MIA00LA032
MIA00LA032

On November 27, 1999, about 1300 eastern standard time, a Beech 90, N866A, registered to Fayard Enterprises, Inc., and operated by Blue Sky Adventures, Inc., as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 parachute jumping flight, crashed short of the runway at St. George Airport, St. George, South Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, and the airline transport-rated pilot and one pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The flight originated the same day, about 1250.

The pilot stated that it was his third flight of the day, and he was at 12,500 feet, preparing for a 4-mile parachute jump run, with nine skydivers and a pilot-rated passenger, when he had initial indications of a power/fuel problem. He said he told the skydivers to exit, and initiated a descending spiral to land, during which time the fuel flow became erratic. He said both engines ceased operating at 3,000 feet, and upon turning final he noticed that the northwest wind blew him further than he wanted, and he crashed short of the runway. The pilot further stated that he had commenced the flight with 1/3 fuel in each nacelle tank, and the auxiliary tanks were still showing more than 1/3 in each tank.

The pilot-rated passenger stated that just prior to getting into the airplane to depart, the pilot said that he will need to add fuel when they got back. The passenger further stated that during the climbout, at about 3,000 feet, one of the no transfer lights came on, and at about 10,000 feet, while they were setting up for the jump, the left low fuel light came on. The passenger said he could hear the sounds of the solenoid clicking in conjunction with the fuel transfer light flashing. He said the pilot then selected manual on the fuel transfer switch, and during the descent, while about 3 to 4 miles from the airport, the left engine ceased operating, followed by the right engine soon after.

A skydiver who was aboard the airplane, and who had exited when the pilot instructed him to do so, stated that just prior to exiting, he looked forward at the airplane's cockpit, and saw the airplane's instrument panel lights lit, and that upon seeing the lights, and receiving the pilots command to leave, he hastily departed the airplane. He said that during his freefall, at about 6,000 feet, he looked and saw the airplane's landing gear extended, and also noticed that the both propellers had stopped rotating. He said that shortly thereafter his parachute opened, and he could not see the airplane under the full parachute canopy.

The FAA inspector who conducted a postcrash examination of the accident airplane stated that he found the airplane's cockpit and cabin undamaged. The wing tips had been torn off, and both propellers were bent. There was no indication of a postcrash fire, and he found no fuel remaining in the tanks. The inspector further stated that there was no smell of fuel fumes, or any other indications of spilled fuel at the crash site, or anywhere along the airplane's impact path.

Postcrash examinations were conducted on the airplane's fuel system, and on both engines under NTSB supervision. The examinations revealed the presence of residual fuel throughout the fuel system, and there were no indications of any pre-accident malfunction or mechanical failure with either the fuel system, or the engines.

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