NTSB Identification: ERA11LA117
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 17, 2011 in Charlotte Amalie, VI
Aircraft: CONVAIR 340-71, registration: N8277Q
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 17, 2011, about 0810 Atlantic standard time, a Convair 340-71, N8277Q, registered to Kestrel, Inc., operated by Tiger Contract Cargo, experienced an in-flight fire aft of the left engine shortly after takeoff from Cyril E. King Airport (STT), St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a VFR flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight from STT to Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, PR. The airplane sustained substantial heat damage to the rear wing spar and the certificated airline transport pilot and certificated commercial co-pilot were not injured. The flight originated from STT about 0805.
According to preliminary air traffic control communications, the tower controller noticed smoke coming from the left engine during takeoff from runway 28 and advised the flightcrew of this. The controller also asked the pilot if he needed any assistance; he replied at that time he did not. Air traffic control communications were transferred to San Juan Approach Control. The flight continued and the captain later reported that after being notified of smoke coming from the left engine, he decided to send the co-pilot to visually inspect the left engine. The co-pilot came back to the cockpit and confirmed there was a fire in the left engine. The captain performed the procedures for fire and secured the left engine but the fire continued. The flight returned to STT for an emergency landing with airport fire rescue vehicles staged at various positions around the runway. After landing on runway 10, the fire rescue vehicles chased the airplane during the landing roll avoiding airplane debris separating because of the fire.
The captain also reported that there was no steering, the brakes were not working properly, and they had a malfunction with the aileron flight controls as a direct result of the fire. During the landing the airplane departed the right side of the runway, crossed a taxiway and a perimeter road, then went thru the airport perimeter fence and came to rest upright with the nose section over a public road outside of the airport property.
The fire rescue vehicles which were following the airplane began spraying foam as soon as the airplane entered the grass. Additional fire rescue vehicles responded to where the airplane came to rest and extinguished the fire “within seconds.”
Preliminary examination of the airplane revealed significant heat damage to the rear spar of the left wing, and to a flexible hose associated with the left brakes.
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