On February 24, 1994, at 1720 hours Pacific standard time, an Aeronca 7BCM, N6434C, collided with some vehicles after completing an emergency landing on runway 22 at Santa Paula Airport, Santa Paula, California. The emergency landing was preceded by a loss of power shortly after taking off from runway 22. The pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) were conducting a local visual flight rules instructional flight. The airplane, registered to and operated by the dual student, and two ground vehicles sustained substantial damage. Neither the certificated commercial pilot/CFI nor the certificated private pilot/dual student was injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Santa Paula Airport at 1650 hours. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The CFI reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that he was administering a biennial flight review to the dual student. The flight proceeded to the practice area after departing Santa Paula Airport.
After the dual student performed several maneuvers, the CFI instructed the dual student to return to Santa Paula Airport and execute a touch-and-go landing and takeoff. The dual student executed a normal landing on runway 22 and then closed the carburetor heat, applied power, and took off. When the airplane was about 100 feet above the ground with about 60 percent of the runway remaining, the engine "suddenly sputtered" and lost most of its power.
The CFI assumed the controls, completely retarded the throttle, and executed an emergency landing. The airplane touched down on the runway near or abeam the opposite direction runway numbers. The airplane swerved to the right, and the CFI intentionally "ground looped" the airplane hoping to dissipate the energy (ground speed). The airplane spun around and struck two vehicles before stopping.
This accident was reported to the National Transportation Safety Board by Mr. Adrian Grieve, Aviation Safety Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Van Nuys [California] Flight Standards District Office, on March 22, 1994.
Inspector Grieve conducted the on-scene investigation. He reported that the examination of the airplane and engine disclosed no evidence of the preexisting malfunctions or failures. The engine operated normally during the postaccident engine run.
Inspector Grieve said that the outside air temperature (OAT) was 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity was between 60 to 80 percent. He reported that the OAT and prevailing humidity was conducive to carburetor icing conditions.