Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Piper PA-32-301T Turbo Saratoga, N8266D: Incident occurred August 17, 2020 near El Reno Airport (99F), Canadian County, Oklahoma

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aircraft made a forced landing in a field.

Engineers Flying Club

https://registry.faa.gov/N8266D

Date: 17-AUG-20
Time: 22:20:00Z
Regis#: N8266D
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: EL RENO
State: OKLAHOMA







EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – Officials say a faulty fuel gauge is to blame for a plane crash landing in a field in El Reno on Monday afternoon.

On Monday, emergency crews responded to the crash landing in a field near Smith and Airport Rd., just off I-40.

In all, there were seven people onboard when the aircraft went down. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Officials say the plane ran out of fuel after taking off from Taos, New Mexico. The pilot told investigators that he thought he had enough fuel.

https://kfor.com

26 comments:

  1. Looks like this aircraft was involved in a fatal accident today in Oklahoma.

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    1. AIN shows it.
      Date: 16-JAN-23
      Time: 18:45:00Z
      Regis#: N8266D
      City: KINGFISHER
      State: OKLAHOMA

      News 5 coverage:
      https://www.koco.com/article/oklahoma-kingfisher-county-deadly-plane-crash/42525495

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  2. A/C belonged to a flying club. ADS-B data looks like maneuvering/practice after departing the airport. Last ping is around 4000'. Accident scene looks almost like straight in. Maybe an unrecovered spin?

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    1. Maintenance test flight for new autopilot installation.

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    2. I heard from unconfirmed sources they had just installed a new auto pilot.

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  3. I wouldn’t list the cause of the prev accident (one shown) as faulty gauge, but as pilot’s failure to visually check fuel level. You don’t even need to read gauges if you’ve inspected fuel prior to take off, and use timers to change tanks.

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    1. I believed the same thing at one time. One of the failure modes of the old AC type mechanical fuel pump (the engine driven fuel pump on this aircraft) is a perforation of the pump diaphragm that causes fuel to be pumped into the cowl and overboard. Only way to know is to notice that the fuel gage is heading toward the E faster than expected. YMMV

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  4. Had just installed new Autopilot according to newsletter on Engineers Flying Club websiter

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  5. Wow - that plane went in hard and fast and except for the tail, pretty much disintegrated. If they were on a test flight after an autopilot installation, perhaps a runaway trim? And the initial flight path sure looked straight and true, then some speed and heading variations, then an abrupt ending. Tragic and unsettling.

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  6. Thought he had enough fuel? Thought? Did the poor bugger ever think of visually checking the fuel tanks?

    The guy put six peoples lives at stake because of a lack of basic piloting habit patterns. But I betcha he could really operate his electronic nav system, etc. Pretty sad commentary on where we are with GA pilot skill sets.

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  7. I wouldn't rule out a medical event in this accident.

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  8. I wouldn't rule out a medical event in this accident. The weather was fine and an auto pilot failure wouldn't result in falling out of the sky from 6,000'.

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    1. "an auto pilot failure wouldn't result in falling out of the sky from 6,000'"
      Really? What about an autopilot failure that causes runaway nose down trim? Or one that forces full control deflection and the servo clutch fails to disengage. I can think of a lot of scenarios. A bad autopilot will try to kill you if you aren't careful.

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    2. One of the 2 killed was an Airline Capt. May know how to turn off an Autopilot.

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    3. Seems you missed the word "failure". A failing autopilot may not turn off through normal means, so you'd have the pull the breaker. If you have not collared or memorized which breaker that is, you or your passenger will need to hunt for it heads down while still flying the plane and fighting the autopilot for control and even when you get it shut off, it may have mis-trimmed the plane full nose down, so you are still not out of the woods. Not as easy as you might think, bro.

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  9. Newsletter describes big mod plus vacuum pump and auxiliary were removed from the engine. Gotta use the correct gasket under accessory drive blanking plates (some accessory gaskets have oil passage hole known to create a failure mode). ADS-B history doesn't reveal any flights between the 1 January dated newsletter and accident flight, suggesting it was indeed a maintenance flight testing the mods.

    Lots of possibilities. First time up after mod, distraction of various op checks.

    Newsletter:
    http://www.engineersflyingclub.org/newsletter/newsletter.pdf

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  10. Someone on POA claims a Facebook posting by a witness to the accident saw the a/c in flames in a near vertical dive. Take that for what it's worth.

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    1. An in-flight fire would explain why the ADS-B data cuts out before the final descent to the crash occurred. Especially if it was an electrical fire. Would also explain why there may not have been a distress call on the radio. No prelim yet from NTSB

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    2. ADS-B data that you see depends on ground reception of the signal. The captured tracks often do not continue for the full duration of the flight, but that's not an indication that the aircraft stopped transmitting the data.

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    3. Good point. With that in mind, I looked for other ADS-B tracks for a/c based at Wiley Post, and found N61571 (C172) with data for a few previous flights in the same area, at similar altitudes, on 12/18/22, 1/4/23, 1/5/23 and 1/20/23. There's one flight (1/4/23) where the track stops mid-flight at 3000', so it's conceivable that there's a hole around the crash site w.r.t. ADS-B reception.

      Looking for more track examples on ads-b exchange is painful, so that's about all I can find.

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    4. You can also use adsbexchange's replay function to find tracks.

      The link below gives a replay of busy new years day traffic around Wiley Post. (Be sure to click pause at lower left and reduce the playback speed slider from 30X down to 5X or so when the screen opens, then hit play.)

      You can edit this example replay URL for some other lat, lon, date, and time as desired. Easy to copy and paste those parameters from any adsbexchange URL you got by looking up an accident flight track and then edit the start time, which was 18:00 UTC in this example replay.

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?replay=2023-01-01-18:00&lat=35.659&lon=-97.864&zoom=9.4

      Just click on any one of the aircraft to see what the ground reception was as it flew around. :-)

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  11. A few months ago An Arrow crashed killing 2 at Myrtle Beach near Conway SC on first flight after new electronic Garmin AI and DG with vacuum pump removed and replaced with blank plate with no gasket causing engine to lose oil and fail . Maybe this Cherokee engine failed due to no gasket when vacuum pump removed .

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  12. I’ve installed 4 or 5 of the dual Garmin G5 systems with autopilot and it is a really nice setup. BUT the installation involves a lot of changes to the airplane, flight control system, electrical system AND engine and the initial few flights are not ones that you should assume will be “normal”. I always fly the first 3 or 4 flights personally and then go back and reinspect, I don’t believe that you can rely on “high time airline pilots” to understand the scope and depth of the changes made to the airplane and expect them to anticipate the various potential problems that can pop up.

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  13. Prelim is out, has photo of long black smoke trail lingering in the air.
    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/106579/pdf

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  14. Wooow, regarding the still visible black smoke, that must have been a fierce fire already there. A scenario I don't want to think of.

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