Fuel Starvation Eyed in King Air B90 Crash

 - October 11, 2007, 11:59 AM

An NTSB preliminary report suggests that the Beechcraft King Air B90 (N10TM) that crashed into a parking lot in Chattanooga, Tenn., on September 19 ran out of fuel. The airplane was substantially damaged after hitting a light pole and cartwheeling into parked cars, but the ATP-rated pilot and three passengers received only minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. According to the NTSB, the pilot said all four fuel gauges were between the three-quarters and the full position during the preflight, and he believed that the airplane had approximately three hours of fuel for the 1 hour, 20 minute flight from Birmingham (Ala.) International Airport to Georgetown (Ky.) Scott County Airport. When the pilot leveled off he “happen[ed] to look at the two left gauges and noticed that they were practically empty,” prompting him to divert to Chattanooga Lovell Field. While on short final the left engine “quit” first, followed immediately by the right engine. Emergency responders found only a small amount of spilled fuel, and an FAA inspector observed that the nacelle and wing fuel tanks were empty.