Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion, N4629K: Accident occurred March 02, 2021 at Fulton County Airport (NY0), Johnstown, New York

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; Albany, New York 

Beta Air LLC

Location: Johnstown, NY 
Accident Number: ERA21LA147
Date & Time: March 2, 2021, 07:47 Local 
Registration: N4629K
Aircraft: Cessna P210N
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 2, 2021, about 0747 eastern standard time, a Cessna P210N, N4629K, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Johnstown, New York. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that about 30 minutes after climbing to 10,000 ft msl after his departure from Burlington International Airport, Burlington (BTV), Vermont, he started hearing “an unfamiliar buzzing or humming noise” that became increasingly louder. After attempting to troubleshoot the issue, he decided to divert to an airport along his route. Soon after, he smelled “electrical fumes” and noted smoke in the cockpit. He informed the air traffic controller that he had “smoke in the cockpit” and wanted to divert to an even closer airport, Fulton County Airport (NY0), Johnstown, New York. He opened his window, descended toward NY0, listened to the local weather, and performed a landing checklist upon entering the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 28. During the
subsequent landing roll, the landing gear collapsed. The pilot attempted to maintain control; however, the airplane skidded on the runway and tipped to the left.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the left elevator.

During a postaccident interview, the pilot reported that although he visually verified that the landing gear was down, he did not verify that the gear status light was green before landing. He stated that he and a mechanic examined the airplane and noted that the circuit breaker for the hydraulic pump had popped and a hose near the hydraulic pump was partially melted. They proceeded to remove the hydraulic pump.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N4629K
Model/Series: P210N 
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: NY0,880 ft msl
Observation Time: 07:36 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -16°C /-23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 17 knots / 23 knots, 330°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Burlington, VT (KBTV)
Destination: Oxford, NC (KHNZ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: In-flight
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 42.998194,-74.329555 (est)

JOHNSTOWN — A Vermont pilot of a small-single engine Cessna was uninjured when he had to make an emergency landing Tuesday morning at the Fulton County Airport after his aircraft filled up with smoke.

The name of the pilot, Sergey Goncharov, 30, of Burlington, Vermont, was released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department early this morning. He was the sole occupant of the plane.

According to the tail number of the plane, which was N4629K, it is a Cessna fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft whose reciprocating engine was manufactured by Continental Motor on April 5, 1979. It was legally being flown. The registered owner is Beta Air LLC of South Burlington, Vt.

Goncharov is listed on the Beta Air website as being a Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Flight Instructor Instrument as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic. According to the Beta Air website, he has a background in aircraft engine manufacturing and holds multiple roles as a process engineer, assembly and test technician.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate the crash.

“The guy’s very lucky,” Sheriff Richard Giardino said today. “He did a great job landing.”

The emergency landing of the airplane occurred just after 8 a.m. Tuesday to the Fulton County Airport off Route 67 in the town of Johnstown. But minutes earlier, the pilot knew he was in trouble.

“He was diverted to our airport because his cabin was full of smoke,” Giardino said.

The sheriff said the pilot first encountered the smokey situation about 8,000 feet up. He said the pilot opened a window but still couldn’t see, including a view of his instrument panel.

According to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office, the preliminary investigation by the NTSB indicates mechanical and electrical issues downed the aircraft. Officials said an indication is that the pilot followed all the appropriate protocols.

The release said he initially was diverted to another airport, then when the cabin filled with smoke he was diverted to the Fulton County Airport. Upon landing, it appears there was an additional failure with the landing gear, according to preliminary data.

Several emergency vehicles arrived to the east end of the runway. The aircraft appeared mostly intact. A tow truck could be seen Tuesday taking the aircraft from the scene.

Giardino said his office continues to work with the NTSB, which sent two representatives to the scene. He said the aircraft was most likely taken to the NTSB station in Albany.

The release said the NTSB will issue a final report in the future. Such reports are usually several months in the making.

The airport will be closed until the investigation is complete, the runway is cleared, and the Federal Aviation Administration authorizes the reopening

County Emergency Management Services Director Steven Santa Maria and fire department personnel were are on scene with the sheriff’s office.

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