ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 131751
Last updated: 22 May 2013
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Narrative:HISTORY OF FLIGHT
|C/n / msn:|| 20608033|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Mayville, NY -
United States of America
On August 25, 2000, at 0615 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 206H, N7269S, was destroyed after an in-flight explosion, and a subsequent forced landing to a field in Mayville, New York. The certificated commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight, between Chautauqua County Airport (DKK), Dunkirk, New York, and Port Meadville Airport (GKJ), Meadville, Pennsylvania. The business flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
The pilot reported that he departed Dunkirk at 0610. According to two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors who interviewed the pilot while he was in the hospital, the pilot stated that, after takeoff, he climbed the airplane to 4,000 feet. Just after level-off, the pilot checked the gauges "and found them to be all in the green." His power setting was 2,500 rpm and 25 inches of manifold pressure, and "as he was accustomed, he backed the throttle a hair to 24/24." The pilot then engaged the autopilot, and the engine was running smoothly, with no vibrations. "All was fine for about 35 to 40 seconds. Then he heard a loud explosion ('Kaboom!!') followed by an increase in engine rpm."
During the explosion, the pilot saw the engine cowls "bow up". The cowl fasteners also blew out, and fire came out through the fastener holes.
The pilot started to turn the airplane towards a field he had seen earlier. Meanwhile, "blue and yellow flames were constantly coming from the engine compartment and coming right around the window." During the turn, there was a second explosion. The pilot thought the engine was still running until that time, and quit after the second blast. After the second explosion, the cabin became completely engulfed in smoke. The pilot cracked the left window, and found an area where he could "sip" fresh air. The view ahead of him was completely black due to the amount of smoke.
The pilot continued toward what he thought was the field, based on his available vision to the side. However, during the final approach, the airplane struck trees. The pilot was surprised, and pulled full back on the yoke. The airplane then stalled, and fell straight to the ground.
After the pilot was released from the hospital, he provided amplifying information to the Safety Board. In a telephone interview, he stated that during the preflight, he checked the oil cap three times to make sure it was in and locked.
The pilot also confirmed that there was no problem with the engine prior to the first explosion. "It was purring like a kitten." After he leveled off the airplane, he set the power and engaged the autopilot. Less than a minute later, it seemed like a stick of dynamite went off. Blue flames and fire came through the cowling. The engine continued to run smoothly, and may have even sped up a little. There were no "clanking" sounds emanating from the engine before the first explosion.
Immediately after the explosion, the pilot put the flaps down, and turned towards a field he had seen. During the turn, a second explosion occurred. The dash was blown in, and there was so much fire and smoke, that visibility within the cockpit was reduced to the blackness of night. The pilot couldn't breathe, and he couldn't see, except out the side window. After the second explosion, the engine quit running.
A witness to the accident stated that he was inside his house when he heard the sound of the airplane's engine, then a "pop sound." He looked outside, and saw the airplane "about treetop high, and the right front side was on fire...near the engine." He saw the airplane make several left turns, then lost sight of it behind the trees, and eventually located the wreckage by following rising smoke.
The accident occurred during civil twilight, about 20 minutes before sunrise.
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single engine land and
NTSB id 20001212X21847
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