|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 6000|
|Controlling Facilities||tower : det.tower|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Bonanza 35|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 30|
flight time total : 2200
flight time type : 250
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
During a descent to land at ZZZ1 the engine in the beechcraft bonanza lost fuel pressure and quit running. Attempts to restart failed. The aircraft was landed on interstate without incident. The airplane was towed to airport and an inspection performed by the FBO. On inspection of the fuel tanks they found 0.8 gals of fuel in the right tank and 6.2 gals of fuel in the left fuel tank. Both fuel gauges read 1/4 tank of fuel. It was determined that the fuel selector valve was allowing fuel to pass or be returned from the engine to the left fuel tank. The fuel system on this aircraft is supposed to return the fuel to the fuel tank that is being used. The flight from kentucky started on the left fuel tank. The airplane was flown 1 hour exactly on the left tank and then flown 1 hour on the right fuel tank. After the second hour the fuel valve was switched back to the left fuel tank and flown until the left tank was completely empty (1 hour 47 mins) for a total flight time on the left fuel tank of 2 hours 47 mins. This included takeoff and climb to 8500 ft MSL. After flying 1 hour and 10 mins more while descending for landing at ZZZ1 lost fuel pressure and the engine quit running. Total flight time on the right fuel tank 2 hours and 10 mins. The aircraft holds 40 gals per side. At the cruise setting that was being used the aircraft burns 12.8 gph; that's 3 hours of fuel. The right tank had only been used for cruise. The right fuel tank should have held between 2 hours and 47 mins and 3 hours of fuel. Pilot: I do not fly this aircraft on a regular basis. Because of that I did not trust the fuel gauges. This was a long trip so I decided to time the fuel. I ran the left fuel tank completely dry and noted the flight time. Based on the fuel used on the left side I had 2 hours 47 mins worth of fuel in the right fuel tank with some fudge factor since I took off and climbed on the left fuel tank. When the engine quit I had only flown 2 hours 10 mins on the right fuel tank because I ran the left fuel tank completely dry and the right fuel gauge said I still had 1/4 tank of fuel in the right fuel tank I spent the majority of the time trying to restart on the right fuel tank. As a last effort I did switch to the left fuel tank and ran the boost pump for about 10 seconds then just ran out of time I shut the fuel system down and prepared for the off airport landing. Corrective action: rebuild or replace the defective fuel selector valve. My opinion: at the time the engine lost fuel pressure I had no way of knowing why. There should have been at a minimum; 37 mins of fuel in the right fuel tank and the left fuel tank should have been bone dry. My calculations showed this and the right fuel gauge backed that up (1/4 of a tank). I did not know whether the pressure loss was due to the engine not turning full RPM's; an injector pump failure; a plugged fuel line or some other engine component failure. I did what I was trained to do. I did what I could in the 3 or 4 mins I had to assess the problem and than react in an effort to restart the engine. Then when I figured I needed to abandon any effort to restart I concentrated on 'flying the airplane' and getting it on the ground safely.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: BE35 SUFFERS ENG FAILURE DUE TO FUEL STARVATION ON DSCNT TO DEST ARPT.
Narrative: DURING A DSCNT TO LAND AT ZZZ1 THE ENG IN THE BEECHCRAFT BONANZA LOST FUEL PRESSURE AND QUIT RUNNING. ATTEMPTS TO RESTART FAILED. THE ACFT WAS LANDED ON INTERSTATE WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE AIRPLANE WAS TOWED TO ARPT AND AN INSPECTION PERFORMED BY THE FBO. ON INSPECTION OF THE FUEL TANKS THEY FOUND 0.8 GALS OF FUEL IN THE R TANK AND 6.2 GALS OF FUEL IN THE L FUEL TANK. BOTH FUEL GAUGES READ 1/4 TANK OF FUEL. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE WAS ALLOWING FUEL TO PASS OR BE RETURNED FROM THE ENG TO THE L FUEL TANK. THE FUEL SYS ON THIS ACFT IS SUPPOSED TO RETURN THE FUEL TO THE FUEL TANK THAT IS BEING USED. THE FLT FROM KENTUCKY STARTED ON THE L FUEL TANK. THE AIRPLANE WAS FLOWN 1 HR EXACTLY ON THE L TANK AND THEN FLOWN 1 HR ON THE R FUEL TANK. AFTER THE SECOND HR THE FUEL VALVE WAS SWITCHED BACK TO THE L FUEL TANK AND FLOWN UNTIL THE L TANK WAS COMPLETELY EMPTY (1 HR 47 MINS) FOR A TOTAL FLT TIME ON THE L FUEL TANK OF 2 HRS 47 MINS. THIS INCLUDED TKOF AND CLB TO 8500 FT MSL. AFTER FLYING 1 HR AND 10 MINS MORE WHILE DSNDING FOR LNDG AT ZZZ1 LOST FUEL PRESSURE AND THE ENG QUIT RUNNING. TOTAL FLT TIME ON THE R FUEL TANK 2 HRS AND 10 MINS. THE ACFT HOLDS 40 GALS PER SIDE. AT THE CRUISE SETTING THAT WAS BEING USED THE ACFT BURNS 12.8 GPH; THAT'S 3 HRS OF FUEL. THE R TANK HAD ONLY BEEN USED FOR CRUISE. THE R FUEL TANK SHOULD HAVE HELD BTWN 2 HRS AND 47 MINS AND 3 HRS OF FUEL. PLT: I DO NOT FLY THIS ACFT ON A REGULAR BASIS. BECAUSE OF THAT I DID NOT TRUST THE FUEL GAUGES. THIS WAS A LONG TRIP SO I DECIDED TO TIME THE FUEL. I RAN THE L FUEL TANK COMPLETELY DRY AND NOTED THE FLT TIME. BASED ON THE FUEL USED ON THE L SIDE I HAD 2 HRS 47 MINS WORTH OF FUEL IN THE R FUEL TANK WITH SOME FUDGE FACTOR SINCE I TOOK OFF AND CLBED ON THE L FUEL TANK. WHEN THE ENG QUIT I HAD ONLY FLOWN 2 HRS 10 MINS ON THE R FUEL TANK BECAUSE I RAN THE L FUEL TANK COMPLETELY DRY AND THE R FUEL GAUGE SAID I STILL HAD 1/4 TANK OF FUEL IN THE R FUEL TANK I SPENT THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME TRYING TO RESTART ON THE R FUEL TANK. AS A LAST EFFORT I DID SWITCH TO THE L FUEL TANK AND RAN THE BOOST PUMP FOR ABOUT 10 SECONDS THEN JUST RAN OUT OF TIME I SHUT THE FUEL SYS DOWN AND PREPARED FOR THE OFF ARPT LNDG. CORRECTIVE ACTION: REBUILD OR REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE. MY OPINION: AT THE TIME THE ENG LOST FUEL PRESSURE I HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING WHY. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT A MINIMUM; 37 MINS OF FUEL IN THE R FUEL TANK AND THE L FUEL TANK SHOULD HAVE BEEN BONE DRY. MY CALCULATIONS SHOWED THIS AND THE R FUEL GAUGE BACKED THAT UP (1/4 OF A TANK). I DID NOT KNOW WHETHER THE PRESSURE LOSS WAS DUE TO THE ENG NOT TURNING FULL RPM'S; AN INJECTOR PUMP FAILURE; A PLUGGED FUEL LINE OR SOME OTHER ENG COMPONENT FAILURE. I DID WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO. I DID WHAT I COULD IN THE 3 OR 4 MINS I HAD TO ASSESS THE PROB AND THAN REACT IN AN EFFORT TO RESTART THE ENG. THEN WHEN I FIGURED I NEEDED TO ABANDON ANY EFFORT TO RESTART I CONCENTRATED ON 'FLYING THE AIRPLANE' AND GETTING IT ON THE GND SAFELY.
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.