Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Piper PA-28-140, N9993W: Accident occurred November 06, 2020 near Greenville Municipal Airport (6D6), Montcalm County, Michigan

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; Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Location: Greenville, MI
Accident Number: CEN21LA048
Date & Time: November 6, 2020, 20:45 Local
Registration: N9993W
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 6, 2020, at 2045 eastern standard time, an Piper PA-28-140, N9993W, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Greenville, Michigan. The commercial pilot and two passengers were uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that during the night cross country flight, he flew to and landed at two airports prior to returning to the departure airport. Before approaching the departure airport, he performed two steep turns and a power-off stall. He then performed a low pass about 500 ft over runway 18/36 to check for deer prior to a straight-in approach for landing to runway 28. During a right turn for the approach, the engine lost power and subsequent engine restart attempt were unsuccessful. He stated that he could still hear some engine noise and tried to use the throttle to pump fuel. He stated there was a slight rise in engine speed when he first pumped the throttle. He stated he did not look at the tachometer or oil pressure gauge to determine if the engine was still running. He did not check the mags due to the low altitude but saw that the magneto switch was on BOTH. He then performed a forced landing on a partially harvested corn field. During the landing, the airplane sustained substantial damage that included damage to the firewall, fuselage, left wing, and right wing.

When the pilot was asked about his use of the fuel quantity gauges to verify fuel level, he stated he does not look at them because they are only accurate when empty. He stated he does his planning and keeps track of fuel burn on paper. The pilot stated he switched from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank at 1954, from right fuel tank to left fuel tank at 2025, and before entering the airport traffic pattern, he switched back to right fuel tank to be on fullest fuel tank. He stated that based upon his fuel consumption calculations, there should have been 7 gallons of fuel remaining in each fuel tank.

Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed about 1 pint of 100 low lead (100LL) was present in the left fuel tank and about 12 gallons of 100LL was present in the right fuel tank.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N9993W
Model/Series: PA-28-140 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: Y70,818 ft msl
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Greenville, MI (6D6) 
Destination: Greenville, MI

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.142139,-85.253861 (est)

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