On June 29, 2011, about 1430 central daylight time, a Cessna 140, N2332V, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a loss of engine power during the initial climb from runway 11 (4,300 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at the Burlington Municipal Airport (BUU), Burlington, Wisconsin. The pilot received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Stick and Rudder LLC and operated by the pilot on a personal flight under the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from the Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), Kenosha, Wisconsin, about 1400.

The pilot reported he departed ENW and flew to BUU and did a touch-and-go landing on runway 11. After he started the initial climb from the touch-and-go landing, the engine started to lose power when the airplane was about 100 feet above the runway. The pilot determined that there was not enough runway remaining to land on runway 11. He entered a left turn and attempted to land on runway 19, which was a grass runway, but the airplane impacted the terrain short of the runway. The airplane landed hard on the left wheel and then on the right wheel, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

A Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector examined the airplane. The inspection revealed that the fuel selector handle indicated that the right fuel tank was selected. However, the right tank was full of fuel, and the fuel gauge located in the right wing root above the pilot also indicated that the right tank was full. The left fuel tank was empty, and the fuel gauge located in the left wing root above the pilot also indicated that the left tank was empty.

The examination of the fuel selector revealed that the fuel selector placard complied with the airplane’s operations manual. However, the inspection revealed that the fuel selector indicator handle was improperly installed. When the fuel selector indicator handle was placed on the right fuel tank, the fuel was actually coming from the left fuel tank. The pilot reported that he departed with the fuel selector set to the right tank, and that he did not switch tanks during the flight.

The airplane was purchased by a flying club from a private owner. The private owner reported that he bought the airplane in 1990. The fuel placard that came with the airplane at that time did not comply with the placard found in the airplane’s operations manual. Although the blue/grey colored placard was not the same as the one found in the operations manual, it did work. The previous owner reported that when he was preparing to sell the airplane to the flying club, he decided to make a fuel selector placard that was identical to the one found in the operations manual. He reported that he made the placard and provided it to the mechanic of the flying club so that the mechanic could install it. However, the mechanic at the flying club reported that he did not install the fuel selector placard, and that the previous owner had installed it prior to the airplane being purchased. There was no record in the airplane’s maintenance logbook that indicated when, or by whom, the fuel selector placard was replaced.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land and single-engine sea ratings. He reported that he had approximately 4,000 total flight hours with 10 hours in make and model. His last medical was on April 4, 2008, and his last biennial flight review was conducted on September 15, 2008. The pilot indicated on the National Transportation Safety Board’s accident report form that his medical certificate was his “Driver’s License (Sport Pilot only).”

The Cessna 140’s maximum gross weight is 1,450 pounds, which exceeds the light-sport airplane maximum gross weight limitation of 1,320 pounds.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page