On March 18, 2000, about 0841 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-151, N18AV, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York. The certificated flight instructor and two passengers received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight. No flight plan had been filed for the flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was to conduct an introductory flight lesson for a prospective student. The prospective student's mother also rode along in the airplane, in the left rear seat. The airplane departed on runway 01, and when it was about 150 to 200 feet above the ground the engine lost power. The airplane had not crossed the airport boundary and the pilot elected to make a 180 degree left turn due to the lack of suitable landing areas beyond and to the right of the departure end. After completing over 90 degrees of turn, the right wing struck a light pole. The airplane subsequently struck a fence, then the ground and cart wheeled.
During the ground impact, the flight instructor was ejected from the airplane, and the two passengers remained in the airplane.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operation inspector, the terrain beyond the departure end of the runway consisted of a vehicle parking lot that was full of vehicles, a shopping mall, and beyond that, additional buildings. The area to the right was a cemetery with many standing stone monuments. According to another FAA inspector, both wings were separated from the fuselage, and the roof of the fuselage was pulled open. The outboard 4 1/2 feet of the right wing had separated from the inboard portion of the wing when it struck a light pole.
A FAA airworthiness inspector, accompanied by a representative of Textron Lycoming, conducted an examination of the engine and airframe. The carburetor, which was elevated above the level of the fuel tanks, was found to be full of fuel, and free of contamination. The main jet on the carburetor was not obstructed. Spark was obtained from the impulse magneto. The spark plugs were not fouled. Valve train continuity was confirmed. No evidence of blockage was found in the fuel lines, and the fuel selector valve worked properly. The magneto switch was checked and no evidence of inadvertent grounding was found.
The engine was equipped with "sponge" type air filer. The air duct tube between the air filter and carburetor intake was found dislodged, and filled with dirt. No determination could be made about the condition of the air duct tube prior to the flight.
The engine was shipped to Textron Lycoming, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On May 3, 2000, the engine was placed in a test cell, and run under the observation of a FAA inspector. The engine started and ran for about 40 minutes with no problems noted.
According to the Airport Facility Directory (AFD), runway 01 was 5,516 feet long and 150 feet wide, with an asphalt surface.
According to the flight instructor, the airplane had been parked outside, facing west, in the 24 hours that preceded the accident.
At FRG, on the day preceding the accident, between 0053, and 0953, precipitation was recorded for most observations in the form of light rain, rain, heavy rain, and mist. Starting with the 1253 observation, and continuing through 1653, precipitation was recorded as light snow, snow, freezing fog, and mist. During periods of precipitation, the wind was variable, but predominately from the north, with velocities in excess of 15 knots most of the time, and peak gusts of 28 knots. During the 12 hours that preceded the accident flight, the temperature was recorded as less than 0 degrees Celsius.