Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Flightstar FC-II, N354AR: Accident occurred June 18, 2019 near Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knoxville, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

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


Location: Knoxville, TN
Accident Number: CEN19LA175
Date & Time: 06/18/2019, 0855 EDT
Registration: N354AR
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 19, 2019, about 0855 eastern daylight time, a Flightstar FC11 experimental light sport aircraft, N354AR, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in water after a loss of engine power near Knoxville, Tennessee. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to the pilot and the local flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated about 0750 from the Sky Ranch Airport (TN98), Knoxville, Tennessee.

After an uneventful local flight, the pilot reported that the engine lost power and he executed a forced landing into the Tennessee River, in close proximity to the Knoxville Downtown Airport (DKX). The pilot exited the aircraft and swam to shore. The aircraft stayed submerged in the water for over 24-hours before its recovery by local authorities. After the accident, the pilot reported that he believed that the engine had some sort of electrical problem. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: FLIGHTSTAR
Registration: N354AR
Model/Series: FC11
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Odendaal Martin J
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TYS, 979 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 11000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Knoxville, TN (TN98)
Destination: Knoxville, TN

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.963889, -83.873611 (est)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Authorities with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and Knoxville Police Department have recovered a plane from the Tennessee River after its engine failed on June 18th, 2019.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Martin Odendaal, 62, of Freindsville, was flying his experimental aircraft from Sky Ranch Airport to the Downtown Island Airport  on June 18th when he had to land it in the river.

Knoxville firefighters said they were called to the scene around 8:45 p.m. for a rescue operation, but Odendaal was able to meet them at the shore after swimming from his sunken plane.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Odendaal’s plane is a Flightstar FCII.

Walter Lounsbery, a local pilot, said Odendaal’s plane looked more like an ultralight plane, and possibly flew similar to one as well.

He said those kinds of planes can be easier to land in smaller areas.

“He was flying a very slow aircraft, kind of a ultralight aircraft. Those are wonderful in that they can land in very short spots and if you land in the water it’s normally very safe,” Lounsbery said.

He said that learning how to land in an emergency is a big part of training for a light sport pilot license.

“One of the most crucial things is learning how to divert from your airport to land if you have a mechanical problem. That’s apparently what happened with this pilot. He wasn’t able to make it to Downtown Island Airport, but he could make it into the river which is a lot better than crashing into something,” Lounsbery said.

He said that Odendaal made an excellent landing, compared to the alternatives.

Mitch Bennett, a flight instructor at Sky Ranch, said that pilot training always includes a ditching maneuver.

Bennett agreed that Odendaal executed a textbook ditching maneuver.

According to Bennett, pilots need to look for the safest landing zone closest to them, and in Odendaal’s case that was the water.

He said that then, pilots need to keep calm and accept the fact that their engine failed.

“Without hesitation, (the pilot) immediately pitch(es) for best glide speed as to not stall the aircraft,” Bennett said.

He said then the pilot would head straight for a controlled glide to touch down on the water.

“His training and experience allowed for this to happen for him and the general public. He did a great job landing from the sounds of it. He is alive and safe, nobody else was injured. His training paid off,” Bennett applauded about Odendaal’s landing.

Authorities said that they didn’t have any environmental concerns with leaving the plane in the Tennessee River because the plane used regular fuel, not jet fuel, and it was only carrying about five gallons.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the “crash.”

Story and video ➤ https://www.wate.com

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Knoxville emergency crews say a pilot is unharmed after their plane crashed into the Tennessee River near the Island Home airport on June 18th, 2019.

Authorities said it was up to the pilot to get the wreckage out of the water. KPD later said the pilot asked the Blount County Special Operations Response Team to recover the plane, which was completed Wednesday evening.

A team of KPD officers and Knox County deputies used sonar to locate the plane earlier in the day, and the Blount County team confirmed the plane's identity with video technology and a dive at the site before recovering it.

KPD said the preliminary report of the incident has now been handed off the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to Knox County dispatch, crews received a call about a plane that went into the Tennessee River near the South Knoxville airport around 8:45 p.m.

D.J. Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department said witnesses reported seeing a plane go into the river just west of the water treatment plant along the north bank and never surfaced.

The Knoxville Police Department later confirmed the crash, saying the sole 62-year-old pilot of that aircraft was found unharmed on the shore after they swam to safety and were pulled from the water by rescue crews.

According to Knoxville Fire Department, the pilot was flying in from Skyranch Airport off Alcoa Highway in Knoxville -- a small airport for sports and hobbyist flyers.

Knoxville Fire Department said the pilot crashed while trying to land the plane, saying the plane's engines had failed at around 2,000 feet and they crashed just shy of the airport.

The pilot reportedly had 5 gallons of fuel on board the Flightstar FC-II, according to Knoxville Fire Department. The plane is still submerged under 15 feet of water, and it will be up to the plane's owner to hire a wrecker company to get it out.

Officials have determined that the wreckage does not interfere with water traffic.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified to conduct a full crash investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wbir.com

A Knoxville Police boat near where a small plane crashed into the Tennessee river near the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport on June 18th, 2019. 

Fog covers the water near where a small plane crashed into the Tennessee river near the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport on June 18th, 2019. 

A small plane crashed into the Tennessee River on Tuesday night near the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. 

At about 8:45 p.m., the Knoxville Fire Department received a call that a plane had gone down in the river. A department spokesman said eyewitnesses saw the plane go down near the north bank.

Firefighters launched a rescue boat, and the pilot was spotted and pulled from the water.

The 62-year-old pilot, who is uninjured and was the only person on board, had flown out of Skyranch Airport in Knoxville before his engine failed just shy of Island Home Airport.

The pilot was flying a Flightstar FC-II. It is submerged in 15 feet of water, the fire department said in a press release.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.knoxnews.com

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