Sunday, September 30, 2018

Cessna 305A (L19) Bird Dog, owned and operated by Simmons Aviation Services LLC, N5291G: Accident occurred July 04, 2016 in Narragansett, Washington County, Rhode Island


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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama

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


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


https://registry.faa.gov/N5291G


Location: Narragansett, RI
Accident Number: ERA16LA244
Date & Time: 07/04/2016, 1250 EDT
Registration: N5291G
Aircraft: CESSNA 305
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Banner Tow 

On July 4, 2016, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 305, N5291G, was substantially damaged during a ditching into the Atlantic Ocean near Narragansett, Rhode Island. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Simmons Aviation Services LLC. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the banner-tow flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight inspection and sampled the fuel tanks with no anomalies noted. He then departed on the flight with 5 hours of available fuel. About 3.5 hours into the flight, the airplane was flying over the ocean about 500 ft above ground level when the engine lost total power. The pilot performed a forced landing to the water; the airplane sank, and came to rest in about 30 ft of water. The pilot egressed and was rescued a brief time later.

The airplane was recovered and initial examination revealed that the fuselage and right wing were substantially damaged. The two outboard auxiliary fuel tanks were absent of fuel. The main fuel tank was drained and held about 10 gallons of water and 9 gallons of fuel. The auxiliary inboard fuel tank was drained and held about 10 gallons of water and 9 gallons of fuel. The fuel selector was found in the auxiliary fuel tank position. It was moved and no anomalies were noted with the fuel selector. The electric boost pump switch was found in the ON position and fuel was noted in the fuel line to the electric boost pump. Fuel was also noted in the fuel bowl forward of the firewall: however, no fuel was noted in the carburetor bowl.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on June 5, 2015. At the time of the accident he had accumulated about 1,600 hours of total flight time, of which, 850 hours were in the accident make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate in 1953, and registered to the corporation in 2011. It was equipped with a Continental Motors Inc. O-470-11B, a 213-hp, engine and a pressure type carburetor. According to the airframe maintenance logbook, the most recent annual inspection was performed on July 1, 2015, at a total time of 8,969.8 hours and tach time of 3,577.1 hours. According to the engine maintenance logbook, the most recent annual inspection was performed in accordance with "Lycoming" guidance on July 1, 2015, at 496.6 hours since major overhaul. While reviewing the maintenance logbooks, there were several discrepancies noted.

The airplane was equipped with a main fuel tank in the left wing, an auxiliary tank in the right wing, and two outboard auxiliary tanks, one in each wing. Both the main fuel tank and inboard auxiliary fuel tank had a fuel capacity of 19 gallons. The two outboard fuel tanks had a fuel capacity of 12 gallons. The total fuel capacity of the airplane was 62 gallons.

An examination of the engine revealed the it remained attached to the airframe through all engine mounts and the propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. In addition, crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine by rotating the propeller by hand. The top spark plugs were removed and compression was noted on all cylinders. The spark plugs were examined and exhibited normal wear when compared to the Champion-Check-A-Plug Chart. Both magnetos produced spark when the propeller was rotated by hand. The cylinders were examined with a boroscope and corrosion consistent with salt water emersion was noted. The pressure carburetor was removed and corrosion was noted throughout. There were no obvious signs of mechanical anomalies with the engine that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 36, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/05/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 850 hours (Total, this make and model), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N5291G
Model/Series: 305
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1953
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 23413
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/01/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2101 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8969.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-470-11B
Registered Owner: SIMMONS AVIATION SERVICES LLC
Rated Power: 213 hp
Operator: SIMMONS AVIATION SERVICES LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: UUU, 172 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1253 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 59°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Westerly, RI (WST)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Westerly, RI (WST)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.469722, -71.426111 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA244
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 04, 2016 in Narragansett, RI
Aircraft: CESSNA 305, registration: N5291G
Injuries: 1 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 July 4, 2016, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 305, N5291G, was substantially damaged after it experienced a total loss of engine power while in cruise flight, and ditched on the ocean, about 1 mile from shore, near Narragansett, Rhode Island. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the banner-tow flight. The airplane was owned and operated by Simmons Aviation Services, LLC, and the flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he departed on the flight with 5 hours of available fuel. About 3.5 hours into the flight, the airplane was flying over the ocean about 500 feet above ground level when the engine lost total power. Subsequently, the pilot performed a forced landing to the water; the airplane sank, and came to rest in about 30 feet of water. The pilot egressed and was rescued a short time later.

The airplane was recovered and initial examination revealed that the fuselage and right wing were substantially damaged. Furthermore, crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine by rotating the propeller by hand. The top spark plugs were removed and compression was noted on all cylinders. The spark plugs were examined and exhibited normal wear when compared to the Champion-Check-A-Plug Chart.

The engine was retained for further examination.

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