Saturday, March 5, 2016

Taylorcraft BL-65, N22661: Accident occurred March 05, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA123 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 05, 2016 in St. Petersburg, FL
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BL, registration: N22661
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 5, 2016, about 1345 eastern standard time, a Taylorcraft BL-65, N22661, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after it experienced a partial loss of engine power while in cruise flight near St. Petersburg, Florida. The private pilot and a passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed from Manatee Airport, (48X), Palmetto, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that the airplane had flown about 10 miles from 48X, when the engine began to run rough, and experienced a 50 percent power reduction. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a golf course. During the landing, the airplane struck trees and sustained substantial damage to the left wing, which was partially separated from the fuselage.

The airplane was manufactured in 1939 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-145-B2, 65-horsepower engine. Examination of the engine by an FAA inspector revealed that two nuts were missing from the No. 3 cylinder head studs, and a third stud was fractured. The cylinder head and fractured stud were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination.

Initial review of maintenance records revealed that the engine had been operated for about 20 hours since its most recent inspection, which was performed on October 8, 2015, and included a check of all cylinder head bolts for "tightness."

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

Damage to the wing of the single engine aircraft is seen after the plane made an emergency landing on a golf course in Lakewood Estates in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2016.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – An 18-year-old pilot of a small plane had to make an emergency landing on a golf course of the St. Peterburg Country Club in Lakewood Estates subdivision Saturday afternoon, police said.

According to St. Petersburg Police, the teen pilot was flying from Lakeland to Manatee County on a 1939 Taylorcraft fixed wing single-engine two-seater airplane. Two other aircraft were also with him, police said.

The Taylorcraft pilot had mechanical issues and was advised to land at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg. But he realized he wouldn’t be able to make it there and picked the golf course as the possible landing site, police said.

The teen landed the plane safely on the 12th fairway but when it was coming to a stop, its wing clipped a tree. The pilot and his teen passenger were not injured.

The residents in the area said, this wasn’t the first time an emergency landing happened at the golf course. In 2009 a pilot landed on the course, tearing off one of the plane’s wings on the way down. The pilot survived.

“My neighbor just called and told me about it. And I said, again?” a resident Mike Cameron said.

Police said that the NTSB has been notified and is responding to the scene. The golf course area around the plane near the intersection of Cordova Way South and Caesar Way South was roped off.

The aircraft is registered in Punta Gorda, FL. Its certificate is up to date.

Story and video:
St. Petersburg Police respond to the scene of an emergency landing as the 18-year-old pilot sits on the ground on a golf course in Lakewood Estates in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2016.

A small airplane was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday afternoon on the 12th fairway of a St. Petersburg golf course, police said. The pilot and his teenage passenger were not injured.

At 1:45 p.m. Saturday, a 1939 Taylorcraft fixed-wing airplane had to make an emergency landing on the St. Petersburg Country Club Course. The two-seater plane was flying with two other aircraft. The three planes had taken off from Lakeland and were on their way to Manatee County, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

After the plane clipped a tree with its left wing, it came to a stop near the intersection of Cordova Way South and Caesar Way South in the Lakewood Estates subdivision of St. Petersburg, police said. While stopping the left wing on the aircraft clipped a tree.

The 18-year-old pilot of the 1939 Taylorcraft began experiencing mechanical issues and was advised to divert his flight path and attempt to land at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, police said. The pilot realized he was not going to make it to Albert Whitted, and observed the Lakewood Golf Course as a possible landing site.

There was no fuel leaking from the plane. No one was injured on the ground at the time of the landing, according to St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue officials.

Original article can be found here:

ST. PETERSBURG — A fairway became an airway Saturday afternoon when a vintage plane piloted by an 18-year-old made an emergency landing on the 12th fairway at the St. Petersburg Country Club.

The plane was one of a trio flying from Lakeland to Manatee County, but it had begun experiencing mechanical problems. The teen's father, in one of the other planes, recommended landing at Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St. Petersburg, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Rob Shaw.

However, the pilot of the 1939 Taylorcraft realized he couldn't make it that far and set down in the biggest open space he could find — a fairway near Cordova Way S and Caesar Way S in the Lakewood Estates subdivision of St. Petersburg.

While rolling to a stop, the pilot clipped a tree with one wing, but neither he nor his 17-year-old passenger was injured, police said. Neither was identified.

"He did a dang good job for an 18-year-old pilot," said Shaw, adding that the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified for an investigation.

Residents passing by on bikes, in cars and on foot stopped to check out the plane sitting in between two trees with yellow police tape surrounding it. Melissa Center, 34, stood with her friend, Cathy Lynch, taking photos with her phone.

"Thank God it was here and not in a house," Lynch, 48, said.

"Yeah, I can see my house from here," Center said, pointing down the street.

Neither saw nor heard the plane land, and several neighbors said they didn't even know something had happened until the TV news trucks showed up.

That's what drew Christian Miller, 18, to the golf course about 45 minutes after the plane landed, thinking it was a fire at first when he saw a ladder truck and police cars. After learning no one was hurt, Miller, who studies journalism at Lakewood High School, whipped out his camera and started taking photos.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said.

But Patty Danler, who lives across the street from the fairway, said this wasn't the first time a plane has landed not only on the golf course, but also in that exact spot.

According to Tampa Bay Times archives, 47-year-old William Gibson was flying over the neighborhood Dec. 24, 2009, when the engine gave out on his singe-engine plane, an advertisement for a local crab restaurant flapping behind it. One of the wings clipped a tree, and the aircraft came to a stop near the 12th hole, just as Danler, 61, remembered. Gibson made it out with only a minor hand injury.

Danler said she was mystified that she didn't hear or see the planes coming down either time.

"They sneak in," she said. "I don't know what it is about that spot."

Original article can be found here:

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