On December 29, 2005, about 1145 eastern standard time, a Cessna P206C, N8640Z, registered to Fayard Enterprises, Inc., operated by Florida Skydiving Center, experienced a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from Lake Wales Municipal Airport, Lake Wales, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91, local, skydiving flight from Lake Wales Municipal Airport. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot, and 3 skydivers were not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the occurrence. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that on the day of the accident, he started his day between 0800 and 0830, and before the first flight added 30 gallons of fuel to each fuel tank. The flight departed on the 1st load of skydivers with the fuel selector positioned to the right tank. He flew 10 "loads"; each "load" was flown to 4,000 feet. After landing following the 10th load he moved the fuel selector to the left tank position, and flew 2 "loads" also to 4,000 feet. He landed, loaded skydivers for his 13th load, and departed. During climbout at 400 feet from runway 17, the engine quit suddenly; there was no sputtering. He immediately pumped the throttle 2 times, and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump which did not restore engine power. He did not have time to look at the fuel pressure gauge or check the magnetos, and set up for a forced landing in an industrial park near the airport. He maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing, touched down, and rolled approximately 250 feet before coming to rest.
Postaccident examination of the airplane by an FAA airworthiness inspector revealed no evidence of fuel leakage. The left fuel tank contained approximately 20 gallons, and the right fuel tank approximately 7 gallons. No fuel contamination was noted. The fuel selector was positioned to the left fuel tank. Examination of the fuel strainer revealed no discrepancies, the screen was clean. Crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity was confirmed. During rotation of the engine, suction and compression was noted at all cylinders, and spark was noted at all spark plugs. The mechanical fuel pump drive coupling was intact, and the pump rotated freely by hand. Examination of the flexible fuel line from the mechanical fuel pump to the throttle body fuel control unit revealed no fuel in the line. The flexible fuel line (return) from the throttle body fuel control unit to the mechanical fuel pump contained fuel. The flexible fuel line from the throttle body fuel control unit to the fuel manifold valve did not contain any fuel. All fuel injector nozzles and lines, the throttle body fuel control unit, fuel manifold valve, mechanical fuel pump, and auxiliary fuel pump were retained for further examination.
The fuel injector nozzles and lines, throttle body fuel control unit, fuel manifold valve, and mechanical fuel pump were bench tested at the manufacturer's facility with FAA oversight; all components were bench tested in the as received condition. Prior to bench testing of the throttle body fuel control unit, the inlet screen was examined and found to be clean. Bench testing of the throttle body fuel control unit revealed the measured fuel flow in terms of pounds-per-hour (pph) was greater than specification at all test points. Bench testing of the mechanical fuel pump revealed the measured fuel flow in terms of pph was within limits at all 4 test points, but the observed inlet pressure at all 4 test points was less than specification. Bench testing of the fuel manifold valve, fuel injector lines, and fuel injector nozzles as an assembly revealed fuel flow in terms of pph was within limits at 3 of the 4 test points, and flowed .137 pph greater than specification at the last test point. A comment in the manufacturer's report indicates that the observed fuel flow values for the bench tested components may be a result of field adjustment.
The airplane minus the retained components was released to the owner of the airplane (Paul Fayard), on January 31, 2006. All NTSB retained components were also released to the airplane owner on February 10, 2007.