ATL99LA026
ATL99LA026

On November 29, 1998, at 0815 Eastern Standard Time, a Beech 65-A90, N171TE, ditched into the Atlantic Ocean near Isle De La Tortue off the northern coast of Haiti. The aircraft was operated by BPI Aerospace, in Miami, Florida under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site and an IFR flight plan was filed. The Airline Transport pilot received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane departed North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida, at 0500 the same day destined for Cape Haitian (MTCH), Haiti.

According to the summary statement written by the pilot, during pre-flight examination of the airplane performed the evening prior to the flight, the fuel gauges read "around" 3/4 full. Visual examination of the tanks by the pilot revealed the tanks were not full but he believed the quantity was more than adequate to conduct his flight. The pilot had stated, the flight from HWO to MTCH would take 2 1/2 hours. The pilot was told by the previous flight crew that the aircraft had been flown for a total of 50 minutes since the last time the fuel tanks were topped off, and there should have been above 4 1/2 hours of fuel left on board. No additional fuel was added to the aircraft prior to takeoff. While at 17000 feet MSL and approximately 60 miles from the destination, both the left engine and right engine lost power. The pilot declared an emergency, and ditched the airplane in the Atlantic Ocean about ten miles off the coast of Isle De La Tortue, Haiti. The airplane sank in approximately 600 feet of water. The pilot was rescued by the United States Coast Guard at 1730 the same day.

The following airplane endurance approximations are based on data obtained from the Raytheon Aircraft Company and Standard Atmospheric conditions of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, 29.92 inches of mercury, at sea level: The estimated takeoff weight of the airplane was 7670 pounds, which included the pilot (200 pounds) and 1872 pounds of fuel, based on 3/4 full fuel tanks. For a climb to 17000 feet MSL (ISA -International Standard Atmosphere = +13 degrees Celsius), approximately 160 pounds of fuel would be used and the climb would take approximately 18 minutes. The approximate cruise fuel flow is 229 pounds per hour (per engine) which yields an estimated time at cruise of 3.74 hours. The estimated total available flight time, including climb and cruise at the indicated performance values and the estimated fuel quantity available at takeoff is 4.00 hours (see attached Pilot's Operating Manual with performance data sheets). The actual flight time for this flight was 3.25 hours.

An NTSB 6120.1/2 form was not completed by the pilot nor has the pilot been located or spoken to by an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board.

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