Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cessna 206, N5152U: Accident occurred August 09, 2019 in Prospect, Jackson County, Oregon

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon
Skinner Aviation; Ashland, Oregon

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N5152U

Location: Prospect, OR
Accident Number: WPR19LA217
Date & Time: 08/09/2019, 1820 PDT
Registration: N5152U
Aircraft: Cessna 206
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled 

On August 9, 2019, about 1820 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 206, N5152U, experienced a total loss of engine power and made a forced landing to an open meadow near Rustler Peak, Prospect, Oregon. The airplane was owned by Skinner Aviation and operated by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The pilot, an employee of Skinner Aviation, and a passenger, an employee of ODF, were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight departed the Rogue Valley International – Medford Airport (MFR), Medford, Oregon, at 1530, and was scheduled to return to MFR.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to conduct a fire reconnaissance mission. During takeoff and climb, he noted that all gauges indicated normal; he checked the gauges every 10-15 minutes during the flight. About 2.8 hours into the flight, over Rustler Peak, they heard a loud bang followed by violent shaking of the airplane. He was not able to accurately read the instruments, but believe they were around 5,500-6,000 ft mean sea level (msl) about 1,500-2,000 ft. above ground level (agl). The pilot retarded the propeller control to extend his glide distance while he looked for a place to land. He then radioed air attack, who relayed a mayday call.

The pilot stated that he found an open area to land, activated the emergency locator transmitter (ELT), switched the radio to 121.5 and made a mayday call. The open area where he landed was a swamp area and as soon as they touched down, they were thrown forward in their seatbelts. They exited the airplane and waited to be rescued. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5152U
Model/Series: 206 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: SKINNER AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: S1ZA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Medford, OR (MFR)
Destination: Medford, OR (MFR) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.650000, -122.325000 (est)

JACKSON COUNTY, Oregon — Federal investigators are now looking into what caused a small plane on a firefighting mission for the Oregon Department of Forestry to crash in eastern Jackson County at about 6:30 P.M. Friday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna 206 with tail number N5152U made a hard landing east of Rustler Peak, a 6,000-foot mountain 12 miles southeast of Prospect.

"Neither of the two people on board was injured," Ian Gregor, Public Affair Manager for the FAA said. "The crew was conducting a fire-spotting flight when the incident occurred."

Gregor said the cause of the crash was a "possible engine malfunction."

"The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Neither (agency) identify people involved in aircraft accidents," Gregor said.

The plane is registered to Skinner Leasing LLC on Fairview Drive in Medford and has valid registration through 2022.

Natalie Weber, Public Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry said the plane was a contract air attack plane with two people on board.

Air tactical or air attack planes coordinate aerial firefighting aircraft over wildland fires. They provide vital eyes in the sky for firefighters on the ground and ensure safe aviation operations.

The role of recon aircraft is to grid an area that has either been involved in a lightning storm or has been determined to be of high risk for fire, according to the ODF aviation manual available on their website.

The flight took off from Medford just after 3:30 p.m. following the start of a storm system that moved through nine counties in Southern Oregon.

The storm spawned more than 1,600 lightning strikes on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. ODF reported a few small fires were started from lightning, the majority of those fires are in the Applegate Valley area, with the largest being 1/100 of an acre.

News 10 could not confirm with the Oregon Department of Forestry what the crews on the reconnaissance mission were doing prior to the crash.

Details of the crash have not been released by the ODF, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office or the FAA and NTSB.

"We're just so thankful that there were no injuries reported, that the passenger and the pilot were completely okay," Weber said in a statement Friday. "Safety is absolutely our number one priority."

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

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