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N8305R accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Wilton, AR
33.741230°N, 94.148251°W
Tail number N8305R
Accident date 28 Oct 2001
Aircraft type Piper PA28-140
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 28, 2001, at 1740 central standard time, a Piper PA28-140 single-engine airplane, N8305R, was substantially damaged when it impacted a fence during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wilton, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot and his two passengers sustained minor injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from Shreveport, Louisiana, at an unknown time, and was destined for a private airstrip near Wilton, Arkansas.

The accident aircraft was part of a 4-aircraft caravan round-trip flight from Wilton to Shreveport and back. The destination airport was a lighted private grass airstrip. One of the pilots in another aircraft, who was first to land, reported that the grass airstrip was in "good shape." He was standing in front of his hangar when he heard N8305R fly over the airstrip, and then heard the airplane's "engine quit running." He stated that the pilot landed the airplane 3/4 of the way down the length of runway. The airplane then lifted off the ground, deviated to the left of the side of the runway, struck a fence, and came to rest inverted.

In a written statement provided by the pilot, he stated that while "doing maneuvers in the pattern, the engine quit." The pilot "checked the fuel, fuel pump, and switched tanks." He turned back toward the runway and landed "long and hot." The airplane then "turned left after touchdown," impacted a fence post, and turned upside down.

According to the local law enforcement personnel, the airplane's right wing was partially separated from the airplane. The FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site 7 days after the accident, reported that both fuel caps had been opened and were found laying under the wings at the accident site. He also reported that the grass below the wings was green.

On February 14, 2002, the NTSB investigator-in-charge examined the engine at Air Salvage of Dallas, Lancaster, Texas. The engine cowling was removed, and the oil quantity dipstick was examined and indicated a quantity of 5.5 quarts of oil. Engine control continuity was confirmed with the exception of the carburetor heat control, which sustained impact damage preventing lever movement. The top spark plugs were removed and examined. They displayed an oval wear pattern and a normal combustion pattern when compared to the Champion Spark Plug Comparison Chart. A thumb compression check was conducted by manually rotating the propeller. Thumb compression, crankshaft continuity, and valve operation were verified. The bottom spark plugs were removed and examined. The #2 and #4 bottom plugs were coated with oil, and the #1 and #3 spark plugs displayed similar characteristics as the top spark plugs. All eight spark plugs were reattached to their respective ignition leads. The ignition system was checked by rotating the propeller and by rotating the right magneto with a hand held drill. Sparks were noted in all of the plugs with the exception of the #2 and #4 bottom plugs. The fuel line between the fuel boost pump and the carburetor, and the fuel line between the engine driven fuel pump and the carburetor were removed. No fuel was noted in either line. The gascolator was drained and 0.5 ounces of yellowish fuel (similar in color and smell to auto gas) was collected. The electric driven fuel boost pump was operated, and 2.0 ounces of fuel exited the output port. The carburetor was removed and disassembled, and no fuel was found in the carburetor bowl. The carburetor was equipped with composite floats, which were intact and did not display any wear or damage. The floats and needle moved freely with finger pressure. The accelerator pump was intact, its seal was in place and it did not display excessive wear. The engine's air filter was intact and in place; however, the air filter box sustained impact damage and was separated from the cowling. Examination of the wings revealed that the fuel filler ports were not placarded for auto gas.

A review of the aircraft maintenance records revealed that the aircraft underwent its last annual inspection on November 11, 2000, at an aircraft total time of 1,470.9 hours. According to an engine logbook entry dated November 15, 1999, at an aircraft total time of 1,327.2 hours, the engine had accumulated a total time of 7,056.93 hours, 1,090.93 hours since its last major overhaul, and 173.3 hours since its last top overhaul.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to obtain a proper touchdown point and his excessive approach speed during a forced landing. A contributing factor was the total loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

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