Final Report: Improper flight planning led to C90 crash

 - June 4, 2009, 12:05 PM

Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90, Bloomingdale, Ga., Sept. 15, 2007– According to the board, the probable cause of the crash of the King Air C90 was “loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot’s improper preflight planning and preparation. A contributing factor to the accident was the pilot’s reliance on inaccurate fuel gauges.” The pilot began the flight with 500 pounds of fuel, which he “felt” was sufficient for the flight. Determination of fuel quantity was made by referring to the fuel gauges. The pilot admitted the right fuel gauge was inaccurate, consistently reading 200 pounds less than the left, and “flutters in flight, sweeping from zero to 1,200 pounds before settling on the fuel remaining.” Sixty miles from his destination, the pilot notified ATC that he had fuel concerns and requested priority handling. On approach to an alternate airstrip, both engines lost power. On landing on the 2,700-foot turf strip, the airplane slid on wet grass and traveled down an embankment at the end of the runway, hitting trees and incurring substantial damage. The pilot was uninjured.