Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cessna 177B Cardinal, N30923, Mei-Chu Corporation: Accident occurred August 08, 2016 in McDonough, New York

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

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

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

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA286
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 08, 2016 in McDonough, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 177, registration: N30923
Injuries: 4 Minor.

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 8, 2016, about 1535 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N30923, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering near McDonough, New York. The private pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Sidney Airport (N23), Sidney, New York and was destined for Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During an interview, the pilot stated that prior to the accident flight, he filled the airplane's fuel tanks, for a total fuel load of 50 gallons. The purpose of the flight was to fly back to HWV, where the airplane was based, and give the three passengers an opportunity to view and photograph a local landmark on-the-way. After making two passes over the landmark, the passengers asked the pilot to flyover again, but at a slower speed. The pilot then fully deployed the flaps in preparation for the next flyover. During the flyover, the pilot noted that the airplane was slow, and had descended to a height near the tops of the trees. He added full power and fully retracted the flaps. The airplane did not appear to be climbing, and in "a wink of an eye the nose dropped." The pilot was then looking straight down at the ground. The pilot's next recollection was that the airplane was on the ground. He and his passengers subsequently egressed before the airplane was consumed by a postimpact fire.

During separate statements to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, first responders and an NTSB investigator, the pilot did not report any mechanical functions during the accident flight. In a subsequent written statement he reported that the engine experienced a total power loss prior to the impact.

One of the passengers reported that he and the other two passengers were taking pictures of the landmark when he noticed the airplane descending and then hitting a tree. He did not remember hearing anything strange before the accident. Another witness that was standing on the north side of the landmark, saw the airplane fly overhead three times. During the third flyover, the airplane was flying north very low near the tree tops. He then heard the breaking of branches and a loud bang. He stated he ask someone to call 911 while he tried to help the passengers out of the airplane. Shortly after they all were out of the airplane, it erupted in flames.

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane was destroyed by fire. The engine was intact, but exhibited extensive thermal damage. All other components were unrecognizable.

The weather conditions reported at Greater Binghamton Airport, Binghamton, New York, located 16 nautical miles south of the accident site, at 1553, were clear sky, wind calm, and visibility 10 statute miles.

The pilot held a private certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He also held a third-class medical certificate, issued on June 24, 2016. His last flight review was completed on June 27, 2015. At the time of the accident, the pilot reported 378 total hours of flight experience, with 100 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

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