Monday, May 11, 2020

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Stinson V77 Reliant, N715FB; accident occurred September 14, 2016 in Jordan, Scott County, Minnesota

Airplane Wreckage 
Federal Aviation Administration

Damaged Rudder
Federal Aviation Administration

Engine and Propeller
Federal Aviation Administration

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

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Jordan, MN
Accident Number: CEN16LA369
Date & Time: 09/14/2016, 0910 CDT
Registration: N715FB
Aircraft: STINSON V77
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 14, 2016 about 0910 central daylight time (CDT), a Stinson V-77 airplane, N715FB, was substantially damaged during an accident near East Jordan, Minnesota. The airline transport pilot was not injured. The airplane was privately registered and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed South St. Paul Municipal Airport-Richard E Fleming Field (SGS), Minnesota, about 0820.

The pilot was conducting the flight to put additional break-in hours on a newly-installed engine. The engine had about 10 total hrs since overhaul and 2 hrs since the last inspection at the time of the accident. About 30 minutes after take off, and at 2,000 ft above the ground (AGL), the engine started to constantly backfire and lost power. The airplane was unable to maintain level flight due to the power loss. The pilot attempted to regain engine power; he switched fuel tanks, adjusted the engine throttle, fuel/ air mixture, and propeller controls, and selected the individual magneto positions. There was no subsequent increase of engine power or reduction of backfiring. The pilot performed an emergency landing to a soft field where the airplane nosed over during landing. The rudder sustained substantial damage.

An on-scene examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the fuel selector was in the left tank position, the magneto switch was in the "BOTH" position, the primer was in and locked, the mixture was in the "RICH" position, the throttle was in the "CLOSED" position, and the propeller control was approximately ¼ back from the full-forward position.

An additional examination was conducted by the FAA inspector on October 5, 2016. The Bendix dual magneto timing was 34º before top-dead center (BTC) on the left and 30º BTC on the right. All spark plug leads were tight and in like-new condition. The magneto switch was checked and appeared to operate normally. Magneto lead continuity was confirmed. The magneto points were checked while rotating the propeller and they opened normally. Both magnetos sparked. Both coils appeared to have a good spark. The magneto was removed and bench tested. No anomalies were noted with the magneto.

The fuel system was examined and small amounts of liquid consistent with 100LL fuel were recovered from the carburetor bowl and the airframe gascolator. The carburetor was examined and no anomalies were noted. No pre-impact anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine that would have contributed to a partial loss of power.

The pilot reported a temperature of 50° F at the time of the accident. He did not know the dewpoint at the accident location. At 0853, the temperature and dewpoint at Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport (MSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota, located 25 miles northeast of the accident site, were reported as 54° F and 45° F respectfully at 0853. According to the carburetor icing probability chart in FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, these conditions were conducive to serious icing at cruise power.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Flight Engineer
Age: 60, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied:  Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/03/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/28/2015
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 16000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 281 hours (Total, this make and model), 10800 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: STINSON
Registration: N715FB
Model/Series: V77 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1944
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 77-443
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/24/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3999 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 158 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: R680-13
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 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: MSP
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 53°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 11000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SOUTH ST PAUL, MN (SGS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: SOUTH ST PAUL, MN (SGS)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0820 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: 44.668333, -93.632500 (est)

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