|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : srq|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : pdx|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 5|
flight time total : 2100
flight time type : 30
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
Sometime mid-afternoon, 3/sun/88 under clear and sunny skies, small aircraft of which I am part owner, while returning from a pleasure flight, experienced an engine problem that caused a loss of power. Later it was determined that a spark plug had unscrewed itself from one of the cylinders. After checking the engine instruments, engine and propeller controls, fuel gauge and selector valve, the pilot decided to land the airplane immediately. A suitable roadway was selected because of its length, width and lack of traffic. Upon touching down the pilot saw a small automobile pull out of a side street and proceed down the road ahead of him. To avoid hitting the automobile, the pilot veered to the left side of the roadway, where the left wing encountered 3 small mailboxes. At this point the aircraft, because of its higher speed, passed the small foreign car, and in doing so, the right wing went up and over the full length of the automobile. Both the aircraft and automobile stopped. The driver of the car jumped out, chastised the pilot for not using his horn and looked to see if there was any damage done to the car, which there was not, got back into the car and promptly drove off. There were no injuries. The pilot notified local authorities and an aircraft mechanic, both arrived shortly. The mechanic, who had recently done extensive engine and propeller work on the airplane, determined that a spark plug had come out, thus causing the power loss. The local authorities said nothing could be done to the aircraft until they had received proper authorization from FAA officials. Within the hour the authorities said verbal authorization had been received and the plane could be removed. However by the time the mechanic could return with his tools, the pilot determined it would be dark. The airplane was secured and authorities assured the pilot they would patrol the area. This is where I come into the picture. I was planning a flight the next morning so I called the aforementioned pilot to see if the airplane would be available. He said it would not because of the earlier incident. After explaining to me what had happened, we discussed the conditions of the aircraft and would I be willing to fly it back to its home base. I acknowledged that I would. When we arrived at the airplane, a.M., 3/mon/88, we were met by the mechanic and a sheriff's deputy. The mechanic said the repair had been completed and the deputy assured us we could take the plane off as soon as additional traffic control arrived. I conducted a thorough preflight. This included a visual as well as static check of the engine, and an extensive visual examination of the wings, landing gear, fuselage and tail section of the aircraft. As I knelt down for a closer look at the nose gear assembly, the pilot, the sheriff's deputy and the aircraft mechanic, standing in front of the left wing, were discussing the airworthiness of the plane. I heard the deputy ask would there be any problem taking off. Hearing this, I stood up, looked at the mechanic and waited for his answer. He replied, 'no problem!' while waiting for the traffic control to arrive, the landing pilot and I surveyed the roadway to be used for takeoff. We looked for anything that might cause a problem during the takeoff roll. Nothing was found. With traffic control in position and having received verbal approval of airworthiness from a certified a&P mechanic and assuring myself that the road to be used as a runway was clear, I taxied into position, did a final magnetic, control and cockpit check, applied full power and proceeded with a normal takeoff. The 10 min flight to the airport where the airplane is based, the approach and the landing were completely uneventful. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: there has been FAA follow up on the incident. Reporter is not certain at this point if he has done anything wrong since a certified a&P said it was ok to fly aircraft home. At this point all FAA seems concerned about is where the aircraft certificate is displayed. It was in seat pocket of aircraft rather than in visible plastic holder. Stated the mechanic who had worked on engine before incident apparently didn't tighten plug and FAA may cite him. Damage to wing from passing over car and mailboxes was minor, no tears, only slight dents.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA LOST ENGINE POWER, MADE OFF ARPT LNDG ON ROAD AND STRUCK CAR AND OBSTRUCTIONS WITH MINOR DAMAGE. ENGINE REPAIRED AND ACFT FERRIED TO BASE.
Narrative: SOMETIME MID-AFTERNOON, 3/SUN/88 UNDER CLEAR AND SUNNY SKIES, SMA OF WHICH I AM PART OWNER, WHILE RETURNING FROM A PLEASURE FLT, EXPERIENCED AN ENG PROB THAT CAUSED A LOSS OF PWR. LATER IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A SPARK PLUG HAD UNSCREWED ITSELF FROM ONE OF THE CYLINDERS. AFTER CHKING THE ENG INSTRUMENTS, ENG AND PROP CTLS, FUEL GAUGE AND SELECTOR VALVE, THE PLT DECIDED TO LAND THE AIRPLANE IMMEDIATELY. A SUITABLE ROADWAY WAS SELECTED BECAUSE OF ITS LENGTH, WIDTH AND LACK OF TFC. UPON TOUCHING DOWN THE PLT SAW A SMALL AUTOMOBILE PULL OUT OF A SIDE STREET AND PROCEED DOWN THE ROAD AHEAD OF HIM. TO AVOID HITTING THE AUTOMOBILE, THE PLT VEERED TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROADWAY, WHERE THE LEFT WING ENCOUNTERED 3 SMALL MAILBOXES. AT THIS POINT THE ACFT, BECAUSE OF ITS HIGHER SPD, PASSED THE SMALL FOREIGN CAR, AND IN DOING SO, THE RIGHT WING WENT UP AND OVER THE FULL LENGTH OF THE AUTOMOBILE. BOTH THE ACFT AND AUTOMOBILE STOPPED. THE DRIVER OF THE CAR JUMPED OUT, CHASTISED THE PLT FOR NOT USING HIS HORN AND LOOKED TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANY DAMAGE DONE TO THE CAR, WHICH THERE WAS NOT, GOT BACK INTO THE CAR AND PROMPTLY DROVE OFF. THERE WERE NO INJURIES. THE PLT NOTIFIED LCL AUTHORITIES AND AN ACFT MECH, BOTH ARRIVED SHORTLY. THE MECH, WHO HAD RECENTLY DONE EXTENSIVE ENG AND PROP WORK ON THE AIRPLANE, DETERMINED THAT A SPARK PLUG HAD COME OUT, THUS CAUSING THE PWR LOSS. THE LCL AUTHORITIES SAID NOTHING COULD BE DONE TO THE ACFT UNTIL THEY HAD RECEIVED PROPER AUTHORIZATION FROM FAA OFFICIALS. WITHIN THE HOUR THE AUTHORITIES SAID VERBAL AUTHORIZATION HAD BEEN RECEIVED AND THE PLANE COULD BE REMOVED. HOWEVER BY THE TIME THE MECH COULD RETURN WITH HIS TOOLS, THE PLT DETERMINED IT WOULD BE DARK. THE AIRPLANE WAS SECURED AND AUTHORITIES ASSURED THE PLT THEY WOULD PATROL THE AREA. THIS IS WHERE I COME INTO THE PICTURE. I WAS PLANNING A FLT THE NEXT MORNING SO I CALLED THE AFOREMENTIONED PLT TO SEE IF THE AIRPLANE WOULD BE AVAILABLE. HE SAID IT WOULD NOT BECAUSE OF THE EARLIER INCIDENT. AFTER EXPLAINING TO ME WHAT HAD HAPPENED, WE DISCUSSED THE CONDITIONS OF THE ACFT AND WOULD I BE WILLING TO FLY IT BACK TO ITS HOME BASE. I ACKNOWLEDGED THAT I WOULD. WHEN WE ARRIVED AT THE AIRPLANE, A.M., 3/MON/88, WE WERE MET BY THE MECH AND A SHERIFF'S DEPUTY. THE MECH SAID THE REPAIR HAD BEEN COMPLETED AND THE DEPUTY ASSURED US WE COULD TAKE THE PLANE OFF AS SOON AS ADDITIONAL TFC CTL ARRIVED. I CONDUCTED A THOROUGH PREFLT. THIS INCLUDED A VISUAL AS WELL AS STATIC CHK OF THE ENG, AND AN EXTENSIVE VISUAL EXAMINATION OF THE WINGS, LNDG GEAR, FUSELAGE AND TAIL SECTION OF THE ACFT. AS I KNELT DOWN FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NOSE GEAR ASSEMBLY, THE PLT, THE SHERIFF'S DEPUTY AND THE ACFT MECH, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE LEFT WING, WERE DISCUSSING THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE PLANE. I HEARD THE DEPUTY ASK WOULD THERE BE ANY PROB TAKING OFF. HEARING THIS, I STOOD UP, LOOKED AT THE MECH AND WAITED FOR HIS ANSWER. HE REPLIED, 'NO PROB!' WHILE WAITING FOR THE TFC CTL TO ARRIVE, THE LNDG PLT AND I SURVEYED THE ROADWAY TO BE USED FOR TKOF. WE LOOKED FOR ANYTHING THAT MIGHT CAUSE A PROB DURING THE TKOF ROLL. NOTHING WAS FOUND. WITH TFC CTL IN POS AND HAVING RECEIVED VERBAL APPROVAL OF AIRWORTHINESS FROM A CERTIFIED A&P MECH AND ASSURING MYSELF THAT THE ROAD TO BE USED AS A RWY WAS CLR, I TAXIED INTO POS, DID A FINAL MAG, CTL AND COCKPIT CHK, APPLIED FULL PWR AND PROCEEDED WITH A NORMAL TKOF. THE 10 MIN FLT TO THE ARPT WHERE THE AIRPLANE IS BASED, THE APCH AND THE LNDG WERE COMPLETELY UNEVENTFUL. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THERE HAS BEEN FAA FOLLOW UP ON THE INCIDENT. RPTR IS NOT CERTAIN AT THIS POINT IF HE HAS DONE ANYTHING WRONG SINCE A CERTIFIED A&P SAID IT WAS OK TO FLY ACFT HOME. AT THIS POINT ALL FAA SEEMS CONCERNED ABOUT IS WHERE THE ACFT CERTIFICATE IS DISPLAYED. IT WAS IN SEAT POCKET OF ACFT RATHER THAN IN VISIBLE PLASTIC HOLDER. STATED THE MECH WHO HAD WORKED ON ENG BEFORE INCIDENT APPARENTLY DIDN'T TIGHTEN PLUG AND FAA MAY CITE HIM. DAMAGE TO WING FROM PASSING OVER CAR AND MAILBOXES WAS MINOR, NO TEARS, ONLY SLIGHT DENTS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.