Friday, December 1, 2017

Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman, N63555, Palm Springs Air Museum Inc: Accident occurred March 02, 2016 at Palm Springs International Airport (KPSP), Riverside 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; Riverside, California

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

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

Palm Springs Air Museum Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N63555


Location: Palm Springs, CA
Accident Number: WPR16LA078
Date & Time: 03/02/2016, 1300 PST
Registration: N63555
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17)
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On March 2, 2016, about 1300 Pacific standard time, a Boeing A75N1 (PT17), N63555, touched down hard during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during the initial climb at Palm Springs International Airport, Palm Springs, California. The airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Palm Springs Air Museum Inc. was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local sightseeing flight was originating at the time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that the engine lost power passing through 400 ft after takeoff from runway 31L. He saw houses and other obstacles straight ahead and decided to turn around to land on runway 13R. The airplane landed hard on the runway centerline but came to rest aligned about 30° left of the runway heading.

During the initial examination, the forward end of the fuselage sustained crush damage around the front cockpit. The throttle lever in the cockpit would not move due to the damage; all linkages were connected from the cockpit to the carburetor. The mixture lever in the cockpit would not move due to the damage; all linkages were connected from the cockpit to the carburetor. Examination of the wreckage established flight control continuity for all flight controls. Portions of the bottom cylinders, numbers four and five, fractured and separated. A clear blue fluid, consistent with the smell of Avgas, was drained from the gascolator, and a water paste test had no reaction indicating that water contamination was not present. All fittings that could be reached were tight. A black fluid consistent with motor oil was evident on the dipstick. There was no external evidence of catastrophic mechanical malfunction.

A follow-up examination revealed that the exhaust tube coloration was light brown in color.

The air filter was clean. There was no discoloration in the intake tube at the filter.

The crankshaft was rotated using the propeller; there were no metallic sounds or binding. All valves except for the damaged bottom two cylinders moved approximately the same amount of lift in firing order. The gears in the accessory case turned freely. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders in firing order except for the two damaged bottom cylinders.

The carburetor was removed and disassembled. The floats were metal; the bowl contained no fluid. The accelerator pump operated without resistance. The throttle lever would not move; the housing was crushed; the butterfly valve was almost vertical (fully open). The mixture lever moved freely from stop to stop.

The carburetor heat arm was crushed at the box, and the rod end at the bellcrank fractured and separated along a jagged and angular plane. The fuel line was removed from the gascolator to the carburetor and nothing drained out from the line. The line was connected back to the gascolator and the fuel selector valve was turned on; blue fluid came out of the line. The line was removed again and an obstruction was seen near one end of the line. The firesleeve was removed on the hose. The hose went into the fitting at a slight angle that was not visible with the firesleeve in place. The line was cut close to the obstruction. The inner surface of the hose appeared cut and curled into the hose at the fitting.

An entry in the maintenance logbooks dated October 20, 1967, recorded that all new gas lines were made. There were no entries after that to indicate any work was performed on the gas line hoses.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Flight Engineer
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s):  Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/08/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/14/2014
Flight Time:  14388 hours (Total, all aircraft), 35 hours (Total, this make and model), 10000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BOEING
Registration: N63555
Model/Series: A75N1(PT17)
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 75-8014
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/30/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9021 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors Inc
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: WR-670-6N
Registered Owner: PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM INC
Rated Power: 220 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PSP, 477 ft msl
Observation Time: 1253 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / -1°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 20000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Palm Springs, CA (PSP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Palm Springs, CA (PSP)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 PST
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Airport: Palm Springs International (PSP)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 477 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 31L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 10000 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 33.824444, -116.506667 (est)


NTSB Identification: WPR16LA078 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 02, 2016 in Palm Springs, CA
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17), registration: N63555
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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 March 2, 2016, about 1250 Pacific standard time, a Boeing A75N1 (PT17), N63555, touched down hard during an aborted takeoff following a loss of engine power at Palm Springs International Airport, Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs Air Museum was operating the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The local personal flight was departing. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that passing through 200 feet on the takeoff the engine lost power. He elected to abort the takeoff, and the airplane landed hard.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge and inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage. Both of the main landing gear fractured and separated at the root, and both of the wings buckled. Portions of the bottom cylinders broke off. Fuel was drained from the gascolator, and a water paste test had no reaction indicating that water contamination was not present. There was no external evidence of catastrophic mechanical malfunction. The wreckage was removed to a recovery facility for further examination.

No comments: