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N156DK accident description

West Virginia map... West Virginia list
Crash location 40.175000°N, 80.634444°W
Nearest city Bethany, WV
40.205627°N, 80.556738°W
4.6 miles away
Tail number N156DK
Accident date 09 Jul 2003
Aircraft type Beech BE-56TC
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 9, 2003, at 1313 eastern daylight time, a Beech BE-56TC, N156DK, was substantially damaged when it impacted a field during a forced landing, following a loss of engine power while climbing near Bethany, West Virginia. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Wood County Airport (PKB), Parkersburg, West Virginia, at 1238. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Watertown International Airport, Watertown, New York. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he "topped off" the fuel tanks prior to departure. While climbing through 16,000 feet msl, to reach a cruising altitude of 23,000 feet, the left manifold pressure gauge began to fluctuate. He then noticed oil streaking from the left engine cowling. The pilot shut down and secured the left engine, and advised Air Traffic Control (ATC) that he wanted to return to PKB. About "a minute or so" after the pilot had secured the left engine, the right engine lost all power. The pilot added that he had not touched the right fuel selector after takeoff.

Review of recorded communications between the pilot and ATC revealed that he reported a total loss of power in the right engine approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds after reporting a loss of power in the left engine.

The pilot verified that the right throttle lever, right mixture lever, and right propeller lever were properly set, and then moved the right mixture lever full forward as a precaution. He verified the magnetos and fuel boost pump were "ON," and that the right fuel selector was "ON" for the right main fuel tank. However, the right engine did not restart. The pilot then attempted to start the right engine as if he were on the ground, utilizing the start checklist. He also attempted to cross-feed the right engine to the left main fuel tank. With no success to restart the right engine, the pilot attempted to restart the left engine, but was unable to do so.

During the restart attempts, the airplane's engine driven vacuum instruments failed, which included the attitude indicator. The ATC controller provided the pilot vectors toward the ILS Runway 03 approach to Wheeling Ohio County Airport (HLG), Wheeling, West Virginia. However, due to instrument meteorological conditions between 1,200 feet and 14,500 feet, the controller had to provide "no-gyro" turns to the pilot in an attempt to maintain a safe attitude. The pilot was unable to glide to the runway, and performed a forced landing to a field about 3 miles south of HLG. During the landing, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the wings, fuselage, and empennage sustained substantial damage.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examine the airplane with a representative from the engine manufacturer. On the left engine, an oil line was found separated from the number two cylinder, but the threads remained intact. The number six cylinder exhibited a lack of continuity and damage to the piston and connecting rod, consistent with oil starvation.

Examination of the right engine did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders, and engine continuity was confirmed. Adequate oil remained in the right engine, and the right engine driven fuel pump contained residual fuel. Continuity was confirmed for the right engine driven fuel pump, and the fuel nozzles appeared absent of debris. The fuel screen was removed from the fuel injection servo. The screen was absent of residual fuel and debris. When the right engine magnetos were tested, they produced spark at all leads. Examination of the spark plugs did not reveal any anomalies.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of power in the right engine for undetermined reasons. A factor was a partial loss of power in the left engine due to a loose oil line.

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