Sunday, October 27, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Waco UPF-7, N29909; accident occurred September 28, 2017 near Woods and Lakes Airpark (FA38), Ocklawaha, Marion County, 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; Orlando, Florida

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N29909


Location: Ocklawaha, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA340
Date & Time: 09/28/2017, 1921 EDT
Registration: N29909
Aircraft: WACO UPF 7
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 28, 2017, about 1921 eastern daylight time, an experimental Waco UPF 7, N29909, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to wooded terrain after a total loss of engine power about 1.5 miles south of the Woods and Lakes Airpark (FA38), near Ocklawaha, Florida. The commercial pilot/owner sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated at the Hobby Hill Airport (2FD1), Weirsdale, Florida, about 1855.

The pilot stated that while maneuvering, the engine magneto indicator illuminated and one of the engine's magnetos failed followed shortly after by the other magneto, resulting in a total loss of engine power. He said that he tried to reach FA38, but realized he was not going to make it so he "surfed" the airplane into the treetops. The pilot said he made a successful landing and the airplane came to rest gently in the trees before it nosed over and fell 60 ft to the ground and came to rest on its nose with the tail section sticking straight up in the air. There was damage to the top and bottom wings and the firewall.

A friend of the pilot, who was also a pilot and an airframe and powerplant mechanic, heard the airplane fly over his home. He said the airplane's engine hesitated, then stopped, and tried to re-start before it went silent. The friend drove to FA38 and saw that the airplane did not land, so he drove in the direction he last saw the airplane and found it had landed in heavily wooded terrain about a mile from the airport. After calling 911, the friend approached the airplane and later advised the fire department to turn the master switch off to prevent a fire due to the presence of gasoline fumes.

The airplane was equipped with an experimental Vedeneyev M14-P radial engine. Examination of the magnetos by M-14P, Inc. in Kingman, Arizona, revealed that both magnetos had "bad (out of range on impedance)" secondary windings on the coil. The points exhibited a white powder, consistent with the capacitor in the secondary windings of each magneto failing or had failed. Both rotors were cracked and the pencil springs in both distributor caps were rusted. Damage was also noted to several of the ignition leads (left magneto had 3 faulty leads, and the right magneto had 1 faulty lead). An automotive ignition harness was installed on the magnetos as part of an approved automotive conversion kit. According to a representative of M14-P, Inc., the auto ignition wire has a higher amount of resistance that the magnetos were not designed to handle.

The last engine, airframe, and propeller conditional inspection was conducted on October 13, 2016. At the time of the accident, the airplane, engine, and propeller had accrued a total of 331 since new. The magnetos were installed new and had a total of 331 hours.

The pilot held a commercial certificate for airplane single-engine land and sea, and instrument airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on October 6, 2016. The pilot reported a total of 2,725 flight hours, of which, 723 hours were in the same make/model as the accident airplane.

Weather at The Villages (VVG), The Villages, Florida, about 11 miles south of the accident site, at 1930, was reported as calm wind, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/06/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/16/2016
Flight Time: 2725 hours (Total, all aircraft), 723 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: WACO
Registration: N29909
Model/Series: UPF 7 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Year of Manufacture:1942 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number:5406 
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/13/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3095 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4431.2 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Vedeneyev
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: M-14P
Registered Owner: HOBBY HILL FARMS INC
Rated Power: 360 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: VVG, 89 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1730 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:Calm / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.78 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hobby Hill, FL (2FD1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:Oklawaha, FL (FA38) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:1855 EDT 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 29.000000, -81.000000 (est)

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