|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : msp|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 909|
msl bound upper : 4000
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 2 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : v82|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 1120
flight time type : 78
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time total : 800|
flight time type : 40
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
We were on an IFR flight plan from rst to fcm with a request for an ILS 29L at msp en route. We were level at 4000' just skimming through the tops (uneven) of the clouds. I was flying from the left seat as PIC, and my husband, also a multi instrument rated pilot, was in the right seat. We were doing 145-150 KIAS and the OAT was 45 degrees F. The engines were set for cruise and leaned. My husband first noticed the flickering glow under the right engine and that the engine was reflecting an orange glow. We, as well as all other renters of this particular small aircraft, were used to seeing a foot long group of flame out of each exhaust stack. The left engine was acting this way, but running smoothly. The right engine was running smoothly, but we waited 2 mins to watch the right engine to see what was going on. We watched as open flames came up and just over the leading edge of the wing, between the engine and cabin. As far as I remember the engine gauges were all reading in the green arc. The flames were growing in length, so I shut down the engine. We declared an emergency because we were in night actual IFR between minneapolis and rochester. I had gotten my multi engine rating in this particular airplane and had flown it a lot and was concerned that the stress on the operating engine would be too much. Msp ARTCC suggested we land at stanton airport (northfield, mn). I refused. As a CFI at fcm, I knew that there was only a rutted, wet turf runway there. Y12 was also suggested and being very familiar with this airport, I considered it however, it is unattended and far from help or a fire department, so we wanted to continue to fcm because of the ATC tower and equipment. Msp ARTCC told us that if we wanted to go to an airport because of equipment, we should go to msp. I agreed. The chance of botching a single engine landing with 90 gals of fuel on board was too great. I landed the airplane at msp without further incident and managed to taxi to FBO. I was contacted there by GADO who filled out a report over the phone and told me he would call the NTSB that evening. He said they would send me a report to fill out and that I needn't contact them. My husband and I both looked at the right engine (with a flashlight) after we parked on the ramp. All the components inside the engine cowl were coated with fuel, as well as the inside of the cowl flap, so much so that fuel was dripping onto the ramp. There was black streaking on the bottom outer side of the cowling, which I guarantee was not there when we left rst. We rechked the engine 1 hour after it sat on the ramp, and it was still dripping fuel. The fuel inside the engine was beaded up, like it had been spraying. The FAA and our company mechanic looked at the airplane the next day and announced that there is no evidence of fire. (The small transport is owned by the same flight school that I work for as a CFI.) at the time of the occurrence, I had approximately 1120 hours tt and 78 me (about 50 in type, most in this aircraft), and am a CFI as well as commercial multi-instrument rated. My husband was a CFI and cfii as well as commercial multi instrument rated with about 800 tt and 35-40 me. He works as a licensed dispatcher at air carrier in minneapolis and sees emergencys on a regular, if not frequent, basis. I have approximately 700 hours dual given and have seen a lot. Neither one of us is easily frightened. Neither one of us panicked. The airplane is going down for its 100 hour today and the mechanic said he will check the carburetor for possible problems. The fuel controller has been pressure checked and no problems were found. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter states FAA and NTSB have dropped their investigation of the incident. Own mechanic found nothing drastically wrong and cannot recreate the fuel spray or leak. Have replaced exhaust system on the right engine. Did not like the way it was welded and some of the connections. Since then there have been no problems with the aircraft.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE FIRE, EMERGENCY LNDG.
Narrative: WE WERE ON AN IFR FLT PLAN FROM RST TO FCM WITH A REQUEST FOR AN ILS 29L AT MSP ENRTE. WE WERE LEVEL AT 4000' JUST SKIMMING THROUGH THE TOPS (UNEVEN) OF THE CLOUDS. I WAS FLYING FROM THE LEFT SEAT AS PIC, AND MY HUSBAND, ALSO A MULTI INSTRUMENT RATED PLT, WAS IN THE RIGHT SEAT. WE WERE DOING 145-150 KIAS AND THE OAT WAS 45 DEGS F. THE ENGS WERE SET FOR CRUISE AND LEANED. MY HUSBAND FIRST NOTICED THE FLICKERING GLOW UNDER THE RIGHT ENG AND THAT THE ENG WAS REFLECTING AN ORANGE GLOW. WE, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER RENTERS OF THIS PARTICULAR SMA, WERE USED TO SEEING A FOOT LONG GROUP OF FLAME OUT OF EACH EXHAUST STACK. THE LEFT ENG WAS ACTING THIS WAY, BUT RUNNING SMOOTHLY. THE RIGHT ENG WAS RUNNING SMOOTHLY, BUT WE WAITED 2 MINS TO WATCH THE RIGHT ENG TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON. WE WATCHED AS OPEN FLAMES CAME UP AND JUST OVER THE LEADING EDGE OF THE WING, BTWN THE ENG AND CABIN. AS FAR AS I REMEMBER THE ENG GAUGES WERE ALL READING IN THE GREEN ARC. THE FLAMES WERE GROWING IN LENGTH, SO I SHUT DOWN THE ENG. WE DECLARED AN EMER BECAUSE WE WERE IN NIGHT ACTUAL IFR BTWN MINNEAPOLIS AND ROCHESTER. I HAD GOTTEN MY MULTI ENG RATING IN THIS PARTICULAR AIRPLANE AND HAD FLOWN IT A LOT AND WAS CONCERNED THAT THE STRESS ON THE OPERATING ENG WOULD BE TOO MUCH. MSP ARTCC SUGGESTED WE LAND AT STANTON ARPT (NORTHFIELD, MN). I REFUSED. AS A CFI AT FCM, I KNEW THAT THERE WAS ONLY A RUTTED, WET TURF RWY THERE. Y12 WAS ALSO SUGGESTED AND BEING VERY FAMILIAR WITH THIS ARPT, I CONSIDERED IT HOWEVER, IT IS UNATTENDED AND FAR FROM HELP OR A FIRE DEPT, SO WE WANTED TO CONTINUE TO FCM BECAUSE OF THE ATC TWR AND EQUIP. MSP ARTCC TOLD US THAT IF WE WANTED TO GO TO AN ARPT BECAUSE OF EQUIP, WE SHOULD GO TO MSP. I AGREED. THE CHANCE OF BOTCHING A SINGLE ENG LNDG WITH 90 GALS OF FUEL ON BOARD WAS TOO GREAT. I LANDED THE AIRPLANE AT MSP WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT AND MANAGED TO TAXI TO FBO. I WAS CONTACTED THERE BY GADO WHO FILLED OUT A RPT OVER THE PHONE AND TOLD ME HE WOULD CALL THE NTSB THAT EVENING. HE SAID THEY WOULD SEND ME A RPT TO FILL OUT AND THAT I NEEDN'T CONTACT THEM. MY HUSBAND AND I BOTH LOOKED AT THE RIGHT ENG (WITH A FLASHLIGHT) AFTER WE PARKED ON THE RAMP. ALL THE COMPONENTS INSIDE THE ENG COWL WERE COATED WITH FUEL, AS WELL AS THE INSIDE OF THE COWL FLAP, SO MUCH SO THAT FUEL WAS DRIPPING ONTO THE RAMP. THERE WAS BLACK STREAKING ON THE BOTTOM OUTER SIDE OF THE COWLING, WHICH I GUARANTEE WAS NOT THERE WHEN WE LEFT RST. WE RECHKED THE ENG 1 HR AFTER IT SAT ON THE RAMP, AND IT WAS STILL DRIPPING FUEL. THE FUEL INSIDE THE ENG WAS BEADED UP, LIKE IT HAD BEEN SPRAYING. THE FAA AND OUR COMPANY MECH LOOKED AT THE AIRPLANE THE NEXT DAY AND ANNOUNCED THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF FIRE. (THE SMT IS OWNED BY THE SAME FLT SCHOOL THAT I WORK FOR AS A CFI.) AT THE TIME OF THE OCCURRENCE, I HAD APPROX 1120 HRS TT AND 78 ME (ABOUT 50 IN TYPE, MOST IN THIS ACFT), AND AM A CFI AS WELL AS COMMERCIAL MULTI-INSTRUMENT RATED. MY HUSBAND WAS A CFI AND CFII AS WELL AS COMMERCIAL MULTI INSTRUMENT RATED WITH ABOUT 800 TT AND 35-40 ME. HE WORKS AS A LICENSED DISPATCHER AT ACR IN MINNEAPOLIS AND SEES EMERS ON A REGULAR, IF NOT FREQUENT, BASIS. I HAVE APPROX 700 HRS DUAL GIVEN AND HAVE SEEN A LOT. NEITHER ONE OF US IS EASILY FRIGHTENED. NEITHER ONE OF US PANICKED. THE AIRPLANE IS GOING DOWN FOR ITS 100 HR TODAY AND THE MECH SAID HE WILL CHK THE CARB FOR POSSIBLE PROBS. THE FUEL CTLR HAS BEEN PRESSURE CHKED AND NO PROBS WERE FOUND. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR STATES FAA AND NTSB HAVE DROPPED THEIR INVESTIGATION OF THE INCIDENT. OWN MECH FOUND NOTHING DRASTICALLY WRONG AND CANNOT RECREATE THE FUEL SPRAY OR LEAK. HAVE REPLACED EXHAUST SYS ON THE RIGHT ENG. DID NOT LIKE THE WAY IT WAS WELDED AND SOME OF THE CONNECTIONS. SINCE THEN THERE HAVE BEEN NO PROBS WITH THE ACFT.
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.