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14 of March 2016

A Grumman G-164B took off, from a private grass strip, in Myakka (Florida, USA) just before 10.00 local time for a post-maintenance test flight to test the aerial spray system for normal operation, on this day in aviation history,

Prior to the flight, a preflight inspection was performed and the level in the fuel tanks was checked as sufficient for the intended flight,

Wreckage of the aircraft after the emergency landing (source: www.kathrynsreport.com)


After the engine started, and with all engine indications in the green the take-off was initiated and the aircraft climbed with the engine operating normally, with all indications in the cockpit as expected. However, when during the initial climb, the engine and propellor settings were changed to climb power, the engine started to began to run irregular or rough. In an attempt to recover the engine the pilot changed the engine and propellor settings, but to no avail. Worse even, the engine lost all power and an emergency, off-field, landing was inevitable. Straight ahead of the aircraft lay an agricultural field, which was chosen as the emergency landing site. The aircraft was glided to a landing in the field, touched down and nearly immediately nosed over, coming to a rest, laying on its back. The pilot was not injured and freed himself from the cockpit. Damage to the aircraft was substantial;

  • Upper and lower wing damaged

  • Vertical stabilizer damaged

  • Structural damage to the fuselage

  • Rudder bet to the left

  • Propellor damaged

The engine and propellor did not separate from the airplane.

Wreckage of the aircraft after the emergency landing (source: www.kathrynsreport.com)


During the aircraft recovery, the engine was removed from the airframe and it appeared to be intact, the propellor, although curled backwards, could be rotated by hand. Compression was present on all cylinders Damage to the blades was consistent with a rotating propellor during the accident. Both the magnetos were checked and found to be serviceable. Although sand from the landing field was found inside the supercharger, it also appeared to have been operating normally during the flight, no issues were apparent. The only component on the engine that separated during impact, and was substantially damaged was the carburettor. Therefore the condition of the carburettor pre-crash landing could not be established. A fuel sample was also taken, this sample was clean and contained no water or anomalies.

Wreckage of the aircraft after the emergency landing (source: www.kathrynsreport.com)

Could the weather have been a factor? The weather report from Sarasota/Brandon International Airport, 21 miles (34 kilometers) from the accident site was as follows;

  • Wind 210/10

  • Visibility 10 miles

  • Clouds Few 2900 feet Scatterd 6000 feet Broken 9500 feet

  • Temp. 24ºC

  • Dewp. 19ºC

  • QNH 30.04 in hg / 1029 hPa

Based on the weather carburettor icing could not be ruled out.

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