Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Luscombe 8A, operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight, N71497: Accident occurred August 13, 2016 in Marlboro Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey
Continental Motors Inc; 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


Location: Marlboro, NJ
Accident Number: ERA16LA291
Date & Time: 08/13/2016, 1203 EDT
Registration: N71497
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 13, 2016, about 1203 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N71497, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in an open field near Marlboro, New Jersey. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated about 1 hour 30 minutes earlier from Old Bridge Airport (3N6), Old Bridge, New Jersey.

The pilot stated to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel that the flight departed 3N6 with about 12 gallons of fuel and flew around the local area. While in cruise flight at 1,200 ft mean sea level, he reported the engine suddenly ceased producing power, and his attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. He maneuvered for a forced landing to a nearby racetrack but realized the flight path was too high. He then maneuvered for a forced landing in a nearby field, and while in a nose and left wing low attitude, the airplane impacted the ground. He further stated that the engine did not sputter, and he did apply carburetor heat, but that did not restore engine power.

Examination of the accident site and airplane by the FAA inspector revealed no fuel remained in the un-breached fuel tank. The inlet fitting at the fuel strainer was broken off but no fuel leakage was noted. A stain on the ground near the engine was attributed to be oil from the breached oil tank. During recovery of the airplane, the fuel supply line from the fuel tank was cut and no fuel was noted in the line.

Examination of the engine by a representative of the engine manufacturer with FAA oversight following recovery of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The carburetor which was separated from the induction plenum but remained connected via the flexible hose from the fuel strainer and control cables was drained and found to contain about 1 or 2 teaspoons of fuel. The fuel strainer was found to contain about 2 tablespoons of fuel. The fuel tank quantity indicator glass was scratched and cloudy. There were no other reported issues with the fuel quantity indicating system. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/09/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/25/2015
Flight Time:  531 hours (Total, all aircraft), 415 hours (Total, this make and model), 531 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: LUSCOMBE
Registration: N71497
Model/Series: 8 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2924
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/08/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1260 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 16 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3698 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: A65-8F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 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: BLM, 153 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1156 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 143°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 26°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Old Bridge, NJ (3N6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Old Bridge, NJ (3N6)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1033 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  40.285000, -74.222778

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