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N47GM accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Corvallis, OR
44.564566°N, 123.262044°W
Tail number N47GM
Accident date 08 May 2001
Aircraft type Piper PA-34-200
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On May 8, 2001, at 1812 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200 airplane, N47GM, registered to Pacific Rim Aviation LLC of Corvallis, Oregon, and being operated by Avia Aviation Services of Corvallis on a 14 CFR 91 instructional flight, collided with terrain and was subsequently destroyed by fire during a practice single-engine approach to runway 27 at Corvallis Municipal Airport. The two aircraft occupants, an airline transport pilot-in-command/flight instructor and an airline transport pilot-rated student who was undergoing flight instruction to become a multiengine airplane flight instructor, escaped the aircraft but were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at Corvallis at 1815, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight from Corvallis.

Statements by the pilots indicated that the flight instructor initiated a simulated left engine failure situation approximately 5 nautical miles east of the airport, and that a visual flight rules approach was subsequently performed to runway 27 with the left engine set to a zero-thrust condition. The flight instructor indicated that the aircraft's best single-engine rate-of-climb airspeed (Vyse) was maintained until the aircraft was over the runway surface, but that during the landing flare, the student instructor (who, according to the flight instructor, was controlling the aircraft at the time) did not maintain alignment with the runway centerline. The flight instructor also indicated that the airplane's airspeed dropped below the airplane's single-engine minimum control airspeed (Vmc) in the landing flare. The flight instructor stated that he then called for a go-around, both pilots advanced the throttles, and the aircraft "accelerated normally and begin [sic] a climb." The flight instructor stated that he then reduced flaps to 10 degrees. He stated that the aircraft then began to roll and yaw to the left. The flight instructor stated that he then applied full right aileron and full right rudder, and reduced power on both engines in an effort to regain control. The flight instructor reported that the aircraft then struck the ground in approximately a 30-degree left banked attitude. The aircraft spun around, coming to rest to the left of the runway, and caught fire. The pilots exited through the flames to escape the aircraft and were severely burned. When questioned by an FAA investigator, the flight instructor stated that both engines had provided thrust once the go-around was initiated, that he was unaware of any fire prior to the aircraft coming to a stop, and that the stall warning horn did not sound during the accident sequence. The accident report submitted by the operator to the NTSB indicated that the aircraft took off at 1700 with 98 gallons of fuel aboard.

An FAA inspector who responded to the accident scene and performed an on-site examination of the aircraft wreckage reported that he was able to establish good flight control cable continuity during the on-site examination. An examination of the aircraft's left engine, a Textron Lycoming IO-360-C1E6, was subsequently performed at the NTSB's request at the facilities of Specialty Aircraft Company, Redmond, Oregon, on May 31, 2001, by FAA and Textron Lycoming investigators. The Textron Lycoming report of this examination stated: "No pre-mishap mechanical discrepancies were found on the engine...that would have precluded the engine from running."

The 1815 Corvallis automated METAR observation reported conditions as: clear skies, visibility 10 miles, temperature 24 degrees C, dewpoint 6 degrees C, winds from 300 degrees true at 11 knots, and altimeter setting 30.16 inches Hg.

According to the U.S. Government Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD), Corvallis runway 27 is a 3,545-foot by 75-foot asphalt runway. The runway threshold is displaced 190 feet, leaving 3,355 feet available for landing. The runway is equipped with a 4-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) system. The airport elevation is 246 feet above sea level.

NTSB Probable Cause

The student instructor's failure to maintain the airplane's minimum control airspeed during a practice single-engine approach, and the flight instructor's failure to direct or accomplish a timely go-around, resulting in loss of aircraft control with insufficient altitude for recovery. A factor was the student instructor's failure to maintain runway alignment during the approach.

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