Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Piper PA-28-235, N838JH; accident occurred April 19, 2019 at Dwight Airport (KDTG), Livingston County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dupage, Illinois

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


Location: Dwight, IL
Accident Number: CEN19LA126
Date & Time: 04/19/2019, 1630 CDT
Registration: N838JH
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 19, 2019, about 1630 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-235 airplane, N838JH, conducted a precautionary landing at the Dwight Airport (KDTG), Dwight, Illinois. The pilot and two passengers were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged during the landing. The airplane was registered to and operated by Aten, Inc, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.

The pilot reported to the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector, that he was in cruise flight at 6,500 ft. The engine started to run rough, so he applied carburetor heat, but the engine continued to run rough. He noticed the fuel pressure was zero, so he turned on the electric boost pump, but nothing changed. He then switched fuel tanks and the engine smoothed out a little with a slight increase in fuel pressure. The pilot then decided to divert to KDTG for a precautionary landing. A couple minutes later, the fuel pressure again went to zero; he switched to the left tip fuel tank, and the engine regained power momentarily. The scenario would repeat; after switching tanks, the engine momentarily regained power, so he kept switching tanks, it in order to reach KDTG.

During the crosswind landing, the airplane drifted off the runway and the nose gear collapsed. Inspection of the airplane noted a collapsed nose landing gear and substantial damage to the engine mount. Fuel was found in 3 of the 4 fuel tanks.

A mechanic and FAA inspector examined the airplane's fuel system. Fuel did not appear to be flowing properly to the carburetor. The fuel line was separated before the engine driven fuel pump and the electric boost pump activated. Adequate fuel flow was still not observed. Only a small amount of debris was found in the gascolator bowl. Both the engine driven pump and electric boost pump were removed from the airplane. An initial test of the engine driven pump found the it would not pump fuel. A restriction or any additional anomalies were not found with the airplane's fuel system.

The engine driven pump and electric boost pump was then tested by the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge. When the engine driven pump was operated by hand, suction and pressure was felt on the pump's inlet and outlet ports. The inlet of the electric boost pump was connected to a hose and the inlet end submerged in a pail of water. A 12-volt battery was then connected to the pump; the pump ran but would not draw water from the pail, and only, "spit" a small quantity of liquid.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 48
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 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/21/2018
Flight Time: 1100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 800 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N838JH
Model/Series: PA28 235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7110009
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 18 Hours
Engines:  Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2374 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-540
Registered Owner: Aten Inc
Rated Power:
Operator: Aten Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPNT
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1635
Direction from Accident Site: 240°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 21 knots / 30 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration
Departure Point: Dupage, IL (KDPA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: St Louis, IL (KCPS)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1610 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Dwight Airport (DTG)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 632 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2364 ft / 21 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Precautionary Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.132778, -88.438333 (est)

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