Friday, May 22, 2020

Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon CS, N68555: Accident occurred May 21, 2020 in Rainbow City, Etowah County, Alabama

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Location: Rainbow City, AL
Accident Number: ERA20LA194
Date & Time: 05/21/2020, 1912 CDT
Registration: N68555
Injuries:1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 21, 2020, about 1912 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8KCAB, N68555, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Rainbow City, Alabama. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he was practicing aerobatic maneuvers and when finished, he headed back to the departure airport. During the flight back to the airport the engine started to "cut off and on". Although the engine continued to run, it got worse and the pilot made the decision to make an emergency landing in a field. After touch-down the pilot was unable to stop the airplane in time to avoid an approaching tree line. The airplane impacted trees and came to a stop. The engine was still running after the impact, and the landing gear and both wings were buckled.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Inspector. Both fuel tanks were breached and absent of fuel. The airplane was recovered from the accident site for an engine test run attempt. Prior to the test run all fuel lines leading to the fuel pumps and fuel servo were examined. All of the fuel lines contained trace amounts of fuel and no debris was observed within them. The mechanical and electrical fuel pumps were checked and no anomalies were noted. An external fuel tank was plumbed to the mechanical pump for the test run. The fuel-injected engine was started and run for 2 to 3 minutes at various rpms; and no anomalies were noted.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:BELLANCA 
Registration: N68555
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: GAD, 569 ft msl
Observation Time: 1900 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Gadsden, AL (GAD)
Destination: Gadsden, AL (GAD)

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: 33.882222, -86.072778 (est)

RAINBOW CITY, Alabama (WBMA) — According to Chief John Bryant, a plane crashed in Rainbow City near Riddles Bend road after the pilot told authorities the engine started to stutter.

Authorities said the crash happened on the evening of Thursday, May 21st, as the pilot tried to make it to a landing strip in St. Clair County, but could not because the engine stalled.

The only damage reported was to the wings of the plane.

Chief Bryant said the pilot was the only passenger on the plane and is "okay". Bryant also added the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

According to a statement made by the Federal Aviation Administration, it said the plane was a Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon CS. The FAA also added the plane collided with trees after landing in a field.

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