NTSB Identification: ANC07FA051.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 19, 2007 in Homer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 206, registration: N72067
Injuries: 4 Serious.
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 commercial pilot began her duty day by making three flights in another company airplane. Six minutes after parking the first airplane, she switched to the accident airplane, and departed on a round-robin flight that included 4 takeoffs and 3 landings. About 8 minutes after the last takeoff, she declared an emergency, and reported a loss of engine power. Ground witnesses, and the front seat passenger, heard the engine stop, restart for a moment, and stop again. The pilot made an emergency landing approach to a remote island beach. While maneuvering for landing, she banked sharply to the right, and the airplane stalled at low level, colliding with the ground in a right wing and nose low attitude. Examination of the airplane at the crash site by an FAA inspector revealed that the fuel selector was on the left fuel tank. The right wing fuel tank system appeared to have been breached. The left fuel tank system appeared to be intact, and contained about 1/2 gallon of fuel. The engine fuel manifold contained about a drop of fuel. The engine was placed on an engine test stand, where it produced full rated rpm. The accident airplane had been flown the previous day by another company pilot for about 72 to 90 minutes and then parked. The amount of fuel remaining in the airplane when it was parked is unknown. A company ramp employee said he saw the pilot with a fuel hose at the accident airplane, but the amount of fuel, if any, that the pilot put in the airplane is unknown. Also, that observation was 23 minutes before the pilot's time sheet indicated she landed in the first airplane. Consequently, the amount of fuel in the accident airplane when the pilot departed is unknown. The pilot flew the accident airplane about 41 minutes before her crash landing on the beach. The company does not require pilots to log the amount of fuel placed in each airplane before each flight. The airplane's owner's manual description of the procedure for engine restart, after running a fuel tank dry, states, in part: "To ensure a prompt engine restart in flight after running a fuel tank dry, switch to the tank containing fuel, and place the auxiliary fuel pump switch in the "HI" position momentarily (3 to 5 seconds) with the throttle at least 1/2 open. Excessive use of the "HI" position of the auxiliary pump can cause flooding of the engine as indicated by a short (1 to 2 second) period of power, followed by a loss of power. This can be detected by a fuel flow indication, accompanied by a lack of power. If flooding does occur, turn off the auxiliary fuel pump switch, and normal propeller windmilling should start the engine in 1 to 2 seconds." Due to the lack of fuel found in the left wing tank, the position of the fuel selector, and the absence of any mechanical problems with the engine, it is probable that the pilot inadvertently allowed the left tank to run dry, and was unable to restart the engine prior to the emergency landing. During the emergency landing, she allowed the airspeed to decay and stalled the airplane, adding to the severity of the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation from the pilot's improper fuel selector positioning, and her failure to maintain adequate airspeed to preclude a stall. Contributing to the accident was an inadvertent stall. Full narrative available
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