FAA releases details on Alabaster plane crash

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A total loss of engine power led to a Jan. 1 plane crash in Alabaster, according to an FAA report. (File)

A total loss of engine power led to a Jan. 1 plane crash in Alabaster, according to an FAA report. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A “total loss of engine power” led to a New Year’s Day plane crash in an Alabaster neighborhood, according to a preliminary report released by the Federal Aviation Administration on Jan. 15.

A Bellanca 17-30A, which was en route from the Bessemer Airport to the Shelby County Airport on Jan. 1, crashed at about 2 p.m., missing a residence on 10th Street Southwest by only a few feet. The crash site also was atop a steep ridge leading down to Buck Creek.

According to the FAA report, the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing after he experienced a total loss of engine power during the flight between the two airports.

“The pilot stated that the engine began to run rough while en route at an altitude of 2,600 feet, and he responded by activating the fuel boost pump,” read the report. “The engine continued to run rough, and shortly after, experienced a total loss of power.

“The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward a row of trees in the backyard of a residence, and the airplane came to rest inverted, resulting in substantial damage,” the report read.

The report stated the gas tank in use contained about eight gallons of fuel when the crash occurred, and said a fuel sample taken after the crash was “absent of contamination.”

“Further examination of the engine was scheduled for a later date,” read the report.

Alabaster Fire Chief Jim Golden previously said the pilot removed himself from the downed aircraft and was conscious and alert when emergency responders arrived on the scene. The pilot was transported by ambulance to UAB Hospital to be treated for non life-threatening injuries.

The homeowners at the crash site were not home when the crash happened, and were on their way home from out of town, Golden said.