Saturday, August 15, 2020

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N624FL; accident occurred July 28, 2018 near Sackman Field Airport (H49), Columbia, Monroe County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Louis, Missouri

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Columbia, IL
Accident Number: CEN18LA299
Date & Time: 07/28/2018, 1225 CDT
Registration: N624FL
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 28, 2018, about 1225 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140 airplane, N624FL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Columbia, Illinois. The pilot and two passengers were seriously injured, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight.

According to information obtained by the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane departed runway 3 at Sackman Field (H49) and was en route to Alton, Illinois. Witnesses told the FAA they observed the airplane depart the airport and climb at a shallower than normal attitude. The airplane appeared to level off as it continued away from the airport until it contacted transmission lines about 1/2-mile from the departure end of the runway.

The FAA inspectors postaccident examination of the airframe did not find any anomalies which would have precluded normal operation. An examination of the engine conducted by the FAA inspector found fouled sparkplugs in cylinder No. 2 and a compression check found low compression in cylinder No. 2. A borescope and visual inspection of the cylinder did not detect the reason for the low compression.

In addition, the FAA inspector performed a weight and balance calculation with the occupants' weights obtained by first responders and verified by the pilot. The calculation revealed that the airplane was near the airplane's maximum gross weight.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 36, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/28/2015
Flight Time: 243 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7125513
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/15/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 66 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6719 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 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: KCPS, 413 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1253 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 27°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 11000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Columbia, IL (H49)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Columbia, IL (H49)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1225 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Sackman Field (H49)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 420 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2450 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 38.461667, -90.229444 (est)

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