Factual report: King Air lost power exceeded engine TBO

 - March 28, 2007, 10:37 AM

BEECH 65-A90, FENTRESS, TEXAS, OCT. 17, 2003–King Air N511BF was destroyed during a forced landing at approximately 3:30 p.m., following a loss of engine power near Fentress. The sole-occupant commercial-rated pilot sustained minor injuries. The King Air A90 was registered to American Aircraft Sales International of Venice, Fla., and was operated by Sky Dive San Marcos of San Marcos, Texas. VMC prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Part 91 skydiving flight, which originated from Fentress Airpark (XS90) about 30 minutes before the accident.

The 1,127-hour pilot told an FAA inspector that all systems appeared to be running normally throughout the flight from takeoff until the descent, after the jumpers were released from 14,000 feet. Once the jumpers were out, the pilot set the torque levers to idle, retracted flaps and set the propellers to 1,800 rpm, descending toward Fentress Airpark. As the flight approached the airport, the pilot selected approach flaps and extended the landing gear, then verified “three green” on the pedestal.

Looking up, he noticed the annunciator panel indicating a malfunction of the right engine generator. No other annunciator lights were illuminated. The engine did not appear to be producing any torque. He then began the emergency engine-out procedures and began looking for a field to land in. The pilot attempted to restart the engine, turning the starter-generator on and advancing the condition lever. White smoke began to come out from the cowling, and he shut off the fuel and turned the starter-generator off.

The airplane hit the ground on a northerly heading with the flaps and landing gear retracted. The airplane swung around and struck a tree. After the pilot ran from the accident site, he saw that the right engine nacelle was engulfed in flames, which then spread to the fuselage.

A review of the engine logbook revealed the engine was being operated more than 1,000 hours beyond the manufacturer’s recommended time between overhauls (TBO) of 3,600 hours.

Examination of the engine was conducted with assistance from a representative from the engine manufacturer. The engine displayed severe fire damage, including partial fire consumption of the accessory gearbox. All of the external housings displayed fire and heat damage. Control continuity was verified. There were no indications of operational distress in the compressor, combustion and turbine sections. Fire and heat damage to the recovered controls and accessories prevented further evaluation. The engine fuel control was consumed by fire, precluding any assessment of the area. No engine anomalies were found that would have prevented normal operation.