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Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Thursday 16 April 2015
Time:22:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III
Operator:Key Lime Air
Registration: N2691W
C/n / msn: AC-655B
First flight: 1986
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-11U-612G
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Substantial
Location:near Rifle-Garfield County Airport, CO (RIL) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Rifle-Garfield County Airport, CO (RIL), United States of America
Destination airport:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN), United States of America
Flightnumber:168
Narrative:
A Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, N2691W, operating as Key Lime flight 168, was substantially damaged after an uncontained engine failure during climb at Rifle, Colorado. The pilot was not injured. Dark night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the cargo flight. The airplane departed from Garfield County Regional Airport (RIL), Colorado, at 22:37 and was destined for Denver International Airport (DEN), Colorado
The pilot reported that during climb, when still well below the tops of nearby mountains, he heard a "bang" followed by a complete loss of power and engine fire indications from the right engine. After completing appropriate checklist items the pilot declared an emergency and diverted to Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), Colorado, for an instrument approach and an otherwise uneventful landing at 23:11. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the second stage turbine rotor from the right engine had separated. One portion of the rotor exited through the left side of the engine and nacelle structure, penetrated the right side of the fuselage, and came to rest inside the fuselage wall. Other portions of the separated rotor exited through the right side of the engine. There was thermal damage to the engine and the inside of the nacelle structure, but no evidence of a sustained fire in that area.

Classification:
Uncontained engine failure
Forced landing on runway

Sources:
» NTSB


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Rifle-Garfield County Airport, CO to Denver International Airport, CO as the crow flies is 262 km (164 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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