Monday, August 6, 2018

Bellanca 17-31A Turbo Viking, newly registered to and operated by the pilot, N93668: Accident occurred October 16, 2016 at McAlester Regional Airport (KMLC), Pittsburg County, Oklahoma


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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N93668 



Location: McAlester, OK
Accident Number: CEN17LA019
Date & Time: 10/16/2016, 1205 CDT
Registration: N93668
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-31A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On October 16, 2016, at 1205 central daylight time, a Bellanca 17-31A, N93668, experienced a loss of engine power during climb from a touch-and-go landing on runway 20 at Mc Alester Regional Airport (MLC), Mc Alester, Oklahoma. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor and a private pilot/airplane owner received serious injuries. The airplane was newly registered to and operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an airplane checkout instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Sundance Airport (HSD), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, about 0930.

A National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Accident/Incident Report (form 6120.1) was not received from the pilot.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Coordinator for the accident, the flight was for the purposes of an aircraft checkout and flight review for the pilot. An aircraft bill of sale showed the pilot as the purchaser of the airplane and was dated October 13, 2016.

The flight instructor stated, in his form 6120.1, that the airplane was preflighted and topped off with fuel at HSD. He stated that his flight planning calculations indicated there would be 30 gallons of fuel remaining upon arrival at MLC. He stated that the flight departed at 0930 and was flown to Ponca City Regional Airport (PNC), Ponca City, Oklahoma, where an instrument approach and a touch-and-go landing were performed. He then flew to Tulsa International Airport (TUL), Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a touch-and-go landing was performed, followed by a flight to MLC.

The flight instructor stated that during a visual approach to MLC, the left fuel tank was selected since it was the fullest tank. The flight instructor stated that at MLC, the fuel gauges indicated the left fuel tank was less than ½ full, and the right fuel tank was above ¼ full. The auxiliary fuel tank was full. After a touch-and-go landing on runway 20, the airplane experienced a loss of power while climbing through 100 feet above ground level. The flight instructor told the pilot to fly a best glide speed. The flight instructor verified that the fuel selector was positioned to the left fuel tank, the mixture was full rich, and the propeller and throttle were in their full forward positions. The flight instructor stated that about two seconds elapsed from the time of the engine power loss to his flaring the airplane for landing.

Post-accident examination revealed the airplane touched down on a field about 200 feet south of the departure end runway 20. The airplane impacted terrain upright and slid 30-40 feet sustaining substantial damage to both wing spars; no post-impact fire ensued. Damage to the propeller blades were consistent with torsional rotation.

The left and right tanks contained no useable fuel. The auxiliary fuel tank was approximately full. The main fuel supply line from the fire wall to the gascolator, to the engine driven pump, to the fuel servo and to the flow divider were disconnected to check for the presence of fuel, and no or only several drops of liquid consistent in odor with aviation fuel was present. These lines were intact and not broken open. The bottom fuselage area near the fuel selector sustained impact damage, and the fuel lines were separated at the fuel selector valve fittings. The gascolator screen did not contain debris, and the gascolator bowl contained a few drops of liquid consistent in odor with aviation fuel.

Post-accident examination of the fuel selector was unable to determine selector position due to shifting during impact. The pilot stated that he could not detect the fuel detent and moved the selector to the left fuel tank position using the position indicator light as a reference.

The airplane total time at the last annual inspection was 2,724.15 hours. The engine was a Lycoming IO-540-K1E5 with serial number L-11719-48. The airplane total time since new at the annual inspection was 2,489.15 hours. The tachometer reading at the accident site was 2,480.20 hours.

The engine was rotated through and air was drawn into and expelled from the bottom spark plug holes after these spark plugs were removed. The compression exhibited during engine rotation by hand through the bottom spark plug holes was low. Engine and valve train continuity to the accessory section was confirmed. Both magnetos were rotated and electrical continuity through the ignition harness was confirmed.

The left turbocharger was Garrett Allied Signal, part number 600572-00, serial number 1245 and the right turbocharger was Rajay Industries, part number 315 F 10-2, serial number 2544. Both turbocharger impellers were able to be rotated by hand. There was no record that the turbochargers had been overhauled since the original engine installation at the time that the airplane was manufactured. The turbocharger exhaust bypass valves contained dirt and debris. The exhaust pipes were corroded to a thickness consistent with an unairworthy condition. Duct and packing tape was used to secure a piece of engine baffle to the front of the engine.

The engine had safety wire installed in place of required hardware that included cotter pins, nuts, bolts and washers.

A post-accident calibration check of the fuel tank transmitters was not performed.

The flight instructor stated the he "trusted" the airplane owner's maintenance of the airplane. The flight instructor stated that he did not use the electric auxiliary fuel pump during selection of fuel tanks from the right main fuel tank to the left main fuel tank. He did not attempt use the electric auxiliary fuel pump following the engine power loss because of the elapsed time from the engine power loss to landing the airplane. He said that the use of the electric auxiliary fuel pump would not have remediated fuel because there was not enough time available for it to take effect. He said that he now teaches to change fuel tank selection outside of the airport traffic pattern because the engine is operating at a greater fuel flow demand than in the traffic pattern.

The airplane operations manual states that the electric auxiliary switch is provided for only starting and in the event the engine driven fuel pump fails. The operations manual checklist for landing states that the fuel selector is to be selected to the fullest tank. 



Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/04/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/09/2016
Flight Time:   2983 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5 hours (Total, this make and model), 1530 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 74 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/07/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 254.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELLANCA
Registration: N93668
Model/Series: 17-31A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 73-32-119
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3325 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2724.15 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1E5
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MLC, 771 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1153 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots / 21 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tulsa, OK (HSD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Ardmore, OK (ADM)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR
Departure Time: 1030 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: McAlester Regional Airport (MLC)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 771 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5602 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:   35.473611, 96.309444 (est)

























































NTSB Identification: CEN17LA019

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2016 in McAlester, OK
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-31A, registration: N93668
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 October 16, 2016, at 1205 central daylight time, a Bellanca 17-31A, N93668, experienced a total loss of engine power during an initial climb from a touch and go landing on runway 20 at Mcalester Regional Airport (MLC), Mcalester, Oklahoma. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight instructor and a private pilot received serious injuries. The airplane was newly registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an airplane checkout instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Sundance Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ouch

Jim B said...


Always require a pre-buy inspection from a mechanic who has the experience to have a critical eye for the bad stuff.

Something tells me a critical pre-buy did not happen.

Every time we purchase a bird we end up spending 20-70% of the original purchase price getting it properly fixed and up to standards in the first year. It is an old story repeated over and over.

Never ever fully trust a fuel gauge. We have seen too much variation and occasional malfunction, even from recently overhauled items. Always dip the tanks with a fuel stick before the sortie and do short sorties to get to know a new (to you) bird and it's faults before venturing further.







Anonymous said...

Another classic aircraft destroyed due to incompetence. Sounds like they should have filled all the tanks with fuel and read the POH to know how to switch tanks to transfer fuel during the flight. The worst possible time for an engine to quit on takeoff, at least they didn't try turning back towards the airport.

Jim B said...


Read a bit closer.

"The flight instructor stated, in his form 6120.1, that the airplane was preflighted and topped off with fuel at HSD."

From Sundance to Ponca City is 74nm. Ponca City to Tulsa 71nm. Tulsa to McAlister is 81nm.

That is about 225nm at lets say 115 kts for fun. Thats 2hr at roughly 14/gal hr which is 28 gal total (or so).

They should not have run out of fuel.

I would suggest there might have been an undetected fuel leak in progress. I had one of those once (a fuel pump seal failed in flight) and you cannot always smell the fuel spewing out of the overflow tube.