Friday, December 22, 2017

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N41565: Accident occurred November 23, 2016 near Columbus Airport (KCSG), Muscogee County, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

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

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

N41565 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N41565 



Location: Columbus, GA
Accident Number: ERA17LA057
Date & Time: 11/23/2016, 1803 EST
Registration: N41565
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

Analysis 

The flight instructor reported that ground operations were normal and that he observed 18 gallons of fuel in each wing tank. The engine started normally, and the magneto checks were within limits. During the initial climb after takeoff, about 1 mile past the departure end of the runway, the engine vibrated and experienced a total loss of power. He assumed the controls from the pilot receiving instruction, and confirmed the fuel selector position, checked to ensure the fuel pump was on, and turned on the carburetor heat. The engine did not regain power, and the airplane continued straight ahead until it settled into trees.

Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal evidence of any preaccident malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The fuel tanks were breached during the accident sequence. The atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to serious icing at glide power. However, given that the engine did not respond after the application of carburetor heat and it was operating at takeoff power, it is unlikely that the loss of engine power was due to carburetor icing. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power during initial climb for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Findings

Environmental issues
Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

On November 23, 2016, at 1803 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N41565, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from Columbus Airport (CSG), Columbus, Georgia. The flight instructor and a private pilot receiving instruction were not injured. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by the flight instructor under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The flight instructor reported that ground operations were normal, and 18 gallons of fuel were observed in each wing tank. The engine started normally, and the magneto checks were within limits. During the initial climb after takeoff, about 1 mile past the departure end of runway 24, the engine vibrated and experienced a total loss of power. The flight instructor assumed the controls and confirmed the fuel selector position, checked the fuel boost pump on, and turned on the carburetor heat. The pilot turned off the carburetor heat after the engine did not respond. The engine did not regain power and the airplane continued straight-ahead until it settled into the trees. The airplane fell for about 4-5 seconds and then came to an abrupt stop. After securing the engine and fuel system, the pilots exited the airplane and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to the wings and fuselage was confirmed. Initial examination of the engine and fuel system did not reveal evidence of a mechanical malfunction. The fuel tanks were breached during the impact sequence and contained no fuel. The fuel strainer was dry and free of contaminants.

Follow-up examinations of the engine were performed by the FAA inspector and the NTSB investigator-in-charge. Impact damage to the forward section of the engine prevented rotation of the crankshaft; therefore, internal continuity of the engine was not confirmed. A visual examination of the exterior of the engine revealed no holes in the crankcase or evidence of crankcase rupture. The engine contained oil.

The carburetor was removed for examination. The accelerator pump operated normally and squirted fuel. The throttle linkage was intact. The carburetor inlet fuel screen was clean and unobstructed. The carburetor bowl was free of contamination.

The top spark plugs were removed for examination. The No. 2 sparkplug exhibited normal wear when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The electrode was coated with a thin layer of black soot. The other plugs were normal in wear and color. The ignition leads were undamaged. The magnetos remained securely attached to the engine. Visual examination of the interior of the cylinders showed normal piston deposits and no damage.

The recorded weather at CSG, at 1751, included calm wind, temperature 66° F, and dew point 46° F. Review of an FAA Carburetor Icing Chart for the given temperature and dew point revealed that the conditions were conducive to serious icing at glide power. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/09/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/08/2015
Flight Time:   3139 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1200 hours (Total, this make and model), 3099 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 173 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 54 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 19, 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: 09/04/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 82 hours (Total, all aircraft), 72 hours (Total, this make and model), 12 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N41565
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7425260
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/10/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6118 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E3D
Registered Owner: N41565 LLC
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: CSG, 397 ft msl
Observation Time: 1751 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 240°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 190°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Smoke; No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Columbus, GA (CSG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Columbus, GA (CSG)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1759 EST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: Columbus Airport (CSG)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 397 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6997 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

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: 32.497778, -84.971389 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA057
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 23, 2016 in Columbus, GA
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N41565
Injuries: 2 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 November 23, 2016, at 1803 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N41565, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from Columbus Airport, Columbus, Georgia. The flight instructor and a private pilot receiving instruction were not injured. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The flight instructor reported that ground operations were normal and 18 gallons of fuel were observed in each wing tank. The engine started normally and the magneto checks were within limits. During the initial climb after takeoff, about 1 mile past the departure end of runway 24, the engine vibrated and lost power. The flight instructor assumed the controls and the fuel selector position, fuel pump, and carburetor heat were all checked. The engine did not regain power and the airplane continued straight ahead until it settled into the trees. The airplane fell for about 4-5 seconds and then came to an abrupt stop. After securing the engine and fuel system, the pilots exited the airplane and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to the wings and fuselage was confirmed. A cursory examination of the engine and fuel system did not reveal evidence of a mechanical malfunction. The fuel tanks were breached during the impact sequence. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

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