Thursday, November 02, 2017

Vans RV-6, N88MV: Accident occurred October 30, 2017 near Selma Airport (0Q4), Fresno County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR18LA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 30, 2017 in Selma, CA
Aircraft: METCALFE ROBERT B VANS RV 6, registration: N88MV
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 October 30, 2017, about 1416 Pacific daylight time, a Vans Aircraft experimental, amateur built RV-6, N88MV, was substantially damaged during a forced off-airport landing near Selma, California. The private pilot/owner was uninjured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, he departed Fresno Chandler Executive Airport (FCH), Fresno, California for a local flight. He proceeded west to climb above the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT), Fresno, California and verified his transponder operation with Fresno Approach. He then headed towards the west/southwest. About 15 to 20 minutes later, the pilot began a descent to get below the FAT Class C airspace, and return to FCH. At about 4,000 ft, the pilot noticed that the airplane batteries, located in the cockpit near his right foot, were getting hot. The pilot switched the engine monitor display to check the electrical system values, and saw that the indicated voltage was 15.5 volts, and that the indicated current was just above 30 amperes. At that point, the engine suddenly lost all power, but continued to windmill.

The pilot made some abbreviated and unsuccessful attempts to restore power, but then turned his attention to landing the airplane. He determined that the nearest airport was Selma Airport (0Q4), Selma, California which was about 10 miles away, and he began a gliding descent towards that airport. He communicated his situation and plans to a Fresno Approach controller. When the airplane altitude was about 1,000 ft, the pilot determined that he would not be able to reach 0Q4, and selected a road as his intended off-airport landing site. At that time, the only traffic on that road was an oncoming truck, but as the pilot continued the descent, he became uncertain whether the airplane would have sufficient altitude to clear the truck. The pilot then offset his flight path to the side of the road, in order to ensure that he would clear the truck. The truck passed the airplane, and the pilot then turned left and underflew some powerlines in an attempt to line up with, and land on, the road. That effort was unsuccessful, and the airplane touched down in a vineyard on the other side of the road. The aircraft flipped over about its nose, and came to rest inverted. The pilot escaped the airplane by breaking the canopy. Although there was fuel leaking from the airplane, there was no fire. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors examined the airplane at the site. The airplane was recovered and transported to a secure facility for further examination.

According to FAA records, the airplane was constructed in 2000 by another individual, and that individual sold it to the accident pilot in February 2013. At the time of the pilot's purchase, the airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine, and a Hartzell 2-blade constant speed propeller. According to the pilot, the airplane and engine had each accumulated a total time (TT) in service of 1,422 hours, and the engine had never been overhauled

The pilot reported that about 5 weeks before the accident, he mostly completed installation of new, EFII-brand fully electronic ignition and fuel injection systems. He also installed two EARTHX-brand lithium-ion batteries as part of the modifications. Subsequent to that, the pilot ran the engine and systems multiple times in order to configure and test the new installations. Prior to the accident flight, he had put about 1.5 to 2 hours of ground run time on the engine, and had conducted two uneventful test flights of about 30 minutes each. In particular, the pilot noted that during those ground and flight runs, the system voltage was about 14 volts, and the system current was about 7 amperes. The accident flight was the third flight with the new systems, and the engine power failure occurred about 25 minutes into that flight.

The pilot held commercial, airline transport, and flight instructor certificates, and airplane single- and multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He reported a total flight experience of 2,700 hours, including 300 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was completed October 2017, and his most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was also issued in October 2017.

The 1415 automated weather observation at FCH, located about 10 miles north of the accident location, included calm winds, visibility 9 miles, clear skies, temperature 23 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.77 inches of mercury.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a single-engine plane crash in a vineyard south of Fresno. 

The pilot told investigators his engine lost power four thousand feet in the air and he was attempting to glide to Selma airport. 

The plane eventually crash landed near Floral and Cedar Avenue. 

The pilot was the only one onboard and escaped with just scratches on his arm. 

Deputies say he is lucky to be alive.

Cal-Fire is checking out a fuel leak -- the Highway Patrol and Emergency Medical Services are also on scene.

Story and video:

No comments:

Post a Comment