Factual Report: Fuel exhaustion suspected in engine shutdown

 - January 31, 2007, 10:45 AM

Beech King Air A90, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 17, 2004–After the right engine quit, Eclipse Enterprise King Air N45TT crashed while returning to land at Ferguson Airport, Pensacola. VMC prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The pilot thought the cause was fuel exhaustion, because he knew the airplane was low on fuel. When the engine quit, the airplane drifted right, and he applied full left rudder and placed the left wing down to correct. He confirmed that the right engine was spooling down and feathered its propeller, starting to turn toward the operating engine to return to the airport.

As he rolled wings level, the airplane started to climb, so he reduced power after clearing the trees, and the rate of descent increased. The airplane’s speed was about 80 knots and the stall warning light began flickering on and off. 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 on the airplane’s belly to keep from colliding with the hangars. The wing and nose of the aircraft hit the ground. There had been no indications of mechanical failure or malfunctions of the airplane or any of its systems.