National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

Rockdale, TX

Accident Number:

CEN14LA253

Date & Time:

05/26/2014, 1640 CDT

Registration:

N188DP

Aircraft:

BEECH A36

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of engine power (total)

Injuries:

4 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot reported that, about 20 minutes into the flight, the engine sound abruptly changed, and the engine began to lose power. The pilot’s attempts to restore power were unsuccessful. An air traffic controller gave the pilot radar vectors to the nearest airport; however, the airplane was unable to glide to the runway, so the pilot made a forced landing on uneven terrain. The right main landing gear did not extend fully before touchdown, and the airplane ground looped, which resulted in the fuselage buckling and the outboard portion of the right wing being torn off. The engine was test run at all power settings, and no anomalies were noted.

 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident testing revealed no anomalies.

 

Findings

Not determined

Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

On May 26, 2014, about 1840 central daylight time, a Beech A36, N188DP, was substantially damaged when the engine lost power and the pilot made a forced landing on a road near Rockdale, Texas. The pilot and three passengers on board were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Pilots Choice Aviation, Inc., Georgetown Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Huntsville Municipal Airport (KUTS), Huntsville, Texas, at 1825, and was en route to Georgetown Municipal Airport (KGTU), Georgetown, Texas.

According to the pilot's statements, both main fuel tanks were filled to capacity, but the auxiliary tanks were not serviced. The first leg of the flight from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Huntsville, Texas, was uneventful. The pilot elected to go to Huntsville due to the weather conditions in the Austin, Texas, area. After spending several hours at Huntsville, the pilot and his family departed for Georgetown. About 20 minutes into the flight, the engine made "an abrupt change in sound" and the engine began to lose power. All cylinder EGTs (exhaust gas temperature) were above 1500 degrees Celsius (C.) Switching from the right tank to the left tank did not restore power, so the pilot returned the selector to the right tank. The pilot advanced the mixture, throttle, and propeller control full forward and noticed the cylinder EGTs were registering 200 degrees. He advised air traffic control that his engine was losing power and was given radar vectors to the H.H. Coffield Regional Airport (KRCK), about 4 miles southwest of the flight's position. The pilot subsequently declared an emergency. Unable to glide to the runway, the pilot made a forced landing on uneven terrain near County Road 322. The right main landing gear did not extend fully prior to touch down and the airplane ground looped. The fuselage was buckled and the outboard portion of the right wing was torn off.

Under the auspices of the National Transportation Safety Board, the engine was functionally tested at Air Salvage of Dallas in Lancaster, Texas, on July 21. The engine tested satisfactory at all power settings and no anomalies were noted.

 

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise

Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)

Emergency descent

Off-field or emergency landing

Landing

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Private

Age:

47

Airplane Rating(s):

Single-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

10/17/2012

Occupational Pilot:

No

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

09/24/2013

Flight Time:

513 hours (Total, all aircraft), 139 hours (Total, this make and model), 436 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

BEECH

Registration:

N188DP

Model/Series:

A36

Aircraft Category:

Airplane

Year of Manufacture:

 

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

E-1476

Landing Gear Type:

Retractable - Tricycle

Seats:

6

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

02/01/2014, Annual

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

3600 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

5360 Hours

Engine Manufacturer:

Continental

ELT:

Installed, activated

Engine Model/Series:

IO-520-BB87

Registered Owner:

PILOTS CHOICE AVIATION INC

Rated Power:

285 hp

Operator:

PILOTS CHOICE AVIATION INC

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

Operator Does Business As:

 

Operator Designator Code:

PLCA

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

GTU, 790 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

41 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1725 CDT

Direction from Accident Site:

270°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

 

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Broken / 9500 ft agl

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

6 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/ None

Wind Direction:

120°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

29.96 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

23°C / 17°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

 

Departure Point:

Huntsville, TX (KUTS)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Georgetown, TX (KGTU)

Type of Clearance:

VFR Flight Following

Departure Time:

1825 CDT

Type of Airspace:

Class E

 

Airport Information

Airport:

H.H. Coffield Regional (KRCK)

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

474 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Unknown

Runway Used:

N/A

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

Forced Landing

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

3 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

4 None

Latitude, Longitude:

30.646111, 96.960833

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Arnold W Scott

Report Date:

03/26/2015

Additional Participating Persons:

Matthew D Wetzel; FAA Flight Standards District Office; Houston, TX

Publish Date:

03/26/2015

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=89282