ERA11FA021
ERA11FA021

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 17, 2010, about 0900 eastern daylight time, a Siai-Marchetti S.205/22R, N934W, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after it experienced a loss of engine power in Farmingdale, New York. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries. One passenger was killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by the pilot and one of the passengers. It was based at Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot and passengers originally intended to fly to Millbrook, New York. At 0828, the pilot aborted takeoff from runway 32, at FRG, a 6,833-foot-long, asphalt runway, and taxied to parking ramp echo. At 0843, the pilot requested to taxi back to runway 32, and the airplane departed at 0851. At 0855, the airplane was cleared for a touch and go landing. At 0857, while on final approach, the pilot requested a go-around. The FRG tower controller asked the pilot if he was experiencing a problem with the airplane, and the pilot replied "no." The airplane was subsequently cleared for a low approach over runway 32.

The pilot subsequently reported that the airplane was about 400 to 500 feet above the runway, when it experienced a gradual, total loss of engine power. He attempted a forced landing to a road; however, the airplane stuck trees and four parked vehicles, before coming to rest. The pilot further reported that he aborted the initial takeoff due to a low cylinder temperature indication and believed that the engine may have had a fouled spark plug, which was corrected after performing an engine run-up.

One of the passengers, who was also a licensed pilot, reported that the engine was running rough during the aborted takeoff, and was "missing and surging" at 1,200 feet. The pilot manipulated the throttle and mixture controls in an attempt to smooth out the engine operation. He further stated that the fuel selector was not moved and the electric fuel boost pumps remained on during the accident flight.

A witness at the airport reported that he observed the airplane climbing steadily from runway 32. The engine noise was "smooth and steady" as the airplane climbed to an altitude of about 500 to 600 feet above the ground. A few seconds later, the engine suddenly sputtered and went quiet. The airplane began to descend until he lost sight of it.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 55, held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held an FAA airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate. The pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on June 10, 2009.

At the time of the accident, the pilot had accumulated about 1,100 hours of total flight experience, which included about 200 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. His most recent biennial flight review was conducted in the accident airplane on September 4, 2010.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The five-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear, all-metal airplane, was manufactured in 1969. It was powered by a Franklin PZLF-6A-350 series, 220-horsepower engine, equipped with a Hartzell propeller.

The pilot reported that the airplane's fuel tanks were topped-off during the week prior to the accident, at Bridgeport (BGR), Connecticut, prior to returning to FRG. One of the rear seated passengers reported that the fuel tanks were full or nearly full prior to the accident flight. In addition, during the preflight inspection, initial fuel samples drained from the airplane's three fuel sumps contained some small particles; however, the tanks were sumped until there was no evidence of contamination.

Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that the airplane was maintained by the pilot. At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 17 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on September 1, 2010. In addition, at the time of the accident, the airframe and engine had been operated for about 1,905 total time in service and 475 hours since overhaul; respectively. The two previous annual inspections were performed on August 17, 2009, and August 2, 2008, at 1,866 and 1,840 total time in service; respectively.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at FRG, at 0853, was: wind 270 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 3 degrees C; altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airplane came to rest upright, about 210 feet from an initial tree strike, on a heading about 100 degrees, about 1,900 feet west-northwest of the departure end of runway 32. A ground scar was observed along the road, which was oriented on a heading of about 190 degrees. The lower forward portion of the engine cowling was crushed upward, and the engine was canted downward. The left wing was bent aft and separated at the forward wing spar. The left wing exhibited leading edge crush damage. The right wing remained attached and did not exhibit any leading edge damage. It sustained damage to the aft trailing edge of the wingtip. The right horizontal stabilizer was not damaged. The left horizontal stabilizer leading edge was dented near the tip. The trailing edges of both elevators sustained impact damage. The vertical stabilizer was not damaged. The rudder remained attached and exhibited some minor surface buckling. The landing gear was in the retracted position; however, the left main landing gear tire assembly was separated. The wreckage was initially recovered to FRG, where it was examined on October 18, 2010, and then to a storage facility in Clayton, Delaware, where it was further examined on October 21, 2010.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the rudder and elevator control surfaces to the forward cockpit area. Aileron control continuity was confirmed from the aileron control surfaces to their respective wing roots, and from both wing roots to the forward cockpit area. The flap handle in the cockpit was in the retracted position. The right and left wing flaps were free to move along their respective tracks.

The fuel selector valve handle was initially observed in the left tank position; however, it was later noted that the fuel valve handle was separated. When the fuel valve handle was installed onto the fuel valve, the position was consistent with the right tank position. The valve was removed from the airframe and the position was confirmed by blowing air through the valve. Fuel was observed in the fuel lines that entered and exited the fuel valve.

The engine remained attached to the airframe, and the two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine. One propeller blade was straight, and did not contain any visible damage. The second propeller blade was twisted aft, under the engine. It exhibited scraping damage consistent with ground contact. All spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and gray in color. The engine was rotated by hand via the propeller. Valve train continuity and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. In addition, when the engine was rotated, the magnetos produced spark through all spark plug leads. Throttle and mixture control continuity was observed from the cockpit to the carburetor. Fuel was also observed in the fuel line to the carburetor and in the carburetor bowl. The fuel was light blue in color and was absent of water contamination. The left and right electric fuel boost pumps energized when connected to a 12-volt battery. The engine driven fuel pump was removed. The drive shaft was intact and rotated freely by hand.

The airplane was equipped with a JP Instruments EDM 700/800 engine monitor, which was retained and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC for examination. The unit was successfully downloaded; however, the unit was configured to record only cylinder head temperature (CHT), exhaust gas temperature (EGT), and battery voltage. The exhaust gas temperatures and cylinder head temperatures were observed to rise about 200 and 30 degrees, respectively, during the 1 minute that preceded the loss of engine power.

The carburetor was retained for further examination, which included a flow check that was performed at the manufacturer's facility under the supervision of an FAA inspector. During the flow check, it was noted that while the carburetor demonstrated a fuel flow slightly rich of standard, there were no discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the passenger by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Nassau County, New York. The autopsy report revealed the cause of death as "multiple blunt force injuries."

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