A blocked fuel vent caused an engine failure on a 206 while climbing with jumpers. But when the pilot selected from left to right tank the engine regained power. Instead of aborting the load and landing with power the pilot elected to continue climb, dropped the jumpers and prepared the plane to land back at the airport. While descending he RESELECTED the tank that had caused the engine failure during the climb. The engine failed and he landed short of the runway.
- Engine failures should not be taken lightly just because you got it going again. If you change fuel tanks in a 206 to restore power you can consider that tank to have unusable fuel. If you don’t feel the remaining fuel can complete the mission and land with reserve then you must land immediately.
- Know your systems. This pilot did not know that the fuel system only fed off one tank at a time.
- Pilot time in make and model: 5 hours.