Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Cessna 140, N89864: Fatal accident occurred May 22, 2018 at Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida
Textron; Wichita, Kansas 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Accident Number: ERA18FA152
Date & Time: 05/22/2018, 1930 EDT
Registration: N89864
Aircraft: CESSNA 140
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 22, 2018 about 1930 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 140, N89864, was destroyed when it impacted terrain at the Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Daytona Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane make several touch-and-go landings on runway 6. During the third touch-and-go, the airplane reached an altitude of about 200-300 ft above the ground when the engine "sputtered," revved up, sputtered a second time, and then experienced a total loss of power. They further stated the airplane then made a left turn like it was returning to the runway. During the left turn, the airplane descended steeply and impacted the ground.

The wreckage was located in a wooded area, about 300 ft to the left side of the departure end of runway 6. A wreckage path consisting of broken tree branches was observed extending approximately 15 ft along an approximate 45° descending angle and on a magnetic heading of 270° to the main wreckage. The main wreckage came to rest upright. The engine and propeller were pushed into the instrument panel and upwards at a 45° angle. Both wing leading edges had tree impression marks down the length of the wings. About 3 feet of the right-wing tip was located 15 ft up in a tree, directly above the main wreckage. About 3.25 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel was found in each wing fuel tank. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the control stick to all major flight controls. The fuel selector valve was in the right tank position. The elevator trim was in the neutral position. The throttle and mixture controls were in the full forward position. The magneto switch was in the both position.

The engine and propeller remained attached to the airframe. One propeller blade was bent aft at mid-blade, and the other blade was straight. There was no rotational scoring, gouges or scrapes on the propeller blades. The spinner dome was crushed by tree contact and tree bark was impacted into the propeller hub. The engine was clean and free of debris. The starter, left magneto, and carburetor, were all fractured off due to impact forces. Thumb compression was established on all cylinders and a lighted boroscope was used to examine all pistons and valves with no anomalies noted. Valve train continuity was established to by rotating the propeller and observing the gears in the rear accessory case, and rocker arms moving.

The two seat, high-wing, fixed tailwheel airplane, was manufactured in 1946. It was powered by a Continental O-200-A, 100-hp engine, equipped with a McCauley two-blade fixed-pitch propeller. The last annual inspection was completed on September 29, 2017. At the time of the accident, the airframe total time was 3,473.79 hours. Which was 62 hours since the annual inspection and the engine had 565 hours since major overhaul.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and multi-engine land. He also held a flight instructor certificate. He held a first-class medical certificate, issued August 29, 2017. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported 310 total hours of flight experience.

The recorded weather at New Smyrna airport, located 5 miles southeast, at 1950, was: wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; broken sky at 3,400 ft; temperature 24° C; dew point 22° C; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

The airframe and engine were retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N89864
Model/Series: 140 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KEVB, 10 ft msl
Observation Time: 0150 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Daytona Beach, FL (7FL6)
Destination: Daytona Beach, FL (7FL6)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  29.085000, -81.041667 (est)

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

PORT ORANGE, Fla. -- Students at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus are mourning the loss of a fellow student.

The 22-year-old Nandish Patel was killed when a small plane went down in the "Spruce Creek Fly In" neighborhood in Port Orange.

That crash also critically injured 23-year-old Embry Riddle instructor Chase Zinn on Tuesday.

Patel was a senior and a member of several clubs on campus.

Dan Boggs, a air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, says around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, the small single-engine Cessna 140 aircraft went up about 200 feet, took a left turn, hit some trees and then crashed with the two men on board.

"Its a flying community. I live up just the road, and we've all been here before, and it's always sad, its always sad, especially (because) they've got mother's and fathers," Boggs said.

Patel was killed and Zinn, an alumnus who graduated last year, was critically injured.

Seie Daniel is sophomore at the Embry Riddle studying Aeronautic science, the same major as Patel.

"It's a really sad day. We don't know much about the event. We are sure the investigation will tell us in details what actually happened," said Daniel 

The NTSB stated it will be checking both the plane's engine and airframe Thursday. 

Daniel P. Boggs, Investigator In Charge


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 22-year-old Titusville man was killed and a 23-year-old Pennsylvania man was critically injured Tuesday evening when a small single-engine private plane crashed in an empty lot near Port Orange, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

The crash was reported at about 7:30 p.m. at Taxiway Echo in the Spruce Creek Fly-In, which is a gated aviation community, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Laura Williams said.

"The plane, carrying two men, narrowly missed hitting a home," Williams said. "No injuries were reported on the ground."

Deputies said the passenger, Nandish Patel, died at the scene and the pilot, Chase Zinn, was taken to Daytona Beach's Halifax Health Medical Center, where he remains in serious condition.

An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University spokesman said Patel was a student at the university and Zinn is a flight instructor for the school.

Zinn’s family owns the plane, deputies said.

Witnesses said they heard the Cessna 140 sputtering before it crashed. A nearby resident pulled Zinn from the wreckage.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

NTSB officials said the plane had an altitude of no more than 200 feet before the pilot turned left and crashed.

Investigators said they're reviewing Tuesday evening's conditions to determine if weather played a factor in the crash.

ERAU provided Channel 9 with the following statement Wednesday:

"With deep sorrow, we can inform you of the tragic loss of an Embry-Riddle Eagle and injuries to another. Our student Nandish Patel died last night in a private aircraft accident at the Spruce Creek fly-in community in Port Orange, Florida. The accident also seriously injured one of our flight instructors, Embry-Riddle alumnus Chase Zinn, who is currently receiving care at Halifax Health Medical Center.

"Nandish, 22, was a senior aeronautical science major and a member of the Airline Pilots Association Aviation Collegiate Education (ALPA ACE) club, the Business Aviation Student Association and the Cricket Club. A permanent resident of the United States, he was originally from India and had transferred to Embry-Riddle from Eastern Florida State College.

"Chase, 23, graduated from Embry-Riddle in May 2017. An Instructor Pilot 2, he is a member of Alpha Omicron Alpha and the BlueWings network of aviation professionals. He also has participated in the Business Aviation Student Association as well as two different sports car groups affiliated with Embry-Riddle."The families of Nandish and Chase are close in our thoughts and hearts."

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Volusia County Sheriff's Office


Earlier today, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims of the plane crash that occurred Tuesday night in Spruce Creek Fly-In near Port Orange.

They are: Nandish Patel. 22, (DOB: 05/05/1996) of Titusville, deceased passenger; and pilot Chase Zinn, 23 (DOB: 01/16/1995), of Pennsylvania. He remains hospitalized with serious injuries. The plane was owned by Zinn’s family.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, which could take months to conclude.

Small Plane Crashes in Spruce Creek Fly-In; 1 Victim Killed, 1 Critically Injured

Volusia County sheriff's deputies and detectives are on scene in the Spruce Creek Fly-In gated aviation community in Port Orange where a small single-engine, private plane has crashed, killing one person and critically injuring a second.

The crash occurred tonight around 7:30 on the community's north side, in the 2500 block of Taxiway Echo. The plane, carrying two men, narrowly missed hitting a home. No injuries were reported on the ground.

One victim was pronounced deceased at the scene; the second was transported by ambulance to Halifax Health Medical Center where he is in critical condition. Rescue officials are trying to identify the victims and notify their families. A National Transportation Safety Board representative has already been on scene tonight and will resume the investigation Wednesday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also due to join the investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

A Volusia County sheriff's deputy will be posted at the crash scene throughout the night. This remains an active investigation. More information will be released when it becomes available.

Volusia County Sheriff's Office

An Embry-Riddle student died and his instructor seriously injured in a plane crash Tuesday night in the Spruce Creek Fly-In gated aviation community in Port Orange, the school said.

Nandish Patel, a 22-year-old senior at the school, was pronounced dead on scene. The instructor, Chase Zinn, 23, is receiving care at Halifax Health Medical Center.

The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. on the community's north side, in the 2500 block of Taxiway Echo. The plane narrowly missed a house, deputies said.

Zinn graduated from the school last year, a spokesman said. Patel, originally from India, transferred from Easter Florida State College.

“The families of Nandish and Chase are close in our thoughts and hearts,” Embry-Riddle spokesman James Roddey said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

This is the second fatal crash involving an Embry-Riddle student since April.

On April 4, a student and pilot examiner with the FAA died in a crash near Daytona Beach.

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SPRUCE CREEK FLY-IN — A federal aviation investigator said an antique Cessna 140 was 200 feet in the air when it made a left turn and crashed near the Spruce Creek Fly-In airport, critically injuring the pilot and killing his passenger Tuesday night.

The wreckage was towed away from the crash site Wednesday afternoon and will be taken to a salvage hanger in Jacksonville to be analyzed, said National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Dan Boggs.

The aircraft fell from the sky shortly after take-off around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the aviation investigator said.

Boggs declined to identify the two people on the airplane but said the injured pilot at Halifax Health Medical Center is believed to be the owner of the Cessna 140 C85 two-seater, single engine aircraft.

The two men on board the small plane are believed to be commercial airline pilots, Boggs said. Tuesday’s fatality is the fifth death involving an aircraft leaving or approaching Spruce Creek Airport, federal records show.

Just outside Port Orange, Spruce Creek Fly-In is one of the world’s largest communities with a landing strip and hangar-equipped homes along taxiways.

According to Flightaware, a website that gives information on the registration of aircraft, the orange and cream plane became the property of James B. Savage of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, in 2009.

The fixed-wing craft was built in 1946, according to the website.

Boggs said that at the salvage yard investigators will be looking at the aircraft’s systems and the engine and the pilot’s experience.

“We are not really sure exactly what happened but he did make a left hand turn after take off and ended up in the trees next to a couple of houses,” Boggs said.

The small plane took off from runway six at the Spruce Creek airport and got to tree-top height and then crashed near that airstrip, Boggs said.

“About 200 feet is about as high they got in the air and made a left bank and ended up in the trees and then straight down from the trees,” Boggs said.

There was no flight plan filed and pilots typically only announce they are taking off, Boggs said.

“It’s an uncontrolled filed, there is no tower,” Boggs said. “It’s what called a unicom. They just announce on a frequency that other pilots are using the area just so other pilots know where they are at.”

The aircraft constructed in 1946 was “meticulously” maintained, Boggs said.

I looked at it. It was maintained meticulously it was beautiful-looking airplane,” Boggs said.

Callers to 9-1-1 said the airplane crashed into an empty lot at 2540 Taxiway Echo near Runway 6. No one on the ground was injured.

Rescue workers arriving at the scene on Tuesday said the pilot was stuck in the plane and a passenger had been pulled out by bystanders.

That passenger pulled out of the aircraft died at the scene, authorities said.

The pilot, a man whose legs were trapped in the aircraft and had an open head injury, was freed and taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, officials said.

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