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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230570
Last updated: 16 June 2020
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Date:05-SEP-2018
Time:23:47
Type:Silhouette image of generic C340 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 340A
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: C-GLKX
C/n / msn: 340A1221
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Port Huron, MI -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Saint Thomas-Pembroke Area Municipal Airport, ON (YQS/CYQS)
Destination airport:Port Huron-St Clair County International Airport, MI (PHN/KPHN)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The private pilot of the multi-engine airplane was conducting an instrument approach during night visual meteorological conditions. About 1.3 nautical miles (nm) from the final approach fix, the right engine lost total power. The pilot continued the approach and notified air traffic control of the loss of power about 1 minute and 13 seconds later. Subsequently, the pilot contacted the controller again and reported that he was unable to activate the airport's pilot-controlled runway lighting. In the pilot's last radio transmission, he indicated that he was over the airport and was going to "reshoot that approach." The last radar return indicated that the airplane was about 450 ft above ground level at 72 kts groundspeed. The airplane impacted the ground in a steep, vertical nose-down attitude about 1/2 nm from the departure end of the runway. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear and the flaps were extended and that the right propeller was not feathered. Data from onboard the airplane also indicated that the pilot did not secure the right engine following the loss of power; the left engine continued to produce power until impact. The airplane's fuel system held a total of 203 gallons. Fuel consumption calculations estimated that there should have been about 100 gallons remaining at the time of the accident. The right-wing locker fuel tank remained intact and contained about 14 gallons of fuel. Fuel blight in the grass was observed at the accident site and the blight associated with the right wing likely emanated from the right-wing tip tank. The elevator trim tab was found in the full nose-up position but was most likely pulled into this position when the empennage separated from the aft pressure bulkhead during impact. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Although there was adequate fuel on board the airplane, the pilot may have inadvertently moved the right fuel selector to the OFF position or an intermediate position in preparation for landing instead of selecting the right wing fuel tank, or possibly ran the right auxiliary fuel tank dry, which resulted in fuel starvation to the right engine and a total loss of power. The airplane manufacturer's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) stated that the 20-gallon right- and left-wing locker fuel tanks should be used after 90 minutes of flight. However, 14 gallons of fuel were found in the right-wing locker fuel tank which indicated that the pilot did not adhere to the POH procedures for fuel management. The fuel in the auxiliary fuel tank should be used when the main fuel tank was less than 180 pounds (30 gallons) per tank. As a result of not using all the fuel in the wing locker fuel tanks, the pilot possibly ran the right auxiliary fuel tank empty and was not able to successfully restart the right engine after he repositioned the fuel selector back to the right main fuel tank.

Postaccident testing of the airport's pilot-controlled lighting system revealed no anomalies. The airport's published approach procedure listed the airport's common traffic advisory frequency, which activated the pilot-controlled lighting. It is possible that the pilot did not see this note or inadvertently selected an incorrect frequency, which resulted in his inability to activate the runway lighting system. In addition, the published instrument approach procedure for the approach that the pilot was conducting indicated that the runway was not authorized for night landings. It is possible that the pilot did not see this note since he gave no indication that he was going to circle to land on an authorized runway. Given that the airplane's landing gear and flaps were extended, it is likely that the pilot intended to land but elected to go-around when he was unable to activate the runway lights and see the runway environment. However, the pilot failed to reconfigure the airplane for climb by retracting the landing gear and flaps. The pilot had previously failed to secure t

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of right engine power due to fuel starvation; the pilot's inadequate flight planning; the pilot's failure to secure the right engine following the loss of power; and his failure to properly configure the airplane for the go-around, which resulted in the airplane's failure to climb, an exceedance of the critical angle of attack, and an aerodynamic stall.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20180906X35852&key=1

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
12-Nov-2019 17:50 ASN Update Bot Added

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