On July 18, 2000, approximately 1645 Eastern Daylight Time, a Boeing Stearman E75-N1, N75647, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees during a forced landing near Atwater, Ohio. The certificated airline transport pilot/owner and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the pilot said:
"Took off from my private strip located at Atwater, Ohio on a pleasure flight. The time was 4:30 PM. Departed to the west, turning to the north. Leveled at 2,500 msl. A short time at level flight cruise RPM, felt vibration from the engine, made left turn back toward the departure airport. Notified passenger that a forced landing was possible. Vibration got much worse with loss of RPM. Told passenger we would land at Gay field that was ahead and to the left. At this time the engine froze, stopping the prop. Set up to land in a corn field straight ahead with a line of trees on the approach end. Aircraft hit the trees and stopped nose down. Instructed passenger too shut off ELT, magnetos, and battery. We then exited the aircraft."
The passenger was the pilot's son. In a written statement, he said:
"We took off and climbed to the north. We were about 2,500 feet MSL, just south of Rootstown, OH. About 15 minutes into the flight, the pilot mentioned that he felt a slight vibration. I noticed this vibration and agreed that we should go back and check it out. As we were returning to the airport the vibration got worse and the engine RPM settled to about 1500 RPM. This is when the pilot mentioned that we should go to Gay's airport because of its close proximity. This seemed like a good idea to me. The airplane was in a good position for Gay's airport, when the engine stopped with a clunk. With no power the airplane would not make it to Gay's. The pilot made a straight line to a good long cornfield, but we just could not get over the trees at the end of the field. With the airplane stopped in the tree, I shut off the battery and the mag switch. I was in the back seat where the switches are located. We both got out of the plane."
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination on July 18, 2000. According to the inspector, the nose of the airplane was pointed into the ground with the tail partially hung in the trees. All four wings were damaged.
The airplane was recovered and the engine was examined on July 26, 2000, under the supervision of the FAA. In a written statement, an FAA inspector said:
"The teardown of the engine was difficult due to the massive internal failure of the engine. On further investigation of the engine it was determined that the crankshaft had a complete break in the first throw of the shaft. There appeared to be no fatigue in the metal of the shaft. It was noted that prior to the accident the metal propeller, a McCauley Model No 41D5926 was removed, and a wood propeller, Model Number W-98AA-66 was installed."
This was the first flight after the metal propeller was removed and the wood propeller was installed. The airplane was type certificated (TC) for both a metal and wood propeller. According to the FAA inspector, the wooden propeller was within TC standards and was installed to specifications.
The pilot reported that the engine had accrued 313.8 total hours since overhaul, and 6.5 hours since the last annual inspection on April 4, 2000. The pilot did not know how much time was on the crankshaft at the time of the accident.
The pilot reported 16,387 total flight hours, of which 1,260 hours were in make and model airplane.