Sunday, October 20, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Champion 7ECA Citabria, N5094X; accident occurred April 19, 2016 at Birchwood Pocono Airpark (abandoned), Tannersville, Pocono Township, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tannersville, PA
Accident Number: ERA16LA166
Date & Time: 04/19/2016, 1430 EDT
Registration: N5094X
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 19, 2016, at 1430 eastern daylight time, a Champion 7ECA, N5094X, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to an abandoned airport in Tannersville, Pennsylvania. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by East Penn Flying Club, in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport (XLL), Allentown, Pennsylvania, at 1230.

According to the pilot, while returning from a local flight, he was at a cruise altitude of 2,800 ft above ground level when the engine began to "sputter and [lose] power." He set the mixture to the full rich position and applied the carburetor heat in an attempt to restore power, but both efforts had no effect. The airplane continued to lose altitude and the pilot made an emergency landing at an abandoned airfield. During the landing roll, the pilot lost control of the airplane and "ground looped." The pilot stated that after he landed he checked the fuel in both tanks and noted an undetermined amount of fuel in both fuel tanks.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that it came to rest on the left wing. The left wing was buckled, and the left landing gear separated from the fuselage. During an examination of the fuel system, he noted that the airplane was not equipped with a fuel selector. The right tank was not breached but found empty and left tank was about half full. An examination of the engine did not reveal evidence any preimpact anomalies.

At 1435, the recorded weather, about 43 miles and 190° from the accident site, at XLL was: Wind 360° at 10 knots; visibility 7 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 50° F; dew point; 36° F; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

The temperature and dew point spread were plotted on a carburetor icing probability chart. Their intersection was within the serious icing at cruise power and serious icing at glide power setting envelope.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 76, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
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: 01/14/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/20/2015
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1378 hours (Total, all aircraft), 368 hours (Total, this make and model), 1378 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CHAMPION
Registration: N5094X
Model/Series: 7ECA NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 653
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/07/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1650 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 15 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4219 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O235C1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 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: XLL, 399 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 37 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1435 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ALLENTOWN, PA (XLL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ALLENTOWN, PA (XLL)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR
Departure Time: 1230 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

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: 41.064444, -75.251944 (est)

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