Sunday, February 24, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Bellanca 7ACA, N9176L; accident occurred August 18, 2017 near H. L. Sonny Callahan Airport (KCQF), Fairhope, Baldwin County, Alabama

Tony Taloney (pictured above) and Joe B. Bagget were the two pilots involved in the plane crash that took place in Fairhope, Alabama. 


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Final 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/N9176L



Location: Fairhope, AL
Accident Number: ERA17LA282
Date & Time: 08/18/2017, 1809 CDT
Registration: N9176L
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7ACA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The private pilot stated that he had already completed several landings and had just taken off and started a left crosswind turn about 500 ft above ground level when the engine lost total power. He immediately lowered the nose of the airplane, checked the fuel selector position, and applied carburetor heat. The engine restarted, and the pilot began a climb; however, the engine stopped running again, restarted, and then quit a third time. By this time, the pilot-rated passenger had taken control of the airplane and performed a forced landing to a field, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that adequate fuel remained in both fuel tanks, and a test run of the engine showed that it ran through its entire power band without interruption. The examination did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Although the weather conditions were conducive to the formation of carburetor ice at cruise/glide engine power settings, the airplane was operating at a high power setting; thus, it is unlikely that ice formed in the carburetor during takeoff.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination and a test run of the engine did not reveal any evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Findings

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

On August 18, 2017, at 1809 central daylight time, a Bellanca 7ACA airplane, N9176L, made a forced landing to a cotton field after a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from the H. L. Sonny Callahan Airport (CQF), Fairhope, Alabama. The airframe was substantially damaged. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and the pilot rated passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at a private airstrip in Daphne, Alabama, about 1615.

The private pilot stated that he had recently received a tailwheel endorsement in the accident airplane and the purpose of the flight was to practice takeoffs and landings. He said that even though he had the proper endorsement to fly the airplane alone, he asked the pilot rated passenger to come along with him as a precaution. The private pilot stated that he had already completed several landings and had just taken off and started to turn on a left crosswind turn about 500 ft above the ground (agl) when the engine stopped producing power. He immediately lowered the nose of the airplane, checked the position of the fuel selector, and applied carburetor heat. The engine started, and the pilot began a climb; however, the engine quit running again, then re-started, and quit a third time. By this time, the pilot rated passenger had taken control of the airplane and made the forced landing to the field.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the fuselage and the right-wing strut. Flight control continuity was established from all flight controls to the cockpit. Both wing fuel tanks were intact and about 7 to 8 gallons of fuel were still in the fuel tanks. Fuel was present the firewall mounted fuel strainer and no water was observed. The screen was absent of debris. The engine was placed in a test cell and run. The engine started and ran thru its full power-band without interruption. No mechanical deficiencies were identified that would have precluded normal operation of the engine.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical was issued on April 19, 2016. The pilot reported a total of 341.7 hours, of which, 3.3 were in the accident airplane.

The pilot rated passenger held an airline transport pilot rating for multiengine land, single-engine land and single engine sea airplane. He was also a certified flight instructor for single and multiengine airplane. In addition, the pilot held numerous type ratings (CE-500, CE-525S, IA-Jet, and LR-60), and was an airframe and powerplant mechanic. His last FAA second-class medical was issued on July 10, 2017. At that time, the pilot reported a total of 9,500 flight hours.

Weather at CQF at 1815 was reported as visibility 10 miles, clear skies and wind out of the west at 5 knots. The temperature was 82° F and the dewpoint was 79° F.

The carburetor icing probability chart from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB): CE-09-35 Carburetor Icing Prevention, June 30, 2009, shows that the weather conditions were conducive to the formation of carburetor icing at cruise/glide engine power settings at the temperature and dew point reported at the time of the accident. 

History of Flight

Takeoff
Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)

Emergency descent
Loss of engine power (total)
Off-field or emergency landing



Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/19/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/22/2015
Flight Time:  341.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 275.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 38 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 9500 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELLANCA
Registration: N9176L
Model/Series: 7ACA NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 35-72
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/19/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 29 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1037.88 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors Inc
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C85-12F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 85 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: CQF, 91 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1815 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 26°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Daphne, AL (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fairhope, AL (CQF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1615 CDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: H L SONNY CALLAHAN (CQF)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 91 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

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: 30.523056, -87.903333 (est)

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