On August 14, 2000, at 1835 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna T337E, N86485, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a go-around at Bolton Field (TZR), Columbus, Ohio. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries, while the passenger was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, the flight departed about 1700, and proceeded to the Norwalk, Ohio, area, before returning to Columbus. Approaching Bolton Field, at 3,000 feet, he was given instructions by the Bolton Tower controller to fly a right base, for a landing on Runway 22. The pilot "quickly began my approach and initiated a reduction in altitude. When I was on my final approach, my speed was too fast for a safe landing." The pilot then initiated a go-around, and notified the tower controller. "When I began to climb out, I was unable to regain appropriate airspeed and the incident occurred."
The pilot further stated that he was "unable to determine why engine prop did not give full power. The accident began when I accepted a landing at 3,000 feet with no downwind."
According to a witness who was holding for takeoff clearance, the accident pilot reported over the radio, "I'm fast." The accident pilot then "attempted to go around, but the rear engine was not running. During departure, he made a left turn to go around, and the plane stalled, touching the left wing and flipping over."
Another witness stated that she saw the airplane "coming over a tree line. The plane was barely above the trees when it made a hard immediate left bank. Its descent was rapid and I knew it would not pull out of it."
Examination of the airplane revealed that the rear engine's propeller was in the feathered position. All engine controls were found in the "full forward" position. Cylinder compression and engine continuity were confirmed. The right wing fuel tanks were almost full, the left wing fuel tanks were empty, and there were no indications of a fuel leak at the accident site. The fuel selector had been moved to the off position by the pilot after the accident.
In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated,
"After the go-around was started, I noticed that the aircraft was not climbing and I was losing airspeed. I did not reconfigure the aircraft, I left the gear down and the flaps at 1/3. I heard the stall warning several times, and because I wasn't climbing, I turned left to avoid trees. I looked at my oil pressure gauges on approach and did not notice any unusual indications. We landed hard on the main gear."
The pilot also stated that, after initiating the go-around, the rpm and throttle were placed full forward, and the airplane was maintaining about 110 knots as it passed the end of the runway.
The pilot further stated that the airplane had been topped off with 15 gallons of fuel prior to the 11/2-hour flight, and didn't know why the left tanks were empty. There were 46 gallons of fuel in each main tank, and 18 gallons in each auxiliary tank, for a total of 128 gallons. "We didn't fly long enough to run out of fuel even if I flew with both engines on one main tank."
He also noted that both fuel selectors had remained on "main" during the entire flight. When asked about the operation of the fuel selectors, he responded, "The forward selector is set to the green area right for the front engine." After checking the pilot's operating handbook (POH), he determined that the forward selector should have been turned to the left for the green area, and the aft selector turned to the right for the green area.
According to the POH,
"The normal fuel routing is from the left tank and front selector valve to the front engine, and from the right tank and rear selector valve to the rear engine. However, for the purpose of maintaining or re-establishing lateral trim, it is permissible to operate both engines from a single tank in level cruising flight under certain conditions. If single-tank operation is initiated with nearly full tanks, it must be remembered that vapor and excess fuel from each engine-driven pump is being returned to its normal tank system, and the tank not being used is continuously refilling."
Regarding feathering, the POH stated,
"If it should be necessary to feather either or both propellers, lift up on the levers to override the detent and pull them full aft."
In addition, no Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) were found, for adding an auto-feathering feature.
Regarding engine-out procedures, the POH stated that "Continued Take-Off with Engine-Out (Speed Above 95 MPH)" procedures included throttles and propellers full forward, feather the inoperative engine immediately, retract the flaps, and retract the landing gear after immediate obstacles were cleared. The best single-engine rate of climb airspeed was 100 mph, and the obstacle clearance speed was 95 mph.
The pilot stated that he had 224 hours of flight time, and 96 hours in make and model, with 23 hours in the preceding 90 days.
Winds, at the approximate time of the accident, were calm, and the temperature was 82 degrees Fahrenheit.