ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21422
Last updated: 30 July 2016
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Narrative:The aircraft was used by the gliders club located on Kiewit airfield for the aerotow of gliders. The aircraft took off for the eleventh time on Sunday 22 June, at 11:38 with a towed Grob Twin Astir glider, registered OO-ZEY.
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub
|C/n / msn:|| 18-4963|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Kiewit - Hasselt (EBZH) -
|Phase:|| Take off|
|Departure airport:||Kiewit - Hasselt (EBZH)|
|Destination airport:||Kiewit - Hasselt (EBZH)|
Rapidly after take-off, when reaching an altitude of 300 ft, the engine stopped. The pilot realized he could not continue straight ahead, due to the presence of houses and trees. He was also too low to return to the airfield. He decided to turn to the left, and attempt to land on the roof of hangars adjoining the road leading to the airfield (Luchtvaartstraat).
The pilot wiggled the wings, in order to signal the glider to release the rope, and turned to the left. The sign was not identified by the glider's pilot, who saw that the towing aircraft descended lower than the glider, and steering to the left with the tow rope still
The glider pilot finally released the rope, and performed a U-turn to land back on the runway.
The towing pilot concentrated on flying the aircraft. After having hit a tree, the aircraft went straight into the sidewall of the hangar, hitting a frame supporting the roof.
The aircraft crashed due to fuel starvation. This was influenced by the following factors:
- the high rate of flights (transit time of 2 to 1 minutes) pushing the pilot to maximize the use of the on-board fuel.
- an average fuel consumption higher than the fuel consumption of PA-18 usually flown by the pilot.
- a misunderstanding of the operating conditions defined in the Aircraft Flight Manual of this particular aircraft; in particular the limitations pertaining to the use of the fuel tanks. Flying outside the limitations set in the AFM.
- markings on the fuel selector valve and fuel gauges not complying with the applicable STC.
- possible major differences between aircraft of the same type, giving the pilot a false feeling of confidence. (Same Piper PA-18, but possible different fuel system configurations, different propellers, different engines).
- unreliable and imprecise fuel quantity measuring system (gauges).
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