Saturday, February 19, 2022

Fuel Contamination: Piper PA-32R-300 Cherokee Lance, N114BR; accident occurred February 16, 2022 in Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina













Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Mission Air Care LLC


Location: Washington, North Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA130
Date and Time: February 16, 2022, 14:45 Local 
Registration: N114BR
Aircraft: Piper PA32R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel contamination 
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot reported that he was interested in purchasing the airplane and the accident flight was a demonstration flight. The owner of the airplane provided a flight instructor as the pilot had not flown the make and model airplane in many years. Prior to the flight, 10 gallons of fuel were added to each wing fuel tank, to bring the total useable fuel to 38 gallons. The pilot further stated that he and the flight instructor then performed a thorough preflight inspection, which included sumping the fuel tanks. The pilot planned to perform touch-and-go landings and the first one was uneventful. While on a downwind leg to the runway for a second landing, the pilot verified that the electric fuel pump was on and switched the fuel selector from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank. The engine subsequently lost all power and the propeller continued to windmill. The pilot attempted to glide to the airport while the flight instructor attempted to restart the engine, which included switching back to the right fuel tank. The engine did not regain power and the pilot subsequently performed a forced landing in a field. During the forced landing, the airplane struck a ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

During a post-accident examination, about 3 quarts of water were drained from the left fuel tank, about 1 pint of water was drained from the fuel system and no water was found in the right fuel tank. The airplane had not flown for about 11 months prior to the accident flight. During that time, it sat outside for several months. The left-wing fuel cap appeared to have a good seal and the investigation could not determine how water entered the left fuel tank.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel contamination.

Findings

Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Aircraft Fuel - Fluid condition
Aircraft Fuel - Inadequate inspection

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern downwind Fuel contamination (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern downwind Loss of engine power (total)
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight engineer; Flight instructor
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 16, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 3, 2022
Flight Time: 24234 hours (Total, all aircraft), 645 hours (Total, this make and model), 18683 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 178 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 68 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor; Remote
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 9, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: September 1, 2020
Flight Time: 3101 hours (Total, all aircraft), 23 hours (Total, this make and model), 2668 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N114BR
Model/Series: PA32R 300 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32R-7780140
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 15, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10584 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-540
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OCW, 37 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1.5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 290°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5500 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.55 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Washington, NC
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Washington, NC
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Washington-Warren Airport OCW 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 37 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing
Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 2 None Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger
Injuries:
1 None Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: Aircraft
Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.570472,-77.049806(est)


Location: Washington, North Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA130
Date and Time: February 16, 2022, 14:45 Local
Registration: N114BR
Aircraft: Piper PA32R Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N114BR
Model/Series: PA32R 300 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
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: KOCW,37 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1.5 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.55 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Washington, NC 
Destination: Washington, NC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.570472,-77.049806

1 comment:

  1. I personally know Tom and he is one heck of a pilot

    ReplyDelete