|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : cak|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 5500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : cak|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 14|
flight time total : 293
flight time type : 4
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||other other : other|
pilot : instrument
pilot : private
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : overcame equipment problem|
flight crew : declared emergency
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
It was a sunny afternoon in hartford, ct, when we reached the plane we intended to ferry back to columbus, oh. The PIC/mechanic noticed that the small aircraft lacked a compression check to the crankshaft after a 19XX gear up landing. A 100 hour inspection had been done in 19XX with only 14 hours flown after the inspection. The PIC wanted to talk to a mechanic that had performed work on the plane after the gear-up landing, to see if the compression check was performed but not logged. While waiting to talk to the mechanic we taxied the plane at high speeds to perform a brake check. During the walk around the right auxiliary tank was completely empty. This was odd because the plane was topped off after the last flight. Everything seemed in working condition except the possible hole in the right auxiliary tank. Having contacted the mechanic that worked on the plane in 19XX, he stated that no compression was done, only airframe repair and he didn't trust the plane because the owner often worked on it himself and he wasn't an a and P. Since the PIC had flown the plane 2 weeks earlier for 1.5 hours with no problems we left salisbury airport for columbus. Not giving too much thought on the advice we received about the plane's history. We climbed out at 4500 ft flew on the right main for 20 min. We switched to the left auxiliary for 45 min with settings of 23 inches, 2400 RPM's and leaned to 14 gallons per hour... Having climbed to 6500 ft. The left main tank was flown on for 1 hour 15 min... By the time trip was into its third hour the sun was low on the horizon. The ferry permit was for VFR day only. Neither the PIC nor myself was night current and a position check with flight following showed us 30 mi east of akron. At this point we had been flying on the right main for 20 min. We estimated 1 hour of fuel to go and we would be landing in akron for the night. The lights in the cockpit were very poor and only a small amount of light emitted from the ceiling not even reaching the instrument panel. Before this point, I remember scanning the fuel gauges and seeing them all close to empty except the right main showed slightly less than half full. With no more than 15 mi to akron and 4500 ft, the engine gasped once then quit. I immediately called approach for emergency landing vectors. In doing so maybe jumping the gun. Looking out of the plane and seeing darkness with no emergency landing site in view, akron approach reported an airport 4 mi to the right and another airport 12 mi ahead. The PIC quickly hit the fuel pump then switched to the left main instantly starting the engine. Experiencing only a slight loss of altitude we climbed to 5500 ft in case the engine died again, our gliding distance would be extended. Upon landing half way down runway 23 we noticed fire trucks ready to help if needed. We taxied to an FBO with 2 fire trucks intrail. The PIC gave statements to a sheriff and fire chief. The fire chief examined every fuel tank only to find 15-20 min left in the left main. The flight time was close to 4 hours total from takeoff to landing. We estimated 70 gallons of fuel on board. The fuel burn of 14 gph would have given the plane 5 hours flight time. The actual flight time of 4 hours indicated the plane burned 18 gph instead of 14 as indicated.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA WITH POSSIBLE FUEL LEAK HAS ENG FAILURE. ABLE TO RESTART AND LAND AT PLANNED DEST.
Narrative: IT WAS A SUNNY AFTERNOON IN HARTFORD, CT, WHEN WE REACHED THE PLANE WE INTENDED TO FERRY BACK TO COLUMBUS, OH. THE PIC/MECH NOTICED THAT THE SMA LACKED A COMPRESSION CHK TO THE CRANKSHAFT AFTER A 19XX GEAR UP LNDG. A 100 HR INSPECTION HAD BEEN DONE IN 19XX WITH ONLY 14 HRS FLOWN AFTER THE INSPECTION. THE PIC WANTED TO TALK TO A MECH THAT HAD PERFORMED WORK ON THE PLANE AFTER THE GEAR-UP LNDG, TO SEE IF THE COMPRESSION CHK WAS PERFORMED BUT NOT LOGGED. WHILE WAITING TO TALK TO THE MECH WE TAXIED THE PLANE AT HIGH SPDS TO PERFORM A BRAKE CHK. DURING THE WALK AROUND THE R AUX TANK WAS COMPLETELY EMPTY. THIS WAS ODD BECAUSE THE PLANE WAS TOPPED OFF AFTER THE LAST FLT. EVERYTHING SEEMED IN WORKING CONDITION EXCEPT THE POSSIBLE HOLE IN THE R AUX TANK. HAVING CONTACTED THE MECH THAT WORKED ON THE PLANE IN 19XX, HE STATED THAT NO COMPRESSION WAS DONE, ONLY AIRFRAME REPAIR AND HE DIDN'T TRUST THE PLANE BECAUSE THE OWNER OFTEN WORKED ON IT HIMSELF AND HE WASN'T AN A AND P. SINCE THE PIC HAD FLOWN THE PLANE 2 WKS EARLIER FOR 1.5 HRS WITH NO PROBLEMS WE LEFT SALISBURY ARPT FOR COLUMBUS. NOT GIVING TOO MUCH THOUGHT ON THE ADVICE WE RECEIVED ABOUT THE PLANE'S HISTORY. WE CLBED OUT AT 4500 FT FLEW ON THE R MAIN FOR 20 MIN. WE SWITCHED TO THE L AUX FOR 45 MIN WITH SETTINGS OF 23 INCHES, 2400 RPM'S AND LEANED TO 14 GALLONS PER HR... HAVING CLBED TO 6500 FT. THE L MAIN TANK WAS FLOWN ON FOR 1 HR 15 MIN... BY THE TIME TRIP WAS INTO ITS THIRD HR THE SUN WAS LOW ON THE HORIZON. THE FERRY PERMIT WAS FOR VFR DAY ONLY. NEITHER THE PIC NOR MYSELF WAS NIGHT CURRENT AND A POS CHK WITH FLT FOLLOWING SHOWED US 30 MI E OF AKRON. AT THIS POINT WE HAD BEEN FLYING ON THE R MAIN FOR 20 MIN. WE ESTIMATED 1 HR OF FUEL TO GO AND WE WOULD BE LNDG IN AKRON FOR THE NIGHT. THE LIGHTS IN THE COCKPIT WERE VERY POOR AND ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF LIGHT EMITTED FROM THE CEILING NOT EVEN REACHING THE INST PANEL. BEFORE THIS POINT, I REMEMBER SCANNING THE FUEL GAUGES AND SEEING THEM ALL CLOSE TO EMPTY EXCEPT THE R MAIN SHOWED SLIGHTLY LESS THAN HALF FULL. WITH NO MORE THAN 15 MI TO AKRON AND 4500 FT, THE ENG GASPED ONCE THEN QUIT. I IMMEDIATELY CALLED APCH FOR EMER LNDG VECTORS. IN DOING SO MAYBE JUMPING THE GUN. LOOKING OUT OF THE PLANE AND SEEING DARKNESS WITH NO EMER LNDG SITE IN VIEW, AKRON APCH RPTED AN ARPT 4 MI TO THE R AND ANOTHER ARPT 12 MI AHEAD. THE PIC QUICKLY HIT THE FUEL PUMP THEN SWITCHED TO THE L MAIN INSTANTLY STARTING THE ENG. EXPERIENCING ONLY A SLIGHT LOSS OF ALT WE CLBED TO 5500 FT IN CASE THE ENG DIED AGAIN, OUR GLIDING DISTANCE WOULD BE EXTENDED. UPON LNDG HALF WAY DOWN RWY 23 WE NOTICED FIRE TRUCKS READY TO HELP IF NEEDED. WE TAXIED TO AN FBO WITH 2 FIRE TRUCKS INTRAIL. THE PIC GAVE STATEMENTS TO A SHERIFF AND FIRE CHIEF. THE FIRE CHIEF EXAMINED EVERY FUEL TANK ONLY TO FIND 15-20 MIN LEFT IN THE L MAIN. THE FLT TIME WAS CLOSE TO 4 HRS TOTAL FROM TKOF TO LNDG. WE ESTIMATED 70 GALLONS OF FUEL ON BOARD. THE FUEL BURN OF 14 GPH WOULD HAVE GIVEN THE PLANE 5 HRS FLT TIME. THE ACTUAL FLT TIME OF 4 HRS INDICATED THE PLANE BURNED 18 GPH INSTEAD OF 14 AS INDICATED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 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.