|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : eyw|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1000|
msl bound upper : 1000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : eyw|
tower : det
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 2552
flight time type : 43
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
On 11/tue/88 I conducted a cross country flight from eyw to palm beach county park (lantana lna) and back. I was flying an small aircraft. The flight to lantana was uneventful. On the return trip, 2 mi from eyw, the engine failed. An off airport landing was made with no injury to passenger or damage to the aircraft. The reason for engine failure was fuel starvation. A detailed flight performance plan indicates that the flight should have easily been made even with conservative figures and still had the VFR night reserve requirements. A certified a & P mechanic inspected the aircraft and found the fuel drains to have a tendency to stick partially open when draining fuel. This could have caused a siphoning effect during flight. Flight data particulars: total fuel: 34 gals (17 per side), all usable. Visually confirmed on preflight. Fuel burn for 150 hp. Engine, 8 gal/hour (leaned). Add 1 gal each way for climb. Time and distance: 155 NM each way. Time from eyw to lna 1 hour, 27 mins. Completed first leg no problem. Time from lna to engine failure 1 hour, 19 mins. Wind: quartering headwind 10 KTS (eyw to lna). Quartering tailwind 10 KTS (lna to eyw). Passenger: 1 going to lantana 3 returning. Altitude: 5000' to lna, 2500' to eyw. Note: first leg was completed on right tank, then switched to left tank for return flight. All times are from engine start to engine shutdown. I feel this problem was caused by fuel siphoning from drains during flight. Lessons I have learned from this incident: ensure that fuel drains are not leaking after checking fuel. Be wary of factory recommended fuel burn rates, especially on older engines. Establish your own. In the future I will use more than a 45 mins reserve. Also I could have filled the auxiliary tank which holds 12 gals since weight or cg was not a factor on the first leg, or I could have taken on fuel in lna or made a fuel stop somewhere else. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter said that when engine failed he switched from the left tank back to the right tank. Engine then ran for about 30 seconds before failing again. Both tanks were dry when checked. He landed on a naval munitions dump on a small island that he was familiar with. He said the FAA is giving him a hard time and he has contacted a lawyer.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: FORCED LNDG MADE WHEN ENGINE FAILED DUE TO FUEL STARVATION.
Narrative: ON 11/TUE/88 I CONDUCTED A CROSS COUNTRY FLT FROM EYW TO PALM BEACH COUNTY PARK (LANTANA LNA) AND BACK. I WAS FLYING AN SMA. THE FLT TO LANTANA WAS UNEVENTFUL. ON THE RETURN TRIP, 2 MI FROM EYW, THE ENG FAILED. AN OFF ARPT LNDG WAS MADE WITH NO INJURY TO PAX OR DAMAGE TO THE ACFT. THE REASON FOR ENG FAILURE WAS FUEL STARVATION. A DETAILED FLT PERFORMANCE PLAN INDICATES THAT THE FLT SHOULD HAVE EASILY BEEN MADE EVEN WITH CONSERVATIVE FIGURES AND STILL HAD THE VFR NIGHT RESERVE REQUIREMENTS. A CERTIFIED A & P MECHANIC INSPECTED THE ACFT AND FOUND THE FUEL DRAINS TO HAVE A TENDENCY TO STICK PARTIALLY OPEN WHEN DRAINING FUEL. THIS COULD HAVE CAUSED A SIPHONING EFFECT DURING FLT. FLT DATA PARTICULARS: TOTAL FUEL: 34 GALS (17 PER SIDE), ALL USABLE. VISUALLY CONFIRMED ON PREFLT. FUEL BURN FOR 150 HP. ENG, 8 GAL/HR (LEANED). ADD 1 GAL EACH WAY FOR CLB. TIME AND DISTANCE: 155 NM EACH WAY. TIME FROM EYW TO LNA 1 HR, 27 MINS. COMPLETED FIRST LEG NO PROB. TIME FROM LNA TO ENG FAILURE 1 HR, 19 MINS. WIND: QUARTERING HEADWIND 10 KTS (EYW TO LNA). QUARTERING TAILWIND 10 KTS (LNA TO EYW). PAX: 1 GOING TO LANTANA 3 RETURNING. ALT: 5000' TO LNA, 2500' TO EYW. NOTE: FIRST LEG WAS COMPLETED ON RIGHT TANK, THEN SWITCHED TO LEFT TANK FOR RETURN FLT. ALL TIMES ARE FROM ENG START TO ENG SHUTDOWN. I FEEL THIS PROB WAS CAUSED BY FUEL SIPHONING FROM DRAINS DURING FLT. LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS INCIDENT: ENSURE THAT FUEL DRAINS ARE NOT LEAKING AFTER CHKING FUEL. BE WARY OF FACTORY RECOMMENDED FUEL BURN RATES, ESPECIALLY ON OLDER ENGS. ESTABLISH YOUR OWN. IN THE FUTURE I WILL USE MORE THAN A 45 MINS RESERVE. ALSO I COULD HAVE FILLED THE AUX TANK WHICH HOLDS 12 GALS SINCE WT OR CG WAS NOT A FACTOR ON THE FIRST LEG, OR I COULD HAVE TAKEN ON FUEL IN LNA OR MADE A FUEL STOP SOMEWHERE ELSE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR SAID THAT WHEN ENG FAILED HE SWITCHED FROM THE LEFT TANK BACK TO THE RIGHT TANK. ENG THEN RAN FOR ABOUT 30 SECS BEFORE FAILING AGAIN. BOTH TANKS WERE DRY WHEN CHKED. HE LANDED ON A NAVAL MUNITIONS DUMP ON A SMALL ISLAND THAT HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH. HE SAID THE FAA IS GIVING HIM A HARD TIME AND HE HAS CONTACTED A LAWYER.
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.