Pilot Made The Decision To Make An Emergency Landing In A Field

Location: Rainbow City, AL Accident Number: ERA20LA194
Date & Time: 05/21/2020, 1912 CDT Registration: N68555
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Personal

On May 21, 2020, about 1912 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8KCAB, N68555, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Rainbow City, Alabama. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he was practicing aerobatic maneuvers and when finished, he headed back to the departure airport. During the flight back to the airport the engine started to “cut off and on”. Although the engine continued to run, it got worse and the pilot made the decision to make an emergency landing in a field. After touch-down the pilot was unable to stop the airplane in time to avoid an approaching tree line. The airplane impacted trees and came to a stop. The engine was still running after the impact, and the landing gear and both wings were buckled.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Inspector. Both fuel tanks were breached and absent of fuel. The airplane was recovered from the accident site for an engine test run attempt. Prior to the test run all fuel lines leading to the fuel pumps and fuel servo were examined. All of the fuel lines contained trace amounts of fuel and no debris was observed within them. The mechanical and electrical fuel pumps were checked and no anomalies were noted. An external fuel tank was plumbed to the mechanical pump for the test run. The fuel-injected engine was started and run for 2 to 3 minutes at various rpms; and no anomalies were noted.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov