Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche , N6148P: Accident occurred September 29, 2018 at Crewe Municipal Airport (W81), Nottoway County, Virginia

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Crewe, VA
Accident Number: GAA18CA574
Date & Time: 09/29/2018, 1530 EDT
Registration: N6148P
Aircraft: Piper PA24
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, after a cross country flight, he wanted to fuel the airplane at the airport, but the fuel tanks were locked.

He then flew to a nearby airport to fuel the airplane, but once over the airport he was told via the universal communication frequency (UNICOM) that the airport was closed for construction and he would not be able to land.

He returned to the departure airport and as he reduced power and performed his "gump" check, the engine had a total power loss. He switched from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank, turned the fuel pump on, and pumped the throttle, but "still no power". He continued downwind and abeam the runway numbers, he added flaps. On base, he felt the airplane was low and decided to head straight for the runway. Near the beginning of the runway, the airplane aerodynamically stalled and landed hard. The airplane slid about 300 ft and came to rest in the grass adjacent the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that he verified that the left fuel tank was completely empty. He also removed the drain plug from the carburetor, which was empty as well. Additionally, the insurance adjuster reported that he looked into the fuel tanks with a scope and observed that the left fuel tank was "bone dry" and the right tank had about 12 gallons of fuel.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
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: 08/21/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/02/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 448 hours (Total, all aircraft), 157 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6148P
Model/Series: PA24 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-1249
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/21/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-540 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 250 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: KBKT, 440 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1935 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 130°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Crewe, VA (W81)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Crewe, VA (W81)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: CREWE MUNI (W81)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 422 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3300 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

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:  37.183611, -78.101944 (est)

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