Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Engine-Out Landings

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

FAA records showed that the pilot held ATP and flight instructor certificates with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, airplane single-engine land, and airplane instrument. The pilot held a first class medical certificate. Records indicated he had 3,141.6 hours with 1,518.6 hours of multi-engine time.

The chief pilot for the operator said the accident pilot had a very good feel for the airplane and was an above-average pilot by company standards.

The pilot had been involved in an airplane accident at Honolulu Airport, in which he was acting as an instructor. He told the NTSB at the time that the left engine couldn't be restarted following a practice shutdown and feather. Because the hydraulic pump is located on the left engine, the instructor was aware that the landing gear would have to be manually extended. The emergency gear extension procedures didn't produce three green lights. While on final approach, the tower controller radioed that the gear appeared down and locked.

On short final, an unidentified pilot radioed on the tower frequency that the nose gear wasn't down and locked. The instructor told the NTSB that he didn't think that it was feasible to perform a go-around, so he landed the airplane on runway 4R.

Upon touchdown, the airplane veered to the left and approximately four feet of the outboard left wing sheared off when it impacted a taxiway light. Neither the instructor nor the pilot receiving instruction was injured.

A review of the pilot's 72-hour history prior to the Maui accident revealed that he had family visiting him in Honolulu, and he kept his normal sleep periods. On the day of the accident, he had a late breakfast and went surfing before reporting to work.

A sound spectrum study revealed that one engine was operating at 2,630 rpm and the other engine was operating at 1,320 rpm. Propeller damage indicated that the right engine was operating at the higher power. Neither propeller had been feathered. Teardown of both engines failed to reveal evidence of mechanical malfunction. Wreckage examination found that the landing gear was down, and the flaps were fully deployed.

The Cessna 414A Information Manual says that one engine-out performance is calculated using the aircraft weight, pressure altitude and outside air temperature. The one engine inoperative performance calculation assumes that the inoperative engine propeller is feathered, the landing gear is up, and the flaps aren't deployed.

The Kahului Airport temperature was about 77 degrees F. Using sea level pressure altitude, and an aircraft weight of 6,500 pounds, the rate of climb with one engine inoperative was calculated to be plus 260 feet per minute. Subtracting values for a windmilling propeller, landing gear down, and flaps at 45 degrees, the airplane's climb performance becomes minus 1,290 feet per minute.

The NTSB said the accident was due to the pilot failing to follow emergency procedures, which would have allowed him to maintain minimum controllable airspeed and level flight and avoid a stall.

Peter Katz is editor and publisher of NTSB Reporter, an independent monthly update on aircraft accident investigations and other news concerning the National Transportation Safety Board. To subscribe, write to: NTSB Reporter, Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 831, White Plains, N.Y. 10602-0831.


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