SEA01LA120
SEA01LA120

On June 19, 2001, approximately 1930 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N19218, owned by Morcom Aviation Services Inc. (d/b/a Regal Air) of Everett, Washington, and being flown by a newly certificated commercial pilot and certificated flight instructor on a 14 CFR 91 personal flight, experienced a hard landing following a reported near midair collision (NMAC) on final approach to runway 27 at Jefferson County International Airport (0S9), Port Townsend, Washington (a non-towered airport) under visual flight rules (VFR). The other aircraft involved in the reported NMAC was not identified. The pilot reported that the hard landing occurred after he initiated a dive to avoid the other aircraft, which he stated appeared about 50 feet in front of him on a right-to-left crossing flight path as he was on final approach at about 100 feet above ground level (AGL). Prior to landing at Jefferson County International, the accident aircraft had last departed Whidbey Island Airpark (W10), Langley, Washington. The pilot subsequently operated the aircraft to Camano Island Airfield (13W), Stanwood, Washington, and from there to the aircraft's home base of Paine Field (PAE), Everett, Washington, where upon return of the aircraft to Regal Air, substantial damage to the aircraft's horizontal tail structure was found. The pilot and passenger were not injured on the accident flight. Visual meteorological conditions, with calm winds, were reported at Naval Air Station (NAS), Whidbey Island, Washington, at 1855, and no flight plan was filed for the accident flight.

On his NTSB accident report, the pilot reported:

...I approached [Jefferson County International] from the North &
overflew South to enter the left Downwind for [ runway] 27. All this
time I was announcing my intentions on 123.0 [the Common Traffic
Advisory Frequency for Jefferson County International]. A twin was
departing 27 to the west and I was coming in for a short field with a
50 ft obstacle, using the [numbers] as a 50 ft obstacle. Upon
reaching the [numbers] I was pulling the power & starting my
descent when a plane appeared from right to left. I put the nose
down to get under it and the resultant was a hard landing. The
plane bounced and we went around and landed. I then pulled off
the runway and inspected the plane. I noticed the tail skid missing
& went on to the runway to check for the skid piece. I located it &
brought it back to the plane. I then tried to make a call to Regal &
to my passenger's father. I did not have any cell coverage so I
determined the plane OK....and took off to take my passenger to a
place near his home so he would not have to drive....

We then departed to Camano Island where we approached from
the South & overflew the airfield. We then overflew from the North
once & on the 3rd approach came into [sic] land. We appeared to
have little rudder control & we landed at Camano in a stalled
position and in doing so did drop a few feet....[After landing at
Camano Island] I notified Regal of what was happening[;] this was
at about 9 PM PST. I then departed to the South to PAE where I
landed to the North & reported the incident to a Regal instructor on
the ground....

In a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on June 26, 2001, the pilot stated that the other aircraft was a low-wing airplane, but that he did not know the type, color, or registration number of the other aircraft. He stated that the other aircraft appeared to have too much angle-off from the runway to land, and that he did not see the other aircraft again. A telephone query to the Port of Port Townsend, in which the IIC requested that port officials check with local contacts to attempt to identify the other aircraft reportedly involved, did not disclose any reports of observations of the other aircraft during the time frame of the accident airplane's landing at Port Townsend. The passenger in the accident aircraft did not provide a statement to the NTSB.

The owners of P. Ponk Aviation at Camano Island submitted a witness account of their observations of the aircraft's operation at that airport during its return flight from Port Townsend to Paine Field. They stated that the weather at Camano Island Airfield (which has a single paved, north-south, 1,750-foot-long runway, with an 85-foot-wide landing area including a 24-foot-wide paved area) at that time was clear and sunny, with approximately a 10 to 12 MPH wind from the west (an 85 to 90-degree crosswind.) They reported that just after 2000, they were standing near the airport's south wind sock and observed the accident aircraft in three landing attempts at Camano Island. They reported that the first landing attempt was to the north, that it was too high, and that it was aborted very early on. They stated that the second attempt was to the south, and that this landing attempt (which they called "precarious", and included what appeared to them to be a touchdown) was followed by an immediate departure in a steep climbing right turn to the west (into the wind), prior to midfield. They reported that the third landing attempt was also to the south, and that it again was "very precarious." They stated that this landing appeared "very hard, followed by a considerable bounce." They reported that power was added "as though to go around", but that the aircraft "was placed in such a nose high position that it hung on the ragged edge of a stall about 25 feet off the ground and waggled, past mid field, like a palm up hand slowly waving back and forth." They reported that the aircraft abruptly landed again at that point. They stated that power was then applied again, followed by abrupt power reduction and heavy braking (they stated that one or more of the aircraft's wheels were squealing.) The witnesses reported that the aircraft's left wheel and tire went off the left side of the asphalt into the grass, and that the airplane then skidded to a stop near the south end of the runway.

The owners of P. Ponk Aviation reported that after a brief radio conversation with the pilot, in which one of the owners told the pilot that "This is no place for a student pilot to be flying with the wind conditions we have today", the aircraft parked in the airport's transient area. One of the P. Ponk Aviation owners then went out to the aircraft to offer assistance, and inspected the tail of the aircraft. He reported that he observed damage to the horizontal stabilizer and fuselage as follows. The left side center of stabilizer had a buckled leading edge with a crack, a buckled front stabilizer spar, and a buckled rear spar with two cracks. The right side center of stabilizer had a buckled front spar and a buckled rear spar. The fuselage's rear bulkhead at the tail tie down was buckled and pushed upward, partially engaging the rudder. The P. Ponk Aviation owner stated that he told the pilot that the plane was not airworthy and why, and that he offered his recommendation that the plane be parked until a temporary repair was performed and a ferry permit obtained. He stated that "He also discussed the ramifications of flying the plane in a damaged state." The P. Ponk Aviation owner stated that he later went back out to the pilot with keys to their loaner truck and offered the truck as transportation back to Paine Field, which the pilot declined. The P. Ponk Aviation owner stated that a short time later, the airplane left with a single occupant (he reported that the other occupant and his father departed in the father's pickup truck.)

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