On November 8, 2000, about 1400 eastern standard time, a Navion A, N675JM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at the Flying W Airport (N14), Lumberton, NJ. The certificated airline transport pilot was seriously injured, and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal local flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, the airplane departed the Red Lion Airport, Vincentown, New Jersey, at 1350, and proceeded to N14. As the airplane was in the traffic pattern, on a base leg, the engine lost all power. The pilot turned towards runway 01 and observed an airplane at the end of the runway. The airplane on the ground appeared to be "in position" on the runway and was not moving, so the pilot extended the flaps to full, and lowered the landing gear to slow his airspeed. Realizing that the increased drag would prohibit the glide to the runway, the pilot performed a forced landing to a field. The airplane touched down in a small valley, impacted a raised bank, and came to rest in brush.
The pilot, who was also a certificated airplane mechanic, stated that the airplane had been in restoration for about 10 years. During the restoration the fuel tanks were removed, drained, pressurized, and inspected before being reinstalled. Upon completion of the restoration, the pilot sought out a mechanic to perform an annual inspection on the airplane; however, due to problems with the airplane, the mechanic refused to "sign off" the annual inspection, and the airplane was flown without it. The pilot additionally added that just after the restoration, the engine had been "running rich," and he had to "lean it out." Later test flights revealed no indications of a rich mixture, and the "stacks were burning real clean."
The engine had accumulated about 5 total hours since the restoration.
The engine was examined on November 17, 2001. As the carburetor was removed from the engine, a brown stained liquid, similar to automotive fuel, was observed draining from the fuel lines as they were removed. Debris was also observed in the liquid when placed into a specimen jar.
The pilot was questioned about the liquid drained from the fuel lines. He stated that he had never put automotive fuel into the airplane; however, "dried auto fuel" may have been present in the fuel tanks, and loosened as new aviation fuel was added to the tanks.
The carburetor was forwarded to Precision Aviation Products Corporation, Everett, Washington, and examined on February 7, 2001, in the presence of a Safety Board investigator. The examination determined that there was no external damage to the carburetor, and all fittings and levers were present and undamaged. When the carburetor was flow tested, no external leaks were noted, and all tests were to manufacturer's specifications.
When the carburetor was disassembled, the inlet screen, jets, and passages, were all absent of contamination. All gaskets and diaphragms were accounted for and undamaged. No unusual contamination was observed inside the carburetor.
The pilot of the airplane, which was located at the end of runway 01 at the time of the accident, stated that he was "short" of the runway, when he heard another airplane transmit on the radio that an aircraft was down in the trees. He shut down his airplane and proceeded to the accident site to offer assistance. The pilot added that he had never taxied his airplane onto the active runway.