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N5636V accident description

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Tail numberN5636V
Accident dateJuly 07, 2003
Aircraft typePiper PA-34-200T
LocationMontauk, NY
Near 41.079445 N, -71.911111 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 7, 2003, about 0130 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N5636V, was substantially damaged when it impacted Big Reed Pond, shortly after takeoff from Montauk Airport (MTP), Montauk, New York. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the planned flight to Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to friends and relatives of the pilot, he and the passengers arrived at MTP about 1745 on July 6, 2003. The pilot and passengers concluded a fishing charter, and were expected to depart MTP about 0100, and arrive in Farmingdale about 0200. There were no known eyewitnesses to the accident, and the wreckage was located about 1000 on July 7, about 1/4-mile east of MTP. It was intact, inverted, and submerged in approximately 6 feet of brackish water. The nose gear and part of the horizontal stabilator were observed protruding from the water. No debris field, ground scars, or tree scars were observed in the vicinity of the wreckage. Police officers observed liquid floating near the wreckage, consistent with fuel.

PILOT INFORMATION

According to the pilot's logbook, he had accumulated approximately 901 hours of total flight experience; of which, about 100 hours were at night. Approximately 636 of the total hours were in multiengine airplanes, and 472 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second class medical certificate was issued on November 22, 2002, with no limitations.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1977, and had accumulated approximately 7,415 hours of operation according to maintenance records and the Hobbs meter. The most recent annual inspection was completed on September 25, 2002, at 7,374 hours. The airplane had accumulated an additional 41 hours of operation from the annual inspection, to the time of the accident.

On April 1, 2003, the right engine was replaced with a newly overhauled engine. The new engine had accumulated about 17 hours of operation at the time of the accident. The left engine had accumulated approximately 1,288 hours of operation.

According to an FAA inspector, review of fueling records revealed that the accident airplane was "topped off" with fuel on July 1, 2003, and again on July 6, 2003.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at MTP, at 0154, was: wind calm; temperature 70 degrees F; dew point 66 degrees F; altimeter 29.94. The sky condition was not recorded at MTP, however, the sky was reported as clear at an airport about 20 miles north of the accident site.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was recovered on July 8, 2003. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The cabin and cockpit area was crushed. The propeller levers were found in the full-forward position. The mixture levers were mid-range, the left throttle lever was mid-range, and the right throttle lever was retarded. However, the levers may have moved during the recovery. The autopilot was found in the "OFF" position. The electrical master switch, magneto switches, alternator switches, landing lights, and "Fin" anti-collision lights were found in the "ON" position. The "Nav" lights and "Wing" anti-collision lights were found in the "OFF" position.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the rudder and horizontal stabilator to the cockpit floor. Additionally, both ailerons remained attached at the aileron bell cranks. Some portions of the cables were cut during the recovery. The fuel selector in the left wing was found in the "MAIN" position. The fuel selector in the right wing was impact damaged, and found beyond the "MAIN" position.

The flaps were manually controlled with a flap handle. The handle could position the flaps to 0, 10, 25, and 40 degrees of extension. The flap handle was found separated from the cockpit floor, and positioned to the full-flaps-extended position. Additionally, the position of the bicycle-chain flap linkage corresponded to a full-flaps-extended position. However, the flap position at takeoff could not be verified.

The left engine was ejected from the nacelle. The left wing was separated at the wing root; the outboard left wing panel was detached from the left wing about 2 feet outboard of the nacelle. The left flap remained attached to the wing, and the left aileron was separated from the wing. The right wing was crushed and buckled, and the right engine was ejected from the nacelle. The right wing was detached immediately outboard of the engine nacelle. The inboard portion of the right flap remained attached to the wing stub between the fuselage and right nacelle, but the flap control lever was separated at the fuselage. The outboard portion of the right flap was detached, and the right aileron was partially detached from the outboard wing panel. The fuel tanks were found ruptured.

The vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilator sustained minor impact damage. The position of the elevator trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate neutral position. The position of the rudder trim jackscrew corresponded to a nose right trim. The rudder jackscrew measured 1.125 inches. According to a representative of the airplane manufacturer, 1 inch equaled a neutral rudder trim setting, and 1.4 inches equaled a full nose right rudder trim setting.

The wingtips and propellers were not recovered, and both engines were retained for further examination. The engines were subsequently examined at a recovery facility on August 6 and 7, 2003.

The mechanical fuel pump, vacuum pump, and valve covers were removed from the left engine. The mechanical fuel pump coupling was intact, and the pump rotated freely by hand. Corrosion was noted in the vacuum pump housing, it was partially rotated by hand, and the vanes were observed intact. The top spark plugs were removed from the engine. Their electrodes were intact and corrosion was present.

The crankshaft was rotated approximately 270 degrees through the accessory gear drive, with some resistance. During the initial rotation, water emanated from the number one and number four cylinders. A lubricant was then added to all cylinders, and during the subsequent attempt, the crankshaft rotated freely through 360 degrees.

Camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity was confirmed on the left engine. Except for the number six cylinder that had sustained impact damage, thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. All spark plug leads were removed from their respective spark plug. The number six bottom lead could not be removed due to impact damage, but was cut away from the engine for inspection. While rotating the crankshaft, a spark was produced at all leads; including the number six bottom lead.

The fuel manifold was removed and opened for inspection. The screen was clean and the diaphragm was intact.

The mechanical fuel pump, vacuum pump, and valve covers were removed from the right engine. The mechanical fuel pump coupling was intact, and the pump rotated freely by hand. Corrosion was noted in the vacuum pump housing, and it was unable to be rotated by hand. The vanes were removed and observed intact. The top spark plugs were removed from the right engine. Their electrodes were intact and corrosion was present.

The right engine crankshaft was rotated approximately 90 degrees through the accessory gear drive, with some resistance. During the initial rotation, water emanated from the number two and number five cylinders. A lubricant was then added to all cylinders, and during the subsequent attempt, the crankshaft rotated freely through 360 degrees.

Camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity was confirmed for the right engine. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. All spark plug leads were removed from their respective spark plug. The number one bottom and number two bottom leads could not be removed due to impact damage, and were cut away from the engine for inspection. Additionally, the number three and number five top leads had been partially cut during the impact. While rotating the crankshaft, the left magneto produced a spark at all leads. During the initial attempt, the right magneto did not produce spark. The right magneto cap and vent were removed, and compressed air and lubrication were applied in an attempt to dry the magneto. On the next attempt, the right magneto produced spark at all leads, including the cut leads.

The fuel manifold was removed and opened for inspection. The screen was clean and the diaphragm was intact. A small amount of fuel was present in the manifold and was absent of any visible contamination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office, Hauppauge, New York.

Toxicological testing was conducted on the pilot at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Review of the information manual for the make and model airplane revealed that no more than 25 degrees of flap extension was required for takeoff.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner's insurance company on July 8, 2003.

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