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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133027
Last updated: 6 December 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-140
Owner/operator:Paradise Aviation
Registration: N8742N
C/n / msn: 28-25557
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Big Bear City, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:L35
Destination airport:L66
Investigating agency: NTSB
On July 15, 1995, at 1235 hours Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N8742N, crashed during a forced landing at Big Bear City, California. The aircraft was destroyed and neither the airline transport pilot nor his passenger were injured. The aircraft was operated by Paradise Aviation and rented to the pilot for a personal flight when the accident occurred. The flight originated from Corona, California, at 1030 on the day of the accident. The flight departed Big Bear Airport at 1225 under visual meteorological conditions without filing a flight plan.

In a telephone interview, the pilot reported that prior to departure he performed an engine run-up and magneto check. He also leaned the engine and made a static check, obtaining 2,625 rpm prior to takeoff on runway 08. After takeoff, the pilot initiated a shallow 80 mph climb until he reached 300-400 feet agl. Upon reaching the eastern shore of the lake he felt the aircraft decelerate. He then noticed that the engine had decreased to 2,400 rpm and the aircraft was no longer climbing. He checked his throttle for the full open position and the magnetos for the both position. Engine oil pressure and oil temperature indicators were both in the green range. He said he did not apply carburetor heat at any time.

The aircraft continued to lose both airspeed and altitude as it approached the western shore. The pilot lowered 20 degrees of flaps in an effort to maintain altitude, but noted his vertical speed indicator (vsi) was now reading a 150 to 200 feet per minute (fpm) rate of descent. He decided against applying carburetor heat because he did not want to give up any more engine performance.

Shortly thereafter, the pilot concluded that he did not have sufficient power or altitude to reach the runway and began to look for a suitable forced landing area. With his airspeed decreasing below 60 mph, the aircraft collided with brush and terrain about 30 to 40 yards short of an open area. The pilot was uncertain of the last rpm reading, but said he thought it was about 2,200 rpm.

The pilot reported briefly encountering light to moderate precipitation after takeoff.

The pilot reported that he weighed 190 pounds and his passenger was about 270 pounds. He said that the fuel was at the tabs on both tanks when he departed Corona. He estimated the flight time to Big Bear as 0.8 hour. He did not refuel before departing and estimated 30 gallons of fuel remained for the return flight.

The airport manager at the Big Bear airport computed density altitude (DA) based on the hourly automatic weather observing system (AWOS) reports. He had computed a DA of 8,900 feet at 1200 hours, and 8,400 feet at 1300 hours local time. He estimated that DA was 8,700 feet at the time of the accident.

A postcrash review of the aircraft and engine log books did not identify any discrepancies.

The engine was examined after the aircraft was recovered. A thumb compression check was performed on all cylinders by a hand rotation of the propeller. The valve covers were removed and mechanical continuity was established by a hand rotation of the crankshaft and a visual confirmation of valve action. Residual oil under the valve covers did not appear burned or gummy.

The top No. 1 and 3 spark plugs were dry and light gray in color. The No. 3 and 4 plugs were oil soaked. None of the electrodes appeared worn. The electrode gapping in all four plugs were consistent.

The timing of each magneto was verified through hand rotation of the propeller. The left magneto sparked at 24 degrees, while the right magneto sparked at 23 degrees.

A replacement propeller of the same make and model was installed and the engine was started, accelerated, and run. A magneto check was performed at 2,000 rpm with a 100 rpm drop obtained on both. During the run, fuel pressure registered 7 psi and oil pressure fluctuated between 65 and 70 psi. A static run-up produced 2,200 rpm at full throttle, which was within the prescribed performanc


NTSB id 20001207X04002

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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