On April 20, 1999, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 402B, N744MA, registered to Three Amigos Flying Services, Inc., and operated by Execstar Aviation, Inc., as a Title 14 CFR Part 135 nonscheduled domestic cargo flight from Fort Myers, Florida to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, crashed while attempting a forced landing following loss of power in both engines, while on approach to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage and the commercial-rated pilot received minor injuries. The flight originated from Fort Myers, the same day, about 1830. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that while 6 miles from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, the left engine fuel flow surged and the engine lost power. He switched fuel tanks for the left engine and the engine regained power. About 3 miles from the airport, the left engine surged again and lost power. He cross fed the left engine from the right main fuel tank and the engine regained power. About 2 miles out, the left engine quit again. He then shut down the engine and feathered the propeller. Shortly after this, the right engine surged and quit. Attempts to restart the right engine were unsuccessful and he shut down the right engine and feathered the propeller. He retracted the wing flaps and made a forced landing in a field. During landing rollout the aircraft collided with trees and came to rest. A fire erupted in the left. The pilot stated to the NTSB that he had run out of fuel.
A Fort Lauderdale police officer located at the arrival end of runway 8 at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, reported observing N744MA approaching the runway from the west. The right propeller was stopped and the left propeller rotating slowly. He then observed the aircraft descend into trees and brush. He went to the scene and found the pilot outside of the aircraft. The pilot stated to him that he had run out of gas. (See Police Department Report).
Postcrash examination of the aircraft by an FAA inspector showed the aircraft touched down in a field and during landing rollout the left wing contacted a tree and separated from the aircraft. The right engine controls were in the engine shutdown position and the propeller was in the feathered position. The right engine fuel selector was off. The left engine controls were in the engine shutdown position and the left engine fuel selector was in the right main fuel tank position. The left propeller was not in the feathered position. The right auxiliary fuel tank was undamaged and contained 2.5 gallons of fuel. The right main fuel tank was undamaged and contained no fuel. The left main fuel tank was undamaged and contained one half gallon of fuel. The left auxiliary fuel tank was ruptured during the accident. (See FAA Inspector Statement)
The Cessna 402B Pilot's Operating Handbook states that each main fuel tank contains about 1 gallon of unusable fuel and that each auxiliary fuel tank contains about one half gallon of unusable fuel. (See Cessna Pilot Operating Handbook page).