NTSB Identification: NYC03FA008.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 16, 2002 in Trenton, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Pilatus PC-12/45, registration: N96WF
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 Uninjured.

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 Pilatus PC-12/45 departed into instrument meteorological conditions. Just as the airplane entered clouds, loud bangs were heard from the engine and flame was observed coming the left side engine exhaust. The pilot in command pushed the nose over, aimed the airplane to where he thought the airport was, and the second pilot initiated engine shutdown. The airplane touched down long and fast, on a wet runway. The pilot intentionally yawed the airplane, and it departed the runway in a nose right 60-degree skid, and struck a chain link fence about 300 feet beyond the departure end of the runway. Examination of the engine revealed the #1 bearing had failed. Electrical pitting was found on the gears in the accessory drive between the starter-generator (SG) attach point, and the # 1 bearing. About 704 hour earlier, the SG had an unscheduled replacement. Records indicated that the SG had burn marks on the stator vanes and armature; however, the initiating event for the SG failure was not determined. Other engines were identified as having experienced electrical discharge damage (EDD), all of which preceded the accident. Each event occurred on a multi-engine airplane and resulted in an in-flight shutdown, followed by a single engine landing. None of the starter generators that were identified as the source of the EDD were original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and all had been previously overhauled. Additional engines were identified as having experienced EDD; however, the records on the engines were incomplete, and there was no starter generator history to review. Goodrich published an overhaul manual for the starter-generator. In the manual they stated that only Goodrich replacement parts should be used, and the use of non-Goodrich parts would void their warranty. However, there was no FAA requirement that the overhaul be conducted by an FAA approved repair station, or that only Goodrich parts be used as replacement items

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A power loss, due to failure of the No. 1 bearing, which was a result of previous electrical discharge damage (EDD). Factors were the low ceiling and a wet runway.

Full narrative available

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