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N755FA accident description

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Tail numberN755FA
Accident dateSeptember 14, 2003
Aircraft typeCessna U206F
LocationGreenville, ME
Near 45.508611 N, -69.4125 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 14, 2003, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206F floatplane, N755FA, was substantially damaged when it struck trees after takeoff from Horseshoe Pond, near Greenville, Maine. The certificated airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries, and the three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the planned flight to Moosehead Lake, Greenville, Maine. No flight plan was filed for the commercial flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot was interviewed by a Safety Board investigator after the accident. The pilot stated that the aircraft operator was based at Moosehead Lake, and owned a cabin on Horseshoe Pond. A group of six fishermen had rented the cabin, and arrived on Friday, September 12. They were flown in groups from Moosehead Lake to Horseshoe Pond in a Cessna 185, which was an approximate 5-minute flight. On September 14, the pilot planned to meet the passengers at Horseshoe Pond, and fly them back to Moosehead Lake.

The accident airplane could carry more weight than the Cessna 185, and the pilot chose to use it for the return trips. After the first group of three fishermen was flown back to Moosehead Lake, the pilot departed solo to pick up the second group of three. He departed with approximately 4 gallons of fuel in the left wing, 10 gallons in the right wing, and the fuel selector positioned to the left tank. The pilot further stated that after landing on Horseshoe Pond, he forgot to move the fuel selector to the right tank.

The last three fishermen boarded with one garbage bag full of empty cans. The pilot then conducted a step turn with 20 degrees of flaps selected, and initiated a takeoff to the West with the fuel selector remaining on the left tank. About 200 feet agl, above all obstacles, the pilot reduced the throttle to 30 inches of manifold pressure. At that time, the engine sputtered and lost all power. The pilot activated the electric fuel pump, positioned the fuel selector to the right tank, and initiated a right turn back toward Horseshoe Pond. The pilot could not recall if he retracted the flaps. As the airplane began to strike trees, the engine regained power, but the airplane impacted terrain and came to rest inverted.

The pilot exited the airplane and began to assist one passenger out. However, a post-crash fire ensued, and the pilot unable to assist any more passengers.

The pilot further stated that he mismanaged the fuel supply.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate; with ratings for single engine land, single engine sea, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, the pilot held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane.

The pilot reported a total flight experience of 7,900 hours; of which, 1,700 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot had flown 90 hours within the 30-day period prior to the accident; of which, 50 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The pilot's most recent FAA first class medical certificate was issued on November 4, 2002.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

A 100-hour inspection of the airplane was completed on July 11, 2003. At that time, the airplane had accumulated approximately 5,016 hours of operation. An annual inspection of the airplane was completed on May 16, 2003.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at an airport approximately 30 miles east of the accident site, at 1258, was: wind from 160 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 78 degrees F, dew point 64 degrees F, altimeter 30.29 inches Hg.

A weather station was also located about 5 miles southwest of the accident site. The recorded weather at that station, at 1256, included a wind speed of 4 knots, but did not include the wind direction.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on August 15 and 16, 2003. The cockpit and fuselage were destroyed by fire, but all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage was located in a wooded area, oriented about a 270-degree heading, on an approximate 070-degree bearing from initial tree strikes.

Flight control continuity was established from the ailerons to the wing root. Continuity was also established from the elevator and rudder to the cockpit area. A measurement of the elevator trim drum threads corresponded to an approximate 5-degree trim tab up (nose down) position. A measurement of the flap actuator corresponded to an approximated 15-degree flaps extended position. However, the actuator had separated from the airplane. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right fuel tank.

Both inboard sections of the wings were partially consumed by fire, but the outboard sections remained. Both ailerons were found in an approximate neutral position, and both flaps were near the retracted position. Both wings had sustained leading edge damage, consistent with tree strikes.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe, and sustained fire damage. One propeller blade was embedded in dirt, another blade was bent aft, and the third propeller blade was curled forward. All spark plugs were intact, but most could not be removed by hand. The number two and four bottom spark plugs were removed. The number two bottom spark plug was oil soaked, absent of debris, with the electrodes intact. The number four bottom spark plug was light gray in color, absent of debris, with the electrodes intact. The mechanical fuel pump was removed for inspection, and the coupling was found intact. The main fuel screen was intact and sooty.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

Toxicological testing of the pilot was performed by the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, Augusta, Maine.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner's insurance company on September 16, 2003.

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