On January 23, 2014, about 1430 central standard time, a Cessna 414A airplane, N414CJ, experienced a loss of engine power near Ashland, Missouri. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by Alelco, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport (KCBF), Council Bluffs, Iowa, at 1326 and was destined for the Jefferson City Memorial Airport (KJEF), Jefferson City, Missouri. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot report, at 0700 on the morning of the accident flight the pilot completed a preflight inspection. During the inspection no anomalies were noted and no water was observed in the fuel sumps. The pilot flew from KJEF to KCBF at 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl) where the outside air temperature (OAT) was about negative 11 degrees Celsius (C). No anomalies were noted during the flight.
While on the ground at KCBF about 1030, the airplane was filled with 74 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. The OAT at KCBF was negative 4 degrees C. At 1130 the pilot stared both engines and let them run for about 10 minutes to prevent cold soaking. This process was repeated again at 1300. With the absence of another preflight inspection, the pilot and two passengers departed for KJEF about 1330.
During cruise flight at 15,000 feet msl, where the OAT was negative 19 degrees C, the pilot noticed "a very quick/short miss" in one of the engines but could not identify a specific problem. This happened again during the initial descent.
During the descent to KJEF, about 7,000 feet msl, the pilot noted that engines got out of sync and the airplane yawed as if an engine had lost power. The left engine then began to lose power so the pilot attempted to troubleshoot the issue. When he was unable to remedy the issue, he secured the left engine, feathered the propeller, and advised air traffic control (ATC) of the situation. Then the right engine began to lose power and eventually would only produce idle power. Unable to maintain altitude and reach the intended airport, the pilot elected to conduct a forced landing into a field.
A postaccident examination was conducted by the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and representatives from the engine and airframe manufacturers. The examination revealed substantial damage to the fuselage. The fuel manifold valves on both engines contained pieces of ice. The fuel strainers bowls both contained significant amounts of ice. The ice in the left fuel strainer bowl measured 1 3/8 inches thick. Also, the fuel strainer screen contained ice. The fuel from both fuel tanks was sampled and tested and was negative for water contamination. Fuel samples taken from the fuel supply at KCBF were negative for water contamination.