Prliminary Report: Fuel Imbalance in Metro

 - September 22, 2006, 4:48 AM

Swearingen SA-226TC Metro, Paris, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2006–The Tri-Coastal Airlines Metro crashed “in a nose-down, near-vertical attitude,” said the NTSB. The cargo flight was en route from Dayton, Ohio, to Harlingen, Texas, in VMC on an IFR flight plan. The ATP pilot, the sole occupant, was killed and the airplane destroyed.

While cruising at 16,000 feet, the pilot asked Memphis Center to clear him for a 360-degree turn to the left. He then asked for a 360 to the right. Then he asked for radar vectors to the nearest airport. He told controllers that he had an asymmetric fuel condition. After asking for a lower altitude, he called Mayday six times and radar contact was lost. Witnesses reported the aircraft descended at high speed straight down, then hit the ground and exploded.