CHI06LA087
CHI06LA087

On February 24, 2006, at 1420 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150G, N6366S, piloted by a private pilot, received substantial damage on impact with power lines and terrain during an attempted forced landing at Ripley Airport (9OA1), Rockford, Ohio. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries. The flight originated from Phillipsburg Airport (3I7), Phillipsburg, Ohio, made a stop at W. K. Kellogg Airport (BTL), Battle Creek, Michigan, and was returning to 3I7.

The pilot stated that he departed 3I7 and flew 1.4 hours to BTL in order to pick up the pilot-rated passenger. They then departed from BTL at 1330, with "17 ?" gallons of 100 low-lead fuel aboard, en route to 3I7. Approximately one hour later, the airplane engine "stopped" during cruise flight at 3,500 feet mean sea level (msl). The pilot stated that he did his best to follow emergency procedures: fuel on, carburetor heat, mixture, etc. He then performed a forced landing.

The pilot-rated passenger stated that the pilot arrived at BTL at 1200 and parked the airplane at Centennial Aircraft Services where he met the pilot-rated passenger and the Centennial Aircraft Service line service manager. The pilot-rated passenger stated that the pilot did not look into the fuel tanks. The pilot-rated passenger asked the pilot twice whether he needed any fuel. The pilot reportedly stated that he had enough fuel to return to 3I7. They departed about 1230 and about 1 1/2 hours later, about 5,500 feet msl and "just" south of the Van Wert County Airport, Van Wert, Ohio, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot-rated passenger stated that he "believes," but is not "100% sure," that the pilot leaned the mixture while en route to Phillipsburg Airport, Phillipsburg, Ohio. They attempted to restart the engine but were unsuccessful. They attempted an emergency landing on a nearby grass strip, which was 9OA1. The pilot approached 9OA1 from the south and about 200 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot realized that he was too high for the approach and didn't have enough remaining runway to execute a safe landing. The pilot then pushed the nose of the airplane over to descend more quickly. The airplane touched down "going very fast" on a field to the "immediate" west of 9OA1. The pilot-rated passenger estimated that the touch down speed was at least 70 knots. The pilot-rated passenger stated that when the pilot saw that the airplane was heading for trees and a house, the pilot pulled back on the yoke, and the airplane made a "quick climb". The airplane then climbed about 50 feet agl, stalled, and dove into a row of electrical wires. The airplane then impacted a tree with its right wing and hit a berm, which "compacted" the engine and "snapped" the empennage.

The airplane was a 1967 Cessna 150G registered to a partnership of three pilots, of which one was the accident pilot. An application for the aircraft registration was signed by all three pilots on December 7, 2005. The airplane was not required under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft certification regulations to be equipped with shoulder harnesses.

9OA1 is a private airport with an estimated elevation of 810 feet msl and one runway, which is runway 18-36 (2,400 feet by 40 feet, turf).

Inspection of the accident scene and airplane wreckage by the FAA, revealed that the flaps were extended in the 40-degree position. There was less than one gallon of fuel recovered from the left tank and no fuel was recovered from the right tank. The fuel tanks were not broken open, and no fuel leaks were noted. The propeller was rotated by hand, and cylinder compression was noted on each cylinder. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses.

The left seat was off the seat rail with a 4-inch gouge from the back of the rail where the seat clamp engages. The right seat was attached to the seat rails

The pilot-rated passenger stated that he was in the hospital for one week due to injuries he sustained from the airplane accident. He sustained a broken jaw, broken teeth, a fractured eye socket and fractured left wrist, bruising at the wrists, ankles and face, and injuries to both knees that required stitches.

One of the registered owners of the airplane stated that he didn't know why they (registered owners) did not install shoulder harnesses in the airplane and then said that the installation of shoulder harnesses was not required. He knew that there were retrofit kits available for the installation of shoulder harnesses for the airplane. He stated that they (registered owners) never thought about installing shoulder harnesses; and they never talked about it. The owner said that he was "aware" of what could happen to an occupant without a shoulder harness in an accident. He stated that the accident was an "eye opener" and that he would now have shoulder harnesses installed.

The pilot-rated passenger stated that he did not have any apprehension flying in the accident airplane without shoulder harnesses. The pilot-rated passenger said that he never really thought about the effects of not wearing a shoulder harness. He said the he flew a Cessna 152 with an instructor who would never wear the available shoulder harness; since reportedly, the instructor felt that due to his height, the shoulder harness would be more of a detriment if involved in accident. The pilot-rated passenger stated that he owns a 1965 Piper Cherokee, which he now wants to equip with shoulder harnesses.

Advisory Circular 91-65, Use of Shoulder Harness In Passenger Seats, states:

"...the safety board examined 500 relatively severe general aviation airplane accidents to determine what proportion of the occupants would have benefited from the use of shoulder harnesses and energy-absorbing seats. The safety board found that 20 percent of the fatally-injured occupants in these accidents could have survived with shoulder harnesses (assuming the seat belt was fastened) and 88 percent of the seriously injured could have had significantly less severe injuries with the use of shoulder harnesses. Energy-absorbing seats could have benefited 34 percent of the seriously injured. The safety board concluded that shoulder harness use is the most effective way of reducing fatalities and serious injured in general aviation accidents."

The FAA website, www.faa.gov, provides supplemental type certificate information for the installation of shoulder harness retrofit kits.

The wreckage was released to one of the registered owners of the airplane .

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