|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : nkl|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 700
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : pns|
tower : mso
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Experimental|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time total : 10000|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
I bought my own experimental pitts special on feb/tue/95. On feb/wed/95 I was en route from lake front field, la, to destin field, fl, with the temperature around freezing and being in an open cockpit on my first cross country in this type of plane, I had my hands full. My hand-held VHF was less than I had hoped for as far as clarity. Heading east about 8 mi west of the pensacola airport, my engine sounded ever so slightly rough. I thought it must be my imagination considering I was looking at the cold bay coming up off the nose. I called the tower and said that I descended to 700 ft and like to transition around or through their area. My plane has no electric so I have no mode C, or transponder. I was expecting a turn to the right and a vector along the boundary heading south. Instead I received a vector to the north for radar verification followed by a 130 degree vector followed by clearance over the pensacola field at 500 ft. At this point I assumed I had done something wrong but my feeling of uneasiness with the engine had increased, so I thought I might just land there. Passing over the field, I felt safe and decided to continue to destin and thought I'm just a little nervous because of all the strange circumstances. I received a vector to the southeast passing over the field, so off I went. I didn't feel good about going over the water at 700-1000 ft and with the wind picking up, my 7001 pound plane was getting bounced around a little. When I joined the coast line southeast of pensacola, I could see the navarre bridge, about 5 mi to the east and to the left. I recognized holley field. At this point I felt my engine was rough. I decided to go back to the controled area where I sensed discomfort with both the radar controller and the pensacola tower. To myself, I said they're really going to love me now. At this point the controller asked me to call him on the ground. (I still haven't gotten through to him), I'm struggling to write down some number to call this guy, fly the plane in this wind with a stick, which is unbelievably sensitive, listen to my engine RPM drop and nowi get a handoff to approach, so I have to pull my glove off my frozen hand and move these tiny toggle switches on my less than state-of-the-art, weak battery pwred, hand-held radio and my new VFR sectional is ripping and trying to blow out of the cold windy open loud cockpit. At this point, one of my 5 strap seat belts is lipping off my shoulder and restricting movement of my right shoulder. As I fix my shoulder harness, the airplane goes into a steep bank and now I felt like I had just about enough fun for one morning. With about a 20 gallon fuel tank and 1:39 out of it, I had about :45 mins left. My 150 hp lycoming let out a distinctive cough that made it easy to tell my new controller I was handed off to, what my position was and that I'm going to holley field. Now the engine quits, I glance at all normal engine gauges (slightly cold oil temperature and fluctuating fuel pressure). I started to pump a manual fuel pump, but little if any help was noticed. I aimed abruptly for holley military field and set up best glide speed. I cleared the trees by inches and landed on the left wheel too hard with too much side load collapsing it and hitting the wingtip. The plane ended up on a 90 degree angle facing west on a northeast closed runway. Nobody at the field knew I had a forced landing, so I walked across the field to begin filling out a military incident report form. I did not call the FAA because I didn't get a scratch and the plane has minor damage. The military personnel were nice and helpful and said they didn't feel there was any need to do anything but make a few calls. My plane is at a private field 60 mi to the north of destin where it's getting repaired. I feel lucky I made the field, and now I hope there are no problems with all the controllers, FAA, and military personnel. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter does not know why his engine quit. It had a new fuel injection system installed and there may have been a leak. The reporter was so traumatized (there was no injury) by 'nearly killing himself' that he failed to determine if there was any fuel left in the tank. The navy and the FAA are not concerned with this incident. A mechanic from another airport took the aircraft apart and took it to his facility before an insurance representative could look at the aircraft. The reporter is now in the middle of a dispute between the mechanic and the insurance company. The reporter believes that 'he will stick with airline flying for awhile.'
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DIVERT LAND.
Narrative: I BOUGHT MY OWN EXPERIMENTAL PITTS SPECIAL ON FEB/TUE/95. ON FEB/WED/95 I WAS ENRTE FROM LAKE FRONT FIELD, LA, TO DESTIN FIELD, FL, WITH THE TEMP AROUND FREEZING AND BEING IN AN OPEN COCKPIT ON MY FIRST XCOUNTRY IN THIS TYPE OF PLANE, I HAD MY HANDS FULL. MY HAND-HELD VHF WAS LESS THAN I HAD HOPED FOR AS FAR AS CLARITY. HDG E ABOUT 8 MI W OF THE PENSACOLA ARPT, MY ENG SOUNDED EVER SO SLIGHTLY ROUGH. I THOUGHT IT MUST BE MY IMAGINATION CONSIDERING I WAS LOOKING AT THE COLD BAY COMING UP OFF THE NOSE. I CALLED THE TWR AND SAID THAT I DSNDED TO 700 FT AND LIKE TO TRANSITION AROUND OR THROUGH THEIR AREA. MY PLANE HAS NO ELECTRIC SO I HAVE NO MODE C, OR XPONDER. I WAS EXPECTING A TURN TO THE R AND A VECTOR ALONG THE BOUNDARY HDG S. INSTEAD I RECEIVED A VECTOR TO THE N FOR RADAR VERIFICATION FOLLOWED BY A 130 DEG VECTOR FOLLOWED BY CLRNC OVER THE PENSACOLA FIELD AT 500 FT. AT THIS POINT I ASSUMED I HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG BUT MY FEELING OF UNEASINESS WITH THE ENG HAD INCREASED, SO I THOUGHT I MIGHT JUST LAND THERE. PASSING OVER THE FIELD, I FELT SAFE AND DECIDED TO CONTINUE TO DESTIN AND THOUGHT I'M JUST A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE OF ALL THE STRANGE CIRCUMSTANCES. I RECEIVED A VECTOR TO THE SE PASSING OVER THE FIELD, SO OFF I WENT. I DIDN'T FEEL GOOD ABOUT GOING OVER THE WATER AT 700-1000 FT AND WITH THE WIND PICKING UP, MY 7001 LB PLANE WAS GETTING BOUNCED AROUND A LITTLE. WHEN I JOINED THE COAST LINE SE OF PENSACOLA, I COULD SEE THE NAVARRE BRIDGE, ABOUT 5 MI TO THE E AND TO THE L. I RECOGNIZED HOLLEY FIELD. AT THIS POINT I FELT MY ENG WAS ROUGH. I DECIDED TO GO BACK TO THE CTLED AREA WHERE I SENSED DISCOMFORT WITH BOTH THE RADAR CTLR AND THE PENSACOLA TWR. TO MYSELF, I SAID THEY'RE REALLY GOING TO LOVE ME NOW. AT THIS POINT THE CTLR ASKED ME TO CALL HIM ON THE GND. (I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN THROUGH TO HIM), I'M STRUGGLING TO WRITE DOWN SOME NUMBER TO CALL THIS GUY, FLY THE PLANE IN THIS WIND WITH A STICK, WHICH IS UNBELIEVABLY SENSITIVE, LISTEN TO MY ENG RPM DROP AND NOWI GET A HDOF TO APCH, SO I HAVE TO PULL MY GLOVE OFF MY FROZEN HAND AND MOVE THESE TINY TOGGLE SWITCHES ON MY LESS THAN STATE-OF-THE-ART, WEAK BATTERY PWRED, HAND-HELD RADIO AND MY NEW VFR SECTIONAL IS RIPPING AND TRYING TO BLOW OUT OF THE COLD WINDY OPEN LOUD COCKPIT. AT THIS POINT, ONE OF MY 5 STRAP SEAT BELTS IS LIPPING OFF MY SHOULDER AND RESTRICTING MOVEMENT OF MY R SHOULDER. AS I FIX MY SHOULDER HARNESS, THE AIRPLANE GOES INTO A STEEP BANK AND NOW I FELT LIKE I HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH FUN FOR ONE MORNING. WITH ABOUT A 20 GALLON FUEL TANK AND 1:39 OUT OF IT, I HAD ABOUT :45 MINS LEFT. MY 150 HP LYCOMING LET OUT A DISTINCTIVE COUGH THAT MADE IT EASY TO TELL MY NEW CTLR I WAS HANDED OFF TO, WHAT MY POS WAS AND THAT I'M GOING TO HOLLEY FIELD. NOW THE ENG QUITS, I GLANCE AT ALL NORMAL ENG GAUGES (SLIGHTLY COLD OIL TEMP AND FLUCTUATING FUEL PRESSURE). I STARTED TO PUMP A MANUAL FUEL PUMP, BUT LITTLE IF ANY HELP WAS NOTICED. I AIMED ABRUPTLY FOR HOLLEY MIL FIELD AND SET UP BEST GLIDE SPD. I CLRED THE TREES BY INCHES AND LANDED ON THE L WHEEL TOO HARD WITH TOO MUCH SIDE LOAD COLLAPSING IT AND HITTING THE WINGTIP. THE PLANE ENDED UP ON A 90 DEG ANGLE FACING W ON A NE CLOSED RWY. NOBODY AT THE FIELD KNEW I HAD A FORCED LNDG, SO I WALKED ACROSS THE FIELD TO BEGIN FILLING OUT A MIL INCIDENT RPT FORM. I DID NOT CALL THE FAA BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET A SCRATCH AND THE PLANE HAS MINOR DAMAGE. THE MIL PERSONNEL WERE NICE AND HELPFUL AND SAID THEY DIDN'T FEEL THERE WAS ANY NEED TO DO ANYTHING BUT MAKE A FEW CALLS. MY PLANE IS AT A PVT FIELD 60 MI TO THE N OF DESTIN WHERE IT'S GETTING REPAIRED. I FEEL LUCKY I MADE THE FIELD, AND NOW I HOPE THERE ARE NO PROBS WITH ALL THE CTLRS, FAA, AND MIL PERSONNEL. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR DOES NOT KNOW WHY HIS ENG QUIT. IT HAD A NEW FUEL INJECTION SYS INSTALLED AND THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A LEAK. THE RPTR WAS SO TRAUMATIZED (THERE WAS NO INJURY) BY 'NEARLY KILLING HIMSELF' THAT HE FAILED TO DETERMINE IF THERE WAS ANY FUEL LEFT IN THE TANK. THE NAVY AND THE FAA ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH THIS INCIDENT. A MECH FROM ANOTHER ARPT TOOK THE ACFT APART AND TOOK IT TO HIS FACILITY BEFORE AN INSURANCE REPRESENTATIVE COULD LOOK AT THE ACFT. THE RPTR IS NOW IN THE MIDDLE OF A DISPUTE BTWN THE MECH AND THE INSURANCE COMPANY. THE RPTR BELIEVES THAT 'HE WILL STICK WITH AIRLINE FLYING FOR AWHILE.'
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.