Friday, August 07, 2020

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N7213W: Accident occurred August 05, 2020 in Saint Agatha, Aroostook County, 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: St. Agatha, ME
Accident Number: ERA20LA277
Date & Time: 08/05/2020, 1245 EDT
Registration: N7213W
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Injuries:2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On August 5, 2020, about 1245 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA28-180 airplane, N7213W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near St. Agatha, Maine. The flight instructor and student pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight.

The flight instructor reported that he and the student pilot planned to complete a "refresher flight" to continue the student's advancement to his checkride. After completing a variety of maneuvers and basic navigation procedures, the flight instructor had the student pilot demonstrate flight at less than cruise airspeed. The flight instructor believed the airplane had slowed down to about 90 to 100 mph, the engine power was reduced to about 2300 rpm, and the carburetor heat was on. The flight instructor subsequently told the student pilot to increase the power and return to normal airspeed; however, as the student did so, the engine "did not respond." The flight instructor characterized the engine power as not sufficient to maintain altitude; however, it was still "running perfectly" near idle and all engine instruments were in the normal range.

The flight instructor took over the flight controls and "checked everything." He reported that switching fuel tanks, adjusting mixture and power settings, checking the primer, and adjusting carburetor heat did not increase engine power. He subsequently identified an open field and completed a forced landing. During the landing roll through rough terrain, the airplane's landing gear collapsed which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The airplane was retained for further investigation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N7213W
Model/Series: PA28 180
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: PQI, 534 ft msl
Observation Time: 1256 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4800 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / , 220°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Presque Isle, ME (PQI)
Destination: Frenchville, ME (FVE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 47.150000, -68.180000 (est)

On August 5th, 2020 at approximately 12:52 PM the Houlton RCC received a 911 call from 35 year old Leigh Smith of Presque Isle reporting he made an emergency landing with his airplane.

Cpl. Chuck Michaud responded to the scene in T 17 R3 off the Sullivan Road along with Maine Game Warden Ryan Fitzpatrick and multiple other first responders.

Cpl. Michaud learned the following to assist the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board with their investigation.

26 year old Cody Anderson of Levant was giving flight instruction to 35 year old Leigh Smith when the engine failed and they were forced to make an emergency landing.

The plane came to rest in a clear cut and had front end and wing damage.

Both men were transported to Fort Kent Regional Hospital with non life threatening injuries.

The incident remains under investigation by the Portland office of the Federal Aviation Administration and Northeast office of the National Transportation Safety Board.

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