|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : vny|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 1200
|Controlling Facilities||tower : vny|
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 1800
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : anomaly accepted
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
After completion of an aerial photo flight over los angeles. I was spiraling down to land at vny airport. After being handed off to vny tower, I was instructed to enter downwind. Then my engine started to act as if it was running out of fuel. I knew I was low on fuel, but figured I had about 45 mins left at least. I made an 180 degree turn toward the runway. Then the tower asked me to state intention. I said I needed to land 'now.' they told the other traffic to go around. I switched tanks and turned on the fuel pump. The engine regained power then quit. Again I switched back to the right tank. The engine sputtered. Then I pressed the emergency boost. The power returned and then quit again. I just cleared the fence at the approach end of the runway and landed safely, then the engine power returned and I taxied off the runway. Then the engine quit again. We could smell gas. We pushed the plane off the taxiway. I noticed gas coming out the drain line, so it appeared that the engine was flooded for part of the time, probably due to the over use of the emergency boost. We checked the tanks. There was fuel in the right, about 7 gals. There was less in the left tank. What started the fuel starvation was probably uncoordinated flight in the spiral down and downwind. Then over use of the emergency boost flooded the engine. I had never been taught or thought about the possibility of flooding the engine with the emergency boost. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: on this turbocharged aircraft, there are 2 rocker switches for boost pump control. One is yellow and controls the regular boost pump. The other is red and controls the emergency boost pump. This one is spring loaded and apparently is intended for momentary use. Reporter said he smelled gas and after landing, fuel was flowing from a manifold drain line. Reporter said he turned in this report because this particular piece of equipment was a 'grey area in his training on this aircraft.' analyst asked reporter if he would send ASRS a copy of the aircraft manual pages that apply to the fuel boost pump and the reporter agreed. Reporter indicated that he may have unported a fuel feed point by uncoordinated flying technique causing the initial fuel starvation.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE FAILURE CAUSED FORCED LNDG. ACFT LANDED ON AN ARPT.
Narrative: AFTER COMPLETION OF AN AERIAL PHOTO FLT OVER LOS ANGELES. I WAS SPIRALING DOWN TO LAND AT VNY ARPT. AFTER BEING HANDED OFF TO VNY TWR, I WAS INSTRUCTED TO ENTER DOWNWIND. THEN MY ENG STARTED TO ACT AS IF IT WAS RUNNING OUT OF FUEL. I KNEW I WAS LOW ON FUEL, BUT FIGURED I HAD ABOUT 45 MINS LEFT AT LEAST. I MADE AN 180 DEG TURN TOWARD THE RWY. THEN THE TWR ASKED ME TO STATE INTENTION. I SAID I NEEDED TO LAND 'NOW.' THEY TOLD THE OTHER TFC TO GO AROUND. I SWITCHED TANKS AND TURNED ON THE FUEL PUMP. THE ENG REGAINED PWR THEN QUIT. AGAIN I SWITCHED BACK TO THE RIGHT TANK. THE ENG SPUTTERED. THEN I PRESSED THE EMER BOOST. THE PWR RETURNED AND THEN QUIT AGAIN. I JUST CLRED THE FENCE AT THE APCH END OF THE RWY AND LANDED SAFELY, THEN THE ENG PWR RETURNED AND I TAXIED OFF THE RWY. THEN THE ENG QUIT AGAIN. WE COULD SMELL GAS. WE PUSHED THE PLANE OFF THE TXWY. I NOTICED GAS COMING OUT THE DRAIN LINE, SO IT APPEARED THAT THE ENG WAS FLOODED FOR PART OF THE TIME, PROBABLY DUE TO THE OVER USE OF THE EMER BOOST. WE CHKED THE TANKS. THERE WAS FUEL IN THE RIGHT, ABOUT 7 GALS. THERE WAS LESS IN THE LEFT TANK. WHAT STARTED THE FUEL STARVATION WAS PROBABLY UNCOORDINATED FLIGHT IN THE SPIRAL DOWN AND DOWNWIND. THEN OVER USE OF THE EMER BOOST FLOODED THE ENG. I HAD NEVER BEEN TAUGHT OR THOUGHT ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF FLOODING THE ENG WITH THE EMER BOOST. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: ON THIS TURBOCHARGED ACFT, THERE ARE 2 ROCKER SWITCHES FOR BOOST PUMP CONTROL. ONE IS YELLOW AND CONTROLS THE REGULAR BOOST PUMP. THE OTHER IS RED AND CONTROLS THE EMER BOOST PUMP. THIS ONE IS SPRING LOADED AND APPARENTLY IS INTENDED FOR MOMENTARY USE. RPTR SAID HE SMELLED GAS AND AFTER LNDG, FUEL WAS FLOWING FROM A MANIFOLD DRAIN LINE. RPTR SAID HE TURNED IN THIS RPT BECAUSE THIS PARTICULAR PIECE OF EQUIP WAS A 'GREY AREA IN HIS TRNING ON THIS ACFT.' ANALYST ASKED RPTR IF HE WOULD SEND ASRS A COPY OF THE ACFT MANUAL PAGES THAT APPLY TO THE FUEL BOOST PUMP AND THE RPTR AGREED. RPTR INDICATED THAT HE MAY HAVE UNPORTED A FUEL FEED POINT BY UNCOORDINATED FLYING TECHNIQUE CAUSING THE INITIAL FUEL STARVATION.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.