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Sun, Jan 20, 2008

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report On Ohio C340 Fatal

FAA Witness Says Plane Was Level, Slowed To Stall

Below is the preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board regarding last weekend's downing of a Cessna 340 twin near Port Clinton, OH, that claimed the lives of four people onboard -- Ed.

NTSB Identification: CHI08FA061
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 12, 2008 in Port Clinton, OH
Aircraft: Cessna 340, registration: N2637Y
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On January 12, 2008, about 1237 eastern standard time, a Cessna 340, N2637Y, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain during a reported approach for landing to runway 27 (5,004 feet x 75 feet, asphalt) at the Carl R Keller Field Airport (PCW), near Port Clinton, Ohio. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot, pilot rated passenger in the right seat, and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (MFD), near Mansfield, Ohio, and was destined for PCW.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector reported that the flight was tracked on Cleveland approach radar through visual flight rules (VFR) flight following from MFD. VFR flight following was cancelled near PCW.

An employee at PCW heard the airplane's transmission on the Unicom radio at the airport. The employee stated:

Aircraft 2637Y called a 10 mile approach to the airport. The pilot requested traffic advisories three times as he approached the airport. He next announced downwind for [runway] 27. That is the last transmission I heard.

A witness, who was a pilot and Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, saw the accident. The inspector stated:

While driving north on [Route] 2 and on the 269N exit, a twin engine airplane caught my attention as it appeared to be flying very slow east bound. The plane appeared to be level but slowly descending with the landing gear extended. The aircraft continued to slow then stopped flying and stall. The nose and left wing dropped sharply as the plane entered a counterclockwise spin. It made about 11/2 to 2 turns then disappeared below the tree line. I notified 911 and proceeded to the scene. N2637Y was what I saw at the scene, a Cessna 340.

The airplane was found nose down impacted in terrain in the back yard of 5150 East Port Clinton Road. The empennage was bent forward on to the fuselage. The emergency exit separated from the fuselage. The wings, fuel bladders, and tip tanks exhibited overload tears consistent with the hydraulic impact force of fuel. The smell of fuel was present at the site. The engines and their propellers were impacted in terrain. The nose of the airplane was crushed rearward to the cabin area in an accordion like fashion. The lower fuselage exhibited accordion like crushing aft of the wings. The landing gear were extended. The trim tabs were neutral in their settings.

An on-scene investigation was conducted. Flight control cables were traced from the flight controls to their respective control surfaces. All breaks in the flight control cables were in overload. Flight control continuity was established. The engine control cables were traced from the controls to their respective engine control and engine control continuity was established. A liquid consistent with aviation gasoline (avgas) was found in both fuel selector valves. The engines were recovered from about three feet below the surface. Both propellers' blades exhibited leading abrasion and were bent rearward. Both engines' manifold valves contained liquid consistent with the smell of avgas. Both engines' fuel pump shear shafts were intact. The top sparkplugs from both engines were removed and the spark plugs exhibited no anomalies. A thumb compression was found with every cylinder of both engines when their crankshafts were rotated. All four magnetos produced spark. The exhaust turbine housing exhibited a witness mark consistent with turbine rubbing. No pre-impact anomalies were detected with the airplane and engine.

At 1215, the recorded weather at the Metcalf Field Airport, near Toledo, Ohio, was: Wind variable at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered clouds 2,400 feet; temperature 2 degrees C; dew point -4 degrees C; altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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