ASF Accident Details
NTSB Number: NYC03FA129
Aircraft and Flight Information
Make/Model CESSNA / 150
Tail Number N6566S
Airport 2B7
Light Conditions Day
Basic WX Conditions VMC
Phase of Flight Maneuvering
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Narrative Type: NTSB FINAL NARRATIVE (6120.4)
The flight instructor and a certificated pilot were conducting a local instructional flight. According to a witness, he heard the aircraft power up and start its take off roll. He then heard the engine "skip," which made him look up and observe the airplane in a steep left turn with a nose high attitude. At the same time he heard the engine noise decrease "like the throttle was pulled to idle." When the airplane was about parallel with the "old runway 28," the witness observed the tail swing aggressively to the right, and at the same time, he heard the engine rev-up. The airplane then stalled, and began to spiral downward counter-clockwise, before impacting the asphalt and bursting into flames. Several other witnesses had observed the airplane flying 30 minutes prior to the accident. The local training flight was the airplane's first flight since the annual inspection was performed 2 months prior to the accident. Inspection of the carburetor revealed contaminated residual fuel and contamination of the fuel screen. Examination of the fuel sample and the fuel screen revealed that the fuel sample contained water, copper sediments, and varnish. The fuel sample was consistent with "old fuel." Residue observed on the fuel screen was consistent with grease. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on April 1, 2003. The work accomplished during the annual inspection included the draining of the fuel sumps, and inspection of the fuel screen. The maintenance records also contained a checklist for a 100 hour inspection, dated March 31, 2003, and a discrepancy sheet log. Included in the checklist was, "Drain carburetor float bowl - resafety plug... Remove fuel inlet screen from carb or injection throttle body, clean, reinstall and safety." The checklist items were initialed by a mechanic, and additionally by an inspector. Included in the discrepancy sheet log was an entry which stated, "carb float bowl drain froze in place, fab tool to remove and removed drain plug." The entry was initialed by a mechanic. According to 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix D - Scope and Detail of Items (as Applicable to the Particular Aircraft) To Be Included in Annual and 100 Hour Inspections, "Each person performing an annual or 100 hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) components of the engine and nacelle group..."
Narrative Type: NTSB PRELIMINARY NARRATIVE (6120.19)
HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 12, 2003, at 1030 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150H, N6566S, was substantially damaged when it impact terrain during a forced landing after takeoff at the Pittsfield Municipal Airport (2B7), Pittsfield, Maine. The certificated flight instructor and the certificated commercial pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a witness who was working in a hangar located on the airport property, he observed the accident airplane taxiing towards the departure end of runway 01. With his back to the opening in the hangar door, the witness heard the aircraft power up and start its take off roll. He then heard the engine "skip," which made him look up and observe the airplane in a steep left turn with a nose high attitude. At the same time he heard the engine noise decrease "like the throttle was pulled to idle." When the airplane was about parallel with the "old runway 28," the witness observed the tail swing aggressively to the right, and at the same time, he heard the engine rev-up. The airplane then stalled, and began to spiral downward counter-clockwise, before impacting the asphalt and bursting into flames.

Several witnesses recalled hearing or observing the airplane perform touch-and-go landings for about 30 minutes prior to the accident.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight; at 44 degrees 46.35 minutes north latitude, and 069 degrees 22.59 minutes west longitude.

PILOT INFORMATION

The certificated flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He also held a private pilot certificate for multi-engine airplane. The CFI was issued a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine land on January 7, 2003. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued on May 22, 2002.

According to the CFI's application for the FAA medical, he reported a total civil flight experience of approximately 1,300 hours.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with airplane ratings for single engine and multi-engine land, and multi-engine sea. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on March 17, 2003.

According to the pilot's application for the FAA medical, he reported a total civil flight experience of approximately 68 hours, of which none were during the previous 90 days before the accident. The pilot has accrued about 410 hours of military flight experience during the 1940's.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on April 1, 2003. At the time of that inspection, the airplane had accumulated about 4,225 hours of total flight time. The engine had accumulated about 398 hours of operation since major overhaul.

Examination of the airplane's airframe maintenance logs revealed a sticker that was added to a page of the log. The sticker was dated April 1, 2003, and described work that was accomplished during the most recent annual inspection. Excerpts of the entry on the sticker included, "Drain fuel sumps, check fuel screen." The sticker was signed and acknowledged, "I certify this Aircraft has been inspected I/A/W an Annual Inspection per FAR 43 and determined to be in an airworthy condition."

Examination of the airplane's engine maintenance logs revealed a sticker that was added to a page of the log. The sticker was dated April 1, 2003, and described work that was accomplished during the most recent annual inspection. Excerpts of the entry on the sticker included, "Inspect fuel screen, drain sumps." The sticker was signed and acknowledged, "I certify this Aircraft has been inspected I/A/W a 100Hr. inspection per FAR 43 and determined to be in an airworthy condition."

The previous maintenance recorded in the airplane's maintenance logs was a 100-hour inspection, completed on October 10, 2001. At the time of that inspection, the airplane had accumulated about 4,211 hours of total flight time.

The airplanes maintenance records contained a checklist for a 100 hour inspection, dated March 31, 2003, and a discrepancy sheet log. Included in the checklist was, "Drain carburetor float bowl - resafety plug... Remove fuel inlet screen from carb or injection throttle body, clean, reinstall and safety." The checklist items were initialed by a mechanic, and additionally by an inspector. Included in the discrepancy sheet log was an entry which stated, "carb float bowl drain froze in place, fab tool to remove and removed drain plug." The entry was initialed by a mechanic.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at a nearby airport, about the time of the accident, included: wind from 020 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 01 was a 3,998-foot-long, 150-foot-wide asphalt runway. An abandoned runway ran perpendicular to runway 01, about 3,300 from the departure end. The abandoned runway was about 4,000 feet long, and 200 feet wide, and extended about 2,500 feet beyond the runway 01 centerline.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined on June 13, 2003. The main wreckage came to rest on the abandoned asphalt runway, about 375 feet left of the runway 01 centerline.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The airframe was intact and oriented about a 300-degree magnetic heading.

Prior to the examination, emergency rescue personnel removed the left wing from the wreckage. Impact damage was observed along the leading edge. The fuel tank was compromised and was fire damaged. The left flap was observed in the retracted position.

The right wing remained attached to the main fuselage and exhibited crushing damage along the leading edge. The fuel cap was removed, and fuel was observed in the right tank. A fuel sample was taken from the tank. The fuel was clear, light blue in color, and was absent of debris. The right flap was observed in the retracted position.

The cockpit area was crushed, and the instrument panel was destroyed, including the tachometer. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces to cockpit.

The propeller remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades were bent aft, and exhibited leading edge and chord-wise scratching.

The top spark plugs were removed from the engine for inspection. They were light gray to brown in color, and their electrodes were intact. Both magnetos were impact and fire damaged.

The carburetor was removed from the engine and inspected. Grease and grime was observed on the outer surfaces of the carburetor. The safety wire which secured the carburetor fuel screen was also covered with grease and grime. The safety wire which secured the carburetor float bowl drain plug was absent of contamination. The throttle was observed in the full open position.

Removal of the carburetor float bowl revealed that the floats were intact, and a liquid with a strong odor of unknown origin was observed. The liquid remaining in the bowl was retained in a sampling jar. It was brownish in color and had suspended greenish sediment. The fuel screen passage was obstructed with a dark object. The carburetor fuel sample and the fuel screen were retained for further examination.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Review of an "Aircraft Scheduling Sheet" retained from the Fixed Base Operator at 2B7, revealed that the pilot was scheduled to fly with the CFI on June 5, 10, and 12, 2003. No records were obtained to verify if the scheduled flight on June 5, 2003 was conducted, and the June 10, 2003 date was crossed out on the sheet.

The airplane was last refueled on June 12, 2003, with 13.4 gallons of 100LL aviation gasoline.

A fuel sample examined from the airport's 100LL aviation gasoline fuel farm was observed as clear, light blue in color, and was absent of debris.

The carburetor bowl fuel sample and the fuel screen were forwarded to a chemical analysis laboratory in Chicago, Illinois for examination. According to a representative of the laboratory, the fuel sample contained water, copper sediments, and varnish. The fuel sample was consistent with "old fuel." Residue, observed in the fuel screen, was consistent with grease.

According to 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix D - Scope and Detail of Items (as Applicable to the Particular Aircraft) To Be Included in Annual and 100 Hour Inspections:

"Each person performing an annual or 100 hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) components of the engine and nacelle group as follows:

(1) Engine section - for visual evidence of excessive oil, fuel, or hydraulic leaks, and sources of such leaks.
(2) Studs and nuts - for improper torquing and obvious defects.
(3) Internal engine - for cylinder compression and for metal particles or foreign matter on screens and sump drain plugs. If there is weak cylinder compression, for improper internal condition and improper internal tolerances.
(4) Engine mount - for cracks, looseness of mounting, and looseness of engine to mount.
(5) Flexible vibration dampeners - for poor condition and deterioration.
(6) Engine controls - for defects, improper travel, and improper safetying.
(7) Lines, hoses, and clamps - for leaks, improper condition and looseness.
(8) Exhaust stacks - for cracks, defects, and improper attachment.
(9) Accessories - for apparent defects in security of mounting.
(10) All systems - for improper installation, poor general condition, defects, and insecure attachment.
(11) Cowling - for cracks, and defects."

A review of FAA-H-8083-3, Airplane Flying Handbook, revealed:

"...If an actual engine failure should occur immediately after takeoff and before a safe maneuvering altitude is attained, it is usually inadvisable to attempt to turn back to the field from where the takeoff was made. Instead, it is safer to immediately establish the proper glide attitude, and select a field directly ahead or slightly to either side of the takeoff path."

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner's insurance company, on June 13, 2003.
Narrative Type: NTSB PROBABLE CAUSE NARRATIVE
The inadvertent resumption of power during a forced landing that resulted in a subsequent spin. Factors related to the accident were the CFI's delayed remedial action, the loss of engine power due to contaminated fuel, an obstructed fuel screen, and the inadequate annual inspection performed by maintenance personnel.