Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey, N907CB, accident occurred June 07, 2018 near Buchan Airport (X36), Englewood, 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 Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Englewood, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA162
Date & Time: 06/07/2018, 1150 EDT
Registration: N907CB
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


The student pilot of the experimental, amateur-built airplane reported that he performed an engine run-up at 3,500 rpm along the entire length of the runway and then turned around for takeoff in the opposite direction. After rotation, the engine lost partial power. The airplane descended and struck a tree at the end of the runway before coming to rest in grass near the runway end. The fuselage and left wing sustained substantial damage.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the accumulation of serious carburetor icing at glide power and icing at glide and cruise power. The engine was not equipped with a carburetor heat system. Therefore, it is likely that the carburetor accumulated ice during ground operations, which resulted in the partial loss of engine power during the subsequent climb. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The partial loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.


Environmental issues
Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on operation (Cause)
Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information 

On June 7, 2018, about 1150 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Searey, N907CB, was substantially damaged following a partial loss of engine power near Englewood, Florida. The student pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a solo instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at Buchan Airport (X36), Englewood, Florida and was destined for Airport Manatee (48X), Palmetto, Florida.

The pilot reported that he flew the airplane earlier that morning for about 75 minutes with no anomalies noted. He landed at X36 and took a break for about 30 minutes. He fueled the airplane earlier that day and there were 13.6 gallons on board for takeoff from X36. He performed an engine runup at 3,500 rpm along the entire length of runway 30, then turned around for a takeoff on runway 12. After rotation, the pilot noted a partial loss of engine power. The airplane sank and struck a tree at the end of runway 12 before coming to rest in a lawn near the runway end.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. He reported that the fuselage and left wing sustained structural damage. Examination of the fuel system revealed that the fuel tank was "almost full." The see-through fuel filter was about ¾ full and the fuel inside was clean. The clear plastic fuel lines contained fuel and the fuel was clean.

The FAA inspector's examination of the engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The engine choke was examined and it operated normally. The engine was not equipped with a carburetor heat system. Internal continuity was established and there were no holes or leaks on the engine case.

The closest weather reporting facility was the about 6 miles north-northwest of the accident site. At 1155, the weather conditions reported at Venice, Florida Municipal Airport (VNC) included temperature 30° C and dew point 22° C.

An FAA carburetor icing probability chart indicated the temperature and dew point conditions were conducive to the formation of serious icing at glide power, and icing at glide and cruise power.

According to the FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, carburetor ice occurs due to the effect of fuel vaporization and the decrease in air pressure in the carburetor's venturi, which can cause a sharp temperature decrease in the carburetor. If water vapor in the air condenses when the carburetor temperature is at or below freezing, ice may form on the internal surfaces of the carburetor, including the throttle valve. This then restricts the flow of the fuel/air mixture and reduces engine power. Generally, the first indication of carburetor icing in an airplane with a fixed-pitch propeller is a decrease in engine rpm, which may be followed by engine roughness. Under certain conditions, carburetor ice can build unnoticed until power is added. 

History of Flight

Initial climb
Other weather encounter
Loss of engine power (partial) (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

After landing
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 38, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/16/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  
Flight Time:   274 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9 hours (Total, this make and model), 215 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 137 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BRYAN C L/LABRASH R D
Registration: N907CB
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1MK105
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/08/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 878 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 912
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 80 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: VNC, 17 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1555 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 327°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Englewood, FL (X36)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Palmetto, FL (48X)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Buchan Airport (X36)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 15 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2040 ft / 120 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.987500, -82.368889 (est)

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