Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weatherly 620B, N2035J, Burkett Aviation: Accident occurred November 12, 2016 in Coleman County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Burkett Aerial Spraying: http://registry.faa.gov/N2035J

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA038
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Coleman, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: WEATHERLY AVIATION CO INC 620B, registration: N2035J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The commercial pilot was practicing agricultural application operations on his first flight in the accident airplane. While climbing after completing a spray pass, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power and the pilot made a forced landing during which the airplane nosed over. Examination of the airplane revealed that the right fuel tank was intact and void of fuel, while the left tank was breached, with fuel leaking from the tank. The fuel selector was in the right tank position. No engine anomalies were observed. The pilot had been advised by the owner to switch fuel tanks after flying about 40 minutes, but failed to do so. His advice was based on the engine's typical fuel burn of about 33 gallons per hour and fuel tank capacity of 35 gallons per wing tank. The owner estimated the airplane was airborne for about one hour before the accident occurred. Given the airplane’s time in flight and the lack of fuel found in the right wing tank after the accident, it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel starvation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadequate fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. 

On November 12, 2016, about 1300 central standard time, a Weatherly Aviation Company 620B airplane, N2035J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Coleman, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Burkett Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial spraying practice flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed a private strip about 1200. 

Flying his initial flight in the model of the accident airplane, the pilot stated that a total loss of engine power occurred during climb following a practice spray pass. The pilot executed a forced landing into an adjacent wheat field. Due to trees and a fence in the path of his rollout, he aggressively applied brake pressure, which resulted in a nose over and damage to the vertical stabilizer.

The owner had informed the pilot prior to takeoff that he needed to switch from left to right tank after flying for about 40 minutes. His advice was based on the engine's typical fuel burn of about 33 gallons per hour and fuel tank capacity of 35 gallons of each wing. The owner estimated the airplane was airborne for about one hour.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and local mechanic revealed fuel leaking from a breached left tank, with the right tank intact and empty. The fuel selector was in the right tank position. After flipping the airplane upright, the propeller was rotated, with normal engine continuity. Fuel was added to the right tank and the engine was started. The engine ran for about 10 seconds and then stopped. Additional engine starts attempts were not successful, due to unavailability of a powered electrical source.

The right fuel tank low level warning light was tested and initially found to inoperable. After adjusting the sensor in the right fuel tank, the warning light operated normally. The owner stated the low fuel warning system had been intermittent during previous flights.




NTSB Identification: CEN17LA038
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Coleman, TX
Aircraft: WEATHERLY AVIATION CO INC 620B, registration: N2035J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 November 12, 2016, about 1300 central standard time, a Weatherly Aviation Company 620B airplane, N2035J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Coleman, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Burkett Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial spraying practice flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed a private strip about 1200.


Flying his initial flight in the model of the accident airplane, the pilot stated that a total loss of engine power occurred during climb following a practice spray pass. The pilot executed a forced landing into an adjacent wheat field. Due to trees and a fence in the path of his rollout, he aggressively applied brake pressure, which resulted in a nose over and damage to the vertical stabilizer.


The owner had informed the pilot prior to takeoff that he needed to switch from left to right tank after flying for about 40 minutes. His advice was based on the engine's typical fuel burn of about 33 gallons per hour and fuel tank capacity of 35 gallons of each wing. The owner estimated the airplane was airborne for about one hour.


Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and local mechanic revealed fuel leaking from a breached left tank, with the right tank intact and empty. The fuel selector was in the right tank position. After flipping the airplane upright, the propeller was rotated, with normal engine continuity. Fuel was added to the right tank and the engine was started. The engine ran for about 10 seconds and then stopped. Additional engine starts attempts were not successful, due to unavailability of a powered electrical source.


The right fuel tank low level warning light was tested and initially found to inoperable. After adjusting the sensor in the right fuel tank, the warning light operated normally. The owner stated the low fuel warning system had been intermittent during previous flights.


NTSB Identification: CEN17LA038

14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Coleman, TX
Aircraft: WEATHERLY AVIATION CO INC 620B, registration: N2035J
Injuries: 1 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 November 12, 2016, about 1300 central standard time, a Weatherly Aviation Company 620B airplane, N2035J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Coleman, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Burkett Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial spraying flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed a private airport about 1200. 


The pilot stated that a total loss of engine power occurred during climb and he executed a forced landing into an adjacent wheat field. Due to trees and a fence in the path of his rollout, the pilot aggressively applied brake pressure, which resulted in a nose over and damage to the vertical stabilizer.

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