|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz1.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||landing : roll|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : flight engineer
pilot : cfi
technician : airframe
technician : powerplant
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 210|
flight time total : 15000
flight time type : 40
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
ground encounters other
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : landed in emergency condition|
|Problem Areas||Maintenance Human Performance|
I departed ZZZ1 for ZZZ2 at or about XA25. The aircraft operated normally up to approximately 15-20 mins into the flight. The engine began malfunctioning (quit running 1 second; then would run normally). It continued to operate intermittently (off from 2 seconds and on for 8-12 seconds). I immediately applied carburetor heat in hopes that if carburetor ice were causing the problem; things would clear up. Carburetor heat did not make any difference in the intermittent condition of the engine. After about 45 seconds to 1 1/2 mins of this intermittent activity; I concluded this was not going to clear up and started looking for a place to land. I decided to return to ZZZ1 and remembered a private field I had passed approximately 5-8 mins prior. With the private field in sight; the intermittent engine became an inoperative windmilling engine; at which point I set up for a power-off glide onto this private airfield. I crossed overhead the field at 2000+ ft AGL and began setting up for an overhead approach. Orchards surrounded the runway. On downwind; abeam of my intended touchdown point; I noticed a power line crossing the approach of my intended runway. I turned base and final intending to be high on final to clear the power lines. I slipped the airplane once I knew I had the runway and the power lines made. I still found myself at about 300 ft with the realization of the fact that I was going to be high and fast touching down midfield with an airplane with minimal braking capability (original brakes). At this point; I decided to abandon this runway and land in a fallow field south of this orchard. The field was dirt and small weeds with a field of grapes to the north with vines 4 ft high and another field with a crop south of my intended landing. The approach to this fallow field had no obstacles to the north. When I knew I had the field made; I slipped the aircraft again to make my desired touchdown point. The aircraft touched down (in a 3-POINT attitude) north of the east/west power line on this field. Once down; the aircraft didn't slow down as quickly as I thought it would. At a speed of 10-15 mph; I rolled into a young citrus orchard south of the landing field. The aircraft came to a stop resting on its main gear and its nose. I was the sole occupant and exited the aircraft as soon as it came to a stop. There was very minimal damage to the aircraft consisting of: 2 or 3 dents (2 inches deep) to the leading edge of the wings; one 6-INCH gash in the fabric under the left wing; and one 6-INCH gash in the fabric under the left aileron. The air filter screen was broken. The propeller was undamaged. The tension strut under the left main gear was slightly bent. I am a certified a&P mechanic. My subsequent investigation revealed little or no contamination drained from the firewall mounted gascolator unit drain. The carburetor bowl was drained and I found almost 2 tablespoons of water in the fuel. The carburetor fuel finger screen cavity showed some contamination debris that was of a grainy or rusty nature; in addition to a slimy; gravy type consistency. Removal of the gascolator bowl revealed large flakes of contamination of a paste nature in the bottom of the bowl about 1/8 inch deep. This material size was too large to drain through drain valve. The very fine screen in the upper part of the gascolator was considerably clogged with a milky white film. I suspect the engine failure was caused by fuel starvation in 1 of 3 possible ways: 1) debris and a main jet passage of the carburetor; 2) fuel restr by the flakes of the gascolator; or 3) build-up of water in the carburetor bowl. Further investigation into the incident revealed the aircraft had been flown march or april of 2005. It also had a full power run-up 1 month prior to the incident. I flew it for 40 mins the day before the incident with no indications of abnormalities. In the future when faced with an aircraft that has been sitting idle for a long period of time; I plan to thoroughly (disassemble fuel screens) inspect the fuel system. Normal preflight fuel drain did not reveal any contamination.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A BC65 PLT EXPERIENCED ENG FAILURE; LIKELY DUE TO FUEL CONTAMINATION; AND EXECUTED A FORCED LNDG.
Narrative: I DEPARTED ZZZ1 FOR ZZZ2 AT OR ABOUT XA25. THE ACFT OPERATED NORMALLY UP TO APPROX 15-20 MINS INTO THE FLT. THE ENG BEGAN MALFUNCTIONING (QUIT RUNNING 1 SECOND; THEN WOULD RUN NORMALLY). IT CONTINUED TO OPERATE INTERMITTENTLY (OFF FROM 2 SECONDS AND ON FOR 8-12 SECONDS). I IMMEDIATELY APPLIED CARB HEAT IN HOPES THAT IF CARB ICE WERE CAUSING THE PROB; THINGS WOULD CLR UP. CARB HEAT DID NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE INTERMITTENT CONDITION OF THE ENG. AFTER ABOUT 45 SECONDS TO 1 1/2 MINS OF THIS INTERMITTENT ACTIVITY; I CONCLUDED THIS WAS NOT GOING TO CLR UP AND STARTED LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LAND. I DECIDED TO RETURN TO ZZZ1 AND REMEMBERED A PVT FIELD I HAD PASSED APPROX 5-8 MINS PRIOR. WITH THE PVT FIELD IN SIGHT; THE INTERMITTENT ENG BECAME AN INOP WINDMILLING ENG; AT WHICH POINT I SET UP FOR A PWR-OFF GLIDE ONTO THIS PVT AIRFIELD. I CROSSED OVERHEAD THE FIELD AT 2000+ FT AGL AND BEGAN SETTING UP FOR AN OVERHEAD APCH. ORCHARDS SURROUNDED THE RWY. ON DOWNWIND; ABEAM OF MY INTENDED TOUCHDOWN POINT; I NOTICED A PWR LINE XING THE APCH OF MY INTENDED RWY. I TURNED BASE AND FINAL INTENDING TO BE HIGH ON FINAL TO CLR THE PWR LINES. I SLIPPED THE AIRPLANE ONCE I KNEW I HAD THE RWY AND THE PWR LINES MADE. I STILL FOUND MYSELF AT ABOUT 300 FT WITH THE REALIZATION OF THE FACT THAT I WAS GOING TO BE HIGH AND FAST TOUCHING DOWN MIDFIELD WITH AN AIRPLANE WITH MINIMAL BRAKING CAPABILITY (ORIGINAL BRAKES). AT THIS POINT; I DECIDED TO ABANDON THIS RWY AND LAND IN A FALLOW FIELD S OF THIS ORCHARD. THE FIELD WAS DIRT AND SMALL WEEDS WITH A FIELD OF GRAPES TO THE N WITH VINES 4 FT HIGH AND ANOTHER FIELD WITH A CROP S OF MY INTENDED LNDG. THE APCH TO THIS FALLOW FIELD HAD NO OBSTACLES TO THE N. WHEN I KNEW I HAD THE FIELD MADE; I SLIPPED THE ACFT AGAIN TO MAKE MY DESIRED TOUCHDOWN POINT. THE ACFT TOUCHED DOWN (IN A 3-POINT ATTITUDE) N OF THE E/W PWR LINE ON THIS FIELD. ONCE DOWN; THE ACFT DIDN'T SLOW DOWN AS QUICKLY AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD. AT A SPD OF 10-15 MPH; I ROLLED INTO A YOUNG CITRUS ORCHARD S OF THE LNDG FIELD. THE ACFT CAME TO A STOP RESTING ON ITS MAIN GEAR AND ITS NOSE. I WAS THE SOLE OCCUPANT AND EXITED THE ACFT AS SOON AS IT CAME TO A STOP. THERE WAS VERY MINIMAL DAMAGE TO THE ACFT CONSISTING OF: 2 OR 3 DENTS (2 INCHES DEEP) TO THE LEADING EDGE OF THE WINGS; ONE 6-INCH GASH IN THE FABRIC UNDER THE L WING; AND ONE 6-INCH GASH IN THE FABRIC UNDER THE L AILERON. THE AIR FILTER SCREEN WAS BROKEN. THE PROP WAS UNDAMAGED. THE TENSION STRUT UNDER THE L MAIN GEAR WAS SLIGHTLY BENT. I AM A CERTIFIED A&P MECH. MY SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED LITTLE OR NO CONTAMINATION DRAINED FROM THE FIREWALL MOUNTED GASCOLATOR UNIT DRAIN. THE CARB BOWL WAS DRAINED AND I FOUND ALMOST 2 TABLESPOONS OF WATER IN THE FUEL. THE CARB FUEL FINGER SCREEN CAVITY SHOWED SOME CONTAMINATION DEBRIS THAT WAS OF A GRAINY OR RUSTY NATURE; IN ADDITION TO A SLIMY; GRAVY TYPE CONSISTENCY. REMOVAL OF THE GASCOLATOR BOWL REVEALED LARGE FLAKES OF CONTAMINATION OF A PASTE NATURE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL ABOUT 1/8 INCH DEEP. THIS MATERIAL SIZE WAS TOO LARGE TO DRAIN THROUGH DRAIN VALVE. THE VERY FINE SCREEN IN THE UPPER PART OF THE GASCOLATOR WAS CONSIDERABLY CLOGGED WITH A MILKY WHITE FILM. I SUSPECT THE ENG FAILURE WAS CAUSED BY FUEL STARVATION IN 1 OF 3 POSSIBLE WAYS: 1) DEBRIS AND A MAIN JET PASSAGE OF THE CARB; 2) FUEL RESTR BY THE FLAKES OF THE GASCOLATOR; OR 3) BUILD-UP OF WATER IN THE CARB BOWL. FURTHER INVESTIGATION INTO THE INCIDENT REVEALED THE ACFT HAD BEEN FLOWN MARCH OR APRIL OF 2005. IT ALSO HAD A FULL PWR RUN-UP 1 MONTH PRIOR TO THE INCIDENT. I FLEW IT FOR 40 MINS THE DAY BEFORE THE INCIDENT WITH NO INDICATIONS OF ABNORMALITIES. IN THE FUTURE WHEN FACED WITH AN ACFT THAT HAS BEEN SITTING IDLE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME; I PLAN TO THOROUGHLY (DISASSEMBLE FUEL SCREENS) INSPECT THE FUEL SYS. NORMAL PREFLT FUEL DRAIN DID NOT REVEAL ANY CONTAMINATION.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.