Final Report: Fuel Exhaustion Downed Another King Air

 - October 17, 2006, 4:55 AM

Raytheon Beech King Air A90, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 17, 2004–The pilot of Eclipse Enterprises King Air N45TT took off from Ferguson Airport, Pensacola, Fla., to refuel at Jack Edwards Airport, Gulf Shores, Ala. But seconds after the airplane rotated, the right engine quit because of fuel exhaustion. The airplane drifted right, and the pilot applied full left rudder and lowered the left wing to correct. After confirming that the right engine was spooling down, he feathered it, starting to turn toward the operating engine to return to the airport.

When the airplane reached a speed of 80 knots, the stall warning light illuminated. The pilot added full power, which caused the nose to veer radically to the right, and the airplane descended, heading toward T-hangars. The pilot kept the gear retracted and attempted to land the airplane on its belly to keep from hitting the hangars. The wing and nose hit the ground, causing substantial damage to the aircraft. The pilot reported no indications of any mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airplane or any of its systems.

The NTSB said the probable cause was the pilot’s inadequate planning/decision and his failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and an inadvertent stall.