NYC95LA067
NYC95LA067

On Friday, March 3, 1995, at 1015 eastern standard time, a Cessna 180J, N180BF, owned and piloted by Mr. Anthony S. Comunale, of Roxbury, Connecticut, made a forced landing on a frozen reservoir near West Dover, Vermont, after the engine lost power. The airplane received substantial damage and the pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the personal transportation flight which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:

...with the wind light, from the east, I arrived at the west side of Mt. Snow at about 3,000 feet. I continued north around Mr. Snow and the engine started to run rough and lost power, there wasn't much time to decide what to do so I looked for a place to set down. The engine was still running but I was to try to go any further over the mountains so I landed on the lake, a short roll out and the wheel dug in and the aircraft flipped over forward and stopped...

When interviewed, the pilot reported he had been cruising at a low power setting, 2200 RPM, manifold pressure at the bottom of the green arc [15 inches] for 45 minutes, approximately 1000 feet above the ground. The sky above was clear, however there was fog in the valleys. As he neared his destination, he added power to climb over a mountain and the engine began to run rough. The situation was not corrected by changing fuel tanks or richening the mixture. When the mixture was leaned, the roughness improved, but the engine still continued to loose power.

The pilot set up for a forced landing on Somerset Reservoir which was frozen and covered by snow. Just prior to touchdown, the pilot added power and received a partial response from the engine, however, the airplane was touching down and the pilot retarded the power. Upon touchdown, the airplane traveled approximately 30-40 feet and then nosed over. The depth of the snow at touchdown was approximately 2 feet.

The airplane received substantial damage to the left wing and vertical stabilizer.

The FAA reported the airplane was taken to Limington Harlin Airport in Limington, Maine for an engine run. In a written report, the FAA stated:

...The engine ran successfully, smooth, and strong for more than 2 minutes...It ran at 2,000 rpm, peaked at 2400 rpm, oil checked good, and temperature checked good....

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