FTW94LA026
FTW94LA026

On November 7, 1993, approximately 1922 central standard time, a Rockwell International 114, N1237W, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Magnolia, Texas. The airplane, owned and operated by Airborne Enterprises, Inc., and flown by a commercial pilot, was on a business cross country flight. There was no flight plan filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries.

The flight departed Ennis, Texas, approximately 1830, en route to Andrau Airpark, in Houston, Texas. According to the pilot, he visually checked the fuel tanks during preflight and the gauges indicated he had adequate fuel remaining to complete the trip. He stated that after a normal takeoff and climb, he leveled off in cruise at 3,500 feet MSL, at which time he switched to the right tank to even out a fuel imbalance. This done, he switched back to both tanks feeding the engine.

He further stated that shortly after passing abeam of College Station, Texas, he noticed that both fuel gauges were indicating zero fuel. He stated he immediately notified Houston Approach Control of his situation and requested vectors to David Wayne Hooks Airport, in Tomball, Texas. He also said he reduced power to reduce fuel consumption, but that a few minutes later the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. He ultimately set up for a night forced landing on a highway, stating that it was the best forced landing area available. However; prior to touchdown, the airplane struck power lines and trees. It subsequently went through a barbed wire fence and impacted the terrain.

According to the ATC transcripts, at 1916:20, the pilot reported to Houston Approach that the gauges were indicating empty, and stated he should have about 2 hours of fuel remaining. At 1916:56, the pilot was given a transponder code and a radar vector to the Hooks airport. The pilot reported the engine failure at 1919:11.

According to the pilot's report of the accident, the airplane had last been topped off to its 68 gallon capacity on November 5, 1993, and had flown a total of 3:29, up to the time of the accident. The engine manufacturer's performance data indicated that normal consumption should have been between 12 and 13.5 gallons per hour. In his statement, the pilot related that the airplane owner had informed him "of past difficulties involving the fuel system." These problems included leaks from the fuel strainer and wing tanks. The pilot stated that he had not encountered the problems, but he had noticed uneven fuel burn between the tanks when both were selected.

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