On July 14, 2001, at 1830 eastern daylight time, a Yakovlev 52, N48GA, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while approaching Moultonboro Airport (5M3), Moultonboro, New Hampshire. The certificated airline transport pilot received minor injuries, and the passenger was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was operating on a visual flight rules flight plan between East Hampton Airport (HTO), East Hampton, New York, and Moultonboro. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he topped off the fuel tanks prior to the flight. The flight was routine until the airplane was about 3/4 of a mile from runway 02 at Moultonboro. The pilot descended and slowed the airplane for landing pattern entry. Then the engine "sputtered to a halt" from what seemed like fuel starvation, although the pilot knew he still had 20 to 25 minutes of fuel onboard. The airplane slowed rapidly and began a high sink rate, giving the pilot about 3 seconds to land.
The pilot turned the airplane 180 degrees, to a large hayfield behind the right wing. On short final, there was a row of tall pine trees. The pilot delayed lowering the landing gear until clearing the trees and kept the flaps up, then tried to flare prior to touchdown with no response from the airplane. The airplane hit the ground hard, "but...took it," and began a rollout across "disappointingly rough terrain." When the airplane had slowed to about 40 mph, the right main landing gear hit a large hole, the right wing drove into the turf, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane nosed over.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, on-scene examination of the airplane revealed that the right fuel tank was empty, but that the left fuel tank still had fuel. Further examination revealed that the main fuel vent line was clogged about 4 to 5 inches from the vent opening by a mud dauber nest. The clog would have been impossible to see during a preflight inspection. The inspector also noted that there was difficulty in removing the fuel tank caps for fuel tank inspection due to the vacuum created by the clogged vent line.