On August 10, 2000, at 1500 Eastern Daylight Time, an Aero Commander 114-B, N6101T, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on the Localizer 24 approach into Somerset County Airport (2G9), Somerset, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot/owner sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The flight originated at 2G9 at 1410 with an unknown quantity of fuel. The purpose of the flight was for instrument approach training.
The pilot dictated a statement that was prepared by his son. According to the statement, he said:
"After approximately 40 minutes of flight the aircraft was on a 5 mile final on the 24 Localizer at the Stoystown NDB. [He] changed the fuel selector valve from the right tank to both, the engine started to shut down, turning the fuel selector valve, started the engine to fire. On approximately one mile final, engine shut off completely. Aircraft landed near ball field on top of airport fence."
In a written statement, a witness said:
"I was sitting in kitchen doing paperwork and heard a louder than normal engine then the engine cut off. I ran out of the house and saw the aircraft at an altitude normal to most airplanes landing at the airport. I then heard the engine sputter, then a loud pop, then the engine stopped. I lost sight of the airplane behind the building. There were a couple of backfires through the carburetor."
In a written statement, a second witness said:
"I saw the plane just clear the power line. Once it cleared the power line it almost just fell out of the air and hit the ground and bounced and it snapped part of the landing gear off and it skidded across the driveway and slammed into the fence and stopped."
On August 11, 2000, an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) interviewed the pilot. According to the inspector's record of conversation:
"On August 10, 2000, at approximately 1400 hours, [the pilot], departed the Somerset County Airport (2G9), Somerset, PA, on a local IFR training flight in visual meteorological conditions. After a preflight of his aircraft, he took off from the airport and started his flight training. He accomplished one localizer approach and was beginning a second localizer approach when at approximately five miles from the airport, over Stoystown radio beacon; he stated the engine began to run rough. At this point in time, the pilot said he had been airborne for approximately 40 minutes. He said he switched the tanks but could not keep the engine running. The engine stopped and aircraft descended until it impacted the ground in a schoolyard adjacent to the airport property at 1450 hours."
Two (FAA) inspectors performed an on-scene examination on August 11, 2000. According to an inspector, the airplane contacted the ground and slid about 65 feet before impacting the airport perimeter fence.
Examination of the airplane revealed that the aircraft came to rest upright, tangled in the airport perimeter fence. The right main gear had sheared off the airplane, and the left main and nose gear had collapsed. A large area of damage was noted on the leading edge of the left wing about 8-feet from the wing root. The fuel cell was penetrated. However, there was no evidence of fuel leakage from the wing or fuel present in the wing. The right wing, lower tail area, and fuselage were also damaged. The propeller blades were bent aft. Control continuity was established for all flight control surfaces.
Examination of the fuel system on-site revealed there was no fuel in the fuel filter, fuel pump, or the flow divider. Visual examination of the fuel tanks revealed there was no fuel inside either tank.
The airplane was moved to a hanger where further examination of the airplane's fuel system was conducted. The examination revealed there was about one quart of fuel available in the airplane.
The pilot reported that during his pre-flight inspection, the left fuel tank was about 1-inch below the tab, and 1/2-inch below the tab on the right fuel tank. The pilot estimated there was thirty gallons of fuel onboard the airplane prior to take-off.
The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 70 gallons, of which 68 gallons were useable.
The pilot and his son purchased the airplane on July 31, 2000.
The pilot kept an airplane flight log. Examination of the flight log and fueling history of the airplane revealed that between August 2, 2000, and August 10, 2000, the airplane had flown about 4.7 hours.
The airplane was last serviced with fuel on August 4, 2000, with 7.63 gallons of 100 LL fuel.
Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had 280 total flight hours, of which 11 hours were in the accident airplane. Between July 31, 2000, and August 2, 2000, the pilot received 6 hours of flight training in the airplane by an FAA certified flight instructor. The pilot received an endorsement for pilot-in-command in high performance aircraft on August 2, 2000.
Examination of the airplane revealed there were no mechanical malfunctions.