Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Cessna 150M, N45083: Accident occurred August 17, 2020 in Surry, Maine

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; Portland, Maine


Location: Surry, ME
Accident Number: ERA20LA289
Date & Time: 08/17/2020, 1715 EDT
Registration: N45083
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 17, 2020, about 1715 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150 airplane, N45083, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Surry, Maine. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The private pilot reported that the cross-country flight was uneventful, until about 5 miles from the destination airport during the descent into the traffic pattern, the engine suddenly sputtered and lost power about 1,400 ft above ground level (agl). He reported that he "pumped throttle, rocked wings" but the engine did not regain power. He subsequently added 30° of flaps, and navigated toward a beach, but about 500 ft agl, he saw that the beach was very rocky, so he aimed for shallow water in a bay. The airplane impacted the water, remained upright, and the pilot and passenger were able to egress and swim away from the airplane.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector reported that the airplane after the accident had been buoyed by first responders, however, the airplane was completely submerged in the saltwater bay and had nosed over. Upon recovery to land, the inspector reported the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The engine was able to be rotated through by turning the propeller by hand. The gascolator contained about one gallon of fuel, the left fuel tank contained no fuel, or salt water, and the right tank was about half full with diluted saltwater and an undetermined amount of fuel. The throttle and mixture control levers were found full forward and the fuel selector was found on. The carburetor heat lever was found in the off position.

During postaccident interviews, the pilot could not recall the position of the carburetor heat lever. He added that he was not accustomed to flying airplane's that required carburetor heat.

The airplane was retained for further investigation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N45083
Model/Series: 150 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BHB, 83 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Morrisville, VT (MVL)
Destination: Surry, ME (BHB)

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: 44.431667, -68.480000

SURRY — A small plane made a crash landing in Morgans Bay off Newbury Neck late Monday afternoon.

According to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot and one passenger extricated themselves from the plane and swam or waded to shore.

The incident occurred around 5:20 p.m. when authorities received reports that the Cessna 150 single-engine aircraft bound for the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton had landed in the water.

Units from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the Maine State Police and the Maine Marine Patrol responded to the scene, as did several locally owned boats.

Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the state Department of Marine Resources, said the Marine Patrol received a report that a small plane had crashed near Newbury Neck.

The Marine Patrol sent a 25-foot Protector rigid-bottom inflatable boat and a crew of three to the scene from Ellsworth, “but by the time they got there the two individuals onboard (the plane) were on-shore and appeared to have no major injuries.”

The Maine State Police referred inquiries about the crash to the FAA.

Three area men, Parker Simon, Morgan Lawson and River Plouffe-Vogel, were enjoying an afternoon on the water when they heard a call about the accident on Plouffe’s radio. Plouffe is a volunteer firefighter from Blue Hill, according to Simon.

“We heard it and said we could be there in four minutes,” Simon said Tuesday morning. “When we got there, there were two people walking around on shore wrapped in blankets.”

In an email Tuesday morning, Arlene Salac from the FAA said “local officials” reported that they rescued two people from the water and transported them to the hospital for evaluation.

According to the FAA, the flight left the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport in Morristown, Vt., and was flying to Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate. The FAA inspector assigned to the investigation is Frederick Cahn of Bar Harbor. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will issue further updates.


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