On August 1, 2007, at approximately 2000 eastern daylight time, a Piper Aerostar 601P, N60801, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which departed from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, after departing runway 26, he remained in the traffic pattern for a landing. As he turned the airplane onto the final approach, at an altitude of 1,000 feet mean sea level, the right engine began a violent vibration and started to lose power. The pilot stated he advanced the mixture, propeller, and throttle levers to the full forward position, and turned the fuel boost pump on. The right engine then completely lost power and the pilot placed the propeller lever in the feathered position. He advanced the left engine throttle to full power, retracted the landing gear and established the aircraft on final approach. The airplane was unable to maintain airspeed and altitude, and the pilot decided to perform a forced landing to a road parallel to runway 26. As the airplane reached an altitude of approximately 300 feet, it began to "lose directional control," and the pilot reduced power to the left engine. The airplane impacted a traffic light prior to landing on the road. After touchdown, the airplane began to skid to the right and impacted several objects before it came to rest, and a postcrash fire ensued.
Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the right engine cockpit controls were in the "aft position," (right propeller lever in feather position) and the right propeller was not feathered. Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured; however, evidence of fuel was present in both wings.
The right engine was disassembled, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. According to the FAA inspector, the engine crankshaft had sheared between the No. 2 and No. 3 main bearings. The engine camshaft had also sheared at the No. 5 cylinder.
The crankshaft and camshaft were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory. Examination of the components revealed fatigue propagation over the majority of the crankshaft fracture surface. The camshaft sustained impact damage and was completely fractured in overstress bending and torsion.
Examination of the aircraft and engine logbooks revealed the most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on January 16, 2007. The most recent overhaul of the right engine was completed in July 1996, after a propeller strike incident. During the overhaul, the cylinders were "cermichrome" processed, repaired and certified. The crankshaft was "inspected and certified," and the crankcase was "repaired and certified." Since the overhaul, 11 years prior to the accident, the engine accumulated 471 hours.
Weather reported at FXE, at 1953, included wind from 240 degrees at 3 knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, overcast clouds at 15,000 feet, temperature 27 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 23 degrees C, and barometric pressure setting of 29.90 inches mercury.