On September 1, 2002, about 1253 eastern daylight time, a Cessna T337D, N33N, registered to K.R. Aviation Inc., and operated by a private individual as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, made a forced landing in an orange grove in Fort Pierce, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot received serious injuries, and the commercial-rated passenger received minor injuries. The airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the same day, about 1130.

The pilot stated that he estimated that at takeoff the airplane had about 35 gallons of fuel on board, and after about 45 minutes, while in cruise flight, at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the front engine suddenly ceased operating. He stated that he had experienced problems in the past with water in the fuel tanks, so he did not declare an emergency, even after unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine. He said the airplane was maintaining 120 knots, and fully controllable while being only powered by the rear engine. He said that in his mind, it was only water in the left tank, and his destination, Fort Pierce, Florida, was only 10 miles away, so he continued to his destination. After contacting FAA Fort Pierce Air Traffic Control Tower, the pilot said that he then entered a right base, turned on to the final approach course for an approach to land on runway 09, lowered his landing gear, set 10 degrees of flaps, and was on final at about 600 feet altitude, when all of a sudden the rear engine ceased operating. He said the only area to land was a small field on the right, so he turned 90 degrees, and entered a dive to prevent the airplane from stalling. The aircraft impacted in an orange grove, rebounded once, and then stopped in a canal. The pilot stated the engines failed due to fuel "starvation", and added that "the airplane had not been loaded with enough fuel..." Prior to the accident, the pilot said that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions to the airplane or to any of its systems.

The FAA Inspector who responded to the accident scene stated that during his examination he discovered no fuel in the fuel tanks, and mimimal fuel at the scene.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page