|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : lot|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 800
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||PA-23-250 Turbo Aztec|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 6|
flight time total : 875
flight time type : 6
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I learned to fly in piper cherokees over 20 yrs ago. We had just completed an extensive annual inspection on this aircraft. I was proud to certify it's airworthiness. I had promised to fly an acquaintance's son (age about 25) previously and today they showed up for the flight. This was to be the son's first airplane ride ever. I spent an extra amount of time going over the preflight with him. The right fuel tank was nearly empty (about 5 gallons) but the left side had plenty of fuel. When we boarded the plane for flight I made the error which would result in this incident. I had the fuel in the 'off' position for maintenance and in a rare case of disorientation selected the right tank for the flight. Everything was uneventful during the flight, I let him ride in the left seat to get the value of the instruments and even let him do some turns during the cruise as I often do as part of an introductory type flight. Returning to the airport traffic pattern I entered upwind and as I was completing the crosswind leg, about to start my landing checklist, the engine quit. I immediately set the airplane up for best glide and started going through emergency procedures. I checked everything but the fuel selector because I did not consider that I was out of fuel (believing I was on the fuller tank). My next mistake was in extending my downwind too much while going through the procedures, and when I did finally turn base I was short of altitude. I landed in the corn less than 100 ft short of the grassy approach to the runway. I didn't realize that I was on the empty tank until after we landed and heard the electric fuel pump clicking away. I showed the young man the fuel selector before we started up and I'm sure I'll always wish I'd asked him to change the tanks. I wish all the practice fuel selection changes I made in the past would have stuck with me for this occasion. I wish I had more time to study the gauges (fuel pressures). I wish I would have concentrated more on landing the airplane on the runway while it was right there for me. (As I learned in flying helicopters -- worry about the problem after you're safely on the ground). I deserve the criticism for these actions/inactions but 1 thing I'm proud of is that for the 40 seconds or so that I was without power I kept my head and flew the airplane all the way to the ground and that is what kept the airplane reasonably intact and prevented any injury to me or my passenger.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: EMER OFF ARPT LNDG PERFORMED WHEN THE PA-28 EXPERIENCES FUEL STARVATION AND ENG FAILURE.
Narrative: I LEARNED TO FLY IN PIPER CHEROKEES OVER 20 YRS AGO. WE HAD JUST COMPLETED AN EXTENSIVE ANNUAL INSPECTION ON THIS ACFT. I WAS PROUD TO CERTIFY IT'S AIRWORTHINESS. I HAD PROMISED TO FLY AN ACQUAINTANCE'S SON (AGE ABOUT 25) PREVIOUSLY AND TODAY THEY SHOWED UP FOR THE FLT. THIS WAS TO BE THE SON'S FIRST AIRPLANE RIDE EVER. I SPENT AN EXTRA AMOUNT OF TIME GOING OVER THE PREFLT WITH HIM. THE R FUEL TANK WAS NEARLY EMPTY (ABOUT 5 GALLONS) BUT THE L SIDE HAD PLENTY OF FUEL. WHEN WE BOARDED THE PLANE FOR FLT I MADE THE ERROR WHICH WOULD RESULT IN THIS INCIDENT. I HAD THE FUEL IN THE 'OFF' POS FOR MAINT AND IN A RARE CASE OF DISORIENTATION SELECTED THE R TANK FOR THE FLT. EVERYTHING WAS UNEVENTFUL DURING THE FLT, I LET HIM RIDE IN THE L SEAT TO GET THE VALUE OF THE INSTS AND EVEN LET HIM DO SOME TURNS DURING THE CRUISE AS I OFTEN DO AS PART OF AN INTRODUCTORY TYPE FLT. RETURNING TO THE ARPT TFC PATTERN I ENTERED UPWIND AND AS I WAS COMPLETING THE XWIND LEG, ABOUT TO START MY LNDG CHKLIST, THE ENG QUIT. I IMMEDIATELY SET THE AIRPLANE UP FOR BEST GLIDE AND STARTED GOING THROUGH EMER PROCS. I CHKED EVERYTHING BUT THE FUEL SELECTOR BECAUSE I DID NOT CONSIDER THAT I WAS OUT OF FUEL (BELIEVING I WAS ON THE FULLER TANK). MY NEXT MISTAKE WAS IN EXTENDING MY DOWNWIND TOO MUCH WHILE GOING THROUGH THE PROCS, AND WHEN I DID FINALLY TURN BASE I WAS SHORT OF ALT. I LANDED IN THE CORN LESS THAN 100 FT SHORT OF THE GRASSY APCH TO THE RWY. I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT I WAS ON THE EMPTY TANK UNTIL AFTER WE LANDED AND HEARD THE ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP CLICKING AWAY. I SHOWED THE YOUNG MAN THE FUEL SELECTOR BEFORE WE STARTED UP AND I'M SURE I'LL ALWAYS WISH I'D ASKED HIM TO CHANGE THE TANKS. I WISH ALL THE PRACTICE FUEL SELECTION CHANGES I MADE IN THE PAST WOULD HAVE STUCK WITH ME FOR THIS OCCASION. I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO STUDY THE GAUGES (FUEL PRESSURES). I WISH I WOULD HAVE CONCENTRATED MORE ON LNDG THE AIRPLANE ON THE RWY WHILE IT WAS RIGHT THERE FOR ME. (AS I LEARNED IN FLYING HELIS -- WORRY ABOUT THE PROB AFTER YOU'RE SAFELY ON THE GND). I DESERVE THE CRITICISM FOR THESE ACTIONS/INACTIONS BUT 1 THING I'M PROUD OF IS THAT FOR THE 40 SECONDS OR SO THAT I WAS WITHOUT PWR I KEPT MY HEAD AND FLEW THE AIRPLANE ALL THE WAY TO THE GND AND THAT IS WHAT KEPT THE AIRPLANE REASONABLY INTACT AND PREVENTED ANY INJURY TO ME OR MY PAX.
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.