Preliminary Report: Possible engine failure in Embraer accident

 - March 12, 2007, 9:20 AM

Embraer EMB-110-P1, Swanzey, N.H., Jan. 13, 2005–At about 10:15 p.m., AirNow’s Embraer N49BA was destroyed while landing at Dillant Hopkins Airport (EEN), near Keene, N.H. The airplane came to rest inverted on Runway 2, about 90 feet from the approach end of the runway. The ATP pilot was killed.

Night IMC prevailed, and an IFR flight plan was filed for the Part 135 cargo flight from Bangor, Maine. Due to low instrument conditions, the pilot was unable to land at Manchester (N.H.) Airport, his destination, and ATC instructed him to hold north of the airport. The pilot asked to go to EEN, and stated “if possible keep it tight.”
Cleared for the ILS Runway 2 approach at EEN, the pilot was instructed to contact the CTAF. No further transmissions were received from the flight.

A witness said the wings were rocking and that the airplane flew in and out of low-lying clouds. The witness heard the engine noise increase “to very loud” and saw a large fireball. A law-enforcement officer said that the weather at the airport was “so foggy I could not see the flashing blue lights from my patrol car parked 15 feet from the accident site.” The wind was three knots and visibility was reported as one mile, with an overcast layer at 100 feet agl. Temperature was 35 degrees F, dew point 34.

The right engine showed signs of being unpowered and rotating under airloads at the time of impact. The left power lever was in the “max” position, and the right was in “min.” The left propeller speed control lever was in the max rpm position, and the right was in feather. The left fuel condition lever was in the “hi-idle” position, and the right was in “lo-idle.” The left firewall shut-off valve was in the “open” position, and the right was closed. The left engine needle was in the approximate 110-psi position, and the right was in the 20-psi position.