Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Glasair GlaStar, N4579J, registered to and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred May 26, 2017 near Buchanan Field Airport (KCCR), Concord, Contra Costa 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; Oakland, California

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

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


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

Snagwood Corporation: http://registry.faa.gov/N4579J

Location: Concord, CA

Accident Number: WPR17LA110
Date & Time: 05/26/2017, 1445 PDT
Registration: N4579J
Aircraft: JOHNSON Glastar
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 


The student pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to practice landings. The takeoff was uneventful, but when the airplane was on the base leg, the engine suddenly quit without warning or making any abnormal noises. The pilot attempted to restart the engine several times without success. He initiated a forced landing onto a roadway, during which the left wing impacted a light pole. The nosewheel collapsed, and the airplane then crossed an intersection and slid to a rest.


Postaccident engine examination revealed that the carburetor was fracture-separated at the attachment flange, and the air box exhibited heavy impact damage. The carburetor was disassembled, and the needle valve and floats were observed stuck in the "up" position. Slight force was applied to the float assembly, and it moved freely. No contaminants or obvious bends in the float system were found. Although a stuck needle valve can restrict fuel from entering the carburetor bowl and lead to a loss of engine failure, impact damage precluded a determination of whether the needle was stuck before the accident or during the impact sequence. No other mechanical anomalies were found with the engine that would have precluded normal operation; therefore, 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 for reasons that could not be determined based on the available evidence.

Findings


Environmental issues

Pole - Contributed to outcome

Not determined

Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information 


On May 26, 2017, about 1445 Pacific daylight time, a Johnson Glastar airplane, N4579J, experienced a total loss of engine power while in the traffic pattern for Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California. The student pilot, sole occupant, sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from CCR about 1443.


The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to practice landings. The pilot took off uneventfully and flew the traffic pattern. When on the base leg, the engine suddenly quit without warning or any abnormal noises. He attempted to restart the engine several times, but to no avail. The pilot initiated a forced landing onto a roadway; during landing, the airplane's left wing impacted a light pole. The airplane traversed across an intersection when the nosewheel collapsed and the airplane slid to a rest.


During a postaccident engine examination, the spark plugs were removed and exhibited normal operating signatures when compared to the Champion "check-a-plug" chart. The engine was boroscoped and no internal abnormalities were noted. The engine was rotated by hand and continuity was established all the way through to the accessory section. Thumb compression was established on all cylinders, and the valves moved freely and evenly. The magnetos were operationally tested and both produced spark. Air was blown through the fuel lines and they were clear of debris. The carburetor was fracture separated at the attachment flange and the air box sustained heavy damage. The carburetor was removed and disassembled; the fuel screen was clear of debris, and the carburetor bowl was empty. It was noted that the needle valve and floats were stuck in the up position. Slight force was applied to the float assembly and it moved freely; there were no contaminates or obvious bends in the float system. 




History of Flight


Approach-VFR pattern base

Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Off-field or emergency landing

Landing

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Student

Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/18/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  202 hours (Total, all aircraft), 161 hours (Total, this make and model), 54 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 28 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: JOHNSON

Registration: N4579J
Model/Series: Glastar
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 5819
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/17/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1960 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 12 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 206 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CCR, 26 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 10°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 10°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3900 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 14 knots/ 19 knots, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Concord, CA (CCR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Concord, CA (CCR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1443 PDT
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information


Airport: Buchanan Field Airport (CCR)

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 26 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 19R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Minor

Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  37.987222, -122.054167 (est)



























NTSB Identification: WPR17LA110 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 26, 2017 in Concord, CA
Aircraft: JOHNSON Glastar, registration: N4579J
Injuries: 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 May 26, 2017, about 1445 Pacific daylight time, a Johnson Glastar airplane, N4579J, experienced a total loss of engine power while in the traffic pattern for Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California. The student pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from CCR about 1443. 


The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to practice landings. The pilot took off uneventfully and flew the traffic pattern. When on the base leg, the engine suddenly quit without warning or any abnormal noises. He attempted to restart the engine several times, but to no avail. The pilot initiated a forced landing onto a roadway; during landing, the airplane's left wing impacted a light pole. The airplane traversed across an intersection when the nosewheel collapsed and the airplane slid to a rest. 


The airplane has been recovered to a secured location for further examination.

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