Accidents: Final Report - MAINTENANCE CONFUSION LEADS TO KING AIR CRASH

Aviation International News » December 2010
December 1, 2010, 8:16 AM

Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200, Greer, S.C., Nov. 9, 2009–The turboprop twin was substantially damaged and the ATP-rated pilot and two passengers were seriously injured when it crashed on final approach at the end of a maintenance evaluation flight at Greenville Spartanburg International Airport.

The pilot told investigators he delivered the aircraft to a maintenance ­facility for a phase inspection. When he arrived at the airport the next morning and conducted his preflight, the ­aircraft had 740 pounds of fuel, enough for more than an hour of flying. While awaiting the arrival of technicians who were to fly with him and evaluate some avionics issues, the pilot went inside the facility. While he was waiting, and unknown to him, mechanics performed a 45-minute ground engine run.

Once the avionics technicians arrived, the aircraft was taken for a local flight, and on approach the engines quit and the pilot attempted a gear-up landing. The pilot stated that he used the turboprop’s flight management system fuel totalizer on the ground and in flight. He told investigators that if the mechanics who performed the engine run did not turn on the FMS during the test, it would not have reflected the fuel burned.

When he returned to the aircraft after his preflight he did not check the fuel gauges. Examination of the wreckage showed the intact main and auxiliary fuel tanks were empty. An official of the facility said that company policy called for the placement of a red tag on the outside of an aircraft before maintenance, but noted that no repairs had been started on the airplane.

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