The Beech King Air had undergone maintenance that included a landing gear disassembly and inspection in preparation for the airplane’s sale. Following the landing gear inspection, the left main landing gear strut was overfilled to an extension that exceeded maintenance specifications due to the strut not being able to maintain the manufacturer’s specified pressure/extension.
Category: Improper/Poor Maintenance
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.
While climbing through 600 feet after takeoff, a loud bang was heard and a hole appeared in the top of the engine cowling. Oil leaked from the engine and covered the windshield. The engine did not stop running, but did loose power. A forced landing was landing was made in a field and the nose landing gear collapsed during rollout.
The pilot reported that about 50 feet above the ground after takeoff he began to smell smoke and then saw smoke in the cockpit. He elected to abort the takeoff and land on the runway. He said the airplane bounced once and then landed. After touchdown he steered straight with both brakes full on. When it became apparent that he could not stop before the trees at the end of the runway, he began a hard turn to right.
According to the pilot, the flight departed Cook Field uneventfully and attained an altitude of approximately 800 feet above ground level when the airplane experienced a complete loss of engine power. The pilot stated that, ‘the windshield was covered with oil,’ and by looking out the pilot’s side window he was able to land uneventfully in a field.
The airplane was being used for sport parachute operations. During the initial climb after takeoff the right engine failed followed by the airplane’s slow descending right turn into wooded terrain. The airplane crashed through trees and caught on fire. The fire was extinguished prior to the destruction of the airplane.
The airplane was descending after jumpers had departed the airplane in a parachute jumping (skydiving) activity. For the descent, the pilot had reduced the power. When she attempted to increase power, she found that the engine had sustained a total loss of power. During a forced landing, the airplane hit a wire before touchdown, then nosed over in soft terrain.
The pilot was performing the initial takeoff, when he observed a loss of power, associated with a torque indication of zero. He force landed the aircraft in a wooded area when he could not make an open field. A post accident inspection of the engine revealed that the fuel control unit arm was loose, and the lock wire was not in place.
The pilot stated that on initial climb, at about 400 ft agl, the crew smelled something burning, followed by light smoke in the cabin. Both engines appeared normal visually. The odor and smoke increased, and the left fire warning light illuminated. The left engine was shut down & the prop feathered. The pilot increased power on the right engine; however, the airplane would not climb or maintain airspeed.
After takeoff, the airplane was seen at low altitude trailing smoke from the left engine. Witnesses saw the wings ‘tipping’ back and forth, then a wing dropped and hit the ground. Examination revealed that a supercharger bearing had failed in the left engine. The left engine had been recently installed by non-certificated personnel after being inactive for 18 yrs without preservation.
Subsequent to the departure of the skydivers, the airplane entered a spiral descent. The jump door, not the sky motive jump door listed on the airplane’s form 337, which had been approved by an faa inspector, entered a flutter condition. The pilot door, windshield and pilot door window separated during the descent. This flutter condition and separation of components resulted in the pilot being unable to control the airplane. Impact occurred in a 20 to 30 degree nose low attitude in approximately a 65 degree left angle of bank.
After lift-off, at about 100 ft agl and 85 kts, the left eng decelerated and the airplane began to yaw and roll left. The pic aborted the takeoff, turned left and landed on a flat level field. The airplane struck a fence, then trees. Examination of the left eng revealed the loss of power was attributed to a fatigue fracture of a compressor turbine blade, which led to subsequent blade fractures. The right eng was examined and found to have advance wear on the throttle cam assembly of the power turbine governor. In a test cell, only aprx 28% of takeoff power could be achieved. The cam lobe wear had progressed over an extended period of time. The right engine prop governor was replaced 11/18/90, followed by a test run.
Accident airplane was being used for sport parachute activity when engine failed during the initial climb of a jump sortie. The pic instructed his four skydiver passengers to assume a crash position and accomplished an off airport landing in a soft field. During the landing roll the nose landing gear collapsed. Post accident examination of the engine revealed a piece of duct tape obstructing the carburetor venturi restricting airflow to the engine.
The airplane lost power shortly after takeoff, at 100-200 ft agl. A witness reported hearing the engine backfire several times before it lost power completely. The airplane crashed shortly thereafter, as the pilot was attempting to return to the arpt. Exam of the engine revealed that the ignition harnesses and several spark plugs were in poor condition: several ignition leads were deteriorated; 3/4 of all leads were improperly connected to the magnetos. The spark plugs fired intermittently and broke down under pressure, when operationally tested. Other evidence of poor maintenance was also found, including water contamination in the carb bowl and a deteriorated carb accelerator pump. The airplane underwent a 100 hr inspection 4 months/128 flt hrs before the accident.
As the plt & 16 jumpers deptd on a skydiving flt, the eng lost pwr at aprx 300′ agl. The acft then banked steeply left, spiraled in a steep nose dwn attitude & crashed. An exam revealed fuel in the tanks was contaminated with wtr & foreign material with the appearance of brown algae. Milky fluid (aprx 65% jet fuel & 34% wtr) was fnd in the eng fuel control, as well as iron contaminants. Dark stringy material was fnd in the fuel filters. The acft had been refueled fm 55 gal drums which contained contaminated fuel. The drums were stored upright & rain water could leak thru the filler caps. N551cc had a history of fuel contamination which on occasions caused the fuel bypass indicator to display. Rprtdly, the stall warning circuit brkr had been disengaged on other occasions, so as not to startle the jumpers; however, due to dmg, its preimpact psn could not be verified. Acft was estd to be 370 lbs ovr its max wt lmt & 1′ fwd of the cg lmt. The9 pax seats had been rmvd to haul up to 18 jumpers. Pax seat belts were not used. Lack of faa surveillance was noted.
The aircraft’s left engine caught fire during the takeoff roll. The pilot managed to stop the aircraft on the runway and all 31 skydivers and the two member crew evacuated without injury. The left engine propeller had lost one blade which was found several days later 3000 feet west of the wreckage. There was no evidence found to substantiate compliance with a mandatory airworthiness directive on the propeller blade.
While in flt on a parachute jumping mission, a fire erupted in the right eng area & a precautionary landing was made. An exam revealed that the float fulcrum screw, pn 13773, on the stromberg carburetor had backed out & allowed fuel to escape into the exhaust area. Reportedly, the screw had not been safety wired.
Prior to flt the spark plugs on both engs were replaced due to minor eng vibration & the landing gear retract system wiring repaired due to the gear not retracting electrically on a prior occasion. After takeoff the gear would not retract electrically & the passenger had to crank up the gear manually. After the parachute jump the plt shut down the left eng to isolate the vibration. He then started the left eng & feathered the right eng. Unable to unfeather the righteng he elected to land with full flaps & gear down after a straight-in approach. As he approached the threshold a c-150 taxied onto the rwy. The plt executed a go-around while trying to retract the flaps & gear electrically without results.The pax was attempting to retract the gear manually when the acft struck a tree. The plt stated he did not make his landing intentions known on unicom during the approach. No pre-impact descrepancies were found to preclude normal prop operation. Normal elect power is halved with one generation inoperative.