Sunday, September 01, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Grumman G-164A Ag Cat, N956X; accident occurred August 29, 2018 in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Opelousas, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA357
Date & Time: 08/29/2018, 1130 CDT
Registration: N956X
Aircraft: Grumman G164
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 29, 2018, about 1130 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164A airplane, N956X, experienced a total loss of engine power while maneuvering over an open field near Opelousas, Louisiana. The pilot subsequently made an off-airport forced landing in the field. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the top wings and vertical stabilizer. The airplane was registered to Acadian Dusters LLC, Church Point, Louisiana, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Church Point about 1100.

According to the pilot's accident report, he was practicing crop dusting maneuvers when the engine lost all power. Being at low altitude, the pilot made a forced landing in an open muddy rice field, and the airplane nosed over. Post-accident examination of the engine revealed that two bolts that secure the left magneto had come loose and were missing. This disrupted the spark timing, resulting in a complete power loss. The magneto was identified as an American Bosh SB9RU-3 magneto, serial number BB3829, that was installed on January 13, 1998.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane. In his e-mail, he reported finding two of the three bolts for the left magneto had come out. The safety wire was also broken. He stated the left magneto was barely holding on. The Sims coupling was heavily damaged as well. He could easily move the magneto around. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 35, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
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: 10/31/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/14/2017
Flight Time:   208 hours (Total, all aircraft), 15 hours (Total, this make and model), 208 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Grumman
Registration: N956X
Model/Series: G164 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 507
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/08/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4497 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 12058 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: R985-14B
Registered Owner: Acadian Dusters LLC
Rated Power: 450 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 3ZKG 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOPL, 75 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1135 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 45°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Church Point, LA (6LA5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Church Point, LA (6LA5)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

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:  30.540833, -92.203611

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to the young pilot for making a successful emergency landing at such low altitude. Sometimes sh*t happens, just fly the plane and live to fly another day!