Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waco YMF-F5C, N30AB, Koch Aviation LLC: Accident occurred July 02, 2016 in Lake Travis, Austin, Texas





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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation; Kalamazoo, Michigan 

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

Koch Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N30AB






NTSB Identification: CEN16LA254 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Austin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: WACO YMF-F5C, registration: N30AB
Injuries: 2 Minor, 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 airline transport pilot departed on an aerial observation tour flight with two passengers. About 25 minutes into the flight, the engine experienced a total loss of power while overflying a lake. One of the passengers stated that it sounded like the pilot was trying to get the engine “going” multiple times and that the engine sounded like a motorcycle or lawnmower when it was running out of fuel. The pilot ditched the airplane about 100 yards from the shore, and the airplane nosed over during the ditching. All occupants egressed and were assisted by boaters in the area. The airplane's total usable fuel quantity was 72 gallons, with 24 gallons usable in each of the two main wing fuel tanks, and 12 gallons usable in each of the two auxiliary fuel tanks. The left fuel selector handle controlled the fuel flow from the left tanks, and the right fuel selector controlled the flow from the right tanks. Postaccident observations of the wreckage revealed the right fuel selector handle was in the OFF position, and the left fuel selector was in the ON position; thus, the engine was running on fuel being fed from the left tanks only. 

The airplane was last fueled five days before the accident, at which time all of the tanks were "topped off." Subsequent flight and ground operations on the days before the accident flight burned about 32.5 gallons of fuel. Given the airplane’s fuel burn was about 15 gallons per hour, the airplane would have consumed about 6 gallons during the accident flight before the loss of engine power. It is likely that the airplane had been flown only on the left tanks on the days before and the day of the accident flight, burning all of the usable fuel in the left tanks, despite available fuel in the right tanks. 

The pilot reported that he used the airplane’s electronic engine monitor and visual sight gauges to determine the fuel on board during the accident preflight inspection. Although the airplane had sufficient fuel onboard to complete the flight, the pilot likely did not verify the position of the fuel selectors and the fuel gauge readings, which resulted in fuel starvation when the left wing fuel supply was exhausted and the right wing fuel selector remained in the off position.

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




On July 2, 2016, about 1600 central daylight time, a Waco YMF-F5C airplane, N30AB, impacted Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power. The pilot reported that he was uninjured and his two passengers reported sustaining minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial wing damage. The airplane was registered to Koch Aviation LLC and was operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation tour flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, near Austin, Texas, about 1545.

According to the pilot's accident report, the airplane had a loss of engine power about 25 minutes into the flight. The airplane subsequently nosed over when it was ditched on a lake.

According to a passenger's statement, the pilot said over the intercom that we were "having some engine problems" and that he was "trying to figure it out." The engine sputtered and the propeller slowed down and began to stop. The passenger stated that it sounded like the pilot was trying to get the engine "going" multiple times. It would turn over for a bit and then die out. He reported, "The only thing I can relate it to is times I've had a motorcycle or lawnmower run out of gas."

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airline transport certificate with a multi-engine land rating. He also held a commercial pilot privileges for single engine land airplanes and a flight instructor certificate with airplane single engine and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent First Class Medical Certificate was issued on September 5, 2015. The pilot reported that 3,900 hours of total flight time and 250 hours of flight time in the same make and model as the accident airplane, of which 90 hours of flight time was accumulated during the 90 days before the accident, 40 hours accumulated during the 30 days before the accident, and 2 hours during the 24 hours before the accident.

According to the airplane's type certificate information, this model airplane is a modernized version of the original YMF. The pilot reported that the airplane was powered by a 300-horsepower Jacobs R55-A2M engine with serial number 31300. The airplane was designed with three seats and it had a 49-gallon standard fuel capacity consisting of two 24.5-gallon tanks in its upper wing center section. It was also equipped with two 12.3 gallon auxiliary tanks, one in each upper wing, resulting in a total fuel capacity of 73.6 gallons. The airplane's specified placards, in part, stated:

TAKE-OFF NOT RECOMMENDED WITH LESS THAN 10 GAL. OF FUEL
(YELLOW LINE ON GAUGE) IN TANK SELECTED.

WARNING - ANY MANEUVER WHICH SUBJECTS THE AIRPLANE TO
NEGATIVE FLIGHT LOADS WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE LOSS OF
ENGINE POWER WITH NO ASSURANCE OF RECOVERY.

LEFT FUEL 36 U.S.GAL.USABLE PUSH ON PULL OFF

RIGHT FUEL 36 U.S.GAL.USABLE PUSH ON PULL OFF

The airplane flight manual's before starting engine checklist, in part, stated:

Fuel selectors - Both on
Fuel quantity indicators - Check (take-off not recommended with fuel
level below yellow line on gauge)

The airplane was last refueled on June 27, 2016 with 41.4 gallons of 100 low lead aviation gasoline. According to the lineman who performed the refueling, the tanks were topped off during this refueling.

The airplane then had its annual inspection conducted.

The pilot reported that 40 gallons of fuel was on board the airplane before the accident flight. He was asked how many flights occurred after the airplane was last topped off on June 27, 2016, what was the length of time for the flight(s), and how was that fuel amount verified during the preflight? He, in part, stated:

Estimate 20 min run during annual inspection
July 1st - 20 min flight
July 1st - 20 min flight
July 1st - 45 min flight
July 2nd - 25 min flight resulting in crash
Average burn 15 gal/hr. 72 gal capacity.
Electronic engine monitor with visual sight gauges as a backup hanging from each wing.

Using the pilot's information in reference to the engine operating times and average fuel burn, the calculated fuel consumed since June 27, 2016, was 32.5 gallons. 

A Texas Department of Safety employee dove on the underwater wreckage without prior coordination with the FAA Inspector nor with the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator In Charge for this investigation (IIC). The employee confirmed that he was the first to dive on the wreckage along with a diver with video equipment. He reported that the video taken showed the airplane's condition at the time of the crash and the wreckage was not manipulated in anyway. The video had been uploaded to the internet and was subsequently reviewed by the FAA inspector, a party member, and the IIC through an internet link. The video showed the right fuel selector handle was in the rearward OFF position. Additionally, images of the recovered airplane showed the right fuel selector handle was in the OFF position. The internet link to the video is appended to the docket material associated with this case.





NTSB Identification: CEN16LA254
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Austin, TX
Aircraft: WACO YMF-F5C, registration: N30AB
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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 July 2, 2016, about 1600 central daylight time, a Waco YMF-F5C airplane, N30AB, impacted Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power. The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial wing damage. The airplane was registered to Koch Aviation LLC and was operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, near Austin, Texas, about 1545.

According to a preliminary telephone interview with the pilot, the airplane had a loss of engine power. The engine intermittently produced power until it completely stopped producing power. The airplane nosed over during the forced landing on the lake. The pilot indicated that the airplane should have had fuel remaining on board in the fuel tanks.

According to the airplane's type certificate information, this model airplane is a modernized version of the original YMF. The airplane was designed with three seats and it had a 49-gallon standard fuel capacity consisting of two 24.5-gallon tanks in its upper wing center section.

At 1553, the recorded weather at AUS was: Wind 180 degrees at 15 knots gusting to 21 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered clouds at 5,500 feet; temperature 36 degrees C; dew point 22 degrees C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

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