Thursday, March 14, 2019

Piper PA-28R-200, N33305: Accident occurred March 13, 2019 in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland -and- Incident occurred March 29, 2018 at Lee Airport (KANP), Edgewater, Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aquila Aviation LLC

Location: Easton, Maryland 
Accident Number: ERA19LA160
Date & Time: March 13, 2019, 17:40 Local
Registration: N33305
Aircraft: Piper PA28R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total) 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor and pilot were on a flight to resume the pilot's instrument training. After performing maneuvers and several touch-and-go landings, the pilots elected to perform a practice instrument approach to the destination airport. While on the approach, they configured the airplane for landing. The flight instructor noted that the airplane was below the glideslope and asked the pilot to increase engine power; however, the engine did not respond to the throttle input. The flight instructor took the controls and attempted to restore engine power without success. The propeller continued to windmill, the pilot switched fuel tanks, and the engine did not restart. The flight instructor performed a forced landing in a nearby field, during which the fuselage was substantially damaged. During recovery from the field, fuel was drained from both fuel tanks, and no water or debris was noted in the fuel. An examination of the engine revealed crankshaft and valvetrain continuity throughout the engine. The propeller was rotated through 360° of motion, and compression and suction were noted on all cylinders. In addition, fuel was plumbed into the engine, and the engine was started and ran smoothly without hesitation. The engine power was decreased to idle power, and then the engine was shut down. There were no mechanical malfunctions or failures noted with the engine that would have precluded normal operation before the accident. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident engine examination and testing revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.


Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined

Factual Information

On March 13, 2019, about 1740 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N33305, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field near Easton, Maryland. The flight instructor and the private pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight that departed from the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport (CGE), Cambridge, Maryland, about 1720. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and had an intended destination of Easton/Newnam Field (ESN), Easton, Maryland.

According to the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was to reacquaint the pilot with the airplane and resume his instrument flight training. They departed Lee Airport (ANP), Annapolis, Maryland, about 1630, and flew to CGE and performed two landings. Then, they departed CGE and were cleared for the "ILS Rwy 4" approach with a circle to land clearance for runway 22 at ESN. While descending on the approach, they configured the airplane for landing by reducing engine power, moving the propeller control to the full forward position, setting the mixture to full rich, turning the electric fuel pump on, moving the landing gear selector to the down position, and extending the flaps "one notch." The airplane descended below the glideslope and the flight instructor told the pilot to add engine power, however, while advancing the throttle, the engine did not respond. The flight instructor took the controls and attempted to get the engine to respond without success. The propeller continued to windmill, the pilot switched the fuel tanks, and again, the engine did not restart. The flight instructor looked for a place to land and found a nearby field. They were about 1,000 ft mean sea level, so he extended the flaps, elected to retract the landing gear, and performed a forced landing to the muddy field. The airplane came to rest in the field, the two occupants turned "everything off" and egressed the airplane.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness records, the airplane was manufactured in 1975. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360-C1C, 200-horsepower engine. According to the engine maintenance logbook, the most recent annual inspection was completed on March 5, 2019, at 1,567.6 hours since major overhaul.

An examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that a fuselage rib was substantially damaged during the accident sequence. Fuel was noted in both fuel tanks and during recovery was drained using the electric fuel pump, which pumped fuel into exterior containers. No water or contaminates were noted in the fuel. An examination of the fuel selector revealed that it moved
smoothly, and it could be clearly felt when the selector was in each respective detent.

Examination of the engine revealed that there was no damage to the crankcase. Crankshaft and valvetrain continuity were confirmed. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders. The magneto timing was checked, the magnetos were sparked, and no anomalies were noted. The airbox was examined and not obstructed. Engine control cable continuity was confirmed from the propeller, mixture, and throttle control cables to their respective connections on the engine.

Later, the airplane was secured, fuel was plumbed into to the engine, and the engine was started. It ran smoothly, without hesitation, the engine power was decreased to idle power, and then the engine was shutdown. There were no anomalies noted with the engine.

History of Flight

Approach-circling (IFR) Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision during takeoff/land

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor; Private
Age: 29, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 4, 2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes Last Flight Review or Equivalent: January 26, 2019
Flight Time: 855 hours (Total, all aircraft), 158 hours (Total, this make and model), 814 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 198 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 67 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 40, 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: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 24, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 26, 2018
Flight Time: 263 hours (Total, all aircraft), 21 hours (Total, this make and model), 190 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N33305
Model/Series: PA28R 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 28R-7535131
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 5, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2650 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4537.6 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C1C
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 200
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ESN,72 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:57 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 31°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 160° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Cambridge, MD (CGE)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Easton, MD (ESN) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 17:20 Local 
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Airport: Easton/Newnam Field ESN
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 72 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: ILS
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.779724,-76.088058(est)

March 29, 2018: Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 29-MAR-18
Time: 20:13:00Z
Regis#: N33305
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28R 200
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

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