|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : cyo|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1800|
msl bound upper : 1800
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Commander 520|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time total : 2500|
flight time type : 29
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
I flew a twin engine aerocommander 520 from riverside airport in zanesville (3IO) to parr field approximately 5 mi away and put in 55 gallons 100LL, returned to riverside after dark and landed. The following evening a flight was made to woodsfield, oh, and return approximately 44 mi each way, 19 min trip each way for a total of 38 mins returning to riverside. One landing at 30 gph fuel consumption would have been 21.4 gallons, economy cruise on the return trip of 25 gph should have reduced consumption somewhat. The next evening, feb/xx/94, a flight was made to circleville (cyo) approximately 53 mi, total time 23 mins at 30 gph should have used 13 gallons of fuel. Approximately 34 gallons should have been used on the trips not counting another 5-10 gallons for the takeoff and land from the field approximately 5 mi from home base. I flew over the VOR on the north end of the field, indicated to the other traffic that I had both in sight and would extend my path of up-, cross-, and downwinds for their convenience. While flying an extended final, 1 engine quit then almost immediately the other quit. The fuel pumps were already on, gauge was reading approximately 15 gallons fuel. Gear was down and 1/4 flaps. Time did not permit much, so I advised the other aircraft that I lost both engines, and was going into the corn field. I shut off the master and feathered the propellers at the same time, slowed to full stall and landed uneventfully in the stubble of the corn and mud. Upon stopping I double-checked master, magnetos got out and signaled the tomahawk overhead that I was ok. The fuel gauge still showed fuel but when 5 gallons of fuel was added both engines started. The craft was taxied from the field to the airport. Spectators stated liquid was leaking from the drain. When we got to the airport, fuel was leaking from the drain and we could only get it to slow to a slow drip. Normally the aircraft is parked on the grass, but on the previous trips it had been parked in the turnaround of the airstrip on the pavement to prevent making ruts and there was no indication of any fuel leak prior to both of the previous flts. The mechanic at the airport that inspected the aircraft indicated that he was unable to stop the leak of fuel from the drain. Being a low time twin pilot, I felt sure that I had enough fuel to make my destination with enough reserve to make it back to one of the other 2 airports I had just passed over en route. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states the leak was significant but did not show up on the ground. The rocker valve at the fuel drain was the culprit and when pressure was against it, as in flight, the fuel leaked but would evaporate so no streaks or residue were found. Second problem turned out to be the fuel gauge for main tank. The gauge was stuck and indicating 70 gallons. This was the second flight after a winter of no flight so reporter had little experience with the gauges. This flight was for orientation purposes with the previous owner. Gauge was removed and replacement found. No action by FAA at this time. One of the major problems with this aircraft is that no visual inspection of the fuel level can be made. When fueling, one tank drains into another and there are 5 tanks.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMT HAS FUEL EXHAUSTION MAKES OFF EMER LNDG IN FIELD.
Narrative: I FLEW A TWIN ENG AEROCOMMANDER 520 FROM RIVERSIDE ARPT IN ZANESVILLE (3IO) TO PARR FIELD APPROX 5 MI AWAY AND PUT IN 55 GALLONS 100LL, RETURNED TO RIVERSIDE AFTER DARK AND LANDED. THE FOLLOWING EVENING A FLT WAS MADE TO WOODSFIELD, OH, AND RETURN APPROX 44 MI EACH WAY, 19 MIN TRIP EACH WAY FOR A TOTAL OF 38 MINS RETURNING TO RIVERSIDE. ONE LNDG AT 30 GPH FUEL CONSUMPTION WOULD HAVE BEEN 21.4 GALLONS, ECONOMY CRUISE ON THE RETURN TRIP OF 25 GPH SHOULD HAVE REDUCED CONSUMPTION SOMEWHAT. THE NEXT EVENING, FEB/XX/94, A FLT WAS MADE TO CIRCLEVILLE (CYO) APPROX 53 MI, TOTAL TIME 23 MINS AT 30 GPH SHOULD HAVE USED 13 GALLONS OF FUEL. APPROX 34 GALLONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED ON THE TRIPS NOT COUNTING ANOTHER 5-10 GALLONS FOR THE TKOF AND LAND FROM THE FIELD APPROX 5 MI FROM HOME BASE. I FLEW OVER THE VOR ON THE N END OF THE FIELD, INDICATED TO THE OTHER TFC THAT I HAD BOTH IN SIGHT AND WOULD EXTEND MY PATH OF UP-, CROSS-, AND DOWNWINDS FOR THEIR CONVENIENCE. WHILE FLYING AN EXTENDED FINAL, 1 ENG QUIT THEN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THE OTHER QUIT. THE FUEL PUMPS WERE ALREADY ON, GAUGE WAS READING APPROX 15 GALLONS FUEL. GEAR WAS DOWN AND 1/4 FLAPS. TIME DID NOT PERMIT MUCH, SO I ADVISED THE OTHER ACFT THAT I LOST BOTH ENGS, AND WAS GOING INTO THE CORN FIELD. I SHUT OFF THE MASTER AND FEATHERED THE PROPS AT THE SAME TIME, SLOWED TO FULL STALL AND LANDED UNEVENTFULLY IN THE STUBBLE OF THE CORN AND MUD. UPON STOPPING I DOUBLE-CHKED MASTER, MAGNETOS GOT OUT AND SIGNALED THE TOMAHAWK OVERHEAD THAT I WAS OK. THE FUEL GAUGE STILL SHOWED FUEL BUT WHEN 5 GALLONS OF FUEL WAS ADDED BOTH ENGS STARTED. THE CRAFT WAS TAXIED FROM THE FIELD TO THE ARPT. SPECTATORS STATED LIQUID WAS LEAKING FROM THE DRAIN. WHEN WE GOT TO THE ARPT, FUEL WAS LEAKING FROM THE DRAIN AND WE COULD ONLY GET IT TO SLOW TO A SLOW DRIP. NORMALLY THE ACFT IS PARKED ON THE GRASS, BUT ON THE PREVIOUS TRIPS IT HAD BEEN PARKED IN THE TURNAROUND OF THE AIRSTRIP ON THE PAVEMENT TO PREVENT MAKING RUTS AND THERE WAS NO INDICATION OF ANY FUEL LEAK PRIOR TO BOTH OF THE PREVIOUS FLTS. THE MECH AT THE ARPT THAT INSPECTED THE ACFT INDICATED THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO STOP THE LEAK OF FUEL FROM THE DRAIN. BEING A LOW TIME TWIN PLT, I FELT SURE THAT I HAD ENOUGH FUEL TO MAKE MY DEST WITH ENOUGH RESERVE TO MAKE IT BACK TO ONE OF THE OTHER 2 ARPTS I HAD JUST PASSED OVER ENRTE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES THE LEAK WAS SIGNIFICANT BUT DID NOT SHOW UP ON THE GND. THE ROCKER VALVE AT THE FUEL DRAIN WAS THE CULPRIT AND WHEN PRESSURE WAS AGAINST IT, AS IN FLT, THE FUEL LEAKED BUT WOULD EVAPORATE SO NO STREAKS OR RESIDUE WERE FOUND. SECOND PROB TURNED OUT TO BE THE FUEL GAUGE FOR MAIN TANK. THE GAUGE WAS STUCK AND INDICATING 70 GALLONS. THIS WAS THE SECOND FLT AFTER A WINTER OF NO FLT SO RPTR HAD LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH THE GAUGES. THIS FLT WAS FOR ORIENTATION PURPOSES WITH THE PREVIOUS OWNER. GAUGE WAS REMOVED AND REPLACEMENT FOUND. NO ACTION BY FAA AT THIS TIME. ONE OF THE MAJOR PROBS WITH THIS ACFT IS THAT NO VISUAL INSPECTION OF THE FUEL LEVEL CAN BE MADE. WHEN FUELING, ONE TANK DRAINS INTO ANOTHER AND THERE ARE 5 TANKS.
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.