On February 19, 2006, at 1245 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N4328D, operated by Northwest Aviation, Inc., sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a freeway near the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois, after a loss of power. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot received minor injuries. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight departed 06C on a local flight when the loss of power occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The CFI reported that prior to the first flight he had N4328D brought into a hangar to get it warmed up and to preheat the engine since it was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The fuel tanks were partially full and the CFI instructed the lineman to top off the fuel tanks.
The CFI reported that when his first student pilot of the day arrived, he told the student pilot and the fuel lineman to put fuel in the airplane and top off both wings. The student pilot reported that both wings were topped off with fuel. The CFI reported that he checked both wing tanks and the oil level before departure. The CFI and the student pilot departed 06C around 0940 and flew to Dupage Airport (DPA), West Chicago, Illinois, in order to practice takeoffs and landings. The flight returned to 06C about 1035 and logged 0.9 hours of aircraft time. The CFI and the student pilot reported that the airplane flew fine and exhibited no problems.
The CFI reported that the airplane was not refueled before the next instructional flight that departed about 45 minutes later. The CFI reported that he and the second student pilot of the day checked the fuel quantity. One tank was full and the other had over 1/2 tank. The CFI reported that he asked the student pilot if the fuel selector was positioned to the fullest tank for takeoff, and the student pilot confirmed that it was. The CFI reported that the taxi and run-up were normal. He reported that he turned the electric fuel boost pump on and checked the fuel pressure. The carburetor heat and the magneto checks were accomplished and they were normal.
The CFI reported that the student pilot performed the takeoff, and that the takeoff roll and rotation felt normal. He reported that during initial climbout, the airspeed was low and the airplane was not climbing well. The CFI reported that the tachometer was indicating 2,300 rpm's when it should have been 2,700 rpm's. The CFI instructed the student pilot to continue to climb straight ahead. The CFI pulled the carburetor heat to ON. He reported that the rpm's dropped to 1,100 to 1,200 rpm's and that the engine was running extremely rough. The airplane was about 300-400 feet above ground level (agl) and the student pilot lowered the nose to keep the airspeed up. The CFI turned the carburetor heat to OFF and the rpm's went back to 2,300 rpm, but then the engine quit.
The CFI reported that he took control of the airplane. The engine momentarily started again, but then quit. The CFI prepared to execute a forced landing to a nearby freeway. He instructed the student pilot to switch fuel tanks, but it had no effect. The CFI reported that the right wing struck two light poles. The airplane impacted the freeway and skidded to a stop. The student pilot kicked the door open, got out of the airplane, and then dragged the instructor pilot out of the airplane.
Emergency rescue personnel arrived at the scene and provided medical attention to the pilots. The airplane wreckage was removed from the freeway and transported to a hangar at 06C.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector examined the airplane at the hangar. He reported that the engine was rotated and all cylinders produced compression. Valve action was normal on all cylinders. Both magnetos produced spark. The throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat controls were checked and no anomalies were noted. The exhaust cones at the heat muffs were normal. The carburetor, magnetos, and engine driven fuel pump were removed from the engine and were bench tested. All three components functioned during the bench test. The carburetor was opened and the floats and accelerator pump functioned normally.
The FAA inspector reported that the outboard 1/4 of the right wing had separated from the wing. The left wing had sheared off the airplane at the wing root. Fuel was observed in the right wing tank by the emergency responders. One of the policemen, who was at the accident site, reported that there was about 5 gallons of fuel on the ground near the left wing. Airplane mechanics that helped recover the airplane to the hangar after the accident, reported that there was about 5 gallons of residual fuel in the left wing after the accident.
A fuel receipt indicated that the airplane had been fueled with 15.0 gallons of fuel on the morning of the accident.