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N43085 accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 45.415833°N, 123.136666°W
Nearest city Gaston, OR
45.436226°N, 123.139551°W
1.4 miles away
Tail number N43085
Accident date 16 May 2002
Aircraft type Taylorcraft BC12-D
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On May 16, 2002, approximately 0725 Pacific daylight time, a Taylorcraft BC12-D, N43085, registered to and being flown by a private pilot, incurred substantial damage during an in-flight collision with a power pole and subsequent ground impact following a loss of power on takeoff from the pilot's grass airstrip near Gaston, Oregon. The pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions existed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was operated under 14 CFR 91, and was to be a local flight.

According to local law enforcement/EMT personnel who spoke with the pilot immediately following the accident, the pilot reported that he was taking the aircraft on a pre-sale flight and that the aircraft had not been flown for several years. He reported that during the takeoff the engine lost power and he attempted to troubleshoot the problem and regain power using the primer. During this event the aircraft impacted a power pole and lines at the north end of the airstrip, and then crashed.

The pilot reported to the investigator-in-charge that the aircraft had been placed in storage on March 14, 2001, and taken out on May 9, 2002, whereupon the pilot drained the fuel (auto gas) from the aircraft, and flushed the tanks and lines with auto gas. He then prepped the aircraft by, among other things, cleaning the carburetor and screen, removing and cleaning the spark plugs, flushing out old storage oil in the cylinders and adjusting the timing (refer to attached NTSB Form 6120.1).

He further reported that on May 16, 2002, about 0645, he took the plane out of the hangar, drained the gas sumps, checked the oil and started the engine and allowed it to warm up to 100 degrees oil temperature. He then ran the engine up to 2300 RPM, checked the carburetor heat and magnetos and then started his takeoff roll.

The pilot initiated takeoff and when about 30-40 feet above ground and with "...very little runway left..." the engine abruptly quit. He then "...got carb heat [and] started working [the] primer..." and "...had my head inside for a couple seconds & must of (sic) had some weight on [the] left rudder which brought [the] aircraft over [the] telephone pole area and hit [a] pole just under [the] wires & [the] right wing caught wires..." (refer to attached NTSB Form 6120.1). The aircraft impacted the ground approximately 40 feet beyond the pole and came to rest in a ditch.

The pilot's personal airstrip consists of a north/south turf runway approximately 300 feet above sea level (MSL) terminating beyond its north end by Goodin Creek Road, which runs approximately 30 degrees from perpendicular. The area north of Goodin Creek road contained planted Christmas trees and some ditches. According to the most current FAA Form 5010-1 (refer to attachment A-I), the usable runway length and width was 800 feet by 45 feet respectively. The 5010-1 also showed a power line 25 feet above the runway elevation and 750 feet north of the upwind end of runway 36 (along Goodin Creek Road).

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Hillsboro Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) examined the aircraft's engine as well as its logbooks following the accident. He reported that the last inspection on the aircraft was signed off June 9, 1999, at a total time of 3,810 hours. The total time at the time of the crash was 3,871 hours. He reported that the aircraft did not appear to have been well maintained and, in addition to finding fuel, he also found foreign material both in the carburetor bowl and the gascolator. He reported that the engine's crankshaft was rotated manually with the rocker box covers removed and there was no evidence of disconnects. He also reported that when he examined the interior of both magnetos he found the inside of the left magneto corroded.

The temperature and dew point at McMinnville, Oregon, (163 feet MSL and located 13 nautical miles south of the accident site) at 0753 was 7 and 6 degrees Centigrade respectively.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from object(s) while executing a forced landing following a total loss of power for undetermined cause(s). Contributing factors where the pole impacted during the emergency landing and the pilot's diverted attention.

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