On Friday, August 20, 1993, at 1115 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5B, N1547R, registered to Mark, Inc., and piloted by Ronald L. Donley, was destroyed during a forced landing in Westerly, Rhode Island. The pilot and two passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written report, the pilot stated:
Prior to departure a thorough engine run-up and system check was done. Everything appeared normal. Takeoff roll and climb were normal. at approximately 500' AGL, I began a left turn ...RPM suddenly dropped to 1000-1200. A quick check of engine controls showed everything normal. Switching fuel tanks did not help. I selected a small field...I landed in this field...could not stop...came to a stop on a paved road...
Mr. Bruce H. Bosquet, one of the passengers, stated:
We took off on runway 25 and we were a couple of hundred feet in the air when Ron [PIC] said "We have a problem with the engine..." We hit the edge of the field...the plane caught fire.
Mr. Don Micknak, Aviation Safety Inspector (Airworthiness) for the Federal Aviation Administration, conducted an examination of the wreckage and interviewed witnesses. In his report, Mr. Micknak stated:
Based on interviews with several witnesses, the AA-5B engine sounded rough during takeoff and at an altitude of about two to three hundred feet, the aircraft turned left, lost altitude...The airplane hit soft ground...and came to rest...[on a] road. The engine caught fire and engulfed the entire aircraft...The aircraft was destroyed by fire. The engine was intact but severely distorted due to the intensity of the fire...Continuity between the prop and the accessory case was confirmed and the engine cylinders showed compression.