Sunday, May 19, 2019

Mosquito XEL, flight operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight, unregistered: Accident occurred January 21, 2018 in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach 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; Miramar, Florida

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


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


  
Location: LOXAHATCHEE, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA082
Date & Time: 01/21/2018, 1545 EST
Registration: UNREG
Aircraft: MOSQUITO XEL
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries:1 Serious 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 21, 2018, about 1545 eastern standard time, an unregistered Mosquito XEL helicopter was substantially damaged after a loss of control and collision with terrain near Loxahatchee, Florida. The non-certificated pilot/owner was seriously injured. The flight was operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed a private residence.

The pilot/owner was performing a test flight. This was his first flight in the accident helicopter. He performed a brief takeoff to a hover maneuver followed by a normal landing. During the second attempted takeoff and hover, the helicopter gained altitude and began yawing to the left. It reached treetop height of about 60 ft and continued to spin before descending and impacting the ground.

The single-seat helicopter was purchased by the pilot/owner in a ready to operate condition. It was equipped with a two-blade, semi-rigid main rotor system and was powered by a Compact Radial, MZ202, 60 hp engine.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and inspected the wreckage. The helicopter's skids, lower fuselage, main rotor blades, and tail boom were all damaged during the accident. Review of FAA airworthiness records revealed that the helicopter was not registered and it never received an airworthiness certificate. In addition, there were no maintenance records.

At 1553, the reported weather at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) West Palm Beach, Florida, located 12 nautical miles east of the accident site included: winds from 080° at 16 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 2,000 ft, broken clouds at 6,500 ft, temperature 24° C, dew point 18° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot did not possess any FAA-issued pilot certificate. The FAA Inspector reported that the pilot had accumulated about 60 hours of dual instruction in two other make and model helicopters over the preceding 24 months. The pilot's logbook indicated that his last logged flight occurred on August 13, 2016. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Single
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: None, None
Last FAA Medical Exam: Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 70 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model), 0 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MOSQUITO
Registration: UNREG
Model/Series: XEL
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: MXE1289
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 584 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: MZ202
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 60 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: PBI, 20 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 16 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 80°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LOXAHATCHEE, FL
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LOXAHATCHEE, FL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1545 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 26.729444, -80.311667 (est)

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N91SP: Accident occurred December 24, 2017 in Union Mills, Rutherford County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

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/N91SP



Location: Union Mills, NC
Accident Number: ERA18TA059
Date & Time: 12/24/2017, 1500 EST
Registration: N91SP
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 24, 2017, about 1500 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N91SP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Union Mills, North Carolina. The commercial pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to perform approaches to the private airstrip that he was constructing on his property. He said the performance and handling of the airplane was "perfect" throughout the flight, and that he performed multiple low approaches successfully, with no anomalies noted.

The pilot said the airplane was travelling slowly over his strip, about treetop height, with full flaps deployed. When he added full power to initiate a climb, the engine "sputtered" and stopped producing power. He performed a forced landing to the unimproved strip, "bounced" and departed the side of the cleared area where the airplane entered the woods and was substantially damaged.

When asked about the performance and handling of the airplane, the pilot said it was "perfect" and volunteered that the reason for the loss of engine power was carburetor ice. When asked if he had deployed the carburetor heat for the low approach and pass over his property, he said "No."

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued March 15, 2016. He reported 6,700 total hours of flight experience of which 3,400 were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1978. Its most recent annual inspection was completed November 12, 2017, at 9,034.9 total aircraft hours.

At 1505, the weather reported at Rutherford County Airport (FQD), 7 miles east of the site, included an overcast ceiling at 2,200 ft, 10 miles visibility, and calm winds. The temperature was 10° C, the dew point was 5° C, and the altimeter setting was 29.97 inches of mercury.

According to an FAA carburetor icing probability chart, the atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to "serious icing" at cruise power.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification:  Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/15/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  6700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3400 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N91SP
Model/Series: 172 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17271100
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/12/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9034.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:  C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: KFQD, 1078 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1505 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 122°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2200 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Union Mills, NC
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Union Mills, NC
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 35.490556, -82.058889 (est)

Beechcraft C90 King Air, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, N500KR: Accident occurred December 04, 2017 at Chicago Rockford International Airport (KRFD), Winnebago County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, FN
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Longueuil, Qu├ębec, FN
Appareo Systems LLC; Fargo, North Dakota
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Bridgeport, West Virginia

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/N500KR 




Location: Rockford, IL
Accident Number: CEN18LA047
Date & Time: 12/04/2017, 1802 CST
Registration: N500KR
Aircraft: BEECH C90
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 4, 2017, about 1805 central standard time, a Beech C90 airplane, N500KR, impacted terrain near the Chicago/Rockford International Airport (RFD), Rockford, Illinois. The private pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial fuselage damage during the impact. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was issued a local instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance. The flight originated from the Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM), near Kissimmee, Florida, about 1343 and was destined for RFD.

According to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight was given an IFR clearance as the airplane was nearing RFD. The pilot asked for priority handling. When asked for the reason for the priority handling, the pilot responded that he "lost a transfer pump and had a little less fuel than he thought." He also said that he did not want to "come in with a single engine." The pilot was queried if he needed assistance and he replied "negative."

The pilot was cleared to perform a visual approach to runway 19. As the airplane approached the airport, the pilot requested the runway lights for runway 25 be turned on and reported that the airplane lost engine power in one engine. The controller advised that the lights on runway 25 were being turned on and issued a landing clearance. That was the last transmission from the airplane. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain before the threshold for runway 25.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/17/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2500 hours (Total, all aircraft)

The 46-year-old pilot held an FAA private pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He also held an FAA third class airman medical certificate, dated May 17, 2017. According to information from the FAA, the pilot reported that he had accumulated 2,500 hours of total flight time. The pilot's experience was requested from a point of contact for the pilot and a King Air C90 Recurrent Training Course certificate, dated October 25, 2017, was provided.




Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N500KR
Model/Series: C90
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: LJ-708
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/25/2017, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9989 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 9856.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT6
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 550 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

N500KR, a 1977 model Beech C90A King Air, was an all-metal, pressurized, low-wing, retractable landing gear, twin-engine airplane with serial number LJ-708. According to the airplane flight manual (AFM), the airplane could operate at altitudes up to 30,000 ft. The airplane was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) turbo propeller PT6A-21 engines each rated at 550 horsepower, each driving their own McCauley 4-blade, constant speed, fully reversing, aluminum alloy propeller. The left-hand engine had serial number 24390 and the right-hand engine had serial number 24387. An airplane maintenance record endorsement dated August 25, 2017, showed that the airplane was inspected in accordance with a phase 3 and 4 inspection program and that the airplane had accumulated 9,856.7 hours of total time.

The PT6A-21 engines have three-stage axial and single stage centrifugal compressors, driven by single stage reaction turbines. The power turbine, another single stage reaction turbine, drives the propeller shaft. Both the compressor turbine and the power turbine are located in the approximate center of the engine with their shafts extending in opposite directions. The accessory drive at the aft end of the engine provides power to drive the fuel pump, fuel control unit, oil pump, starter-generator, and tachometer.

The engine fuel system consists of an engine-driven fuel pump, a fuel control unit, a flow divider, inlet manifold, thirteen manifolds nozzles, and two fuel drain valves. The fuel pump fuel control unit assembly is mounted on the engine accessory case and is shaft-driven at a speed proportional to that of the compressor turbine.

The fuel system consists of two separate systems connected by a crossfeed system. Fuel for each engine is supplied from a nacelle tank and four interconnected wing tanks for a total of 192 gallons of usable fuel for each side with all tanks full. The outboard wing tanks supply the center section wing tank by gravity flow. The nacelle tank draws its fuel supply from the center section tank. Since the center section tank is lower than the other wing tanks and the nacelle tank, the fuel is transferred to the nacelle tank by the fuel transfer pump in the low spot of the center section tank. Each system has two filler openings, one in the nacelle tank and one in the leading-edge tank. Servicing the nacelle tank first, then the wing tanks, assures that the system is properly filled.

A crossfeed valve in the left-hand fuel system connects the two systems when the crossfeed valve is OPEN.

Each system has a submerged boost pump in the nacelle tank that supplies the motive force to transfer fuel as well as fuel boost to one or both engines. With one engine inoperative, the crossfeed system allows fuel from the inoperative side to be supplied to the operating engine. The fuel system is vented through a recessed ram scoop vent that is coupled to an external vent, located on the underside of the wing, adjacent to the nacelle. The external vent is heated to prevent icing. One vent acts as a back-up for the other should one or the other become blocked.

The boost pumps are submerged, rotary, vane-type impeller pumps, electrically driven. One pump is located in each nacelle tank.

Fuel transfer is accomplished when the TRANSFER PUMP switches are turned ON, unless the nacelle tanks are full. A TRANSFER TEST switch (placarded L and R) is provided to verify the operation of each pump when its nacelle tank is full. The nacelle tanks will continue to fill until the fuel reaches the upper transfer limit and a float switch turns the pump off. As the engines burns fuel from the nacelle tanks (60-gallon capacity each tank), fuel from the wing tanks transfers into the nacelle tanks when their level drops approximately 10 gallons. When 131 gallons of fuel (each side) are used from the wing tanks (132 gallons usable each side), a pressure sensing switch reacts to a pressure drop in the fuel transfer line. After 30 seconds. the transfer pump shuts off and the annunciator panel illuminates, showing a NO FUEL TRANSFER light. The NO FUEL TRANSFER light also functions as an operation indicator for the transfer pump. Extinguishing the NO FUEL TRANSFER light is accomplished by turning the transfer switch OFF. If the transfer pump fails to operate during flight, gravity feed will perform the transfer. When the nacelle tank level drops to approximately 150 lbs, the gravity feed port in the nacelle tank opens and gravity flow from the wing tank starts. All wing fuel except 28 gallons from each wing will transfer during gravity feed.

Crossfeeding fuel is authorized only in the event of engine failure or electric boost pump failure. The crossfeed system is controlled by a three-position switch placarded OPEN, CLOSED, and AUTO. The valve can be manually opened or closed, but under normal flight conditions it is left in the AUTO position. In the AUTO position, the fuel pressure switches are connected into the crossfeed control circuit. In the event of a boost pump failure, which causes a drop in fuel pressure, these pressure switches open the crossfeed valve allowing the remaining boost pump to supply fuel to both engines.

The airplane is equipped with a capacitance fuel gaging system. The fuel panel utilizes a fuel quantity indicator for each side. A toggle switch, located between the two fuel quantity indicators, can be placed in the TOTAL position to provide an indication of all fuel in the system, or in the NACELLE position to indicate the quantity of fuel in the nacelle tanks only. Nacelle position is provided in order to verify nacelle fuel quantity during operations with NO FUEL TRANSFER illuminated where it is desirable to monitor gravity feed from wing tanks. Fuel quantity gages indicate pounds of fuel.

The first step of the "AFTER STARTING AND TAXI" checklist in the AFM stated, "Transfer Pumps - ON." The second step of the "SHUTDOWN AND SECURING" checklist stated, "Transfer Pumps - OFF."

The AFM limitation section, in part, stated, "Operation of either engine with its corresponding fuel pressure light (L FUEL PRESS or R FUEL PRESS annunciator) illuminated is limited to 10 hours before overhaul or replacement of the engine-driven fuel pump."

An automatic feathering system was an option for this airplane type. However, there was no autofeather switch in its placarded position, indicating no autofeather system was installed in this airplane.



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRFD, 743 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1754 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 218°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3800 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 18 knots / 25 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.49 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ORLANDO, FL (ISM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Rockford, IL (RFD)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1545 CST
Type of Airspace: 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) senior meteorologist collected weather data and produced a Weather Study. The study is appended to the docket material associated with this investigation.

Airport Information

Airport: CHICAGO/ROCKFORD INTL (RFD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Concrete
Airport Elevation: 742 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 19
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8200 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

RFD was a tower-controlled airport, owned and operated by the Greater Rockford Airport Authority. The airport had a surveyed elevation of 742 ft msl and was served by two intersecting paved runways 1-19 and 7-25. Runway 1-19 was an 8,200 ft by 150-ft grooved asphalt and concrete runway. Runway 7-25 was a 10,002 ft by 150-ft grooved asphalt and concrete runway with a 3% upslope. Runway 25 had runway end identifier lighting and high intensity runway lighting.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 42.203056, -89.082500 (est) 

An RFD deputy director, in part, reported that from first responders and his knowledge of the scene, there was never any visible fuel exiting the aircraft while it was sitting on the ground or while it was being lifted and moved. No pooled fuel was observed. However, there was a slight fuel smell around the airplane.

The wreckage was recovered to a hangar at RFD and the airframe and engine were subsequently examined by air safety investigators from the airplane and engine manufacturers, FAA inspectors, and the NTSB investigator in charge. The empennage was found separated from the fuselage aft of the rear pressure bulkhead. The ends of a rudder trim cable exhibited a separation consistent with overload and the rudder torque tube was found separated from its bellcrank. Flight control continuity was established.

Both the left and right transfer pump switches were found in the OFF position. The airplane's battery was reconnected. Both the left and right transfer pumps and the right boost pump were operational using the airplane's wiring. However, a wire going to the left boost pump was found separated in an area of structural damage. The left boost pump was operational when battery power was applied directly to that pump's wiring. No useable amount of fuel was found in any of the airplane fuel tanks. However, a liquid consistent with fuel was observed in fuel lines.

All engine cable control continuity was established to the left engine and right engine power and condition control cable continuity was established. The right engine's propeller control was bound when it was manipulated by hand. None of the propeller blades exhibited any leading-edge damage and both spinners did not exhibit any rotational witness marks.

The first stage blades in both engines' compressor section were manipulated by hand and continuity was established to their respective accessory gearboxes. Some of the left engine power turbine blades exhibited fracture witness marks. Observation of the right engines power turbine blades revealed that they were intact.

The engine driven fuel pumps on both engines were removed. Liquid consistent with fuel was found in both engines' fuel filter bowls. However, both their bowl fuel filters were discolored. Both pumps were able to rotate when their input shafts were manipulated by hand. Disassembly of both pumps revealed that their inlet filters were free of obstructions. Bearing surfaces in both pumps exhibited pitting consistent with pump operation with inadequate fuel lubrication.

No airframe or engine preimpact anomalies were found that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane.

The Stratus unit was recovered from the cockpit and was shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory. 



Aids To Navigation

The published inbound course for RFD's area navigation runway 25 approach was 246° and the touchdown elevation for runway 25 was 736 ft msl. 

Flight Recorders

The airplane was equipped with an Appareo Stratus 2S unit. The Stratus is a battery-operated ADS-B receiver with Global Positioning System (GPS) capability designed to interface with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch running the ForeFlight Mobile application via Wi-Fi. The Stratus uses ADS-B to provide access to NEXRAD radar, meteorological terminal air reports, terminal aerodrome forecasts, notices to airmen and other FAA products via the ForeFlight application installed on a mobile device. The Stratus supports limited reception and display of ADS-B traffic information. Certain models include a complete Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) that permits supplemental attitude information on the connected mobile device.



Tests And Research

An NTSB vehicle recorder specialist examined the Appareo Stratus 2S and found it was received in good condition. Power was applied to the unit using NTSB recorder laboratory equipment. Data was downloaded from the device to ForeFlight Mobile on an NTSB iPad using Wi-Fi. The data extracted included 4 hours and 15 minutes of the accident flight on December 4, 2017 and four hours of the prior flight on December 1, 2017. Data was recorded at a rate of five samples per second.

Graphical overlays of the Appareo data were generated using Google Earth. An overlay of the prior flight on December 1, 2017, revealed the flight departed from RFD about 17:59 and arrived at ISM about 22:17. The accident flight on December 4, 2017, was recorded in three portions: from 13:43 to 13:50, from 13:54 to 14:09, and from 14:10 to 18:05. The recorder specialist's report is appended to the docket material associated with this investigation.

An NTSB aircraft performance national resource specialist used collected data and produced a performance study for the accident flight and the flight before it. The fuel remaining at the time of the accident was computed in two ways: (1) Using the flight planning methods described in the AFM, using eight waypoints in between ISM and RFD; and (2) Using a fuel burn simulation developed from the fuel burn and other performance data published in the performance section of the AFM. The simulation models fuel burn as a function of engine shaft horsepower (SHP) and pressure altitude, and computes the SHP developed during the flights using AFM performance data, the ground speed and rate of climb recorded by the Stratus device, and winds aloft forecasts. Both methods required computing 8.5 hours of fuel burn over the two RFD-ISM and ISM-RFD flights. The calculations assume full fuel at departure for the 4.17-hour RFD-ISM flight on December 1, and refueling with 150 lbs of fuel at ISM prior to the 4.33-hour return flight to RFD on December 4.

The results of the flight planning method indicated that the airplane could have made the return flight to RFD with about 119 lbs (18 gal.) of fuel remaining. The results of the fuel burn simulation method indicated that the airplane would have run out of fuel on approach to RFD. The aircraft performance national resource specialist's report is appended to the docket material associated with this investigation.



Additional Information

A note in the AFM, in reference to the flight planning method, in part, stated, "The associated conditions define the specific conditions for which performance parameters have been determined. They are not intended to be used as instructions; however, performance values determined from charts can only be achieved if specified conditions exist."

Federal Aviation Regulations 91.151 Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions, in part, stated:

(a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless
(considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to
fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
...
(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.

The calculated 45-minute night reserves required about 366 lbs or 56 gallons of fuel using a maximum recommended cruise power setting or about 246 lbs or 37.8 gallons of fuel using a maximum range power setting.

Cessna 150F, N8637S, registered to Skycops LLC and operated by a private individual: Accident occurred November 26, 2017 in Midland County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Continental Motors; 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 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N8637S


Location: Midland, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA040
Date & Time: 11/26/2017, 0915 CST
Registration: N8637S
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On November 26, 2017, at 0915 central standard time, a Cessna 150F airplane, N8637S, impacted terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Midland, Texas. The student pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to Skycops, LLC, Midland, Texas, and operated by a private individual. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed for the solo cross-country flight. The flight departed the Midland Airpark (MDD), Midland, Texas, about 0900, and was destined for San Angelo, Texas.

The student pilot stated the airplane preflight, engine run-up, and takeoff were normal with no anomalies noted. About 15 minutes into the solo cross-country flight, the engine lost total power, and the student pilot performed a forced landing to a mesquite tree covered area. During the forced landing, the airplane impacted a power line and mesquite trees.

The airframe and engine were examined by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors at the accident site, and after the airplane was recovered. Examination of the airplane revealed oil residue on the back of the engine, lower engine cowling, and the right main landing gear strut. The top mounting nut on the generator was missing, and the two lower mounting nuts were loose. Evidence of oil leakage past the generator mounting gasket was identified after removal of the generator from the engine. A hole in the engine crankcase was noted above the No. 1 cylinder.

On the day of the accident, the FAA inspector examined the engine run-up and taxiway area at MDD, consistent with where the student pilot completed his engine run prior to the flight. The engine run-up area contained a large oil stain and residual oil.

A review of the engine logbook revealed the most recent 100-hr inspection was completed on February 19, 2017, at an aircraft tachometer time of 4,204.8 hours. At the time of the accident, the tachometer indicated 4,282.3 hours. According to the student pilot, an engine oil change had been completed about 10 hours before the accident. No entry for the oil change was found in the engine records. 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/21/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 20 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N8637S
Model/Series: 150F F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1965
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 15061937
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/19/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1601 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4204.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200-A
Registered Owner: SKYCOPS LLC
Rated Power: 100 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: MDD, 2805 ft msl
Observation Time: 0915 CST
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.36 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Precipitation
Departure Point: Midland, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination:  San Angelo, TX
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0900 CST
Type of Airspace: Class E

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:  32.036667, -102.101667 (est)

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, registered to an individual and operated by the pilot under the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight, N8234R: Accident occurred October 06, 2017 in Sweetwater, Nolan County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Continental Motors; 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

http://registry.faa.gov/N8234R

Location: Sweetwater, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA010
Date & Time: 10/06/2017, 1329 CDT
Registration: N8234R
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 6, 2017, at 1329 central daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N8234R, experienced a total loss of electrical power, and about 18 minutes later, a total loss of engine power during cruise flight. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field near Sweetwater, Texas, where the airplane impacted trees and terrain. The pilot and passenger on board were not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to an individual and operated by the pilot under the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was operating on a visual flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Midland International Air and Space Port Airport (MAF), Midland, Texas, at 1230 and was destined to Abilene Regional Airport (ABI), Abilene, Texas but diverted to Avenger Field Airport (SWW), Sweetwater, Texas, after the loss of engine power.

A written statement from the pilot regarding the accident was provided to the Federal Aviation Administration. A National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report, Form 6120.1, was not received from the pilot.

The pilot stated that there were no anomalies during the preflight inspection of the airplane, the taxi, runup, and departure climb from MAF. He stated that at the time of departure, the left- and right-wing fuel tanks were ½ full, and the fuselage auxiliary tank was empty. About 18 minutes after departure, both communication radios began to flicker followed by a loss of electrical power to the avionics; none of the circuit breakers were tripped. In troubleshooting, the pilot reset the alternator circuit breaker, which did not restore electrical power. He then diverted the flight to SWW and entered a right downwind for runway 17 at 700 feet above the airport traffic pattern altitude. He said that he attempted but was unable to extend the flaps and did not receive a landing gear down and locked indication. He extended the downwind leg and slowed the airplane to 90 knots indicated airspeed to perform an emergency landing gear extension. He pressed the emergency gear release lever several times but felt/heard no indications that the landing gear extended. The pilot then flew an extended final and about 8 miles from runway 17, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. He located a field encircled by trees to perform a forced landing. During the approach to the field, he attempted twice to start the engine but was unsuccessful. The pilot said that he was unable to attain the field and the airplane impacted trees with the left wing during the approach. The airplane turned and yawed left, impacted the ground, and slid to a stop. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 35, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/01/2010
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) , 10 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELLANCA
Registration: N8234R
Model/Series: 17-30A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30409
Landing Gear Type:  Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/17/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 5 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3407.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-K
Registered Owner: Individual
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane was equipped with left- and right-wing tanks that each had a 19-gallon capacity, each of which had a 15 gallons useable capacity. The airplane was equipped with left and right auxiliary wing tanks outboard of the wing tanks with a 17-gallon capacity, each of which had a 17 gallons useable capacity. The airplane also had a fuselage auxiliary fuel tank with a total and useable capacity of 20 gallons.

The airplane underwent annual inspections in 2012, 2016, and on June 17, 2017 at a total airframe time of 3,401.82 hours, an engine time since overhaul of 970.82 hours, and a tachometer time of 3,401.82 hours.

The tachometer time at the time of the accident was 3,407.2 hours. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ABI, 1791 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 48 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1352 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: MIDLAND, TX (MAF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: ABILENE, TX (ABI)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1230 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Avenger Field Airport (SWW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2380 ft
Runway Surface Condition: 
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5840 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.581667, -100.502222

Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the flaps and landing gear were retracted. The propeller was attached to the engine crankshaft, and all three propeller blades were attached to the propeller hub. All the propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches consistent with rotation. The propeller blades were able to be rotated in the hub by hand, which was consistent with broken pitch change links.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The airplane fuel tanks were intact and not broken open. The fuel caps were in place and secure. The fuel tank filler necks and bottom of the fuel caps were brown in color consistent with corrosion. The cockpit fuel tank selector was positioned to OFF, and the cockpit auxiliary fuel tank selector was positioned to RIGHT WING. The pilot did not report the positions of the fuel selectors that he had used during the flight.

During the salvage recovery of the airplane, the right-wing tank contained about 9 gallons of fuel, the right-wing auxiliary tank was empty, the left-wing tank contained about 1 gallon of fuel, and the left-wing auxiliary tank contained about 8 gallons of fuel. The rear auxiliary tank was empty. The wings had either separated from the fuselage during the accident or removed during recovery.

All the fuel tank sending units were of the resistive type and were not annotated with information identifying a manufacturer, part number, or serial number. The sending units were removed, examined and tested with an Ohm meter. All the sending units' float arms moved freely under hand pressure, no binding was noted, and their electrical connections were secure and in place. The resistive test measurements yielded the following approximate resistive values for the fuel sender float positions at bottom limit of travel, mid-range, and upper limit of travel positions:

Test meter resistance - 2 ohms
Left wing fuel tank: bottom limit – 4 ohms, mid-range – 18 ohms, upper limit – 45 ohms
Left auxiliary fuel tank: bottom limit, mid-range, upper limit – 35 ohms
Right main fuel tank: bottom limit – 3 ohms, mid-range – 16 ohms, upper limit – 38 ohms
Right auxiliary fuel tank: bottom limit – 6 ohms, mid-range – 37 ohms, upper limit – 49 ohms

The resistive specifications for the airplane were unknown at the time this report was written.

There was no record that the fuel senders had been replaced since the manufacture of the airplane.

When electrical power was placed on the airplane, the communication and navigation radios powered up and no circuit breakers tripped. Electrical continuity from the battery to the alternator was confirmed. The alternator was attached, secure and had its drive belt in place, which exhibited normal belt tension. The alternator was removed, and bench tested without anomalies. The loss of electrical power was not duplicated during the examination.

Post-accident engine examination revealed the fuel lines were attached and secure. The fuel lines between the fuel pump and the fuel metering unit contained no fuel. The fuel line between the fuel metering unit and the fuel manifold valve contained no fuel. The fuel manifold cap was removed, and no fuel was present in the manifold housing. The manifold screen did not contain debris, the diaphragm was intact, and the plunger displayed no anomalies. Borescope examination of the cylinders revealed no mechanical anomalies. Engine drive and valve train continuity to the accessory section was confirmed during hand rotation of the propeller with the top spark plugs removed. The top sparkplugs displayed color consistent with a lean mixture. The spark plugs displayed no lead or carbon fouling, and the electrodes displayed a normal-worn condition. During crankshaft rotation, there was a repetitive audible sound consistent with the magneto impulse coupling operation. After neither magneto produced an electrical spark, they were removed for bench testing and disassembly.

The right magneto was a Slick Aircraft Products, model 6310, serial number 00091452, and the left magneto was a Slick Aircraft Products, model 6310, serial number 00091465. The head of the magneto case screw adjacent to the P-lead connection partially contained a yellow-colored material placed upon the screw head during manufacturing of the magneto.

Both magnetos were placed on a test bench and rotated at 3,600 rpm and no electrical spark was produced from any of the distributor block leads due to wear of magneto pick-up brushes. The coil and condenser from both magnetos were tested using a coil and condenser tester, which resulted in no test anomalies.

Slick Service Bulletin SB3-08, was issued for the mandatory inspections on all Slick 4300/6300 and LASAR 4700/6700 magnetos with serial numbers beginning with 0409XXXX and up. The Service Bulletin stated:

"Field reports indicate operators have experienced premature carbon brush wear. Premature brush wear can lead to failure of the magneto to provide consistent spark and possible loss of engine power. This bulletin describes an inspection schedule for specific serial number ranges and magneto and brush operating times due to observed variations in premature wear rates. The actions required by this Service Bulletin do not provide a solution or terminating action but are aimed at detecting wear signs before damage grows and results in magneto failure."

A review of the airplane and engine records for magneto maintenance revealed that the most recent recorded maintenance for either magneto was the installation of the right magneto dated October 26, 2010 as recorded on a blue tag at a tachometer time of 2,944.04 hours. There were no subsequent records showing an overhaul/inspection of either magneto.