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N919VC accident description

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Tail numberN919VC
Accident dateJanuary 30, 1999
Aircraft typeAero Commander 560A
LocationBelleview, FL
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 30, 1999, at 1740 eastern standard time, an Aero Commander 560A, N919VC, collided with trees and a single family dwelling while on final approach to a private airstrip in Belleview, Florida. The personal flight was operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The passengers in the rear suffered fatal injuries while the pilot and front passenger suffered serious injuries. The aircraft was destroyed. The flight departed Jordan Airport in Belleview, Florida at an undetermined time.

Prior to the accident, the pilot had flown N919VC to Polk County Airport in central Florida for an airplane auction. After efforts to sale his airplane failed, the pilot flew it, back to Belleview, Florida and landed at Jordan Airport. Later the same day, the pilot and his wife were entertaining guests and decided to take them up for a 15 or 20 minute flight around the local area. When the airplane departed Jordan Airport, there were a total of four people on board, the pilot and three passengers.

According to the pilot, the runup and takeoff were uneventful. After takeoff, the flight climbed to 1500 feet and the pilot reduced the engine RPM to 3000. The pilot also reported that within seconds of reducing the engine RPM the left engine sputtered. The pilot turned on the fuel boost pump in an effort to restore full engine power. Immediately afterward, the right engine sputtered and lost power. The pilot turned on the right engine boost pump again in an effort to restore full power. Attempts by the pilot to restore normal engine operation failed.

The pilot turned back towards Jordan Airport and selected an area for an emergency landing. The pilot recalled that as he prepared for an emergency landing, the airplane would yaw right and left as the engines momentarily gain and lose power. Aware that he could not reach Jordan Airport, the pilot selected a nearby lake for the emergency landing. The pilot maintained his course to the lake but was unable to reach the lake. Flying about 50 feet above the ground, the airplane collided with the tops of several trees. The airplanes subsequently collided with a single family home 95 feet northwest of the tree collision.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft can be found in this report under the heading of "Aircraft Information." A review of the maintenance logbooks for the airplane revealed that all Airworthiness Directives pertaining to fuel leakage or fuel siphoning were completed.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot can be found in this report under the heading of "First Pilot Information."

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site disclosed that the wreckage of the aircraft was centralized to two locations; the first location encompassed the main fuselage, tail section, and engines which were located against the front corner of the house, while the second location encompassed segments of the wing which broke off and were located approximately 95 feet from the main wreckage on a heading of south. The first debris was adjacent to the freshly broken trees, and was approximately 45 feet on a heading of south from the second wreckage site.

The following wreckage debris was located in the second wreckage location: the left aileron, the left wingtip, the right aileron, and a section of the left outboard wing which was found in a tree. There were pieces of the right wing tip on the driveway to the residence which was approximately east of the second wreckage site.

Examination of the wreckage revealed vertical downward crush damage to the roof of the airframe. The examination also disclosed that the aft portion of the passenger cabin area sustained greater crush damage than the forward section. The height of the aft cabin was compressed to about 24 inches. The cockpit area was torn open, and the occupants were exposed to ambient conditions (see attached photograph of airplane at accident site). Several refueling receipts were recovered for the accident airplane, but the recent refueling history was not established.

Examination of the airframe and engine assemblies failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or a component failure.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A witness, who saw the aircraft at the aircraft auction reported seeing fuel stains on the right side of the right tank during the auction. The witness further mentioned that it appeared that the fuel stains appeared to show that the fuel had been leaking for sometime.

Emergency workers, as well as the occupant of the home in which the aircraft hit, all stated that there was no smell of fuel at the scene just after impact. During the on-site examination of the wreckage, approximately 2 1/2 pints of fuel was drained from the fuel sump and the left wing drain valve combined.

Several refueling receipts were recovered for the accident airplane, but the recent refueling history was not established. The pilot reported that he last refueled the airplane on January 5, 1999 in Ocala, Florida. The pilot also stated that the fuel gauges were showing 50 gallon of fuel at the last takeoff.

The wreckage was released verbally to the daughter of the pilot, Ms. Lisis Monturiol, several days after the wreckage examination was completed.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.