SEA95LA208
SEA95LA208

On September 3, 1995, at 1744 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 185, N9222H, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing while conducting a low pass while towing a banner at the Salem, Oregon, airport. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. No flight plan was filed for the flight, which was a banner tow operation to be conducted under 14 CFR 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight. The ELT actuated, but did not assist in the location of the accident.

An FAA inspector who went to the scene reported that this was a banner tow operation. The cable had wrapped around the tail wheel during pickup and the pilot had reported rudder problems and had made a low pass at 65 knots indicated airspeed over the runway for his ground crew to observe the aircraft. The pilot stated that the engine sustained a loss of power when he opened his throttle as he finished his pass, and he did a sharp left turn and attempted a forced landing on the northwest corner of the airport.

Witnesses noted that the aircraft nose dropped abruptly during the turn and also stated that there was no indication of a loss of power from the sound of the engine. FAA inspectors noted strike marks in the pavement at the accident site that appeared to have been made from a rotating propeller. Both propeller blade tips were curled forward, with the rest of the blade surfaces curled aft. The engine was inspected and the fuel injection fuel pump, electric boost pump, and the fuel injection fuel control were tested. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would preclude the engine from operating.

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