Saturday, December 15, 2018

Light Sport Aircraft PiperSport, N145MM: Accident occurred December 13, 2018 near Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD), Charlotte County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Accident Number: ERA19LA065
Date & Time: 12/13/2018, 1318 EST
Registration: N145MM
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 13, 2018, about 1318 eastern standard time, a Czech Sport Aircraft PiperSport, N145MM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power while on approach to Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), Punta Gorda, Florida. The sport pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport (GIF), Winter Haven, Florida, about 1330.

According to the pilot, the accident occurred on the second flight of the day. He departed PGD about 1015 with 29 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel on board and flew about 40 minutes to GIF uneventfully, where he had lunch. He departed GIF about 1330 for the return flight to PGD. About 4 miles from the airport, at 1,000 ft altitude, he was cleared to land on runway 15. While on an extended base leg of the traffic pattern, he turned on the electric fuel pump as prescribed in the descent checklist. As soon as he activated the switch, the engine lost all power. He switched fuel tanks and attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful. Unable to reach the airport and at an altitude too low to deploy the airframe parachute, he selected a small field for a forced landing and advised the PGD control tower of his intentions. During landing, the airplane struck a fence and a utility pole.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that all major components of the airplane were present at the accident site. The right wing was substantially damaged outboard of the wing root, and section outboard of the flap was completely separated. The left wing was substantially damaged aft of the spar and forward of the flap at the wing root, and along the entire chord outboard of the aileron. Fuel was present in both the left and right fuel tanks.

The airplane was equipped with electronic primary and multifunction flight displays capable of recording flight and engine data.

According to aircraft maintenance records, the most recent condition inspection was performed on November 8, 2018, at a total time of 552 hours, which was about 8 flight hours prior to the accident.

The pilot reported approximately 2,500 hours of total flight experience.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N145MM
Model/Series: Piper Sport
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:
Observation Facility, Elevation: PGD, 30 ft msl
Observation Time: 1325 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Winter Haven, FL (GIF)
Destination: Punta Gorda, FL (PGD)

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: 26.925278, -82.001111 (est)

Pilot Michael Mitchell

A pilot is alive to tell the tale after his small plane crashed in the middle of a Charlotte County neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

While he says he certainly felt the impact, he made it out with only a few scratches.

“If you got hit by a train at the back end of your car — you’d feel it right? That’s kind of what it felt like,” he said.

Pilot Michael Mitchell says that views from the sky are what keep him flying.

“My grandfather was a pilot, my father was a pilot, my brother is a pilot, kind of a flying family and I’ve been flying for a little over 52 years,” Mitchell said.

But Thursday marked the first time Michael almost saw death.

“When I turned my fuel pump on, the engine just quit,” he said.

But he didn’t quit. Mitchell tried emergency procedures while radioing air traffic controls.

“I said I cannot make the airport. I can tell I cannot make the airport,” he said.

And instead of a runway, he saw Charlotte County homes below as the plane dropper lower and lower.

“I was concentrating on missing houses,” he said. “I just didn’t want to hit a rooftop.”

The plane jerked and hit an electrical pole then plummeted into a chain-link fence. Luckily no one was hurt.

“One patrolman looked in the plane and he looked around and he said to me, he says, ‘Do you know where the pilot is?’ and I said ‘I’m the pilot.’ And he says ‘you’re a lucky man.'”

The cause of the plane’s malfunction is still unknown at this time, but Mitchell says he is not staying grounded for long.

Mitchell says his plane was inspected only a month ago and he completed all pre-flight routines before the flight.

Original article can be found here ➤

PUNTA GORDA, Fla — The pilot of a small plane walked away unscathed after crash landing in a Punta Gorda neighborhood around 2:30 Thursday.

"I was walking toward my yard, and I heard what sounded like someone kicking over a garbage can," said Mary Ellen Race.

She say the plan clipped a tree, then come to rest at the corner of Papaya Drive and Sailfish Court. Race and her husband immediately checked on the pilot to see if he was OK.

"The pilot was still sitting in the plane, I went over and asked him are you hurt anywhere, do you have any chest pains, he said no I have great harnesses, I'm not hurt at all," said Ralph Race.

Race says the pilot told them the plane lost power and he tried to glide the aircraft into the Punta Gorda Airport, which is a mile from the neighborhood.

No one else was on the Light Sport Aircraft PiperSport, and no one on the ground was hurt.

Original article can be found here ➤

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