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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133963
Last updated: 30 September 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AEST model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Ted Smith Aerostar 601
Owner/operator:Grand Air Express
Registration: N162GA
C/n / msn: 61-0050-95
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mount Storm, WV -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:GRR
Destination airport:ORF
Investigating agency: NTSB
On January 27, 1996, at about 0120 eastern standard time (EST), an Aerostar 601, N162GA, lost engine power on the right engine during cruise flight and crashed in mountainous terrain near Mount Storm, West Virginia. The pilot, the sole occupant, reported serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 135. The flight originated from Grand Rapids, Michigan, at approximately 2230. The intended destination was Norfolk, Virginia.

The pilot reported that he was dispatched to fly 108 lbs of automotive parts to Norfolk. He stated that he satisfactorily completed a preflight inspection, and confirmed that the airplane had five hours of fuel on board. The pilot stated that the airplane had been in cruise flight at 8,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) for about 1 1/4 hours, when the right engine lost power. The pilot stated: "...I noticed that the fuel flow was indicating zero. Operation of the Boost Pump and repositioning the Fuel Selector had no effect on the fuel flow. I followed the Emergency Checklist but was unable to re-start the failed engine. I then secured the engine according to the checklist and notified ATC that I had a power plant failure. I maintained [best rate of climb, single engine]and the airplane drifted down. When I entered the clouds I began to accumulate ice. I declared an emergency and requested vectors to the nearest airport...was unable to maintain altitude... ."

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, the pilot advised Air Traffic Control (ATC) that the airplane engine had lost engine power, requested emergency landing assistance. ATC gave the pilot radar vectors towards Grand County Airport, in Petersburg, West Virginia. The airplane was about 16 miles northwest of the Grand County Airport, when ATC lost radar and radio contact. The airplane impacted mountainous terrain.

Postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact airframe, engine or fuel system anomaly. The left engine had separated from the main wreckage. There was oil leaking from the left ngine, and the oil filter was damaged. The left engine propeller blades had cuts and gouges in the leading edge of the blades, and exhibited evidence of chordwise scratches. The left engine propeller spinner was crushed. The right engine remained attached to the main wreckage. The three propeller blades were in the feathered position. It was determined that both engines and their accessories should be shipped to Lycoming's Reciprocating Engine Division, at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for further examination.

Further engine examination was conducted on February 27, 1996, under the supervision of the NTSB. The examination of the right engine included removing the engine driven fuel pump to confirm its integrity prior to rotation. The pump drive shaft was intact and turned freely when rotated by hand. The pump was reinstalled and the engine crankshaft was rotated manually, which resulted in the operation of the cylinder valves, confirmation of compression in each cylinder, and magneto spark.

A check of the right engine magneto timing revealed that the left magneto was set at approximately 20 degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC), and the right magneto was set at approximately 14 degrees BTDC. The right engine was mounted on a test stand, placed in a test cell, and test run with this magneto timing. The engine started normally and appeared to operate satisfactorily throughout the test run. A copy of the test log is appended. There was no evidence of preimpact anomaly that would preclude engine operation.

Further examination of the left engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies or discrepancies that would have precluded the engine from producing power.
PROBABLE CAUSE:loss of power in the right engine for undetermined reason(s), and the accumulation of structural ice on the airplane, which resulted in an


NTSB id 20001208X05103

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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