ATL07CA018
ATL07CA018

On November 9, 2006, at 1015 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164B, N962QC, registered to Odom Aviation LLC, and operated by Merrill Aviation Inc., as a 14 CFR Part 137 aerial application flight, had a total loss of engine power in the vicinity of Pine Hill, Alabama. The pilot made a forced landing to a field and the airplane received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from Pine Hill Municipal Airport, Pine Hill, Alabama, at 1012. The accident was reported late to the NTSB on November 17, 2006.

The pilot stated he initially departed Pine Hill at 0702 and flew 5 sorties before returning for fuel. Fuel and fertilizer was added to the airplane. The pilot stated he assumed the airplane had been topped off with fuel, and he did not visually check the fuel tanks. The airplane holds 82 gallons of fuel of which 2 gallons are unusable. The airplane burns 44 gallons of fuel per hour and it burns 15 gallons of fuel while at flight idle when the airplane is being loaded with fuel and fertilizer. The pilot stated he was not sure how much fuel the airplane uses for taxi, takeoff, and climb to his cruise altitude. The pilot departed the airstrip at 08:40, and flew 5 additional sorties before returning 1 hour 27 minutes later. The airplane remained at flight idle while fertilizer was loaded onto the airplane. No fuel was added to the airplane. The pilot departed and climbed to a cruising altitude of 700 feet. While in cruise flight the engine quit. The pilot stated there was insufficient time to attempt an engine restart. The pilot turned to the left to the only available forced landing area. While on final approach the pilot noticed trees had been harvested and tree stumps were present in the landing area. On landing roll out, the landing gear collided with the tree stumps separating the landing gear and came to a complete stop. Upon exiting the airplane the pilot observed the airframe had received structural damage.

The pilot contacted his insurance adjuster and arrangements were made to recover the airplane. These arrangements were not coordinated with the NTSB or the FAA. A recovery team arrived on scene and removed the engine from the airframe. The fuel tank was not ruptured and no fuel was present in the fuel tank. No fuel spill was observed nor was there a presence of the smell of fuel at the crash site. The fuel line from the fuel tank to the airframe filters was severed. The main fuel line from the airframe filters was removed from the main engine fuel pump inlet fitting and residual fuel was present. The opposite end of the fuel line was removed from the exit side of the airframe filters and no fuel was present. The main fuel line to the engine was disconnected and no fuel was present. The fuel line from the inlet side of the airframe filters was disconnect and no fuel was present. The engine assembly was transported to CD Aviation Services, an authorized Honeywell Repair Center, located in Neosho, Missouri, and the airframe was transported to Walnut, Arkansas for storage.

The engine assembly was installed in a test cell at CD Aviation on November 20, 2006. The engine started in 22 seconds on the first attempt. The engine vibrated attributed to a suspected bent propeller shaft. All ground idle operations were normal. The fuel control unit and propeller governor were damaged. When power was applied, the fuel control unit and propeller governor would not govern the engine rpm. The engine was shut down, started 3 additional times, and ran for about 30 minutes.

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