On September 5, 2007, about 0533 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208 B, N702PA, registered to and operated by Paragon Air Express, Inc, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight, impacted trees during a forced landing following loss of engine power, near Cross City, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The commercial rated pilot was not injured and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight originated from the Mobile Downtown Airport (BFM), Mobile, Alabama, earlier that day, about 0430. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated he was on a repositioning flight to Tampa, Florida. He was cruising at 11,000 feet msl when, with no warning or spool down time, the engine failed. The engine indications instantly went to zero. The pilot declared an emergency to the air traffic controller and was advised that the nearest airport was Cross City Airport (CTY), Cross City, Florida, 29 miles away. He maneuvered the airplane toward the airport and went through the engine failure procedures. The attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The pilot configured the airplane for best glide speed. After gliding for 22 miles, the airplane's altitude was about 300 feet msl. The pilot slowed the airplane to just above stall speed before impacting small pine trees pulling back on the yoke and stalling the airplane into the trees. He was able to exit the airplane without assistance. The airplane came to rest eight miles east of the CTY.
A review of Pratt &Whitney of Canada (P&WC) record's determined the engine was overhauled by Pratt & Whitney Engine Services (PWES), Bridgeport, WV on August 1, 2001. New compressor turbine blades were installed at that time. The engine's maintenance records indicated at 5,451 total hours a hot section inspection was completed on June 18, 2005 by PWES Atlanta, GA. On February 2, 2007, at 6,964 total hours, the power section was removed due to a light propeller strike and replaced with a rental unit. The original power section was repaired and reinstalled at 7,165 total hours, completed on March 27, 2007. The maintenance was performed by PWES, Addison, TX. At the time of the accident the engine's Gas Generator section had accumulated 7,507 total hours and the Power section had accumulated 7,279 total hours.
The operator was granted by the FAA, a time between overhaul extension to 4,600 hours in 2005 and was operating on an approved engine condition trend monitoring (ECTM) program in accordance with P&WC Service Bulletin 1703. The aircraft was not equipped with an automated engine parameter data recording system. Review of the ECTM data following the last hot section inspection revealed no deviations dictating a need for maintenance action.
The engine was examined at Pratt and Whitney of Canada, with Transportation Safety Board of Canada oversight. The engine compressor turbine blades were fractured at varying heights from the roots to approximately half of the span. Materials analysis determined the blade fractures to display impact damage and overheating. The primary cause of the blade fractures could not be determined. The blades' microstructure indicated that the blades had been exposed to excessive temperatures. The compressor turbine guide vane ring and all adjacent and downstream components displayed extensive mechanical damage due to contact with the separated compressor turbine blade debris. There were no other pre-impact anomalies or operational dysfunction observed to any of the engine components examined.