Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Champion 7EC, N9891B: Accidents occurred July 03, 2020 and July 06, 2016





Aviation Accident Factual 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; San Antonio, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

  
Location: Port O'Connor, Texas 
Accident Number: CEN20LA260
Date & Time: July 3, 2020, 12:15 Local
Registration: N9891B
Aircraft: Champion 7EC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Factual Information

On July 3, 2020, about 1215 central daylight time, a Champion 7EC airplane, N9891B, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Port O'Connor, Texas. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, after adding fuel to the airplane, he departed from the Calhoun County Airport (KPKV) and flew along the coastline. About 15 minutes into the flight, the engine lost power. He established best glide airspeed and turned the airplane towards land. The airplane would not hold altitude and impacted terrain and brush about 400 yards from the coastline.

A small post-crash fire developed in the engine compartment; substantial damaged was noted to the wing struts and bottom fuselage. Damage was also found on the main landing gear and propeller. The wreckage was recovered to a hangar and an engine examination was conducted. The examination found that the No. 3 intake valve was stuck in the open position. A reason for the stuck valve was not identified. It was also noted that the valve springs on all the cylinders were weak; however, it could not be determined if this was due to heat from the post-crash engine compartment fire. No other pre-impact abnormalities were found.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 37
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane; Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 28, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: December 5, 2018
Flight Time: 1061 hours (Total, all aircraft), 41 hours (Total, this make and model), 925 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion 
Registration: N9891B
Model/Series: 7EC No Series 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 211
Landing Gear Type: 
Tailwheel Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 24, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3026 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-200
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
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: KPKV 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 12:15 Local
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3700 ft AGL 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / Turbulence Type
Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 230° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 26°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Port Lavaca, TX (KPKV) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Port O'Connor, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: 

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: 28.445278,-96.441108(est)




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; San Antonio, Texas

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

Location: Placedo, TX
Accident Number: CEN16LA251
Date & Time: 07/06/2016, 0830 CDT
Registration:N9891B 
Aircraft:CHAMPION 7EC 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries:1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The airline transport pilot was conducting the first flight in the airplane after an extended period of inactivity. The pilot reported that, about 10-15 minutes after takeoff, the engine sputtered. He applied carburetor heat and checked the position of the fuel selector and the magnetos. The engine operation smoothed out; however, a short time later, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot conducted a forced landing in a corn field, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel line between the fuel strainer and the carburetor was deteriorated and leaking fuel, and the fuel selector was rigged in such a way that it would only open about 25%, which limited the amount of fuel flowing to the engine. The mechanic who signed off the airplane's most recent annual inspection, which was completed the month before the accident, reported that the airplane's owner assisted with the inspection, and that he did not verify the owner's work before endorsing the annual inspection. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 
The inadequate annual inspection of the fuel system that failed to detect a deteriorated fuel line and a misrigged fuel selector, which resulted in fuel starvation and a subsequent total loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the mechanic's failure to verify the work completed by the owner before endorsing the annual inspection. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)
Fuel distribution - Inadequate inspection (Cause)

Personnel issues
Scheduled/routine maintenance - Maintenance personnel (Cause)
Post maintenance inspection - Maintenance personnel (Factor)

Factual Information

On July 6, 2016, at 0830 central daylight time, a Champion 7EC, N9891B, landed in a corn field in Placedo, Texas, following a loss of engine power. The airline transport rated pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 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 flight originated from Tanners Airport (9TE4), Port Lavaca, Texas, about 0820, with an intended destination of the Victoria Regional Airport (VCT), Victoria, Texas.

The pilot reported the airplane had not been flown for some time while the wings were removed and reskinned, and an annual inspection was completed. The pilot stated he was flying the airplane to VCT so a new weight and balance could be calculated.

The airplane was fueled with 20 gallons of fuel about 1 ½ weeks prior to the accident and it had about 1 hour of ground run time since the refueling. The pilot reported he ran the engine for about 10 minutes prior to takeoff and it operated normally. He also checked the magneto and carburetor heat operation during the engine run-up. The takeoff, climb, and initial cruise were normal. About 10 to 15 minutes into the flight, the engine sputtered. He applied carburetor heat, and checked the position of the fuel selector and the magnetos. The engine operation smoothed out and a short time later, the engine lost power.

The pilot stated that due to his low altitude, he didn't have a lot of choices on where to land, so he chose a corn field. During the forced landing, the right main landing gear was buckled, which resulted in damage to the airframe structural tubing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by an inspector from the San Antonio Flight Standards District Office. The inspector reported the airplane had been in storage since 1996. The examination revealed the fuel line between the fuel strainer and the carburetor was deteriorated and leaking fuel. The fuel selector was rigged in such a way that it would only open about 25% of the way. Air pressure was applied to the fuel line from the fuel tanks and back pressure was noted. The fuel selector valve was manually opened by by-passing the fuel selector handle, the air flowed through to the fuel line. An old gasket was on the fuel strainer and debris was found in the fuel bowl. In addition, there was a large insect nest in engine compartment.

The airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authority who signed off on the last annual inspection reported the airplane owner assisted with the annual inspection in June 2016, and the mechanic did not verify the work. 

History of Flight

Enroute
Fuel starvation (Defining event)

Landing-flare/touchdown
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap Only
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 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/15/2015
Occupational Pilot:Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/16/2015
Flight Time:  13525 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model), 11200 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CHAMPION
Registration: N9891B
Model/Series: 7EC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 211
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/12/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 0 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200-A
Registered Owner: MUSCHALEK DAVID A
Rated Power: 90 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: VCT, 115 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1451 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 327°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2300 ft agl
Visibility:  6 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots / 23 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Haze
Departure Point: Port Lavaca, TX (9TE4)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Victoria, TX (VCT)
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: 28.664167, -96.776944 (est)

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