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,
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
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
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
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