Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fuel Exhaustion: Beech J35 Bonanza, N8319D; accident occurred October 24, 2018 near University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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


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

https://registry.faa.gov/N8319D

Location: State College, PA
Accident Number: ERA19LA024
Date & Time: 10/24/2018, 0036 EDT
Registration: N8319D
Aircraft: Beech 35
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 24, 2018, about 0036 eastern daylight time, a Beech J35, N8319D, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to wooded terrain while on a visual approach to runway 24 at University Air Park (UNV), State College, Pennsylvania. The airline transport pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the passenger. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the airport at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane departed Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (PSM), Portsmouth, New Hampshire, about 2140 and was destined for UNV.

The pilot stated that the passenger had purchased the airplane that day in Ossipee, New Hampshire, and they were flying it back to Texas. He reviewed the maintenance logbooks prior to departure but did not conduct a test flight of the airplane. The first time the pilot flew the airplane was the flight before the accident flight from Windsock Airport (NH69), Ossipee, New Hampshire, to PSM.

The passenger purchased 42.7 gallons of 100LL at PSM, conducted a preflight inspection, and confirmed all four fuel tanks were topped off with fuel. The passenger also tested the fuel and it was absent of water and debris. The airplane's fuel system consisted of two 20-gallon main tanks (17 usable gallons) in each wing and two interconnected 10-gallon auxiliary tanks (9.5 usable) in each wing, for a total of 53 usable gallons. The pilot said that he did not visually check the fuel level before taking off.

The pilot said that on take-off he had the left main fuel tank selected and flew for about one hour to burn off approximately 10 gallons of fuel. He then switched to the auxiliary fuel tank and flew for approximately 1 to 2-hours, before switching to the right main fuel tank for the last 30 minutes of the flight. The flight was normal until they were 1.5-miles out on final approach at an altitude of 400-500 ft above the ground, when the engine suddenly stopped producing power. There was no sputter or warning and the engine "just stopped", but the propeller continued to windmill. The pilot recalled the passenger saying there was no fuel pressure, and he immediately pushed the throttle and mixture full forward and retracted the flaps. He also turned on the auxiliary fuel pump and "hit" the starter button to re-start the engine, but to no avail. The pilot did not switch the fuel selector to another tank. Due to the low altitude, the pilot slowed the airplane and "aggressively" pitched the nose of the airplane up to make a soft landing into trees.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that it came to rest upright with the nose pointed uphill on a northerly heading. There was no post-impact fire. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and tail section. The engine also sustained damage.

According to a police officer, when he first arrived on-scene, both pilots were standing outside the airplane. They reported that they were not injured and "...also indicated that there was no fuel leaking." Another officer, who was on-scene, reported that he "...did not smell any odors of fuel or observe any fluids leaking from the plane."

Visual examination of left main, left auxiliary and right wing auxiliary tanks revealed they each contained fuel; however the right main tank was empty. The fuel selector valve was found fully seated on the right main tank. When the selector handle was manually tested, it moved freely to each tank and the detent was clearly felt on each tank. Examination of the fuel manifold, the main fuel line to the manifold, and each cylinder injector line revealed there was no fuel found in the lines. When the airplane was recovered, no fuel was found or drained from the right main tank and about 4.5 gallons was drained from the auxiliary tank. About 10 gallons was recovered from the left wing main tank and about 1 gallon was drained from the auxiliary tank. A sample of fuel drained from the airplane revealed the fuel was light blue and absent of debris and water.

Examination of all four fuel tanks revealed they were not breached and no leaking or staining of fuel was evident. Shop air was blown thru the fuel lines from the wing route to the fuel selector valve. The valve was moved to each detent and no obstructions were evident. Shop air was then blown thru the main fuel lines leading to the fuel manifold and no obstructions were noted. The manifold was removed and disassembled. The manifold screen was absent of debris and the diaphragm was intact and dry. All six fuel delivery lines and each fuel injector valve were absent of debris.

The previous owner stated that he had owned the airplane for about five years. He said the airplane operated well and had a good running engine; however, if a pilot was not familiar with the fuel system, it could result in a fuel exhaustion/power loss. He said the engine burned about 12.5 gallons per hour when operated at 65% power and properly leaned. The previous owner said the new owner planned to fly the airplane "much faster than 65%" on their trip back to Texas.

The previous owner explained that the airplane was equipped with two main fuel tanks (one in each wing) that were interconnected with two auxiliary tanks (one in each wing). If the pilot departed with full fuel, he'd have to first fly for one hour on the left tank to make head room because if the pilot flew on the auxiliary tank, any unused fuel would automatically be returned to the left main tank by design. So, to avoid excess fuel being ported overboard, the pilot needed to make sure there was enough room in the left tank to capture any unused fuel. The auxiliary tanks only had about 45 minutes of fuel and should only be selected after using fuel from the main tanks. The auxiliary tanks pump fuel faster than what the engine can consume, so that is why any unused fuel gets returned to the left main tank and has a higher depletion rate than the main tanks. He also said that when operating on the auxiliary tanks, it was important to fly straight and level.

The previous owner said that he once flew the airplane in "ideal" conditions (65% power, at 6,000 ft altitude, in good weather) for 3 hrs and 25 minutes. When he landed he was shocked to find he only had about 3-5 gallons left in the tanks. After that experience, he never flew the airplane longer than a few hours. There was also one time, when he forgot to switch from the auxiliary tanks in flight and the engine shut down without warning. He was able to switch to a fuller tank and re-start the engine within a few seconds.

Examination of the engine produced compression and valve train continuity to each cylinder via manual rotation of the propeller. Both magnetos were removed. When manually rotated, spark was generated to all ignition leads. No mechanical deficiencies were noted that would have precluded normal operation of the engine.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land as well as commercial pilot privileges for airplane single-engine land and sea. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on September 10, 2018. At that time, the pilot reported a total of 10,400 flight hours.

Weather reported at UNV at 0053 was wind from 320° at 9 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 6,000 ft, broken clouds at 7,500 ft, temperature 9° C, dewpoint 1° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 in Hg.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/10/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 10400 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N8319D
Model/Series: 35 J35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: D-5452
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/24/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 7 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5106.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CMI
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-470-C
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 230 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: UNV, 1231 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0053 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 60°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 320°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Portsmouth, NH (PSM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: State College, PA (UNV)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 2140 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class D; Class E

Airport Information

Airport: University Park (UNV)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1231 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6701 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.000000, -77.000000 (est)

Location: State College, PA
Accident Number: ERA19LA024
Date & Time: 10/24/2018, 0036 EDT
Registration: N8319D
Aircraft: Beech 35
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 24, 2018, at 0036 eastern daylight time, a Beech J35, N8319D, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to wooded terrain while on a visual approach to runway 24 at University Air Park (UNV), State College, Pennsylvania. The airline transport pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the passenger. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the airport at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane departed Portsmouth International Airport at Pease (PSM), Portsmouth, New Hampshire, about 2130 and was destined for UNV.

The pilot stated that the passenger had purchased the airplane that day and they were flying it back to Texas. The passenger purchased 42.7 gallons at PSM, conducted a preflight inspection, and confirmed all four fuel tanks were topped off with fuel. The passenger also tested the fuel and it was absent of water and debris. The airplane's fuel system consisted of two 20-gallon main tanks (17 usable gallons) in each wing and two interconnected 10-gallon auxiliary tanks (9.5 usable) in each wing, for a total of 53 usable gallons. The pilot said that he did not visually check the fuel level before taking off.

The pilot said the flight was normal until they were on a 1.5-mile final approach at an altitude of 400-500 ft above the ground, when the engine suddenly stopped producing power. There was no sputter or warning and the engine "just stopped", but the propeller continued to windmill. The pilot recalled the passenger saying there was no fuel pressure, and he immediately pushed the throttle and mixture full forward and retracted the flaps. He also turned on the auxiliary fuel pump and "hit" the starter button to re-start the engine, but to no avail. The pilot did not switch the fuel selector to another tank. Due to the low altitude, the pilot slowed the airplane and "aggressively" pitched the nose of the airplane up to make a soft landing into trees.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the airplane came to rest upright with the nose pointed uphill on a northerly heading. There was no post-impact fire. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage and tail section. The engine also sustained damage.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land as well as commercial pilot privilages for airplane single-engine land and sea. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on September 10, 2018. At that time, the pilot reported a total of 10,400 flight hours.

Weather reported at UNV at 2453 was wind from 320° at 9 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 6,000 ft, broken clouds at 7,500 ft, temperature 9° C, dewpoint 1° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 in Hg.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N8319D
Model/Series: 35 J35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: UNV, 1231 ft msl
Observation Time: 2353 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Mile
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Portsmouth, NH (PSM)
Destination: State College, PA (UNV)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  40.000000, -77.000000 (est)



CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WJAC) — According to Penn State police, a small two-passenger plane was traveling from New England to Texas and was supposed to refuel at the University Park Airport. 

The pilot reported a sudden lack of power just short of the runway and crashed into a ravine about 200 yards behind a house, officials said.

The pilot and his passenger were able to walk away from the crash, but one was treated for a minor injury.

University Park Airport maintained its regular schedule Wednesday.

Original Story:  PEMA has confirmed a small two passenger plane crashed in Centre County early Wednesday morning.

Officials say the plane crashed in a field on Barns Lane in Benner Township around 12:30 a.m.

The plane was traveling from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to State College according to online flight records.

Officials say the two passengers on the plane walked away with no major injuries.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://wjactv.com

A pilot and a passenger sustained minor injuries in a small plane crash early Wednesday morning as the plane approached University Park Airport, according to Penn State police.

Logan, Undine, Pleasant Gap and Citizens Hook and Ladder fire companies, along with the Bellefonte fire police, airport fire and rescue crews, Penn State and state police and Mount Nittany and Penn State EMS were dispatched at 12:33 a.m. to the area of 1600 block of Barnes Lane in Benner Township for a Level 1 aircraft crash with two people on board, no smoke or fire and no injuries.

The caller was the pilot, who was able to exit the aircraft and report that they were both uninjured, according to 911 dispatch. 

Penn State police say that the Beech J35 Bonanza J35 was traveling from Portsmouth International Airport in New Hampshire to Texas and was planning to land at University Park Airport for fuel when it went down in a wooded area in the 1600 block area of Barnes Lane in Benner Township. That land is owned by the university.

The passenger and the pilot were both transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for evaluation, according to police.

Penn State police confirmed that the incident has been reported to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

This is at least the second small plane crash in that area in the past six months, as a plane with two passengers crash landed in a field near Rock Road during the Blue-White Game in April. No one was injured.

The Beech J35 Bonanza left Portsmouth International Airport Pease, New Hampshire 9:41 p.m.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.centredaily.com

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