After completing a flight with a load of skydivers, the pilot “dipped” the left tank and it indicated 15 gallons of fuel. He then flew another flight to 3,500 feet MSL and started his descent. The pilot reduced power to 1,600 rpm and 16 inches of manifold pressure, and applied full carburetor heat. As the aircraft was approaching pattern altitude, approximately 1,000 AGL, the engine quit without warning.
The airplane lost engine power during descent. The 1,127-hour pilot elected to perform emergency engine out procedures and prepared for an emergency landing. After impact, the pilot observed the right engine nacelle engulfed in flames, which then spread to the fuselage. Review of the engine logbook revealed the engine was being operated in excess of 1,000 hours of the manufacturer’s recommended time between overhauls of 3,600 hours.
According to the pilot, he completed an air drop of skydivers and was returning to land. During the final approach, he added power to maintain altitude and obstacle clearance, and the engine “quit without sputter[ing].” He made a forced landing in a sagebrush covered field. The airplane struck the ground, slid down a gully, and struck a tree.
During cruise flight, the 33,000-hour pilot stated that the airplane encountered “extreme clear air turbulence followed by three jolts in rapid succession.” He “heard a loud pop as he jerked the throttle to the flight idle position.” As the airspeed was slowing, the pilot attempted to add power. The “throttle would not move from the flight idle position and the propeller went into BETA.”
The airplane landed downwind, approximately halfway down the runway, overran the end of the runway and nosed over. The pilot reported that while en route he monitored a nearby automated weather observing system (AWOS) and the winds were “230 [degrees true] at 3 knots.” The pilot stated, “I decided I would use either end of [the] runway since [the] wind was calm.”
The 363-hour single-engine commercial rated pilot lost control of the airplane during a parachute activity flight. The airplane subsequently stalled and entered a spin to the left. A witness radioed the pilot and asked what was wrong, and the pilot replied that he was in a spin and didn’t know what to do.
Witnesses observed the airplane depart to the north, and experience a partial loss of power during the takeoff climb. The airplane then began a turn to the left, and initiated what appeared to be a right base entry for a landing on runway 20. The airplane continued the turn, past 270 degrees, and as it flew beyond the end of the runway, the engine appeared to regain power and the airplane began a climb.
The commercial pilot reported a partial loss of engine power during takeoff. He was unable to restore full power, and made an emergency off-airport landing, which resulted in structural damage to the airplane. An FAA inspector and an aviation mechanic examined the engine and noted that the gasket between the air filter and carburetor was missing.
A witness reported that the airplane touched down within 1,000 feet of the runway threshold. The airplane rolled about 200 feet, and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane then veered left and came to rest inverted. The witness added that the nose gear collapse left scrape marks on the runway. Examination of the airplane revealed that the upper link of the nose gear torque knee had failed.
The pilot reported that prior to takeoff he drained the main lower sump, but not the wing sumps, as was company policy. The pilot stated that he was told by the mechanic that “constant use of the wing sumps causes them to leak, and also causes damage to the fuel cells that is hard to repair.” The pilot also reported that the airplane had been fueled a few days prior to the flight from a 55 gallon barrel by an electric pump at the company’s fueling facility.