NTSB Identification: ERA14LA309
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 20, 2014 in Rockledge, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2014
Aircraft: SIMMONS WILLIAM E AVENTURA 2, registration: N700WS
Injuries: 2 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that he was conducting touch-and-go landings on a river. About 300 feet above ground level, the engine began to misfire and subsequently failed. The pilot did not have sufficient altitude to switch fuel pumps and attempt an engine restart, so he chose to conduct a forced landing. During the landing flare, the airplane lost lift, landed hard on the water, and nosed over. Examination of the engine found that a ground wire lug on the No. 1 fuel pump was loose, which caused the ground wire to have intermittent contact with the lead and likely caused the fuel pump to malfunction and the engine to subsequently lose power. The most recent conditional inspection was completed about 10 months before the accident. The pilot, who was a certificated experimental aircraft repairman and conducted maintenance on the airplane, stated that he "must have missed this item on his last inspection.”
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during a forced landing following a loss of engine power, which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate inspection of the engine, which resulted in a loose ground wire lug on a fuel pump and the subsequent loss of engine power.
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On June 20, 2014, at approximately 1500 eastern daylight time (EDT), an experimental amateur built Aventura 2 amphibious airplane, N700WS, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after a loss of engine power in the Indian River near Rockledge, Florida. The commercial pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. No flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91
According to the pilot, he was conducting touch and go water landings on the Indian River. After the third touch and go landing the pilot entered a climbing left turn, at approximately 300 feet he heard the engine "skip/miss". The pilot elected to level off and turned for the Rockledge Airport (21FA), Rockledge, Florida. Subsequently the engine lost power. The pilot attempted an emergency landing on the river. Upon touchdown the aircraft nosed and incurred substantial damage to the fuselage. The pilot and passenger were able to egress themselves from the aircraft.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multi-engine land, and private pilot privileges for airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea. The pilot received a second class medical January 28, 2014. The pilot reported that he had accrued 17,000 hours of total flight experience, of which 4,000 were in the accident airplane make and model.
According to the FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate on October 23, 2009. The airplane's most recent conditional inspection was completed on September 1, 2013. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 134 hours of operation.
Recorded weather at Patrick Air Force Base (COF) Cocoa Beach, Florida, located approximately 9 miles northeast of the accident site at 1458 included, wind 010 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 6,000 feet, temperature 28 C, dewpoint 23 C, and altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest inverted on the water in the Indian River. The airplane was subsequently towed to an island. During an examination of the wreckage, no preimpact malfunctions of the airplane were discovered.
Examination of the engine discovered that a ground wire lug on the number 1 fuel pump was loose and the ground wire was making intermittent contact. The pilot had conducted his own maintenance on the aircraft as a certificated experimental aircraft repairman for the accident airplane. He stated that he "must have missed this item on his last inspection."
A small plane crashed into the river, both the pilot and passenger survived the crash and managed to escape and swim to a nearby island suffering minor injuries.
News 13 spoke to both the pilot and passenger and they say they are thankful to be alive and are in good spirits.
The pilot Bill Simmons, built the plane and says this was his first incident.
He said the plane experienced some engine trouble, started sputtering and ultimately crashed in the water landing upside down.
"The engine failed. Quit running. So it was coming down and as round out the water wasn’t very smooth there. It’s a nice big swell and without the power when the boat skipped off of that swell, it just noses in. I have from no way to pull the elevator back, no engine power so it won’t respond, it won’t flatten out. So it just hit on its nose and just rolled over on its back," said Simmons.
His landing seems like the best option given the circumstances, and the result.
Simmons also said he has been flying since 1947 and says this crash won't stop him from flying again.
For now the plane will remain in the Indian River until a salvage crew can remove it sometime tomorrow. The FAA is also investigating the crash.
Story and photo gallery: http://www.mynews13.com
ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA — A small plane crashed in the Indian River Lagoon on Friday afternoon.
The plane landed near a manatee zone sign just south of an island in the middle of the lagoon.
Two people were on board an experimental Aventura 2 when it ditched, but they swam to a nearby island where they were picked up by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials.
Both were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries are unknown, but according to witnesses, they suffered only a few scratches and no major injuries.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is on scene investigating the crash.
Story and photos: http://spacecoastdaily.com
Two men aboard an ultralight airplane on Friday were uninjured after their craft crashed into the Indian River between Rockledge and Merritt Island, authorities said.
Taylor Watkins, 15, was kayaking with 15-year-old Griffin Kindred in the Indian River Lagoon near Waterside Drive on Merritt Island when he saw the plane crash. He said it came in low and dipped, the engine cut off, it hit the water once, came up, hit the water again and flipped forward.
It landed upside down with its wheels out of the water.
At first, the teens said they thought it was a large remote-controlled toy that had crashed, but they got closer and saw people. They paddled over to help. Two men were in the water, one swam to a nearby island, the other grabbed onto a kayak and the boys helped him to shore.
"To be honest, I wasn't shocked. It seemed like it wasn't real. There couldn't have been anybody in there. It seemed so unlikely to happen," Watkins said.
Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Maria Fernez had limited information on the incident, but said they got a call for a plane in the Indian River near Pine Island at about 4 p.m. She described it as a small, homemade aircraft.
Story and photo: http://www.floridatoday.com
ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A pilot and his passenger swam to an island on Friday after his plane crashed into the Indian River in Rockledge, according to authorities.
Brevard County Fire Rescue said the crash occurred near Park Avenue in Rockledge just after 4 p.m. on Friday.
The pilot said his plane's engine failed and the plane landed upside down in the water.
The pilot and passenger were able to swim away from the crash to an island nearby, where Brevard County Fire Rescue was able to rescue them, according to Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
"We hit a little wave, pitched in the air and can't get the nose down without engine power so it was just a nice splash down on the nose and right over on the back you go," said pilot Bill Simmons.
No injuries were reported.
Simmons tells Local 6 he will be flying again very soon and that he has been flying since 1947.
Video from Local 6 news helicopter Sky 6 showed the plane floating upside down in the water.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.