplane was further damaged during the recovery operation due to being submerged in water. The engine's crankshaft was rotated by hand via the propeller, and compression was confirmed on all cylinders with the exception of the No. 4 cylinder. Valve action was observed on all rocker arms; however, the exhaust valve on the No. 4 cylinder was found stuck in the open position. The top spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact, and slightly corroded with surface rust consistent with water immersion.

The pilot reported that the fuel tanks were nearly full, as the airplane had flown one flight leg (about 20 minutes long) since the last full fueling. The airplane was equipped with an 18-gallon auxiliary fuel tank that was installed in the baggage compartment, which was also full. According to first responders, there was an estimated 25 pounds of baggage found in the unoccupied rear seat.

According to the owner's manual, the maximum allowable gross weight for the airplane was 2,250 pounds. The airplane's weight at the time of the accident was estimated to be 2,307 pounds based on the available weight and balance data for the airplane, fuel records, and self-reported occupant weights. The center of gravity was estimated to be 90.6 pound-inches, which was slightly forward of the maximum gross weight forward limit of 91.

Takeoff performance data found in the airplane owner's manual indicated that a maximum gross weight takeoff at sea level and 59 degrees F would require a ground roll of 825 feet, with a distance of 1430 feet require to clear an obstacle 50 feet tall.


Crystal River Airport, Crystal River Florida, was located about 30 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, at an elevation of 9 feet. At 0715 the reported weather included wind calm, temperature 17 degrees C (62 F), dew point 17 degrees C (62 F), and an altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Cedar Key, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N1827Y
Injuries: 2 Minor, 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 October 19, 2016, about 0725 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172C, N1827Y, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain, during an attempt to return to the airport immediately after takeoff, in Cedar Key, Florida. The pilot was not injured, the two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was privately owned, and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight departed the George T. Lewis Airport (CDK), Cedar Key, Florida.

According to the pilot, during takeoff from runway 05, the airplane "wasn't climbing" as he attempted to climb "out of ground effect." At an altitude of about 100 feet above ground level, he attempted to turn around and land on runway 23. The airplane then descended and impacted a swamp about 600 feet short of the runway. The pilot indicated that the engine sounded normal, and there were no issues with the airplane other than the climb performance.

The pilot reported that the fuel tanks were nearly full, as the airplane flew one flight leg (about 20 minutes long) since the last full fueling. The airplane was equipped with an 18-gallon auxiliary fuel tank that was installed in the baggage compartment, which was also full. According to first responders, there was an estimated 25 pounds of baggage found in the unoccupied rear seat.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot's certificate status was "revoked." He had held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held private pilot certificate privileges for airplane single engine sea. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued in January 2009, at which time he reported a total of 1,800 flight hours of experience.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest upright and partially submerged in shallow water. The outboard 3 feet of both wingtips were crushed aft and bent upwards. Both ailerons were damaged. The fuselage was buckled on the right side in the area of the cabin door, and the firewall was damaged. The airplane was further damaged during the recovery operation due to being submerged in water. The engine was rotated by hand via the propeller, and compression was confirmed on all cylinders with the exception of No. 4. Valve action was observed on all rocker arms, however the exhaust valve on the No. 4 cylinder was found stuck in the open position. The top spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact, and slightly corroded with surface rust consistent with water immersion.

No comments: