Final Report: Fuel Transfer Problems Caused Engine Stoppage

 - October 31, 2006, 5:44 AM

Beech King Air 300, Daytona Beach, Fla., April 14, 2004–The pilot’s inadequate management of the airplane’s fuel system, resulting in fuel starvation, a loss of engine power, a forced landing and damage to the airplane was the probable cause of the accident.

Trying to transfer fuel because of a fuel imbalance, the commercial-rated, 3,495-hour pilot “began crossfeed right to left.” About five to 10 miles away from Spruce Creek Airport, descending from 12,500 and turning left, both engines quit. When the pilot leveled the wings both engines restarted. The fuel gauges showed 300 to 350 pounds of fuel in the right tank, and 100 to 150 pounds on the left, so he continued his approach.

When he banked left to enter left base, both engines stopped. He decided to land on a taxiway. When the wings leveled after the turn, both engines restarted then a car pulled out onto the taxiway and stopped on the centerline, so he applied power. When he made a climbing left turn, the engines stopped, and he guided the airplane to a retention pond for landing. The airplane was destroyed, the pilot received minor injuries, and one passenger sustained serious injuries.