Monday, October 12, 2020

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow, N75139; accident occurred October 13, 2019 near Kezer Air Ranch Airport (61TE), Springtown, Parker County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Springtown, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA016
Date & Time: 10/13/2019, 1215 CDT
Registration: N75139
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On October 13, 2019, about 1215 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N75139, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Springtown, Texas. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to U.S. Aviation Group LLC and operated by U.S. Aviation Academy as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Kezer Air Ranch Airport (61TE), Springtown, Texas, about 1200 and was destined for Denton Enterprise Airport (DTO), Denton, Texas.

The pilot, who was also a mechanic, stated that he was requested to go to 61TE to look at an airplane which had been involved in a loss of engine power event and forced landing the day before. His intention was to fly it back to DTO if it was safe to do so. He subsequently determined that the left fuel tank was empty, and the right fuel tank was full. He performed a pre-flight inspection which included taking a fuel sample from the right tank and the gascolator. No contamination was observed. After selecting the right fuel tank, the engine "started normally" and "ran smoothly." He taxied to the runup pad and conducted an "extensive run-up" looking for "any indication of [an] abnormality." All engine instrument indications were normal. After lining up on the runway, he advanced the throttle to takeoff power and held the brakes again looking for "any indication of [an] abnormality." With the engine running smoothly, he released the brakes. After takeoff, he circled the airport while climbing to 4,500 ft mean sea level before heading to DTO. About 10 miles north of 61TE, the engine "suddenly" lost power with no prior indication of a problem. He attempted to glide back to the departure airport, but the airplane did not have sufficient altitude. The airplane impacted a steel fence gate during the forced landing.

A postrecovery engine run did not reveal any anomalies consistent with an inability to produce rated power. The engine started without difficulty and ran smoothly at all power settings. A magneto check was unremarkable; each magneto exhibited an approximate 75 rpm drop. An examination of the fuel selector did not reveal any anomalies. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
 Seat Occupied:Left 
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/01/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/12/2019
Flight Time:  2000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 60 hours (Total, this make and model), 900 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N75139
Model/Series: PA-28R-200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-7635269
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/19/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 25 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8995.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C1C
Registered Owner: U.S. Aviation Group LLC
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: U.S. Aviation Academy
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DTO, 642 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1153 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 60°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:   10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Springtown, TX (61TE)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Denton, TX (DTO)
Type of Clearance:None 
Departure Time: 1200 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Kezer Air Ranch (61TE)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 830 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing
Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.986667, -97.619722 (est)

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