Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Helicopter Noise-Reduction Study Focuses on Unconventional Flying Techniques: Quicker, steeper descents for some approaches tend to minimize noise footprint on the ground, report says


The Wall Street Journal
By ANDY PASZTOR
Updated March 8, 2017 6:54 p.m. ET


Facing persistent public complaints about helicopter noise in some parts of the U.S., researchers on Wednesday released what is believed to be the first operational analysis of different ways pilots can maneuver choppers in midair—rather than just change areas they fly over—to reduce decibel levels for residents.

The report, presented by a team of industry and government experts during a helicopter conference in Dallas, includes some unexpected findings. It concludes, for example, that more-rapid and steeper descents during portions of some approaches tend to minimize a helicopter’s noise footprint on the ground. Pilots are trained to typically execute gradual descents.

The study also determined that depending on whether a helicopter turns left or right to change direction—even if it subsequently follows the same course after the maneuver—can help reduce certain noise patterns.

And perhaps the most counterintuitive part of the study notes that at least in some circumstances, accelerating descents could mitigate the impact of noise. But more study is required to demonstrate their usefulness.

All of the noise-reducing concepts have been studied over the years by academics, scientists from various federal agencies and other experts. But contributors to the report see it as the most comprehensive effort yet to encourage pilots to put theories into everyday practice.

“For the first time, we’ve taken scientific data and put it out there for average pilots to use,” according to David Bjellos, who manages a corporate fleet based in South Florida and is the principal author of the white paper.

By educating the industry about acoustics and eventually providing noise-generation models for specific helicopter types, Mr. Bjellos predicts pilots will be able to more accurately visualize where they are projecting noise “and therefore they will fly more quietly.”

Noise complaints are especially significant around Long Island and the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Often, traffic restrictions, congested airspace and air-traffic controller commands make it difficult to avoid disrupting residential areas with noise from choppers.

The report emphasizes that in the long run, routine adherence to certain in-flight techniques can ensure that the helicopter industry embraces standard noise abatement measures the same way commercial and business jets do at most busy airports.

The study is part of a multiyear effort by Helicopter Association International, the global industry’s primary safety and advocacy organization. Some of the findings are slated to be formally endorsed by the association, and then distributed to members.

“Until such time as manufacturers develop truly quiet rotor systems with lower noise emission levels,” according to the report, “the future of our industry is dependent” on flying trajectories that apply scientific principles and learned from everyday operations.

On a local level, Mr. Bjellos said that he already has discussed the possibility of the Federal Aviation Administration agreeing to use the international airport serving the Palm Beach region of Florida as part of a pilot noise-mitigation program for helicopters.

The goal would be establishing precision approach and landing routes for helicopters—including detailed altitude and position requirements—similar to those that are now commonplace for jets at most busy U.S. airports.

Original article can be found here:  https://www.wsj.com

Pitts S2E Special, N30BJ: Fatal accident occurred March 08, 2017 at Cox Airport (NC81), Apex, Wake County, North Carolina

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina 
Lycoming Engines; Atlanta, Georgia 

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



NTSB Identification: ERA17FA123

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 08, 2017 in Apex, NC
Aircraft: JORDAN BRUCE C PITTS S2E, registration: N30BJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On March 8, 2017, about 1535 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Pitts S2E, N30BJ, was substantially damaged after it impacted trees and terrain while on approach to Cox Airport (NC81), Apex, North Carolina. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which originated around 1500. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.


According to witnesses, the airplane was descending on approach to runway 9, and they reported that the engine "revved up," and "sounded like it was running perfectly." One witness reported seeing the airplane approaching the runway at an angle before the airplane went out of her line of sight. Then, several witnesses reported that they heard two "booms."


According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for with ratings airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on October 17, 2016, with the limitation of "must wear corrective lenses." According to the pilot's logbook, he accumulated a total of 1933.2 hours of flight time. In the previous year, he had accumulated 9.4 hours of flight time, of which, all hours were in the accident airplane.


According to FAA records, the two-place biplane was issued an airworthiness certificate on January 23, 2009, and was registered to the pilot. In addition, it was equipped with a Lycoming HIO-360 series, 190-horsepower, engine that drove a two-bladed Hartzell constant speed propeller. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, a condition inspection was completed October 17, 2016, at a total time of 92.7 hours. Since that time, the pilot had flown the airplane for a total of 3.7 hours.


The airplane impacted a pine tree prior to impacting the ground and came to rest, partially inverted, on the left wing. The wreckage was oriented on a 150° heading, about 300 feet from the threshold of runway 9, and a ground scar was located about 15 feet prior to the main wreckage. All components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the wreckage and the debris field was about 240 feet long on a 90° heading. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all the respective flight control surfaces. The lower left wing was bent aft and the outboard section was separated and scattered along the debris path. A section of the lower left wing tip was located in the vicinity of the initial tree strike. The upper left wing was partially separated and cut in half by first responders. The right wings remained attached to the fuselage and were bent forward. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage. The right horizontal stabilizer and right elevator were undamaged. The vertical stabilizer and rudder remained attached to the empennage, incurred skin damage, and were slightly bent. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator remained attached to the empennage, however, the outboard sections of both the horizontal stabilizer and left elevator were bent in a positive direction.


The propeller remained attached to the engine and both blades exhibited chordwise scratching. In addition, one blade displayed leading edge gouging and the other blade exhibited tip tearing and blade curling.


The engine remained attached to the airframe through all engine mounts and was removed to facilitate further examination. The top cowling was removed and several pine needles were noted on top of the cylinders. The bottom section of the cowling was impact crushed in the positive (upward) direction. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine. All cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and thumb compression and suction was observed on all cylinders. The rocker box covers were removed and no anomalies were noted with the valve springs and rocker arms. Valvetrain continuity was confirmed when the crankshaft was rotated through 360-degrees of motion. The throttle and mixture control cables remained attached to the controls in the cockpit but were cut to facilitate examination. Fuel was noted throughout the entire fuel system in the engine.


The 1551 recorded weather observation at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Raleigh, North Carolina, which was about 9 miles to the north of the accident location, included wind from 300 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 25,000 feet above ground level, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.18 inches of mercury.


Cox Airport was a private use airport located 1 mile north of Apex, North Carolina, and did not have an operating control tower. The airport was equipped with a turf runway designated as 9/27, which was 2,450 feet long by 75 feet wide. The airport elevation was 455 feet above mean sea level.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.








Bruce C. Jordan, 80, of Cary, died Wednesday, March 8, 2017 following a plane crash in Apex, NC.

Bruce was born September 14, 1936 in Henderson, NC to the late Bruce and Natalie Seaman Jordan. He was a veteran of the US Air Force and was employed with the EPA for over 25 years. Bruce had a passion for flying and built several small airplanes. Bruce was a faithful servant and member of Salem Baptist Church. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. Bruce was very giving of his time and resources knowing all that he had was a gift from the Lord. 

Bruce is survived by his wife of 57 years, Peggy Jordan; daughter, Tammy Pressley and husband, Mark; son, Michael Jordan and wife, Katina; grandchildren, Jordan Pressley and wife, Ashley, Megan Pressley Budway and husband, Forrest, Josiah Jordan and Kenan Jordan; brother, Bob Mitchell and wife, Pat; sisters, Lillie Reavis, Ruth Moss, and Becky Taylor and husband, Warren. 

A Funeral Service will be held at 2pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at Salem Baptist Church, 1821 N. Salem Street, Apex, NC 27523. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the fellowship hall. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Senior Adult Ministry at Salem Baptist Church. 






Apex, N.C. — The pilot of a Pitts S2E Special plane died Wednesday afternoon in a crash into the private Cox Airfield off U.S. Highway 64 north of Apex.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol identified the pilot Wednesday night as 80-year-old Bruce Clyde Jordan Jr.

According to registry documents, the plane was owned by Jordan, of 6905 Wade Drive in Cary. Troopers said the plane was built from a kit by Jordan in 2009.

Sgt. Michael Baker, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, said Jordan was coming in for a landing when he clipped a tree and the plane plowed into the ground.

Weather did not appear to have been a factor. At the time of the crash, just before 4 p.m., skies were clear and winds were gusting to 18 mph.

The archive of the National Transportation Safety Board lists one other crash in the history of the Cox Airfield. In December 1982, two aircraft collided in midair after the pilots failed to see one another. No one was killed in that crash.

Story and video:  http://www.wral.com






















APEX, N.C. (WNCN) – The pilot of a small aircraft died when his plane crashed near a small airfield in Apex Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

APitts S2E Special aircraft crashed near the Cox Field Airport in Apex, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The plane is believed to have clipped trees as it attempted to land.

The pilot was injured during the crash and later died.

The FAA is investigating the incident while the National Transportation Safety Board take the lead in that investigation.

Story and video:  http://wncn.com

Great Lakes 2T-1A-E Sport Trainer, N305Y: Accident occurred February 22, 2017 in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov/N305Y

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Allegheny, Pennsylvania 

Aircraft on landing, ground looped and struck a runway sign.  Delayed notification. 

Date: 22-FEB-17
Time: 16:00:00Z
Regis#: N305Y
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL GREAT LAKES
Aircraft Model: 2T 1A 3
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: MONONGAHELA
State: PENNSYLVANIA

Flight recorder rule eyed for small aircraft -Japan Transport Safety Board




The transport ministry is considering requiring that small aircraft such as propeller planes and helicopters be equipped with audio and video recording devices, in the wake of a series of accidents involving light planes.

Pilots are often killed in airplane accidents, thereby making it difficult to identify causes of accidents since small airplanes are not required to have flight recorders or voice recorders installed. The ministry also aims to expand the use of airbags to small aircraft in an effort to improve their safety.

In July 2015, a light propeller plane crashed and hit a private house in Chofu, Tokyo. “I thought a bomb was falling. I hope such an accident will never occur again,” a man in his 90s living next to the house said emphatically.  According to the man, the fear he felt then still haunts him whenever he sees small planes in the air.



In the accident in Chofu, a total of eight people, including local residents, were killed or injured. Following the accident, the crash site has been left as vacant land surrounded by a fence.

According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, there are 1,400 small aircraft used for private or business purposes in Japan — including propeller planes, helicopters and gliders — and such aircraft are involved in more than 10 accidents each year.

In 2015, there were 24 accidents, including the one in Chofu, resulting in the death of 10 people including pilots. The following year saw 11 accidents and eight deaths in total.



According to an analysis by the Japan Transport Safety Board, 57 out of 59 accidents involving privately owned small planes or gliders from 2006 to 2015 seemed to be caused partly by human error such as forgetting to extend the wheels for landing, stalling the engine due to running out of fuel and insufficient flight altitude.

In severe accidents, however, there are many cases in which the death of the pilot makes it impossible to confirm their words and actions just prior to the accident, preventing adequate analysis of the cause of the crash.

For this reason, the ministry set up an intra-ministry commission to promote the safety of small aircraft, with members including aircraft safety experts. The commission will study whether it is feasible to oblige small aircraft to be equipped with devices — resembling driving recorders for automobiles — that record such information as conversations on board, exchanges with air traffic controllers and video images.

Such devices, however, costs hundreds of thousands of yen or more. Moreover, they may stop functioning at the time of a crash. For the next few years, the commission will study situations in foreign countries, ways to expand the use of such devices and other topics.

The commission will also study the installation of airbags, aiming to protect pilots and passengers from the impact of an accident, and devices that provide information on other planes in the area. These devices have been used to some extent in small aircraft manufactured overseas.

Hajime Tozaki, a professor at Otsuma Women’s University and an expert on transportation policy, says: “Safety measures for small aircraft are currently lagging. Recording devices should be standard equipment in light of the potential results of an accident. Small aircraft can be more difficult to control than passenger aircraft because of their vulnerability to strong winds and other factors. The transport ministry ought to take measures to improve pilots’ safety awareness as well.”

Original article can be found here:  http://the-japan-news.com

Cirrus SR-22T, T&P Premier Aviation LLC, N703TP: Accident occurred March 07, 2017 at Laramie Regional Airport (KLAR), Albany County, Wyoming

T&P Premier Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N703TP

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Denver, Colorado 

Aircraft on landing, wing struck the ground and the gear collapsed. 

Date: 07-MAR-17
Time: 16:08:00Z
Regis#: N703TP
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22T
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: LARAMIE
State: WYOMING



Strong winds in Laramie and Albany County early this week caused problems for some on the land and in the air.

The University of Wyoming campus west of 15th Street experienced several power outages. Though they were all brief, some people working on desktop computers in campus computer labs and Coe Library experienced problems, said Chad Baldwin, UW director of institutional communication.

“They’ve been very brief, it only goes out for a second or two and comes back on, but it’s enough to bump your computer,” he said.

UW didn’t have any campus-wide class cancellations, but UW undergraduate Ana Marchese said she ran into problems. In addition to a class cancellation Monday, she said she lost some work for her math class because of outages.

“Most homework is done online for math classes, and so for my statistics homework, I lost a few problems due to power and Wi-Fi going off,” Marchese said. “The library was awful (Tuesday) because it went on and off every 15-20 minutes for a few hours.”

Rocky Mountain Power Media Team Representative Margaret Oler said the wind caused outages at UW, which overall affected about 2,000 customers in Laramie.

“When the wind’s blowing, (a line) comes too close to the line that it’s next to, so it causes that momentary outage, because the safety equipment cuts that circuit in order to minimize any damage that might occur if the line came down,” Oler said. “In this case, the line was sagging a little too low. Our guys were out there, they found the spot and they’ve repaired that. Hopefully, that will make (the momentary outages) go away.”

Areas west and northwest of Laramie saw the highest gusts during the wind event, said Richard Emanuel, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Cheyenne. Gusts at Arlington were recorded at up to 80 mph.

“It’s been pretty strong all day,” he said.

At Laramie Regional Airport, where the strongest gusts were recorded at 63 mph, wind caused a Cirrus SR-22T to lose directional control as it was landing, said Cy Cass with the Laramie Fire Department.

“It sounds like the high winds caused his wings to impact the ground on the landing, and (the pilot) lost control, basically,” he said.

The LFD, Laramie Police Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol and airport fire responders all took the call, Cass said.

None of the three passengers in the aircraft were injured, he said. Some fuel spilled from the aircraft, but Cass said it was mitigated with a foam blanket from the LFD’s engine.

“We were pretty lucky today that everyone was OK and there was minimal damage to the plane,” he said.

Aside from the plane incident, Lt. Mike Simmons of the Wyoming Highway Patrol said problems persisted Monday-Tuesday, especially on a 25-mile stretch of I-80 west of Laramie.

“It has been really, really bad,” Simmons said.

Emanuel said winds should die down some today but could come up again later in the week going into the weekend.

Motorists considering travel plans should take caution and heed warnings from the Wyoming Department of Transportation when travel is hazardous, Simmons said.

“(Travelers) need to plan accordingly,” he said. “Look at www.wyoroad.info to plan your route when traveling across Wyoming.”

Original article can be found here: http://www.laramieboomerang.com

Boeing uses Cheyenne Regional Airport (KCYS) high winds to test prototype



Cheyenne, Wyo. - The high winds may be chaotic for drivers in Southeast Wyoming, but for some, the conditions are just perfect.

Over at Cheyenne Regional Airport Tuesday morning, Boeing was out testing a prototype plane in the high winds and altitude. The KC46 is the military equivalent of a 767 passenger plane.

Boeing is doing final testing of the plane before they deliver it to the military next year. It holds more than 30-thousand gallons of fuel and will replace the aging fueling aircraft that have been in use for decades.

The KC46 did several takeoffs and landings, which including computer automated landings.

Airport officials say since this is still a civilian aircraft the airport sees a positive economic impact when these planes use the airport for fuel and runway use.

Source:   http://www.kgwn.tv

Piper PA-24-260, N11MT: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2016 near Norwood Memorial Airport (KOWD), Norfolk County, Massachusetts


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Burlington, Massachusetts 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N11MT

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 16, 2016 in Westwood, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/06/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA24, registration: N11MT
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot/co-owner of the airplane departed on a roundtrip flight with the right main fuel tank full and the left main fuel tank "down about three gallons." He stated that, based on his preflight performance planning and visual inspection of the fuel supply, the fuel in the main tanks would be sufficient for the flight. The outbound leg was conducted with the fuel selector on the right main tank, and the return leg was flown with the fuel selector on the left main tank. Shortly after being cleared for landing near the end of the return leg, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power, and descended into wooded terrain about 1 mile from the airport.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that the right main fuel tank contained 2 gallons of fuel, that the left main tank was empty, and that both 15-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks were full. The engine was subsequently placed in a test cell where it started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously at all power settings. The co-owner of the airplane stated that the left fuel tank leaked when the tank was full and that they mitigated the problem by not completely filling the left main fuel tank. The pilot likely mis-estimated the fuel available in the tanks during his preflight visual inspection, and it is likely that fuel leaked from the left tank during the flight, further reducing the available fuel quantity. These factors resulted in a loss of engine power consistent with fuel starvation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in exhaustion of the fuel in the selected fuel tank and a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Hylie "Lee" Hutchens, 77, succumbed to his injuries on July 20th, 2016 



Hylie "Lee" Hutchens stood with students at the annual Norwood High School powder puff game.


On July 16, 2016, at 1517 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-260, N11MT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Westwood, Massachusetts, during approach to Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD), Norwood, Massachusetts. The private pilot/co-owner was seriously injured, and the passenger was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed from Knox County Regional Airport (RKD), Rockland, Maine, and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot was not available for interview due to his injuries. He was interviewed by his attorney, who provided a written statement on his behalf.

According to the statement, the pilot and passenger planned a round-trip flight from OWD to RKD to attend a fly-in event. The pilot estimated his outbound and return legs each took 1 hour and 20 minutes, and that the airplane consumed 22 gallons of fuel on each leg. According to his statement, the pilot "…reasonably assumed that he had sufficient fuel with approximately 5 gallons of reserves to safely arrive back at Norwood without the need to switch to the auxiliary tanks during his return flight."

Prior to departure, the pilot performed a preflight inspection of the airplane "generally consistent" with the manufacturer's pilot's operating handbook. His visual inspection of the main fuel tanks "confirmed" that the right wing tank was full, the left wing tank was "down about 3 gallons," and that both right and left auxiliary tanks were full.

The pilot stated that the flight to RKD was completed with the fuel selector on the right main fuel tank, and the return flight to OWD was completed with the fuel selector on the left main fuel tank. After being cleared for landing at OWD, the engine "abruptly" lost power, and the pilot conducted a forced landing to wooded terrain.

Information from the OWD local controller revealed the airplane was about 3 miles north of the airport when it was cleared to land on runway 28. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported a loss of engine power and the controller watched as the airplane descended into wooded terrain about 1 mile from the airport.

In an interview with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors, a witness close to the accident site said he watched the airplane overfly the woods at low altitude before it flew out of sight and he heard the sounds of impact. He said the airplane made a "funny noise" but that he could not associate the sound with the engine.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He was issued an FAA third-class medical certificate on April 21, 2016. The pilot reported 4,550 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1968, and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540, 310-horsepower engine. There was a 30-gallon main fuel tank (28 gallons useable) and a 15-gallon auxiliary fuel tank mounted in each wing.

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed July 28, 2015. It had accrued 4,239 total aircraft hours as of that date.

The co-owner of the airplane reported to his mechanic prior to the accident, and later to the FAA inspector who responded to the accident site, that the airplane's left main fuel tank leaked. The mechanic reported to an FAA inspector that one of the owners of the airplane had contacted him a few weeks before the accident and requested that he order replacement bladders for both the left and right main fuel tanks so they could be replaced at the next annual inspection. According to the mechanic, the owners mitigated the leak by not filling the left main tank completely.

Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the airplane's wings and fuselage. Control continuity was confirmed, and examination of the fuel tanks revealed that the left main fuel tank was empty, the right main fuel tank contained about 2 gallons of fuel, and both auxiliary fuel tanks were full. Disassembly of the airplane by recovery specialists confirmed continuity of the fuel system, and the fuel quantities previously observed in each tank. The fuel selector was found between the "Left Main" and "Off" positions. The pilot reported to first responders that he had "turned the fuel off" prior to their arrival on scene.

At 1453, the weather reported at OWD included clear skies and wind from 290 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16 knots. The temperature was 34 degrees C, dew point was 16 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.00 inches of mercury.

Examination of the airplane's flight log and fuel receipts revealed that prior to the accident, the airplane was last fueled on July 12, 2016, at which time the right main and left auxiliary tanks were "topped off." The airplane had accrued an estimated 2.6 total hours of flight time (hobbs meter) since its last fuel service. Fueling instructions over the month previous to the accident specified servicing the right main and right auxiliary tanks only, or right main and left auxiliary tanks only.

The engine was removed from the airframe and subsequently placed in a test cell at the manufacturer's facility under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously without interruption at all power settings.







NTSB Identification: ERA16LA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 16, 2016 in Westwood, MA
Aircraft: PIPER PA24, registration: N11MT
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 July 16, 2016, at 1517 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-260, N11MT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on approach to Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD), Westwood, Massachusetts. The private pilot/owner was seriously injured and the passenger was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that originated at Knox County Regional Airport (RKD), Rockland, Maine, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Preliminary information from the OWD local air traffic controller revealed the airplane was about 3 nautical miles to the north of the airport when it was cleared to land on runway 17. Shortly thereafter, the controller watched as the airplane descended into wooded terrain about 1 nautical mile from the airport after the pilot reported a loss of engine power.

In an interview with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, a witness close to the accident site said he watched the airplane overfly the woods at low altitude before it flew from sight and he heard the sounds of impact. He said the airplane made a "funny noise" but that he couldn't associate the sound with the engine.

The pilot was not available for interview due to his injuries.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He was issued an FAA third-class medical certificate on April 21, 2016. The pilot reported 4,550 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1968, and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540, 310-horsepower engine. There was a 30-gallon main fuel tank (28 gallons useable) and a 15-gallon auxiliary fuel tank mounted in each wing.

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed July 28, 2015. It had accrued 4,239 total aircraft hours as of that date.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the airplane's wings and fuselage. Control continuity was confirmed, and examination of the fuel tanks revealed that the left main fuel tank was empty, the right main fuel tank contained about 2 gallons of fuel, and both auxiliary fuel tanks were full. Disassembly of the airplane by recovery specialists confirmed continuity of the fuel system, and the fuel quantities previously observed in each tank. The pilot reported to first responders that he had "turned the fuel off" prior to their arrival on scene.

At 1453, the weather reported at OWD included clear skies and wind from 290 at 10 knots gusting to 16 knots. The temperature was 34 degrees Celsius (C), dewpoint was 16 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.00 inches of mercury.

The airplane was retained for further examination.