Factual Report: King Air Lost Power

 - November 2, 2006, 7:30 AM

Raytheon King Air B200, Tulsa, Okla., Dec. 8, 2004–After losing power on both engines, King Air N6PE made a forced landing four miles north of Runway 18L at Tulsa International Airport (TUL) in night VMC. The airplane was substantially damaged and the instrument-rated 2,100-hour private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. An IFR flight plan was filed for the flight to La Crosse, Wis.

As the pilot prepared for departure for the 507-nm flight, the fuel gauges indicated approximately 800 pounds of fuel on each side; however, the pilot did not visually check the amount of fuel in the tanks. Approximately six miles from the runway, the right engine “sputtered” before it lost power. The pilot saw “both tanks were showing empty.” The left engine lost power moments later. The auto ignition system restarted the engines momentarily, but they failed again.

The pilot feathered both propellers and declared an emergency. As he was descending without power, he watched the moving-map display on his GPS unit, and “knew that he was not going to make it to the runway.” He spotted a street below with “a half-mile break in the traffic on the road.” He stalled the airplane in an empty space directly over the street. After the airplane made a hard landing on the street, the right wing collided with a telephone pole, and the left wing struck several tree limbs before the airplane hit a hill. There was no fire.

The FAA inspector found the fuel transfer switch in the “right-crossfeed” position. No leaks or anomalies were found. Approximately three-quarters of a gallon of unusable fuel was found in the right engine nacelle. Approximately four gallons of usable fuel was found in the left engine nacelle. The pilot said he thought the Hartzell/Raisbeck quiet turbofan propeller modification would decrease fuel consumption; however, the Pilot’s Operating Handbook states that “an error of 3 percent maximum may be encountered” in the fuel gauging system.