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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145633
Last updated: 28 November 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic BE18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 3NM
Registration: N9540
C/n / msn: CA-244
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:A vineyard near Pope Valley Airport - 05CL, Pope Valley, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Pope Valley, CA (05CL)
Destination airport:Pope Valley, CA (05CL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
According to the owner-pilot, the engine start and run-up were normal. Shortly after liftoff, when the airplane had reached an altitude of about 50 feet above the runway, the right engine lost power. Because the airspeed was still well below the minimum single-engine control speed and the landing gear had not yet been retracted, the pilot continued straight ahead and landed the airplane in a vineyard just beyond the end of the runway. The airplane’s forward motion was stopped by multiple rows of metal-wire trellises oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel, and then the airplane nosed over onto its back.

Lack of certain equipment and other resources prevented complete postaccident examination or testing of the airframe and engine, but the examination did reveal three anomalies. About 5 drops of water were found in the right main fuel tank, even though the pilot reported that he did not detect any water from any tanks during his preflight inspection and that the airplane had been in a hangar since the accident. It was possible that the engine ingested and was affected by some undetected water that migrated to a fuel inlet after the tail came up on the takeoff roll. The fuel suction crossfeed valve handle was found rotated about 70 degrees (of 90 degrees full travel) toward its OFF position, which is the takeoff setting. Because the valve is located under the copilot seat, it is more likely that the valve was not fully rotated before the takeoff rather than dislodged during or after the accident. According to a manufacturer’s representative, an open crossfeed valve could interfere with fuel flow to the engines. However, the investigation was unable to positively determine whether the valve position did interfere with normal engine operation. Finally, the right engine fuel pump was not a unit specified by the airplane manufacturer. The investigation was unable to determine when that pump was installed or whether it had any significant performance differences from the manufacturer-specified units. However, based on the observed condition of the pump and the history of the airplane, the airplane had likely been operated uneventfully with that fuel pump for many years.

Probable Cause: A loss of power in one engine during takeoff, which resulted in a forced landing in a vineyard. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined from the available evidence.



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Revision history:

14-May-2012 20:23 Geno Added
23-May-2012 11:20 Geno Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:42 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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