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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 171929
Last updated: 27 January 2021
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Date:04-DEC-2014
Time:11:15 EDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
Owner/operator:Sun Air International
Registration: N614HR
C/n / msn: 31-8152165
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO), Leesburg, VA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Washington Dulles Int'l (KIAD)
Destination airport:Lancaster (KLNS)
Narrative:
A Sun Air International Piper PA-31-350 Navajo operating as FDY2302 experienced a loss of engine power and landed short of the diversion airport runway at Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO), Leesburg, Virginia. The airplane sustained unreported damage and the sole pilot was not injured during the incident. According to the official FAA report into the accident:

"ON 4 DECEMBER 2014, A PIPER PA-31-350 (NAVAJO) OPERATED BY SUN AIR EXPRESS,LLC (ITJA) AS FLIGHT 2302 DEPARTED DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IAD) AT APPROXIMATELY 1106 LOCAL TIME. DURING THE CLIMB OUT, THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO EXPERIENCE LOSS OF POWER IN THE LEFT ENGINE. THE PILOT IN COMMAND (PIC) TREATED THE LOSS OF POWER AS AN ENGINE FAILURE BUT NOTED THAT THE ENGINE SURGED.

AS THE PIC FINISHED THE MEMORY ITEMS FOR ENGINE FAILURE, THE RIGHT ENGINE BEGAN TO SHOW SIMILAR SYMPTOMS. PIC CONTACTED POTOMAC TRACON (PCT) AND ASKED FOR VECTORS BACK TO IAD. AFTER AN INTERACTION ABOUT HEADINGS AND ALTITUDES ENSUED, PCT ASKS PIC IF HE IS DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. THE PIC RESPONDS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

PCT APPROVES A HEADING TO 150 DEGREES AT WHICH POINT THE PIC IDENTIFIED LEESBURG EXECUTIVE AIRPORT (JYO) AND MADE THE DETERMINATION TO DIVERT THERE.PIC PITCHED THE AIRCRAFT FOR BLUE LINE BUT THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED TO DESCEND AND WAS UNABLE TO MAKE ENOUGH POWER TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE. THE PIC REPORTED THAT THE PROPELLERS WERE STILL SPINNING BUT THAT MANIFOLD PRESSURE WAS DROPPING.

THE PIC COULD NOT IDENTIFY THE ACTUAL MANIFOLD PRESSURE OR ANY OTHER ENGINE INSTRUMENT INDICATIONS. THE PIC DID REPORT THAT THE TWO ENGINE BOOST PUMP INOP ANNUNCIATORS WERE ILLUMINATED SOLIDLY DURING THE DESCENT INTO JYO. THE AIRPLANE FLIGHT MANUAL (AFM) INDICATES THAT THE ANNUNCIATORS ILLUMINATE WHEN FUEL BOOST PRESSURE IS LESS THAN 3 PSI.THE PIC SET UP FOR A LEFT BASE TO RUNWAY 35 AT JYO.

AS THE AIRCRAFT APPROACHED, THE PIC MADE SMALL CORRECTIONS IN HEADING SO AS TO PRESERVE LIFT. AIRCRAFT WAS ABLE TO CLEAR ALL OBSTACLES AS THE PIC ATTEMPTED TO LINE THE AIRCRAFT UP WITH THE RUNWAY. WHEN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE AIRCRAFT WOULD LAND SHORT OF RUNWAY 35, THE PIC OPTED TO LOWER THE LANDING GEAR.

IT COULD NOT BE VERIFIED THAT HE HAD THREE INDICATIONS OF LOCKED LANDING GEARS. ACCORDING TO AN EYE WITNESS, ALL GEARS WERE DOWN AND THAT IT APPEARED THAT THE AIRCRAFT MADE A THREE POINT LANDING. AFTER THE AIRCRAFT TOUCHED DOWN APPROXIMATELY 250 YARDS SOUTH OF RUNWAY 35, IT BEGAN TO SKID.

THE LEFT MAIN AND NOSE GEAR COLLAPSED CAUSING PROPELLER STRIKES ON THE LEFT PROPELLER. THERE IS ALSO EVIDENCE OF LESS EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO THE RIGHT PROPELLER.THE INVESTIGATOR IN CHARGE (IIC) ARRIVED ON SCENE SHORTLY AFTER THE INCIDENT AND FOUND THE PILOT UNINJURED SITTING IN THE LEFT PILOT SEAT. ON SCENE, THE IIC NOTED THAT THE OUTBOARD AUXILIARY (AUX) TANKS APPEARED TO BE EMPTY BUT THAT THERE WAS SOME FUEL IN THE INBOARD (MAIN) FUEL TANKS. AS THE INVESTIGATION PROGRESSED, A DISCREPENCY WAS NOTED IN THAT THE PIC HAD INDICATED APPROXIMATELY 260 LBS OF FUEL IN THE AUX TANKS OR 22 GALLONS PER TANK. IT WAS NOTED DURING THE FOLLOWING INSPECTION THAT ONLY 2.5 GALLONS WERE DRAINED FROM THE LEFT AUX TANK. THE WEIGHT AND BALANCE ALSO INDICATES INDICATES A TOTAL OF 90 GALLONS IN THE MAIN TANKS OR APPROXIMATELY 45 GALLONS PER SIDE. THE CAPACITY OF EACH MAIN TANK IS 56 GALLONS. THE WEIGHT AND BALANCE THEREFORE INDICATES 80% CAPACITY OF FUEL.

A VISUAL INSPECTION MADE BY TWO OPERATIONS INSPECTORS AND ONE AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR ESTIMATED APPROXIMATELY 30-40% CAPACITY. THIS INSPECTION WAS COMPLETED AFTER THE AIRCRAFT WAS ON ALL THREE GEARS IN A LEVEL POSITION.FURTHERMORE, THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PIC FROM THE PREVIOUS LEG HAD COMPLETED A WEIGHT AND BALANCE WHICH INDICATED THAT HE HAD 40.5 GALLONS PER SIDE ON THE MAIN TANKS.

AT IAD, NO FUEL WAS UPLIFTED TO N614HR. THEREFORE, ANOTHER DISCREPANCY NOTED BY THE IIC WAS THAT THE WEIGHT AND BALANCE INDICATED THERE WAS MORE FUEL IN THE MAIN TANKS FOR THE FLIGHT FROM IAD THEN THERE WAS ON THE FLIGHT INTO IAD."

Aircraft presumably "damaged beyond economic repair", as the registration N614HR expired October 31, 2015 and has not been renewed subsequently.

Sources:

1. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.asias.faa.gov/pls/apex/f?p=100:18:0::NO::AP_BRIEF_RPT_VAR:20141204020709I]
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=614HR
3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/plane-crashes-at-leesburg-airport-after-report-of-engine-failure/2014/12/04/31a47622-7bd5-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html?noredirect=on
4. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Small-Plane-Crashes-at-Leesburg-Executive-Airport-284759961.html
5. https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDY2302/history/20141204/1545Z/KIAD/KLNS
6. http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/000929138.html
7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/planes/15243485606/
8. http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2014/12/piper-pa-31-350-chieftain-n614hr.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Dec-2014 20:34 Geno Added
05-Dec-2014 17:26 dtempleton4 Updated [Registration]
05-Dec-2014 19:16 Geno Updated [Phase, Destination airport, Source]
12-Apr-2016 19:12 Anon. Updated [Nature, Damage]
07-Sep-2017 14:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Sep-2017 14:14 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
07-Sep-2017 14:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
22-Oct-2017 21:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
23-Feb-2020 22:55 Captain Adam Updated [Location]

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