|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : yip|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 5500|
msl bound upper : 5500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : dtw|
tracon : mtc
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 59|
flight time total : 116
flight time type : 28
|Affiliation||government : military|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||pilot : military|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I was in a cruise confign at 5500' MSL in an small aircraft and had received no forewarning of what was about to occur. My fuel gauges indicated left-full, right-close to empty, fuel selector valve on both. RPM's-ok, oil temperature-ok, oil pressure-ok, mix-leaned, and no engine roughness or noises. The engine failure occurred suddenly, total loss of power and the propeller was windmilling. Carburetor heat-on and airspeed were my first 2 considerations. I checked the fuel selector valve, which had been on both, and remained so, mix-rich, throttle-full forward, ignition-start, primer-in and locked. Although I was in contact with dtw metropolitan approach, 121.5 stuck out in my mind and I immediately tuned it in and reported engine failure over ann arbor, now at 5000' MSL. A man responded, asked me to squawk 7700 so that selfridge AFB could pick me up on radar. Upon doing so, he notified me I was 5 NM northwest of willow run airport. 'Airport in sight?' 'negative,' I said. Then I saw it. I set up a straight in for runway 14. As I approached a surge of power came and threw my nose up in the air--then it just died again. Now I was closer and too high. I slipped and more power tried to come from the engine, but it was more of a putter. With too much altitude for R14, R9 was my next choice. I landed long, and continued off the runway into the field, and I finally stopped when the nose gear collapsed about 200' off 9R. Damage included collapsed nose gear, bent propeller and underneath cowling damage. The damage was repairable and considered to be minor. Cause is yet to be determined. Earlier in the day I had a power loss upon switching the fuel selector valve from left to right. Shortly after switching back to both the engine recovered and flew fine the next 1 1/2 hours to my first destination. There I called and spoke with a gentleman at my flight school about the occurrence and was told to leave the selector valve on both in these little small aircraft's. Even when one tank reads empty, the system will continue to flow from the full tank. The actual fuel amounts found by FAA investigators verified pretty accurately what the fuel gauges depicted at the time of the incident. The fact that the incident occurred at night over a brightly lit area, I had been flying 9.4 hours, it had been 10.5 hours since departure from home, I was alone and it was my first xc of that length, I'm sure had effect on my decision making abilities. I will never know if with the altitude I had I could have circled around to another runway for advantage of its full length. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: confirmed there was fuel in tanks and cause of failure not yet determined. Reporter reluctant to talk, so did not get added information except suspect FAA is investigating further.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE FAILURE. EMERGENCY LDNG. RWY EXCURSION. FLT ASSIST.
Narrative: I WAS IN A CRUISE CONFIGN AT 5500' MSL IN AN SMA AND HAD RECEIVED NO FOREWARNING OF WHAT WAS ABOUT TO OCCUR. MY FUEL GAUGES INDICATED LEFT-FULL, RIGHT-CLOSE TO EMPTY, FUEL SELECTOR VALVE ON BOTH. RPM'S-OK, OIL TEMP-OK, OIL PRESSURE-OK, MIX-LEANED, AND NO ENG ROUGHNESS OR NOISES. THE ENG FAILURE OCCURRED SUDDENLY, TOTAL LOSS OF PWR AND THE PROPELLER WAS WINDMILLING. CARB HEAT-ON AND AIRSPD WERE MY FIRST 2 CONSIDERATIONS. I CHKED THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE, WHICH HAD BEEN ON BOTH, AND REMAINED SO, MIX-RICH, THROTTLE-FULL FORWARD, IGNITION-START, PRIMER-IN AND LOCKED. ALTHOUGH I WAS IN CONTACT WITH DTW METRO APCH, 121.5 STUCK OUT IN MY MIND AND I IMMEDIATELY TUNED IT IN AND RPTED ENG FAILURE OVER ANN ARBOR, NOW AT 5000' MSL. A MAN RESPONDED, ASKED ME TO SQUAWK 7700 SO THAT SELFRIDGE AFB COULD PICK ME UP ON RADAR. UPON DOING SO, HE NOTIFIED ME I WAS 5 NM NW OF WILLOW RUN ARPT. 'ARPT IN SIGHT?' 'NEGATIVE,' I SAID. THEN I SAW IT. I SET UP A STRAIGHT IN FOR RWY 14. AS I APCHED A SURGE OF PWR CAME AND THREW MY NOSE UP IN THE AIR--THEN IT JUST DIED AGAIN. NOW I WAS CLOSER AND TOO HIGH. I SLIPPED AND MORE PWR TRIED TO COME FROM THE ENG, BUT IT WAS MORE OF A PUTTER. WITH TOO MUCH ALT FOR R14, R9 WAS MY NEXT CHOICE. I LANDED LONG, AND CONTINUED OFF THE RWY INTO THE FIELD, AND I FINALLY STOPPED WHEN THE NOSE GEAR COLLAPSED ABOUT 200' OFF 9R. DAMAGE INCLUDED COLLAPSED NOSE GEAR, BENT PROP AND UNDERNEATH COWLING DAMAGE. THE DAMAGE WAS REPAIRABLE AND CONSIDERED TO BE MINOR. CAUSE IS YET TO BE DETERMINED. EARLIER IN THE DAY I HAD A PWR LOSS UPON SWITCHING THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. SHORTLY AFTER SWITCHING BACK TO BOTH THE ENG RECOVERED AND FLEW FINE THE NEXT 1 1/2 HRS TO MY FIRST DEST. THERE I CALLED AND SPOKE WITH A GENTLEMAN AT MY FLT SCHOOL ABOUT THE OCCURRENCE AND WAS TOLD TO LEAVE THE SELECTOR VALVE ON BOTH IN THESE LITTLE SMA'S. EVEN WHEN ONE TANK READS EMPTY, THE SYS WILL CONTINUE TO FLOW FROM THE FULL TANK. THE ACTUAL FUEL AMOUNTS FOUND BY FAA INVESTIGATORS VERIFIED PRETTY ACCURATELY WHAT THE FUEL GAUGES DEPICTED AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT. THE FACT THAT THE INCIDENT OCCURRED AT NIGHT OVER A BRIGHTLY LIT AREA, I HAD BEEN FLYING 9.4 HRS, IT HAD BEEN 10.5 HRS SINCE DEP FROM HOME, I WAS ALONE AND IT WAS MY FIRST XC OF THAT LENGTH, I'M SURE HAD EFFECT ON MY DECISION MAKING ABILITIES. I WILL NEVER KNOW IF WITH THE ALT I HAD I COULD HAVE CIRCLED AROUND TO ANOTHER RWY FOR ADVANTAGE OF ITS FULL LENGTH. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: CONFIRMED THERE WAS FUEL IN TANKS AND CAUSE OF FAILURE NOT YET DETERMINED. RPTR RELUCTANT TO TALK, SO DID NOT GET ADDED INFO EXCEPT SUSPECT FAA IS INVESTIGATING FURTHER.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.