Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Engine-Out Landings

Management of remaining power and hitting all the numbers are keys to success

An investigation determined that the right propeller didn't exhibit any outward signs of significant power at impact. The propeller hadn't been feathered. No mechanical problems could be found that would have resulted in a loss of power from the right engine, and the reason for the power loss to the right propeller couldn't be determined.

The wreckage was located on open, rolling terrain, about 1.56 miles from THV runway 35. Ground indentations were consistent with an almost vertical descent. There was no evidence of either an in-flight or post-crash fire. Calculations and physical evidence indicated ample fuel for completion of the flight.

The left engine throttle was near flight idle, and the right engine throttle was full forward; however, the effects of ground impact on their positions couldn't be determined. The NTSB didn't suggest that the pilot had improperly set the throttles.

The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's failure to maintain minimum controllable airspeed after a loss of power to the right engine, which resulted in an uncontrollable roll into an inadvertent stall/spin.

Cessna 414A
A Cessna 414A medical transport aircraft was about one mile west of the Kahului Airport on Maui, Hawaii, when it entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed. The ATP-rated pilot and two medical attendants were killed. The air ambulance was on a Part 91 positioning flight that originated at Honolulu International Airport. Weather was VFR, although an IFR flight plan had been filed for the flight that began at dusk. A patient was supposed to have been picked up on Maui.

Witnesses near where the crash occurred told investigators that the airplane was maneuvering between 100 and 300 feet. They saw the airplane's landing and position lights, and could see the wings rolling at bank angles of up to 60 degrees. They could hear engine sounds and reported that the airplane dropped straight down into an automobile dealership and exploded.

Honolulu Center radar showed the airplane cruising at 7,000 feet MSL. It descended as it got closer to the destination and, at about 7:08 p.m., the tower controller at Kahului cleared the airplane to land on runway 02. The airplane's track showed that it crossed the local harbor area at 1,200 feet MSL and an average ground speed of 134 knots.

At 7:11:33 p.m., the pilot reported to the Kahului tower that they lost an engine and were in a right-hand turn. The pilot requested assistance. The radar track continued to show a descent and right-hand turn about 1.9 miles west of the approach end of runway 02. The average ground speed had dropped to 110 knots. The altitude fluctuated between 400 and 600 feet, and the track stabilized on a heading of about 100 degrees.

This heading put the airplane on a left base for runway 02. The average ground speed was down to 86 knots. The track entered another right-hand turn with the altitude showing 500 feet and an average ground speed of 76 knots. At 7:12:54, the pilot radioed, "Zero one Charlie, we lost an engine." There were no more radio transmissions, and radar contact was lost.


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