On October 6, 1995, about 1400 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 150, N4024J, crashed after takeoff, about 1 mile northeast of Hoonah, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight to Juneau, Alaska, when the accident occurred. The airplane, operated by Juneau Flying School, Juneau, sustained substantial damage. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. The sole passenger was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that he departed runway 05 for a return flight to Juneau. He said that after rotation, the airplane would not climb quickly enough to avoid trees and rising terrain, and he turned toward a flat spot for an emergency landing. The airplane struck an area of cleared timber and received damage to the landing gear, main cabin fuselage, and wings.
An FAA inspector examined the airplane at the accident site on October 7, 1995, and reported in part: "The trailing edge flaps were observed extended, estimated to be 20 degrees. The flap actuating switch was found in the centered position."
The Hoonah Airport had a single asphalt surface runway oriented on a 050/230 degree magnetic heading at an elevation of 30 feet mean sea level. Runway 05 was 3,000 feet long and 75 feet wide. The Alaska Supplement/Facilities Directory stated in part: "Airport remarks - Unattended. Runway condition not monitored, recommend visual examination prior to use. High terrain all quadrants."
The Chief of Police, Hoonah Police Department, reported that he talked with the pilot after the accident. The pilot stated in part:..."I had just rented the airplane from Juneau to come to Hoonah and Pick up Glen...I think we were a bit overloaded. I didn't pay too much attention to the weight of the bags Glen had, but I think just between the two of us the plane was overloaded. We're a couple of pretty big guys..."
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, Juneau Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), calculated the weight and balance of the airplane utilizing the Hoonah Police Department's estimated weights of the occupants and baggage. At the time of the accident, the gross weight of the airplane was calculated to be 1,675.75 pounds. The gross weight limit of the airplane is 1,600 pounds. The center of gravity moment was calculated to be 61,813.85. The airplane's center of gravity limits are 52,500 to 60,000.
On June 29, 1997, the pilot provided additional information concerning the manner in which the airplane's weight and balance was calculated by the operator. The empty weight of the airplane, listed by the operator in the airplane documents, was 1014.75 pounds. Utilizing that listed empty weight, and weight and balance amounts provided by the pilot, he calculated the gross weight of the airplane at the time of the accident as 2.9 pounds below maximum gross weight.
The operator utilized an incorrect value for the weight of fuel and an incorrect value for the arm portion of the oil weight calculation. Utilizing the correct airplane weight amounts, the empty weight of the airplane was found to be 1052.75 pounds, an increase of 38 pounds. Utilizing the weight and balance amounts provided by the pilot, the actual gross weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was 35.1 pounds over maximum gross weight limit.
Listed below is the corrected calculations for the airplane and flight:
Item Scale Fuel Net Weight
Left Wheel 496 Right Wheel 489 Nose Wheel 235
Total 1,220 -156(Full fuel) 1,064
COMPUTED WEIGHT AND BALANCE
Item Weight Arm Moment
Nose Wheel 235 -10.78 -2,533.3 RH Main Wheel 489 47.87 23,408.43 LH Main Wheel 496 47.87 23,743.52 26 Gal Fuel -156 42.0 -6,552.0 6Qt Oil -11.25 -12.0 135.0
Total 1,052.75 38,201.65
WEIGHT AND BALANCE CALCULATIONS FOR FLIGHT
Item Weight Arm Moment
A/C 1,052.75 38,201.65 OIL 11.25 -12.0 -135.0 Survival Suit 14.0 64.0 896.0 Rifle 7.0 64.0 448.0 Duffel 29.0 64.0 1,885.0 Fuel 65.1 42.0 2,734.2 Pilot 216.0 39.0 8,424.0 Pax 240.0 39.0 9,360.0
Total 1,635.1 61,813.85