Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cessna 120, N1915N, registered to Aeronca Champ Club Inc and operated by a private individual: Accident occurred March 19, 2017 at Sackman Field Airport (H49), Columbia, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Ann, Missouri

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


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

Aeronca Champ Club Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N1915N



Location: Columbia, IL
Accident Number: CEN17LA145
Date & Time: 03/19/2017, 0955 CDT
Registration: N1915N
Aircraft: CESSNA 120
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

Analysis 

The flight instructor reported that the purpose of the flight was to complete a tail-wheel endorsement for the pilot. After about 1 hour of total flight time, while attempting to take off for the fourth full-length runway departure, the flight instructor realized that the engine was not producing enough power for a successful takeoff, so he took control of the airplane and began applying maximum braking; however, the airplane departed the runway end, collided with a ditch, and then nosed over.

During postaccident examination of the airplane, no anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation. Atmospheric conditions in the area were conducive to the formation of serious icing at cruise power. The flight instructor reported that he believed that carburetor icing led to the loss of engine power. He added that carburetor heat was applied before each landing but that it was turned off when they taxied for departure. Therefore, it is likely that carburetor ice accumulated during the taxi and that the carburetor heat was not on long enough to melt the ice before takeoff, which resulted in the partial loss of engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The partial loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.

Findings

Personnel issues
Identification/recognition - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on equipment (Cause)
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information 

On March 19, 2017, at 0955 central daylight time, a Cessna 120 airplane, N1915N, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion at Sackman Field Airport (H49), Columbia, Illinois. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to Aeronca Champ Club LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to information provided by the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was to complete a tail-wheel endorsement for the pilot. The accident occurred on the fourth full-length runway departure, after about one hour of total flight time. While taking off from runway 21, the airplane was 2/3 down the length of the runway when the flight instructor assessed that the engine was not developing enough power for a successful takeoff, so he took control of the airplane and began braking. With full brake application and about 700 ft remaining, the airplane slowed down but not enough to remain on the runway. The airplane exited the end of the runway and collided with a drainage ditch, entered a cultivated field and nosed over.

Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and visually examined the airplane. No anomalies were detected.

On the NTSB Form 6120, the flight instructor suspected carburetor icing as the reason of the loss of engine power. The flight instructor reported that carburetor heat was applied on each landing and after each landing, the carburetor heat was turned off as they taxied for departure.

A review of the Carburetor Icing Probability Chart located in the FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention found that the airplane was operating in an area conducive to the formation of serious icing at cruise power. 

History of Flight

Takeoff
Fuel related
Loss of engine power (partial)

Takeoff-rejected takeoff
Runway excursion (Defining event)

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On March 19, 2017, at 0955 central daylight time, a Cessna 120 airplane, N1915N, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion at Sackman Field Airport (H49), Columbia, Illinois. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to Aeronca Champ Club LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to information provided by the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was to complete a tail-wheel endorsement for the pilot. The accident occurred on the fourth full-length runway departure, after about one hour of total flight time. While taking off from runway 21, the airplane was 2/3 down the length of the runway when the flight instructor assessed that the engine was not developing enough power for a successful takeoff, so he took control of the airplane and began braking. With full brake application and about 700 ft remaining, the airplane slowed down but not enough to remain on the runway. The airplane exited the end of the runway and collided with a drainage ditch, entered a cultivated field and nosed over.

Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and visually examined the airplane. No anomalies were detected.

On the NTSB Form 6120, the flight instructor suspected carburetor icing as the reason of the loss of engine power. The flight instructor reported that carburetor heat was applied on each landing and after each landing, the carburetor heat was turned off as they taxied for departure.

A review of the Carburetor Icing Probability Chart located in the FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention found that the airplane was operating in an area conducive to the formation of serious icing at cruise power. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 59, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/23/2016
Flight Time: 1415 hours (Total, all aircraft), 17 hours (Total, this make and model), 1340 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/11/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/06/2016
Flight Time: 690 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model), 587 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1915N
Model/Series: 120 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12159
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/27/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 81 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4656 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C85 SERIES
Registered Owner: AERONCA CHAMP CLUB INC
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: AERONCA CHAMP CLUB INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCPS, 413 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 28°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Thin Overcast / 8000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 0°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 8000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 140°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Columbia, IL (H49)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Columbia, IL (H49)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0955 CDT
Type of Airspace: Airport Information
Airport: SACKMAN FIELD (H49)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 420 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2450 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 

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:  38.452222, -90.236111

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA145 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 19, 2017 in Columbia, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 120, registration: N1915N
Injuries: 2 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 March 19, 2017, at 0955 central daylight time, a Cessna 120 airplane, N1915N, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion at Sackman Field Airport (H49), Columbia, Illinois. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to Aeronca Champ Club LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to information obtained by the Federal Aviation Administration, while taking off from runway 21, the pilots reported that the engine was not producing sufficient power. The pilot attempted to abort of takeoff, but insufficient runway remained for the airplane to stop on the turf strip. The airplane overran the strip, collided with a ditch, and nosed over in a field.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

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