NTSB Identification: FTW89FA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42380.
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 28, 1989 in BROWNSVILLE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/09/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 421, registration: N4595L
Injuries: 1 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 NEWLY HIRED CORPORATE PILOT STARVED THE RIGHT ENGINE OF FUEL ON THE MULTI-ENGINE AIRPLANE WHILE ON A LOCAL AREA SELF CHECKOUT IN THE AIRPLANE. HE DID NOT FEATHER THE RIGHT PROPELLER. AT THE TIME OF THE NON-MECHANICAL LOSS OF POWER, THE AIRPLANE WAS IN LOW LEVEL (600 FEET AGL) CRUISE. THE PILOT LOWERED THE FLAPS TO 45 DEGREES AND EXTENDED THE LANDING GEAR TO THE DOWN AND LOCKED POSITION. THE AIRPLANE'S AIRSPEED DECREASED BELOW VMC AND THE AIRPLANE STALLED, WENT OUT OF CONTROL, AND IMPACTED OPEN RANCH LAND NOSE LOW, IN A VERTICAL DESCENT ANGLE. A POST-IMPACT FIRE OCCURRED. THE PILOT LACKED KNOWLEDGE OF THE AIRPLANE SYSTEMS AND LACKED EXPERIENCE IN THE CESSNA 421.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S IMPROPER EMERGENCY PROCEDURE AFTER LOSSING POWER IN THE RIGHT ENGINE, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM CONTROL SPEED (VMC), WHICH RESULTED IN A LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FUEL STARVATION OF THE RIGHT ENGINE, THE PILOT'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS TYPE OF AIRCRAFT, AND HIS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE FUEL SYSTEM.
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