Preliminary Report: Embraer runs out of fuel on final

 - September 26, 2006, 9:10 AM

Embraer EMB-110P1, Orangeburg, S.C., Dec. 9, 2005–The Air Now twin turboprop, which was on a positioning flight, lost power in both engines and crashed into trees during a forced landing near Orangeburg. The aircraft was on an IFR flight plan from Savannah, Ga., to Columbia, S.C., in VMC. The sole-occupant pilot told the NTSB that she had flown the airplane the day before and had ordered fuel on arriving at Savannah.

Another pilot told her that he had heard a “popping noise” coming from one of the engines, so she restarted the engines and taxied to a runup area to do an engine runup, which seemed satisfactory. The fuel truck arrived at the runup area, but she decided not to refuel. The next morning, she did not refuel and could not remember checking the fuel tanks during preflight.

After taking off from Savannah and reaching cruising altitude, she noticed that the fuel light on the annunciator panel was flickering. Checking the fuel gauges, she saw less than 100 pounds of fuel per side indicated. She declared low fuel with Columbia Approach Control and asked to divert to Orangeburg. She was cleared for a visual approach to the airport. After she lowered the landing gear, the left engine quit, then the right. She landed in trees about one-quarter mile from the approach end of the runway. Leaving the airplane, she called 911 on a cellphone. No fuel was found in the unruptured fuel tanks.