Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Stinson L-5, N4252K: Accident occurred November 06, 2016 at San Marcos Regional Airport (KHYI), Caldwell 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; San Antonio, 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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4252K

Location: San Marcos, TX
Accident Number: CEN17LA036
Date & Time: 11/06/2016, 1222 CST
Registration: N4252K
Aircraft: STINSON L 5
Aircraft Damage:  Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:   Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis

The private pilot reported that the airplane bounced while landing on the runway, so he conducted a go-around. During climbout, the engine lost power at 500 ft above ground level. The pilot turned the airplane to land on another runway; however, the airplane was not able to reach the runway, so he landed on wet grass between the runways. Upon touchdown, the left main landing gear collapsed when it dug into the soft terrain, and the airplane nosed over.

The pilot reported that, for the entire flight, he had the fuel selector positioned on the left tank. The pilot added that the airplane usually burned between 9 and 10 gallons of fuel per hour. Therefore, given the flight was about 1 hour 22 minutes long and the tank held 15 gallons of usable fuel, the left tank probably contained about 2 to 3 gallons of usable fuel at the time of the accident. The right fuel tank was full.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that there was no fuel in the fuel line leading into the engine. The position of the fuel pick-up line in the wing would have allowed the fuel in the wing to unport during the climbing turn. Given the low fuel level in the selected left fuel tank, it is likely that the fuel supply to the engine was interrupted during the climbing turn. If the pilot had selected the full right fuel tank, the loss of power would likely not have occurred. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper fuel management before landing, which resulted in fuel starvation and the subsequent total loss of engine power during a subsequent go-around when the fuel became unported during the climbing turn. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues

Soft surface - Contributed to outcome

On November 6, 2016, about 1222 central standard time, a Stinson L5, N4252K, nosed over during a forced landing at the San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI), San Marcos, Texas. The private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to a private individual and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from HYI about 1100.

The pilot reported the airplane bounced while landing on runway 13, so he performed a go-around. He reported the engine lost power at an altitude of about 500 ft above the ground during climbout. The pilot made a turn to land on runway 35; however, the airplane was not able to make it to the runway, so he landed on the wet grass between the runways. Upon touchdown, the left main gear collapsed when it dug into the soft terrain and the airplane nosed over resulting in substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and wings.

The airplane was full of fuel, 15 gallons usable in each tank, when the flight was initiated. The pilot reported he had the left fuel tank selected during the entire 1 hour, 22-minute-long flight. The pilot reported the fuel quantity indicator showed between ¼ and 3/8 of a tank of fuel remaining in the left fuel tank at the time of the accident. The right fuel tank was full, and the pilot reported he should have switched tanks before the landing. He reported the left fuel tank had previously shown signs of fuel seeping and that the fuel quantity gauges were not reliable. The pilot stated the airplane usually burned between 9 and 10 gallons per hour fuel.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Inspector revealed fuel was not present in the fuel line leading into the engine and there was very little fuel in the left fuel tank. The inspector stated that the location of the fuel pick-up line in the wing, would have allowed the fuel in the wing to un-port during the climb.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA036
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 06, 2016 in San Marcos, TX
Aircraft: STINSON L 5, registration: N4252K
Injuries: 2 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 November 6, 2016, about 1222 central standard time, a Stinson L5, N4252K, nosed over during a forced landing at the San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI), San Marcos, Texas. The private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to a private individual and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from HYI about 1100.

The pilot performed a go-around while landing on runway 13 and the engine lost power during the initial climb. The pilot attempted to land on runway 35; however, the airplane traveled into the wet grass between the runways. The left main gear collapsed when it dug into the soft terrain and the airplane nosed over.

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