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N1299J accident description

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Crash location 35.523611°N, 85.091944°W
Nearest city Dayton, TN
35.493959°N, 85.012454°W
4.9 miles away
Tail number N1299J
Accident date 20 Jun 2016
Aircraft type Rockwell International 112A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 20, 2016, about 1240 eastern daylight time, a Rockwell International 112A, N1299J, impacted trees during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Dayton, Tennessee. The private pilot was the only occupant and received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from Whiteside County Airport – Jos H Bittorf Field (SQI), Rock Falls, Illinois, with an intended destination of Pickens County Airport (JZP), Jasper, Georgia.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated that while en route, about 5,500 feet mean sea level, he heard a "pop" and the engine lost total power. He unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine twice, and then he elected to land in a field. During the forced landing, the airplane impacted trees and subsequently the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, wings, and empennage.

A postaccident examination by a FAA Inspector revealed that the wings, rudder, and horizontal stabilizer had separated from the fuselage. The engine remained attached to the fuselage and the propeller remained attached to the engine. Two of the three propeller blades were bent aft and the third blade was bent forward. Furthermore, an odor similar to aviation fuel was noted on scene.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate on 1975, and registered to the corporation in 2003. It was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360-C1D6, a 180-hp, engine. According to the airframe maintenance logbook, the most recent annual inspection was performed on August 5, 2015, at a total time of 3,958.3 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 4,046.7 total hours.

The engine remained attached to the firewall through the engine mounts. It was partially disassembled to facilitate examination. The propeller rotated without anomaly and crankshaft continuity was confirmed to the accessory section of the engine. Compression and suction was confirmed from all cylinders. The interior of each cylinders was examined with no anomalies noted. The fuel servo was partially impact damaged, the fuel servo throttle arm was in the full throttle position, and the servo mixture control arm was in a full rich position. The servo fuel inlet screen was removed and unobstructed. The fuel flow divider remained attached to the engine, no damaged was noted, was disassembled, and the fuel diaphragm was intact with no debris noted. The fuel injector nozzles were removed and were unobstructed. The engine-driven fuel pump remained attached to the engine and was removed for further examination. When the engine-driven fuel pump was placed in a bucket of water and operated by hand, no water was expelled from the outlet port.

The engine was equipped with an Aero Accessories engine-driven fuel pump with the Part No. AF-15473. It was manufactured in 2011 and installed on the engine during an overhaul on March 8, 2011. At the time of the accident, it had accumulated 438.6 hours of total time. According to the manufacturer, it was to be overhauled every 12 years or 2,000 hours, whichever came first. The engine-driven fuel pump was further examined at the manufacturing facility under federal oversight. Visual inspection of the exterior revealed that the lower panel that covered the bottom of the pump was impact damaged. The mechanical fuel pump arm exhibited wear in the area that contacted the engine and no anomalies were noted. The engine-driven fuel pump was mounted on a flow test bench, however, it would not flow. Further disassembly revealed that the stamp ring attached to the top of the diaphragm actuator rod of the fuel pump was deformed. In addition, the fiber spacer or washer were not located. As a result of the deformation, where the actuator met the diaphragm lift stem, the engine-driven fuel pump was unable to actuate the diaphragm element and pump fluid.

The engine-driven fuel pump was sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination. The examination revealed that the actuator fracture was generally circular in orientation, was slanted, and had indications of localized plastic deformation adjacent to the facture surface. The retainer section, that had separated from the stamp ring but remained attached to the actuator, exhibited damage to parts of the fracture surface and was smeared, consistent with post fracture contact with the adjacent components. The undamaged areas exhibited river patterns and chevron marks. In addition, the areas not damaged were examined with a scanning electron microscope, and exhibited dimple rupture, which is consistent with an overstress fracture.

The airplane was equipped with a J. P. Instruments EDM-800, which was panel mounted and recorded up to 24 parameters related to engine operations. The unit contained non-volatile memory for data storage of the parameters recorded and calculated. The data extracted included the accident flight starting 09:38:54 and ending 12:51:47 on June 20, 2016. The data indicated that just after 1251, the fuel flow decreased to zero and the EGT and CHT values decreased as well.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power due to the failure of the engine-driven fuel pump.

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