AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause on the NTSB’s website at www.ntsb.gov. Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at www.aviationsafetymagazine.com.
At about 1515 Central time, the amphibious float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage when it was force-landed after a loss of engine power. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, they departed with about 70 gallons of fuel aboard for the 2+45 flight, expecting a 17-gph fuel burn. When the airplane was about 25 miles from its planned destination, the loss of engine power occurred. Trouble-shooting was unsuccessful and the pilot executed a forced landing to a corn field.
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1527 Eastern time during an attempted go-around. The airline transport pilot and six passengers aboard were seriously injured. The airplane was operated by Cape Air as a FAR Part 135 scheduled passenger flight. Instrument conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed.
The pilot was cleared for the ILS to Runway 7. Another Cape Air pilot was holding short of Runway 25, waiting for the accident airplane to land, and first saw the accident airplane as it was rolling out and was about halfway down the 3502-foot-long runway. The airplane then took off and entered a slow climb. The pilot holding short said the attitude of the airplane appeared normal, but it was climbing slower than he thought it should. The airplane cleared the localizer antennas at the far end of the runway, then the perimeter fence, before it struck trees. The airplane disappeared into the trees, and he then saw a ball of flames.
The airplane came to rest upright approximately 200 feet from its initial contact with the trees. A post-impact fire consumed portions of the left and right wings. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Weather observed at 1537 included wind from 210 degrees at 10 knots, visibility three miles in heavy rain and mist, a few clouds at 200 feet AGL and an overcast ceiling at 500 feet.
At about 1100 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was force-landed following an engine power loss. The certified flight instructor pilot (CFI) and student pilot (SP) sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
While simulating an in-flight engine fire/failure, the SP established a glide and chose a location for an off-field emergency landing. At about 1000 feet AGL, when the CFI determined that the SP would safely reach the chosen landing area, the CFI instructed him to apply power, commence a go-around and fly back to the airplane’s base. The engine did not respond, however, and the CFI’s attempts to restart it were not successful. The CFI declared an emergency and performed a 180-degree power-off turn to a different landing location. Upon landing, the airplane contacted a raised embankment and flipped over inverted, adjacent to a corn field and dirt road.
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1300 Pacific time, when its pilot conducted an off-airport landing following engine failure. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Before the accident flight, a mechanic replaced the exhaust push rod for the No. 1 cylinder. The engine was ground-run at various power settings with no anomalies noted. The mechanic subsequently deemed the airplane safe to fly back to the pilot’s home airport. During the subsequent takeoff, as the landing gear was retracting, the engine lost all power. The pilot was able to extend the landing gear and make a forced landing to the open desert terrain. During the landing roll, the nose landing gear and right main landing gear collapsed.
At about 1609 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Witnesses observed the airplane take off and noted the engine sounded rough. The airplane did not climb as expected and veered right of the centerline, then pitched up to a nose-high attitude and made an aggressive left bank consistent with the pilot attempting to turn back to the runway. The airplane’s wings turned nearly perpendicular to the horizon and then appeared to stall, with the left wing dropping toward terrain. The airplane came to rest about 830 feet from the end of Runway 14.
Examination of the disassembled engine revealed internal corrosion, fragmented piston rings in the Nos. 1 and 4 cylinders, and evidence of blow-by on all four pistons. All the intake valve lifters and the No. 3 exhaust lifter were severely spalled. The camshaft exhibited excessive wear on the cam lobes, including pitting and material deformation. The last oil sample submitted was not tested until after the accident; the associated report said there was “enough chrome to show a ring problem.”
This article originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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