Sunday, October 21, 2018

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, registered to and operated by the pilot, N2587X: Accident occurred September 17, 2017 near Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), El Cajon, San Diego 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; San Diego, California

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

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

 
http://registry.faa.gov/N2587X



Location: El Cajon, CA 
Accident Number: WPR17LA208
Date & Time: 09/17/2017, 1347 PDT
Registration: N2587X
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-161
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 17, 2017, about 1347 Pacific daylight time, a Piper 28-161 airplane, N2587X, experienced a loss of engine power while on downwind for runway 27L at Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), El Cajon, California. The certified flight instructor (CFI) sustained minor injuries and pilot rated passenger was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from SEE at about 1250.

The pilot reported that after flying around the area they returned to the airport to practice a few touch-and-go landings. The first two left traffic touch-and-goes were uneventful; after the third takeoff, the tower informed them to make right traffic. While on downwind they were cleared to land; the pilot reduced power and started to descend. After turning base, the pilot increased power, but the engine did not respond and remained at idle. There was no change in engine noise and the engine was not running rough. Both pilots manipulated the throttle several times, but the engine did not respond; they also manipulated the primer, but to no avail. The pilot elected to land the airplane onto a nearby road. During the descent the airplane struck powerlines and a tree, before it impacted the roadway and slid to a stop.

A postaccident engine examination revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. The throttle and mixture controls moved freely from stop to stop. The gascolator bowl was removed and the screen was clear of debris. The oil filter was removed and opened; oil was present and no contaminates or debris were noted. The spark plugs were removed from the engine and exhibited wear consistent with normal operations per the Champion check-a-plug chart. The rocker covers were removed and the propeller was rotated by hand. Spark was obtained in proper firing order and the rockers moved at the appropriate time. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders, except for the number 2 cylinder. Further examination revealed the intake valve was unseated due to impact damage. The engine was boroscoped and all cylinders exhibited normal operating signatures. The carburetor bowl was removed from the engine. The fuel screen was clear of debris; the carburetor bowl was removed and no fuel was present in the bowl or the accelerator pump well. The floats were intact and undamaged. Air was blown from the gascolator to the wing root, as well as from the electric driven fuel pump to the carburetor inlet; all lines were clear of blockages and debris.

At the time of the accident, weather at SEE reported a temperature of 25°C and a dewpoint of 15°C. A review of the carburetor icing probability chart, located in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009, revealed that the airplane was operating in an area favorable for the formation of serious carburetor icing at glide power.

On scene photographs provided by the FAA inspector revealed the carburetor heat lever was in the off position. 


Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/31/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/04/2016
Flight Time:  2475 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1854 hours (Total, this make and model), 2374 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 112 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
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: 03/27/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/11/2016
Flight Time:   112 hours (Total, all aircraft), 112 hours (Total, this make and model), 14 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N2587X
Model/Series: PA 28-161
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1985
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-8516083
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/25/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2440 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 16 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 11906 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: SEE, 388 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1345 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 290°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: El Cajon, CA (SEE)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: El Cajon, CA (SEE)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1250 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: Gillespie Field Airport (SEE)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 388 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2738 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.822222, -116.970278 (est)


NTSB Identification: WPR17LA208
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 17, 2017 in El Cajon, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-161, registration: N2587X
Injuries: 2 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 September 17, 2017, about 1345 Pacific daylight time, a Piper 28-161, N2587X, experienced a partial loss of engine power while on downwind for runway 27L at Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), El Cajon, California. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and pilot rated passenger sustained minor injuries; the airplane's left wing was substantially damaged. 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. The flight originated from SEE at about 1250. 

The pilot reported that after flying around the area they returned to the airport to practice a few touch-and-go landings. The first two left traffic touch-and-goes were uneventful; after the third takeoff, the tower informed them to make right traffic. While on a longer downwind than normal they were cleared to land; the pilot reduced power and started to descend. When he increased power, the engine did not respond and remained at idle; there was no change in engine noise and the engine was not running rough. Both pilots manipulated the throttle several times, but the engine did not respond; they also manipulated the primer, but to no avail. The pilot elected to land the airplane onto a nearby road. During the descent, the airplane struck powerlines and a tree before impacting the roadway and sliding to a stop. 

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

3 comments:

daveyl123 said...

When I was president of a military Aero Club, I was checked out in each aircraft, three of which were brand new Piper Warriors. My instructor chided me for applying carburetor heat during low power settings (RPM bottom of the green, carburetor heat ON.) He claimed the position of the carburetor near the exhaust manifold rendered the carb heat system as superfluous. I reminded each instructor that Piper wouldn't install such systems if they weren't needed, nor would they publish procedures for their operation. Maybe that rumor about carb heat on Warriors is still circulating.

Jim B said...


On purchase one of the first things I did was have a carb thermocouple and panel indicator installed on every engine with a carburetor.

It positively verifies carb heat is working and lets you know for sure if you are in the danger range when at idle throttle.

152's are notorious for carb ice on cool/chilly moist days.

It was worth every penny and a great teaching tool.

Anonymous said...

What a horrifying event for a pilot! This is the most sanitary report ever. Struck powerlines and trees before impacting the ground...

further 'The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.' <- This right there. They need to change this pc definition to 'busted to hell'. LOL!

After how many years aviators have had to deal with 'carb-ice', there's STILL always the regular report that appears here once or twice a week... citing high probabilities of carb-ice. I swear, that carb-heat switch must have a halo around it that says... "Don't Touch Me, I'm BAD!". I'll bet they could eliminate more than 50% of these incidents if examining the carb ice probability chart were part of the pre-flight.

Then again, I'm not a pilot. I don't know anything. Just study human history. The two above comments are spot on, and very informative. I love learning new things I don't read elsewhere.