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Beechcraft 18 (N7765N)


NTSB Identification: ERA09LA108 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation Accident occurred Saturday, December 27, 2008 in Fort Myers, FL Aircraft: BEECH E18S, registration: N7765N Injuries: 1 Serious. <b>HISTORY OF FLIGHT</b> On December 27, 2008, about 1521 eastern standard time, a Beech E18S, N7765N, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a wooded area, shortly after takeoff from Florida Southwest International Airport (RSW), Ft. Myers, Florida. The certificated airline transport pilot was the sole occupant on board and was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the executive/business repositioning flight from RSW to Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. During a phone interview with the pilot, he stated that earlier in the day he had each main and auxiliary fuel tanks filled at FXE. The fueling would have provided him with 270 gallons of fuel; the rear tank in each wing had some fuel, but he did not use the rear tanks to supply fuel to the engines. He flew from FXE to RSW, to pick up the owner of the airplane and several passengers. After he picked up his passengers, he departed from RSW approximately 1130, destined for FXE. About 1500, the airplane returned to RSW, four passengers were unloaded and the pilot was preparing to depart on a return flight to FXE. He stated that prior to departure, he had checked the fuel quantity in each tank via the fuel gauges. The two main tanks and the two wing auxiliary tanks each registered "3/10's fuel." He departed runway 6 and after rotation, while flying at 100 feet above ground level, he raised the landing gear and reduced the engines' power from a takeoff power setting to a cruise/climb power of 30 inches manifold pressure and 2,000 rpm. He then noticed that the right engine had lost power. He attempted to feather the right propeller using the feather switch located on the right side of the instrument panel in front of the other pilot seat. He stated that the right propeller did not feather and at that time, he "had not accelerated to blue line airspeed." He switched the fuel selector from the main tank position, to the auxiliary fuel tank position, back to the right main tank position; however, he was not able to restore engine power. He further reported that "all of this occurred within one minute of take-off." The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and the airplane impacted trees. He stated that after the airplane came to a stop, he turned the magnetos and master switch to the OFF position, and exited the airplane through the main cabin entry door. According to fuel receipts from a fixed based operator located at FXE, the airplane was last fueled with 170.7 gallons of aviation gasoline on December 7, 2008. <b>PERSONNEL INFORMATION</b> The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane multiengine land, airplane multiengine sea, and instrument airplane. He held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, and glider. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued May 8, 2008. He reported approximately 14,000 total hours of flight experience; of which, 195 hours were in the accident aircraft make and model. <b>AIRPLANE INFORMATION</b> The airplane had been manufactured in 1959 and had undergone an annual inspection on February 1, 2008. At that time, the airplane had accrued 9,193 total hours of flight time. The airplane was equipped with two Pratt and Whitney R-9085AN-14B engines, which had been overhauled about 1 year prior to the accident. The left engine had accrued 74 total hours since overhaul and the right engine had accrued 82 total hours since overhaul. According to the airplane's flight log, on the day of the accident, the airplane had flown three flights totaling 2.5 hours of flight time. Prior to the day of the accident, the airplane had last flown on December 7, 2008. <b>WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION</b> Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the left engine had separated from the left wing and was located approximately 40 yards from the wreckage, near the first tree strike, and the left propeller exhibited no signs of damage. The right engine was still attached to the right wing and the right propeller exhibited signs of tip damage. The airplane had impacted a tree, rotated, and came to rest facing the opposite direction of travel. The empennage was twisted approximately 90 degrees. Control continuity was verified for all control surfaces. The left wing exhibited signs of leading edge crushing. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the throttle levers were full forward, the left propeller lever was approximately three-fourths forward and the right propeller lever was approximately one-fourth forward. Both mixture controls were one-fourth forward, the left fuel selector was in the forward position and the right fuel selector was in the OFF position. The auxiliary wing fuel tanks were ruptured, but there was evidence of fuel. The main wing fuel tanks were void of fuel and the rear auxiliary wing fuel tanks contained some fuel. <b>TESTS AND RESEARCH</b> Examination of the engines by a local airframe and powerplant mechanic, with FAA oversight, revealed no external damage. No contaminations were found in the oil filter assembly, fuel screens located on the airframe, the fuel screen assemblies located in the carburetor for both engines. Additionally, no fuel was found in the carburetor for the right engine. The spark plugs for both engines were examined and appeared normal. The supercharger impeller for the right engine supercharger was checked and operated at that time. The oil lines to the propeller and propeller governor were secure and in place. The fuel control levers were inspected and operated normally. Examination of the right engine feathering oil pump was conducted after recovery of the aircraft. The examination concluded that all items tested, including the right engine feathering oil pump, "appeared to function normally and as anticipated." According to the airplane flight manual (AFM) for the accident airplane model, the main fuel tanks were equipped with electric, submerged boost pumps, and have sufficient capacity to supply the engines at take-off power should the engine-driven fuel pumps fail. The manual also states that "fuel should be used first from the auxiliary tanks, so that the main tanks are available for take-off, landing and flight through rough air." The Pre-Start Checklists states that the "fuel selector valves on to main tanks." The Cruise portion of the manual states in part "Then set up cruising power best suited to your situation…The fuel boost pumps should be turned off, the fuel selector handles switched to use fuel as required…" In Section IV of the AFM, under the section titled "Single-Engine Operation," states in part "The optimum single-engine rate-of-climb speed at sea level is 116 mph IAS [Indicated Air Speed] ("blue line" on the airspeed indicator). Maintaining this speed is of extreme importance if best aircraft performance is to be attained during stimulated or actual emergency conditions." <a href="<a rel="nofollow" href=""">"</a>;; rel="nofollow"><a rel="nofollow" href="</a>"></a></a>;;


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