Sunday, May 30, 2021

Grumman-Schweizer G-164B, N8376K: Accident May 27, 2021 near Lakefield Airport (KCQA), Celina, Mercer County, Ohio

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; Columbus, Ohio

Gaerte Ag Service LLC

Location: Celina, OH
Accident Number: CEN21LA237
Date & Time: May 27, 2021, 07:50 Local 
Registration: N8376K
Aircraft: Grumman G164 
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On May 27, 2021, about 0750 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164B airplane, N8376K, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Celina, Ohio. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerialapplication flight.

The pilot stated that he departed on the local flight with about 80 gallons of Jet-A aviation fuel and a 240-gallon mixture of fungicide and insecticide. The winds were light out of the east with a few clouds 3,000-4,000 ft above ground level. The pilot stated that shortly after takeoff from runway 8 he felt the engine lose thrust, but the engine speed remained at 100% according to the airplane’s cockpit indicator. The pilot established best glide speed and began a slight right turn to avoid trees. He then jettisoned the chemical load in attempt to maintain altitude, but the airplane descended into a waterway about 200 yards south of the departure end of runway 8.

An examination of the propeller revealed it remained attached to the engine propeller shaft flange, and all three blades remained attached to the propeller assembly. All three blades exhibited leading edge gouging, chordwise/rotational scoring on both camber and face sides, bending aft and twisting towards low pitch (Figure 1). All three blades had 3-5 inches of the tip fractured/separated. All observed damage was consistent with impact while the propeller was rotating under power and with high impact forces.

An examination of the engine revealed the control linkage to the propeller pitch control (PPC) was not connected. The associated bracket was not attached to the splined shaft of the PPC, the retaining bolt was loose, and the bolt was not secured by safety wire (Figure 2). The engine was retained for additional examination at the manufacturer.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Grumman 
Registration: N8376K
Model/Series: G164 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAXV,913 ft msl
Observation Time: 07:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11.9 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 15 knots, 70°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Celina, OH
Destination: Celina, OH

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.481742,-84.548806 (est)

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