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On March 1, 2000, about 1900 central standard time, a Cessna 210, N9552T, piloted by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with rough terrain near a fence line during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of power near Macomb Municipal Airport, Macomb, Illinois. The ferry flight was operated under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and the flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot rated passenger reported minor injuries and the pilot was uninjured. The flight originated from Joliet Regional Airport, near Joliet, Illinois, at about 1730 and was enroute to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, near Wichita, Kansas.
A representative of a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), where the accident airplane was hangared at Frankfort Airport, near Frankfort, Illinois, stated, "The aircraft landed at the Frankfort airport in late June possibly early July. The pilot was a man who identified himself as only 'J.D.' J.D. had not made prior arrangements with airport management to hangar the aircraft prior to arriving. ... J.D. said that he was looking for a corporate size hangar so that he would have enough space so that a couple mechanics that he knew could change the engine. I informed him that this would not be possible unless he provided us with a certificate of insurance or he allowed our mechanics to assist in the engine change. ... Prior to this, he told me that the aircraft was producing a considerable amount of metal. ... I also recall that when J.D. landed, he was asking an aircraft that was in the pattern if there was any other aircraft in the pattern and if they would mind if he did a straight in approach, because he was concerned about having to do a go around." The representative said, "We were expecting to start the job in mid November and around that time, we moved the aircraft to our maintenance hangar. Towards the end of November, a man who represented himself as a private investigator that was working for an attorney ... came to the airport looking for N9552T. Later that day, I talked to [the attorney] on the phone. He informed me that he was hired by [a bank] to repose N9552T and he faxed me a copy of replevin.... At this time, I showed the aircraft to the private investigator and informed him of the condition of the aircraft as reported by J.D. A few weeks later, I was approached by [a representative of the bank]. He was given access to the aircraft, which was still in the maintenance shop, and I told him exactly what J.D. had said about the condition of the aircraft. I told him that the aircraft was in the maintenance shop for an engine change and that the engine was producing metal. I offered our services to verify the condition of the aircraft. I also told him that I had a mechanic that could sign the aircraft off for a one-time ferry flight, if need be. He then informed me that he had talked to [an aircraft broker], located in Janesville WI, about taking a look at the aircraft and possibly flying it to Janesville to be sold. I told him that I thought that it would be wise to have the aircraft looked at by a mechanic before any flight. This was due to the reported condition of the aircraft and the fact that it had not flown in six months. His comment to me was, 'that he was sure that [the aircraft broker] knew what he was doing and that they might like to have a mechanic around whenever [the aircraft broker] came to Frankfort.'"
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated, "On March 1, 2000 a ferry permit was requested by a banks agent for service.... The information given to this office indicated that the ferry permit was necessary to fly the aircraft which did not have a current Annual Inspection. The aircraft would be flown from Frankfort Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, where Annual Inspection would be performed by the new owner." (See appended FAA Form 8130-6, APPLICATION FOR AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE.)
On March 1, 2000, an aircraft purchase agreement was completed between the bank, the aircraft broker, and the pilot rated passenger for the buyer of record. The agreement stated, "Aircraft sold as-is, where is." (See appended agreement.)
The representative of the bank said that no representations were made to the purchasers, that no reports of the airplane status were passed on to the purchasers, and that the ferry permit was faxed to his location.
A special flight permit limitations for this airplane stated that "1. Carriage of persons other than essential crewmembers is prohibited."
The FBO representative stated, "It just so happened that I was in Frankfort on March 1st and I saw a few guys looking at the airplane. It appeared that they were looking over the aircraft and its general condition." The airplane was flown from Frankfort Airport to Joliet Regional Airport, near Joliet, Illinois.
A lineman at the FBO at Joliet Regional Airport said, "The plane came in and a one of the men asked if we could jump start the plane if needed. I put 51 galloons of 100LL and it only holds 65 gallons. I also put 35-40 psi of air in each tire. They added 3 qts of 100-50 SAE Aeroshell oil and took two quarts for later. They had just gotten the plane from Frankfort airport and were still unsure on how to work somethings like the gear doors and such. I did have to jump their plane so they could leave. It was around 5:30 pm."
The pilot stated, "Departed Joliet IL approx 5:00 climbed to 4500 everything normal, then climbed to 6500, while cruising near Macomb, IL engine quit, called center, they suggested one airport then I spotted beacon and center said it was closer so I turned towards it maintained glide speed but landed short of runway in plowed field."
INJURIES TO PERSONS
The sheriff's accident report indicated "that [the passenger] broke his right middle finger."
The pilot was an instrument rated commercial pilot. He held a flight instructor rating for single engine airplanes. He stated that he had a total of 1,387 hours of flight time, 400 hours of flight time in this make and model, and 523 hours of flight time at night. He said that his medical certificate had been expired at the time of the accident. The pilot held an Airframe mechanics rating.
The pilot rated passenger was a private pilot and held an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic rating.
The aircraft was a Cessna 210, production date of March 24, 1960, serial number 57352. According to airplane logbook entries, the last annual inspection was performed on February 5, 1999. On that date, the airplane had a recorded tachometer time of 4,198 hours. An entry in the logbook dated March 1, 1999 stated, "I have inspected this aircraft [and] found it to be airworthy for a one time ferry flight in accordance with this ferry permit." The entry was endorsed with the name and mechanics certificate number of the pilot rated passenger. (See appended logbook pages.)
At 1853, the Burlington Regional Airport, near Burlington, Iowa, weather was: Wind 290 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 6 degrees C; dew point -1 degree C; altimeter 30.18 inches of mercury.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
On March 29, 2000, the accident engine, marked IO470E(13) s/n CS88696.73.E.R, was disassembled and examined at Macomb, Illinois. General observations revealed a hole in the case on its upper side near the number two cylinder. The examination revealed silver colored and silver and copper colored debris in the oil sump. (See appended photo.) The debris was consistent with bearing material. The debris was deformed in a curved fashion that was similar to the radius between the crankshaft journal and cheek. Chrome cylinders were found installed in the number one and four positions. The oil screen assembly was found secured by twisted safety wire. That safety wire was coated with an oil like substance and a dust like substance was found adhering between those twists. The removed screen revealed debris, similar in color to the debris found in the sump. The oil cooler was removed and debris, similar in color to the sump debris, was found. The crankshaft's cheek was found separated between the number two connecting rod and the number two main bearing. The mating surfaces of the separation revealed areas of discoloration and deformation of metal in a semicircular pattern. The aft section of the separated crank was found angularly displaced from its centerline position at the point of separation. The number two connecting rod cap was found deformed and held in its location by one of its two bolts. The number two main bearing was found with its right half in place and its left half not in place. The fuel pump was rotated by hand and expelled a liquid when rotated. Both magnetos produced spark when rotated.
The aft crankshaft section was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory for detailed examination. The lab report stated, "Fracture features for the fatigue region emanated from multiple origins on the surface of the aft radius of the second main journal, with primary initiation approximately in the center of the origin area. The boundary of the fatigue region was obliterated by mechanical damage. The surface of the aft second main journal cheek radius was scored and burnished. Ladder cracks were also observed in the cheek radius." (See appended National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory report.)
The parties to the investigation included the FAA and Teledyne Continental Motors.
The engine parts were shipped back to an owner's representative