|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : prc|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 8500|
msl bound upper : 8500
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 7000
flight time type : 150
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
Completed normal preflight but failed to realize extent of reduced fuel condition. Mechanics had overnight drained fuel and worked on fuel gauge sender unit in left inboard tank. They failed to inform pilot or order plane to be refueled which would have been normal procedure since plane had been topped off prior to their maintenance operation. Plane wasn't released from maintenance till very shortly prior to scheduled departure time. Left inboard fuel gauge apparently left inoperative by maintenance and no notice given mechanic of that condition. On preflight both inboard gauges showed near full. Visually checked and found fuel reduced an estimated 80 pounds or so and noted a weight and balance for some reason must not have checked left inboard tank visually. Believed I checked it but no other explanation. Morning portion of flight uneventful, no visual indication of fuel reserve available below 30 gals in this aircraft. After departure on return flight got low fuel flow light but fuel flow normal on meters, then later engine failure due to fuel flow fluctuation corrected by switch of tanks to outboard till outboard ran dry followed by engine stoppage, cleanup and feather. Continued flight to destination on 1 engine fuel exhaustion found to be caused by refueling and check remaining left inboard tank to my total amazement. Could not believe to have really happened till later consultation with mechanics revealed fuel draining had occurred. I still seem to remember checking the tank earlier, but apparently must have skipped it for some reason. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter confused as to why left inboard gauge read full when inoperative. Also disturbed that he could have missed visual check of left inboard tank. Used inboards for takeoff and landing and outboards for cruise as is usual practice. Has had consultation with chief pilot and maintenance crew to correct communications when fuel is drained or equipment left inoperative.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE FAILURE, FUEL EXHAUSTION.
Narrative: COMPLETED NORMAL PREFLT BUT FAILED TO REALIZE EXTENT OF REDUCED FUEL CONDITION. MECHS HAD OVERNIGHT DRAINED FUEL AND WORKED ON FUEL GAUGE SENDER UNIT IN LEFT INBOARD TANK. THEY FAILED TO INFORM PLT OR ORDER PLANE TO BE REFUELED WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN NORMAL PROC SINCE PLANE HAD BEEN TOPPED OFF PRIOR TO THEIR MAINT OPERATION. PLANE WASN'T RELEASED FROM MAINT TILL VERY SHORTLY PRIOR TO SCHEDULED DEP TIME. LEFT INBOARD FUEL GAUGE APPARENTLY LEFT INOP BY MAINT AND NO NOTICE GIVEN MECH OF THAT CONDITION. ON PREFLT BOTH INBOARD GAUGES SHOWED NEAR FULL. VISUALLY CHKED AND FOUND FUEL REDUCED AN ESTIMATED 80 LBS OR SO AND NOTED A WT AND BAL FOR SOME REASON MUST NOT HAVE CHKED LEFT INBOARD TANK VISUALLY. BELIEVED I CHKED IT BUT NO OTHER EXPLANATION. MORNING PORTION OF FLT UNEVENTFUL, NO VISUAL INDICATION OF FUEL RESERVE AVAILABLE BELOW 30 GALS IN THIS ACFT. AFTER DEP ON RETURN FLT GOT LOW FUEL FLOW LIGHT BUT FUEL FLOW NORMAL ON METERS, THEN LATER ENG FAILURE DUE TO FUEL FLOW FLUCTUATION CORRECTED BY SWITCH OF TANKS TO OUTBOARD TILL OUTBOARD RAN DRY FOLLOWED BY ENG STOPPAGE, CLEANUP AND FEATHER. CONTINUED FLT TO DEST ON 1 ENG FUEL EXHAUSTION FOUND TO BE CAUSED BY REFUELING AND CHK REMAINING LEFT INBOARD TANK TO MY TOTAL AMAZEMENT. COULD NOT BELIEVE TO HAVE REALLY HAPPENED TILL LATER CONSULTATION WITH MECHS REVEALED FUEL DRAINING HAD OCCURRED. I STILL SEEM TO REMEMBER CHKING THE TANK EARLIER, BUT APPARENTLY MUST HAVE SKIPPED IT FOR SOME REASON. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR CONFUSED AS TO WHY LEFT INBOARD GAUGE READ FULL WHEN INOP. ALSO DISTURBED THAT HE COULD HAVE MISSED VISUAL CHK OF LEFT INBOARD TANK. USED INBOARDS FOR TKOF AND LNDG AND OUTBOARDS FOR CRUISE AS IS USUAL PRACTICE. HAS HAD CONSULTATION WITH CHIEF PLT AND MAINT CREW TO CORRECT COMS WHEN FUEL IS DRAINED OR EQUIP LEFT INOP.
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.