NTSB Identification: FTW98FA276.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 19, 1998 in NEPHI, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N3861K
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported to Salt Lake City ARTCC that 'I've lost an engine and the cockpit is filling with smoke.' Five minutes later the pilot reported that 'my cylinders are all blown, I've got smoke comin' through.' He stated that he would shut off the electrical power as soon as the landing gear was down. A witness observed N3861K appear from behind a one-story building flying 'what appeared to be straight up in the air, and then it veered sharply to the right, then went straight down.' The airplane had been modified with a turbonormalizing system and the installer recommended that the tailpipe be removed for internal inspection of the turbocharger every 100 hours. Postaccident examination of the turbine exhaust flange revealed a 3-inch portion was missing and the fuel selector was found on the right main fuel tank. Several items from the airplane were found outside the postimpact fire area and they exhibited fire damage: the cabin entrance door, the cargo door, a passenger's shoe, and the engine cowling. The firewall had an 18 inch hole burned through it. Toxicology tests on the pilot revealed that fluoxetine (trade name Prozac, a non-approved drug for flight status) was present in his blood.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The improper installation of the turbocharger exhaust stack by unknown maintenance personnel and the subsequent fire in the engine compartment due to the exhaust gas leak from the turbocharger. Factors were the total loss of engine power due to fuel line failure and subsequent fuel starvation, the pilot not following proper emergency procedures, and the loss of aircraft control due to the pilot's incapacitation following the spread of the fire to the cabin area. Full narrative available
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