NTSB Identification: IAD05LA024.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 08, 2004 in Trenton, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Hare Seawind, registration: N42HA
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The certificated flight instructor was conducting a flight review with the commercial pilot owner in an amateur built amphibious airplane powered by an Allison 250 turboprop engine. The engine began to surge. After discussion with the flight instructor, the pilot decided to return to an airport. During the descent the engine continued to surge and eventually lost all power. About 15 feet above the grass, off of the approach end of a runway, the airplane "stalled" and experienced a hard landing. The fuel system of the airplane was composed of two main tanks each capable of holding 30 gallons which simultaneously provided fuel to the engine, two auxiliary tanks each capable of holding 30 gallons and two wingtip tanks each capable of holding 25 gallons, for a total capacity of 170 gallons of fuel. A fuel transfer valve, flow meter and fuel quantity indicator were also installed. However, the fuel quantity indicator could only show the quantity of the two left and right, main tanks, and the fuel totalizer function of the flow meter was inoperative. Following the accident it was revealed that the fuel transfer valve was in the "open" position and that about 1 gallon of fuel was present in the left main tank, approximately 11 gallons in the right main tank and 14 gallons in the right auxiliary tank. Both wingtip fuel tanks and the left auxiliary fuel tank were absent of fuel. Fuel samples taken from the airplane for examination were bright, clear, and no visible contamination or water could be observed. A check of both samples was performed using water-finding paste, and no color change was observed. A detailed examination and test cell run of the engine was conducted which did not reveal evidence of any pre-impact failures and all engine response times were within limits during the test run. During interviews, the flight instructor stated that he had been told that their was about 1 to 1.5 hours of fuel on board, and that they had been airborne only about 25 minutes when the engine lost power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper fuel management which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. A contributing factor to the accident was the pilot's inadvertent loss of airspeed. Full narrative available
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