Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N7682P: Accident occurred November 08, 2016 at Houlton International Airport (KHUL), Aroostook County, Maine

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

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/N7682P

Location: Houlton, ME
Accident Number: ERA17CA039
Date & Time: 11/08/2016, 1610 EST
Registration: N7682P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24-250
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The private pilot had recently purchased the airplane; he and a flight instructor were conducting a local familiarization flight. After about one hour of flying with the left inboard fuel tank selected, he returned to the airport traffic pattern and performed two additional takeoffs. While on the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot checked that the fuel pump was on while the flight instructor attempted to determine why the engine lost power. The flight instructor then took control of the airplane and turned towards the runway. The airplane contacted the tops of some trees and landed on uneven terrain covered with tall grass and brush about 500 feet short of the runway, resulting in substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and wings. Before exiting the airplane, the pilot moved the fuel selector to the off position. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage and found that the left inboard fuel tank was absent of fuel, while the right inboard fuel tank was full. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated, "switched to the other fuel tank." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/28/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 312 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model), 265 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)
  
Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor
Age: 89, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied:  Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2
Last FAA Medical Exam: 
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N7682P
Model/Series: PA 24-250 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1961
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-2891
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/17/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2899 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5617.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-540 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 250 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: HUL, 489 ft msl
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 200°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Houlton, ME (HUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Houlton, ME (HUL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: HOULTON INTL (HUL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 489 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5015 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  46.115278, -67.800833 (est)

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