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N561TU accident description

Maryland map... Maryland list
Crash location 38.976389°N, 76.330000°W
Nearest city Stevensville, MD
38.980668°N, 76.314400°W
0.9 miles away
Tail number N561TU
Accident date 15 Jul 2017
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 15, 2017, about 1615 eastern daylight time, a Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecna P92 Special Light Sport Airplane, N561TU, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during approach to Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland. The two private pilots were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed from Shoestring Aviation Airfield (0P2), Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane had recently been purchased by the owner and placed on a lease-back operation with the operator. On July 13, 2017, the owner along with the pilot who was in the right seat on the accident flight, took delivery of the airplane in Apopka, Florida and flew it to W29.

On the day of the accident, the airplane was fueled to approximately 16 gallons (8 gallons per side). The flight instructor believed that the planned round-trip flight from W29 to 0P2 was the airplane's first since the delivery flight. The purpose of the trip was twofold; the pilot in the right seat (who was also a flight instructor) and the pilot in the left seat were flying to 0P2 for personal business. Additionally, the right seat pilot wanted to provide operational exposure to the left seat pilot in the operation of Garmin G3X avionics, with which the plane was equipped, and on which, she (in her role as an advanced ground instructor) was scheduled to provide a future training seminar. The flight from W29 to 0P2 was uneventful.

Immediately prior to the accident flight, the left seat pilot checked the fuel, oil, and engine coolant. The oil and coolant levels were normal; fuel was approximately 12 gallons. The route of flight after departing from 0P2 included a transition at 2,000 ft. above mean sea level over the Class D airspace around Martin State Airport (MTN), Baltimore, Maryland, and then direct to W29. Upon arrival in the area of W29, they obtained the field conditions from the automated weather observation station at W29, and decided to enter the traffic pattern for runway 29 on the crosswind leg. No other traffic was observed in the traffic pattern at the time, and due to noise-abatement rules, the runway 29 downwind leg was conducted about 2 miles south of the airport.

With the left seat pilot flying the airplane, power reduction and configuration for landing was started abeam "the 29 numbers." Several seconds after power reduction, the engine abruptly started to run rough. At this time, the control of the airplane was relinquished to the right seat pilot. Both pilots scanned the engine indications but did not observe any anomalous readings. The right seat pilot turned a somewhat close base leg, but did not turn direct to the runway out of concern for arriving too high at the threshold, and a flight path that would have taken the flight over a densely populated townhouse community. Flaps were then increased to correct for the high glide path. About 20 seconds later, the engine abruptly stopped.

The right seat pilot turned directly toward the runway threshold; both pilots assessed the possibility of making the runway and decided it would be impossible. At this point the right seat pilot noted that the glide could be improved by reducing the wing flaps to 15° (but the right seat pilot was not sure if they did this). The right seat pilot then steered the airplane towards an open area that was 20° off his left side, and decided on a range of landing options while the left seat pilot went through an engine restart attempt. This attempt was unsuccessful as the engine would not "turn over." They then assessed a mature cornfield but decided to continue their glide as it appeared rough and they could nose over due to the corn.

After the turn, the right seat pilot's first touchdown choice, was a road that was 30° to the right of their flightpath in an uncompleted section of a neighborhood. The right seat pilot decided that it was unsuitable for landing due to numerous obstacles. Their remaining option, which they chose, was a cleared but rough area of open ground approximately 45° to the left of their flight path. They turned towards it, and completed the turn about 5 ft. above ground level. The airplane then "firmly" glanced off the top of an earthen berm at landing speed and settled onto the rough ground beyond it. During the landing roll, about 150 ft. from the touchdown point there was a second earthen berm that was obscured by vegetation and the natural lighting. The airplane then struck the second berm, the right main gear and nose gear separated from their mounting points, and the airplane both rolled and pitched, damaging both wings. The airplane then came to rest approximately 20 to 30 ft. beyond the second berm. The pilots then shut off both fuel valves, and the master switch, and then egressed.

Once it was determined there was no risk of fire, the right seat pilot returned to the cockpit and disabled the emergency locator transmitter which had activated during the impact sequence.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, and pilot records, the left seat pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. Her most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on November 21, 2016. She reported that she had accrued 330 total hours of flight experience, 5 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA airman records, and pilot records, the right seat pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and airplane single-engine sea. He also possessed a flight instructor certificate with a sport rating. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on June 28, 2017. He reported that he had accrued 4,625 total hours of flight experience, 594 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA airworthiness records and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2017. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued approximately 13.2 total hours of operation.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.