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

https://registry.faa.gov/N354AR

Location: Knoxville, TN
Accident Number: CEN19LA175
Date & Time: 06/18/2019, 0855 EDT
Registration: N354AR
Aircraft: FLIGHTSTAR FC11
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

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N9448B: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 at Bethel Airport (PABE), Alaska

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska
Denali CMO; Anchorage, Alaska
Grant Aviation Inc; Anchorage, Alaska

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N9448B

Location: Bethel, AK
Accident Number: ANC19LA031
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1505 AKD
Registration: N9448B
Aircraft: Cessna 208
Injuries: 6 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Scheduled 

On July 8, 2019, about 1505 Alaska daylight time, Grant Aviation flight GV262, a turbine-powered Cessna 208B airplane, N9448B, was destroyed by a post-crash fire after impacting terrain during a go-around maneuver at the Bethel Airport (BET), Bethel, Alaska. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Avion Capital Corp., and operated under visual flight rules by Grant Aviation, Inc, Anchorage, Alaska, as a scheduled commuter flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed the Newtok Airport (EWU), Newtok, Alaska, about 1430.

The pilot stated that after contacting the Bethel Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) about 10 miles west of the airport, he offered to use runway 12, because it was a more expeditious arrival from the west, and he wanted to "make it easier" for the tower controller who was very busy with arrivals of other airplanes using runways 1L and 1R. The pilot reported that, about 4 miles southwest of the airport, the tower controller cleared him to land on runway 12. Shortly thereafter, the tower controller asked the pilot to "square off" his approach. The pilot stated that he selected a higher than normal traffic pattern altitude, due to the limited visibility and terrain located on the west side of the airport. He conducted a visual approach to runway 12, with an increased rate of descent and full flaps. During the landing flare, the airplane floated down the runway, and the pilot executed a go-around, due to insufficient runway distance remaining. He advanced the throttle to maximum (red line), and retracted the flaps to 20°, while increasing the airplane's pitch attitude. As the airplane climbed out, the pilot transmitted on the tower frequency that he was going around. The pilot recalled that the tower controller urgently instructed him twice to "turn left immediately." He said that as he initiated the turn to the left, the airplane suddenly stalled, rolled right and descended, impacting the ground in a right wing low attitude.

The airplane came to rest on its right side in the grass covered drainage ditch between runways 1L and 1R. The pilot stated that he saw fire through the right window, and immediately went to the back of the airplane to help with the evacuation of the two children and three adult passengers through the left cargo door before the airplane was consumed by fire. Witnesses, the BET Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) crews and the Bethel Fire Department responded.

A preliminary review of archived, Federal Aviation Administration BET ATCT audio files, revealed that, as the pilot was making his radio transmission of intent to go around, the tower controller interrupted and instructed the pilot to immediately make a left turn, which he quickly repeated.

Runway 12 at BET is a 1,858 ft long asphalt and gravel runway which does not intersect with runway 1L or 1R. Refer to figure 1.


Figure 1. Bethel Airport runways and accident site

The closest weather reporting facility is BET. At 1453, a METAR from BET was reporting in part: wind, light and variable at 3 knots; visibility, 3 statute miles in haze; sky condition, clear; temperature, 88° F; dew point 66° F; and an altimeter setting of 29.84 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9448B
Model/Series: 208 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: GRANT AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: ENHA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABE, 128 ft msl
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  3 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Newtok, AK (EWU)
Destination: Bethel, AK (BET)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 5 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 60.776667, -161.838611 (est)

Rutan VariEze, N112EZ: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration; Des Plaines, Illinois

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; DuPage, Illinois


https://registry.faa.gov/N112EZ


Location: Kaneville, IL
Accident Number: CEN19LA216
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1600 CDT
Registration: N112EZ
Aircraft: Rutan VARIEZE
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 8, 2019, at 1600 central daylight time, a Knight-Wilcox Varieze experimental airplane, N112EZ, made a forced landing to an interstate and collided with a vehicle near Kaneville, Illinois. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The vehicle occupant was uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions near the accident site and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had not been filed. The flight departed Waukegan National Airport (UGN), Waukegan, Illinois, at 1537, and was en route to Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois.

After the accident the pilot stated that he was descending toward the destination airport and contacted the ARR air traffic control (ATC) tower. The controller advised the pilot that the ARR airspace was operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) due to low visibility and haze. The pilot remained north of the ARR airspace and requested a special VFR clearance, which was denied by ATC due to an inbound IFR flight. While holding outside of ARR airspace with a reduced power setting, the pilot stated that he reduced the mixture control about one inch of travel and the engine experienced a total loss of power; also, the propeller completely stopped rotating. While about 1,600 ft above ground level (agl), the pilot initiated a steep dive to increase airspeed and allow the propeller to rotate and the engine to restart. During the maneuver the propeller would not rotate so he pulled out of the dive about 300 ft agl and determined the interstate was the best place for a forced landing. After aligning with the west bound lane, he glided the airplane over several cars and maneuvered for an opening in the traffic where he could land the airplane. During the forced landing the right wing contacted a pickup truck in the far right lane and the pilot was unable to maintain directional control of the airplane. The airplane rotated 360° and came to rest in the grass median – see figure 1.


Figure 1 – Airplane in grass median 
(Courtesy of Chicago WGN9)

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane was moved to a local hangar where an engine functional test was conducted. The functional test was successful and no engine anomalies were noted. The test was unable to determine why the propeller would not rotate during the steep dive.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rutan
Registration: N112EZ
Model/Series: VARIEZE No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: 
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time: 1552 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:  30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chicago/Waukegan, IL (UGN)
Destination: Chicago/Aurora, IL (ARR) 

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: 41.868611, -88.579722








A small plane crashed on the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Kaneville and clipped a truck during its landing Monday, police said.

The small, fixed-wing plane was en route from Waukegan to Aurora when the pilot reported engine trouble, according to a news release from Illinois State Police. The pilot attempted an emergency landing in the westbound lanes of the tollway near Watson Road about 4 p.m., police said.

While the plane was landing, it clipped a gray GMC Canyon before it landed in the grass median, police said.

The pilot was taken by the Kaneville Fire Department to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The driver of the truck wasn't injured, and the vehicle sustained minor damage.

One lane of traffic was blocked as a result of the crash.

The crash investigation continues. Police said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified.

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

Continental Copters El Tomcat Mk VI-C, N41830: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N41830

Location: Franklin, KY
Accident Number: ERA19TA213
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1112 CDT
Registration: N41830
Aircraft: CONTINENTAL COPTERS INC TOMCAT MK6C
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On July 8, 2019, about 1112 central daylight time, a Continental Copters Tomcat MK6C, N41830, was substantially damaged while maneuvering near Franklin, Kentucky. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The local aerial application flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed a field near Franklin, Kentucky, about 1110.

The pilot stated that after 50 gallons of chemical and 5 gallons of fuel were added to the helicopter, he departed from a rooftop helipad of a truck in light and variable wind, to spray a field. As the helicopter turned, descended and leveled off to spray the field, the pilot realized that the main rotor rpm began to decay. He increased throttle, lowered the collective, and applied aft cyclic to increase rotor rpm, however, the tailboom contacted the ground and the helicopter to roll inverted. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed damage to the main rotor blades, tailrotor, fuselage, and tailboom.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CONTINENTAL COPTERS INC
Registration: N41830
Model/Series: TOMCAT MK6C
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Tri State Helicopters Inc
Operator Designator Code: TCSG 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BWG, 547 ft msl
Observation Time: 1104 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2100 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Franklin, KY
Destination: Franklin, KY

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: 36.681111, -86.631111





BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky – Franklin-Simpson Fire and Rescue was called to a helicopter crash on Kummer Road in Simpson County just before 11 a.m. Monday morning.

“I’d say it’s probably 75 to 100 feet off the end of this water way,” said Robert Palmer, director of Simpson County Emergency Management.

The chopper was dusting crops when it went down.

“The helicopter’s destroyed,” added Palmer. “It’s crumpled up. The pilot’s seat is kind of sitting out in the open facing when you walk in there. The helicopter’s completely destroyed.”

With the help of drones, emergency crews searched the area for well over an hour before finding the wreckage in a tall field of corn, which posed a huge challenge in finding the crash site.

“Finding out for sure where it was at and then dealing with eight to ten foot tall corn and the heat,” said Palmer. “The heat’s the big deal today.”

First responders were notified of the crash when the pilot showed up at an emergency room at Medical Center of Franklin and told medical personnel there he had crashed the aircraft, Palmer said.

Kentucky State Police identified Anthonie Christoffel Vos, 35, of Sevierville, Tennessee, as the pilot of the Continental Copters El Tomcat Mk VI-C, according to a release from KSP. He was crop dusting in the Kummer and Schweizer Roads area.

Vos was treated for minor injuries and released.

“I can tell you he’s lucky,” said Palmer. “He went in pretty hard, pretty short.”

There is no worry of any extra environmental damage due to the crash.

“I would say the environmental impact is zero to almost nothing,” Palmer said. “What’s out there was supposed to go on the crops anyway. It’s not gonna go anywhere from there.”

State police contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for further investigation of the crash.

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

Fuel Exhaustion: Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9919V; accident occurred July 08, 2019 near Newport Municipal Airport (KONP), Lincoln County, Oregon

Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer, right, is pictured next to the Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9919V, that crashed on July 8, 2019.

Sawyer took this picture while flying over the lighthouse on July 8, 2019.











Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N9919V

Location: Newport, Oregon
Accident Number: ANC19LA032
Date & Time: July 7, 2019, 17:00 Local
Registration: N9919V
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot and two passengers were returning from a sightseeing flight. While cruising at an altitude of about 1,200 ft, the engine began to surge between 2,100 and 2,600 rpm. To correct for the surging engine, the pilot switched fuel tanks, enriched the fuel mixture, and applied full throttle, to no avail. Unable to maintain altitude and to avoid undue harm to persons on the ground, he selected an area of hilly, sand-covered terrain for an emergency landing. During the emergency landing, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The pilot stated that, the day before the accident, the left and right fuel gauges indicated about 3/4 full and 1/4 full respectively; however, he said it was possible that he had run out of fuel.

The airplane had not undergone an annual inspection in 4 years. Postaccident examination revealed that the main fuel line to the carburetor had separated at the carburetor casing and the strainer cable had stretched, releasing any contents that may have been present in the gascolator during the accident sequence. The carburetor half screws were in and safetied but loose and did not appear to be torqued. Brown deposits were observed on the exterior of the carburetor emanating from the carburetor half seam. Although it is evident that the carburetor had been leaking for an undetermined time, blue streaking would have been more likely if a significant and recent fuel loss had occurred. No fuel was found in the remainder of the fuel system, including the wing tanks, associated lines, and carburetor bowl.

Based on the lack of fuel present in the fuel system, it is likely that the pilot miscalculated the amount of fuel onboard before the flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent loss of engine power.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper verification of the fuel quantity during the preflight inspection, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent total loss of engine power.

Findings

Personnel issues Fuel planning - Pilot
Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Pilot
Aircraft Fuel - Fluid level

Factual Information

On July 8, 2019, at about 1700 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N9919V, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while in cruise flight near Newport, Oregon. The private pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Newport Municipal Airport (KONP), Newport, Oregon for a local whale watching flight.

According to the pilot, after locating and circling a pod of whales for viewing, they had decided to return to KONP. While in level cruise flight about 1,200 ft above mean sea level (MSL) the engine began to surge with the rpm fluctuating between 2,100 and 2,600 rpm. In an effort to correct for the surging engine, the pilot switched fuel tanks, enrichened the fuel mixture and applied full throttle, to no avail. Unable to maintain altitude, and in an effort to avoid undue harm to persons on the ground, he selected an area of hilly, sand covered terrain for an emergency landing. During the emergency landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

In a telephone conversation with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector (ASI), the pilot stated that the airplane had not had an annual inspection in about 3 years, he had not had a biennial flight review in 5 or 6 years and he did not have a current medical certificate.

A review of FAA records revealed that the pilot's most recent third-class medical was issued July 30, 2004 with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses and would have expired on July 31, 2006. 

Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 61.23 – Medical Certificate; requirement and durations, states in part:

(a) Operations requiring a medical certificate. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a person
(3) Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate -
(i) When exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, or student pilot certificate, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in §61.113(i);

Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 61.56 – Flight Review, states in part:

(c) Except as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), and (g) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, that person has -
(1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor and 
(2) A logbook endorsed from an authorized instructor who gave the review certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed the review.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report submitted by the pilot the airplane's last annual inspection was completed on June 2, 2015.

Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.409 Inspections, states in part:

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may operate an aircraft unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months, it has had—
(1) An annual inspection in accordance with part 43 of this chapter and has been approved for return to service by a person authorized by §43.7 of this chapter; or
(2) An inspection for the issuance of an airworthiness certificate in accordance with part 21 of this chapter.

Wreckage recovery personnel independently confirmed that no fuel was recovered from the airplane's wing tanks, or fuel lines that were removed for recovery.

In a conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) the pilot stated that the carburetor float had been replaced, and previous mechanical problems with the airplane included a fuel drain on the engine that was difficult to close, and the carburetor leaking fuel. In addition, he stated that he had visually verified two days before the accident that the airplane had about ½ tanks and the day before the accident the fuel gauges indicate about ¾ full and ¼ full respectively; however, it was possible he had
run out of fuel.

An examination of the airplane by an ASI with the FAA revealed that the main fuel line to the carburetor had separated at the carburetor casting during the accident sequence, and the strainer cable had stretched releasing any contents that may have been present in the gascolator. However, no fluid was discovered in the remainder of the fuel system including the carburetor bowl. In addition, during removal of the carburetor bowl it was discovered that the carburetor half screws were in and safetied but loose and did not appear to be torqued, with evidence of fuel leakage at the carburetor half seem.

The closest weather reporting facility is Newport Municipal Airport (KONP), Newport, Oregon. At 1750, a METAR from KONP was reporting in part: wind, 310 at 8 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 62° F; dew point 57° F; and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Emergency descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 66,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
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: July 30, 2004
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1105 hours (Total, all aircraft), 985 hours (Total, this make and model), 1105 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9919V
Model/Series: 172M 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17264555
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 2, 2015 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: 
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner:
Rated Power:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 00:50 Local 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Newport, OR
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Newport, OR
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 44.580276,-124.058052(est)




Newport mayor likely at fault for running out of fuel on flight that crash-landed, FAA says

NEWPORT — Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer’s 2019 plane crash was probably caused by his failure to verify the aircraft’s fuel levels prior to a whale-watching flight, federal investigators said, and he ran out of fuel, forcing an emergency landing that seriously injured one of two passengers.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board also found that Sawyer failed to renew his medical certification since 2006, had not undergone the mandatory two-year flight review for five or six years and did not subject his small aircraft to required annual inspection for four years.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Sawyer’s pilot certificate was suspended for 200 days as of Jan. 8. The mayor denied that his certificate was currently suspended and said the true cause of the crash would never be determined because of the condition of the wreckage.

The NTSB report on the 2019 crash was issued in December. The News-Times learned of it recently.

Sawyer, a retired law enforcement officer first elected as mayor in 2018 and re-elected in November 2020, crash landed his Cessna in the dunes near the north jetty of Yaquina Bay on the afternoon of July 8, 2019, following a whale-watching excursion with Deborah Reasoner, of Molalla, and her 7-year-old grandson.

Sawyer and the child sustained minor injuries and were treated at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. Reasoner’s injuries were serious, and she was taken by Life Flight helicopter to a hospital in Portland. Sawyer’s airplane was a total loss.

In a lawsuit filed one week after the crash, Reasoner said she sustained “a severe spiral fracture of her right arm, fracture of her right leg, a severe subdural hematoma and traumatic brain injury.” The suit alleged that Sawyer was negligent for “failing to properly monitor the fuel in flight” and “failing, during preflight, to check the fuel level of the aircraft, which would have resulted in the discovery that the aircraft did not have adequate fuel for safe flight.” Reasoner asked for $1.5 million in punitive damages, medical costs and lost wages.

In March 2020, Judge Sheryl Bachart dismissed the suit with prejudice, which indicates it was settled out of court. Reasoner’s attorney, Todd Huegli, of Portland, told the News-Times he could only say that the matter had been resolved.

According to the NTSB’s report, an aviation inspector spoke to Sawyer by phone on the day after the crash. After finding a pod of whales, the mayor told the inspector, he was headed toward the Newport airport when the engine started to surge near the Nye Beach access point. Sawyer said he enriched the fuel mixture, increased to maximum throttle and switched fuel tanks, but the surge got progressively worse.

Losing altitude, “he considered landing in between the jetties at Newport (in the Yaquina River), but said he knew they would all die if he did that,” the report reads. “He considered the hard pack beach, but there were too many people on it, so he made a left 60-degree turn and landed in the dunes.”

The inspector asked Sawyer where the maintenance records for the aircraft were, to which he replied, “I might as well tell you now because you’re going to find out anyway, I haven’t had an annual on the plane for about three years, I don’t have a [biennial flight review] and I don’t have a medical,” according to the report.

Federal regulations require aircraft to be inspected annually to ensure good working order. Pilots must maintain a current medical certificate to screen for conditions that could make flying hazardous and submit to a flight review every two years under observation of an experienced operator. Sawyer told the inspector it had been five or six years since his last flight review. A review of FAA records found his medical certificate expired in 2006.

The report says Sawyer told the inspector, “It’s one of those things that has been on my list, but there are no good biennial flight review people here in Newport, so it’s too hard to get one done. “

Sawyer told the aviation inspector he’d visually verified the fuel level the day before the crash, and the plane’s two tanks were at 3/4 and 1/4 full.

According to the NTSB report, the airplane had not undergone an annual inspection in four years, and an examination of the wreckage revealed the fuel system might have had an existing slow leak. “The carburetor half screws were in and safetied but loose and did not appear to be torqued,” the report reads. “Brown deposits were observed on the exterior of the carburetor emanating from the carburetor half seam. Although it is evident that the carburetor had been leaking for an undetermined time, blue streaking would have been more likely if a significant and recent fuel loss had occurred. No fuel was found in the remainder of the fuel system, including the wing tanks, associated lines and carburetor bowl.”

The NTSB found that the probable cause of the crash was “the pilot’s improper verification of the fuel quantity during the preflight inspection, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent total loss of engine power.”

Sawyer said he was unaware of the report until the News-Times asked him to comment. He said the investigation into the crash was “inconclusive due to the fact that it had a forced landing, and there was damage to the aircraft fuel system components. We will never know what actually occurred.”

The mayor said work had been done on the carburetor prior to the crash. “When they report that the screws were not safety wired, that causes me a little pause,” Sawyer said. “Also, I am confident that when I left I had enough fuel for the intended flight that we made.” He pointed to a report of Newport Fire Department’s radio traffic during the incident, in which a first responder reported smelling gas.

The mayor denied that his certificate was suspended. “I have my pilot certificate right here. I’m not being suspended. They’ve closed this case. It’s done,” Sawyer said. He said he did receive a 90-day suspension last year for not having his medical certificate, but that suspension is expired. He said he has been unable to get the medical certificate updated, and he no longer has a craft in which to undergo a flight review.

An FAA spokesperson confirmed that agency’s database lists Sawyer’s certificate as suspended as of a Jan. 8 action, for a duration of 200 days. The News-Times filed a public records request for details on the FAA’s enforcement action.

“I can’t think of any reason at all why this would affect his ability to perform his duty as mayor,” Council President CM Hall said. “My heart breaks for everyone involved. No one wanted anyone to get hurt.” City Councilors Ryan Parker and Dietmar Goebel declined to comment on the matter.

Newport resident Susan Painter contacted the News-Times about the report. “It is highly disturbing that Mr. Sawyer put not only his passengers but also the community at large at such risk by flying an airplane that was not properly inspected and without an appropriate medical certificate,” Painter wrote in an email.





A lawsuit has been filed against Newport’s mayor, following a July 8, 2019 plane crash.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, Mayor Dean Sawyer was the pilot.

A previous report from the Oregon State Police said Sawyer noticed a mechanical problem while flying over the Depoe Bay area, and chose to do an emergency landing near the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

But one of his two passengers, 61-year-old Deborah Reasoner, alleges that Sawyer failed to both maintain control and adequate fuel levels, leading to the crash. She is seeking more than a million dollars in damages, citing emotional distress as well as physical injuries that led to her hospitalization in Portland.

Neither Sawyer nor Reasoner’s attorney returned calls requesting comment for this story.  Lincoln County Circuit Court records show Judge Sheryl Bachart has been assigned the case.

Another passenger, a 7-year-old boy, was also in the plane. Like Sawyer, he was released with minor injuries after the incident. 

Officials say Mayor Sawyer has been a licensed pilot for forty years.






Location: Newport, OR
Accident Number: ANC19LA032
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1710 PDT
Registration: N9919V
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 8, 2019, at about 1710 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N9919V, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power while in cruise flight near Newport, Oregon. The private pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Newport Municipal Airport (KONP), Newport, Oregon for a local whale watching flight.

According to the pilot, after locating and circling a pod of whales for viewing, they had decided to return to Newport. While in level cruise flight at an altitude of about 1,200 ft the engine began to surge with the rpm fluctuating between 2,100 and 2,600 rpm. In an effort to correct for the surging engine, the pilot switched fuel tanks, enrichened the fuel mixture and applied full throttle, to no avail. Unable to maintain altitude, and in an effort to avoid undue harm to persons on the ground, he selected an area of hilly, sand covered terrain for an emergency landing. During the emergency landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. A detailed wreckage examination is pending following recovery.

The closest weather reporting facility is Newport Municipal Airport (KONP), Newport, Oregon. At 1750, a METAR from KONP was reporting in part: wind, 310 at 8 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 62° F; dew point 57° F; and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9919V
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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:
Observation Time: 0050 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Newport, OR
Destination: Newport, OR 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  44.580278, -124.058056 (est)







NEWPORT, Oregon (KPTV) - The current Mayor of Newport has been identified by Oregon State Police as the pilot of a plane that crashed Monday evening.

The crash occurred at around 5:10 p.m. near South Beach State Park.

Oregon State Police said an investigation determined Dean Sawyer, 66, departed from the Newport Municipal Airport in a Cessna 172M Skyhawk and flew around the Depoe Bay area.

Two passengers were in the plane with Sawyer and were identified as Deborah Reasoner, 61, and a 7-year-old juvenile, both from Molalla. Oregon State Police said the relationship between Reasoner and the juvenile is unknown.

As he was flying near Newport, Oregon State Police said Sawyer noticed there was a mechanical problem and attempted to return to the airport.

According to Oregon State Police, the plane did not have enough altitude to fly to the airport, so Sawyer planned for an emergency landing and was able to land on the beach north of the Jetty.

All three passengers were taken to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. Sawyer and the juvenile received minor injuries and have been released.

Oregon State Police said Reasoner sustained serious injuries and was lifeflighted to a Portland hospital.

According to Oregon State Police, Sawyer has had a pilot's license for 40 years and has been flying the plane that crashed for over 30 years.

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