Saturday, March 30, 2019

Steen Skybolt, owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight, N27265: Accident occurred March 17, 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 Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA110
Date & Time: 03/17/2018, 1424 EDT
Registration: N27265
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 17, 2018, about 1424 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Skybolt, N27265, was destroyed following a forced landing near Punta Gorda, Florida. The commercial pilot had minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for local flight that originated at Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), Punta Gorda, Florida, about 1330.

The pilot reported that the Lycoming O-360 series engine that was installed on the aerobatic biplane had just been overhauled and he was flying in the local area as part of a 10-hr break-in period. This was the first flight following the overhaul. The preflight inspection and ground operations were normal. There were no signs of oil leaks during the preflight inspection. About 35 minutes into the flight, oil appeared on both windscreens, blocking forward visibility. The windscreens eventually became completely covered with oil. He called tower personnel, alerting them to the problem and was cleared to land on runway 22. The engine lost power; however, it continued to run under partial power. Tower personnel reported smoke coming from the engine. Unable to make runway 22, he elected to land the airplane in a field. After landing, the airplane collided with a ditch and came to a stop. The engine caught fire and the pilot egressed the airplane.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Fire consumed the entire airframe except for the outboard sections of the right wings. The engine was examined and a hole was observed in the top of the crankcase, adjacent to the no. 2 cylinder.

Following the recovery of the wreckage, the engine was examined by an NTSB air safety investigator. The engine remained attached to the engine mount, and the engine mount was attached to the firewall. All sections and components of the engine were exposed to postcrash heat and fire. The oil filter was secure and the safety wire was installed and in place. All accessories on the aft section of the engine were fire-damaged. All surfaces were dry and no residual oil was present. All lines and hoses were burned or melted. The carburetor was separated from impact forces.

A rectangular-shaped hole was evident on the top of the engine case, adjacent to the no. 2 cylinder. The area around the hole was dry and there was no residual oil observed. Visual examination inside the case hole revealed the no. 2 connecting rod was fractured at the crankshaft. There was no residual oil on the components; however, the entire area was exposed to postcrash heat and fire. The other connecting rods were attached to the crankshaft.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 76, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/13/2017
Flight Time:  3935 hours (Total, all aircraft), 399 hours (Total, this make and model), 3200 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BESARICK
Registration: N27265
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: WHB-2
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/20/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2361 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4A
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: PGD, 25 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1453 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 210°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 19 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Punta Gorda, FL (PGD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Punta Gorda, FL (PGD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Punta Gorda Airport (PGD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7193 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  26.971111, -81.960833 (est)

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