DFW05CA021
DFW05CA021

On September 27, 2004, approximately 1120 central daylight time, a Bellanca BL-17-30A single-engine airplane, N28086, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power near Roanoke, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The planned cross-country flight was originating from 52F just prior to the accident. The flight's intended destination was the Covington Municipal Airport (M04), near Covington, Tennessee.

In the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the 1,531-hour pilot reported that during takeoff from runway 35, the engine "seemed to be performing well; however, approximately 100-200 feet above ground level (agl) over the north end of the runway, the engine started to lose power. The pilot stated that "while the engine did not completely stop, there was not enough power to maintain flight."

Subsequently, the pilot switched the fuel tanks, checked that the mixture was in a "full rich" position, and turned on the fuel boost pump. Activation of the boost pump seemed to provide a "short surges in power," and allowed the pilot to maneuver around power lines and houses. The pilot then managed to slow the airplane enough to maneuver around a farmhouse and execute a forced landing into an open field just north of the airport.

The pilot reported that the landing gear was extended and " it helped to absorb the energy and keep the impact slow." The left wing tip impacted a pile of rocks, and the aircraft swerved slightly to the left. The pilot added that the terrain was "slightly hilly, but free of trees, with lots of high weeds, cactus, and rocks."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that responded to the accident site, there was substantial damage to the left forward wing spar, landing gear fittings, and fuselage lower longerons. Further examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed that the mixture control cable was not connected. The disconnected cable did not appear to be damaged from the forced landing. The engine was later run with no indication of any mechanical irregularities. The owner of the airplane reported to the NTSB that the airplane had just completed a 100-hour inspection and had accumulated about 2 hours of flight time since the last inspection.

This damage to the airplane was initially reported as minor, thus the accident was originally classified as an "incident." On November 15, 2004, the FAA notified the NTSB that structural damage was found and the mishap was then upgraded to an "accident."

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