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Mon, Sep 06, 2010

Twin Commander Suffers Dual Engine Failure

Dead-Sticks Onto Interstate

There are some days when one's luck simply seems to be going form bad to worse... like the feeling one gets when one feathers a dead engine in a twin... sees the other taking a dive shortly thereafter. Here's just such a case in point.

NTSB Identification: ERA10LA457
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 31, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 560E, registration: N175SP
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On August 31, 2010, about 0815 eastern daylight time, an Aero Commander 560E, N175SP (previously registered as N6SP), was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after experiencing a loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff from the Herlong Airport (HEG), Jacksonville, Florida. The certificated private pilot and a certificated flight instructor (CFI) were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for Craig Municipal Airport (CRG), also located in Jacksonville, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During an interview, the pilot reported that he purchased the airplane on June 19, 2010. The airplane was previously owned by the Delaware State Police, and had not been flown for over 1 year. On July 23, 2010, after maintenance which included an annual inspection, the pilot took delivery of the airplane in Delaware, and flew it to HEG.

The purpose of the accident flight was to fly to CRG for avionics related maintenance. The pilot performed a preflight inspection, which included checking the fuel tanks for water contamination, prior to the flight. The pilot and CFI, who the pilot considered a safety pilot per insurance requirements, departed without incident. The airplane was in a climb between 1,500 and 2,000 feet, when the left engine quit. The pilot successfully feathered the engine; however, shortly thereafter, the right engine began to "sputter" and also quit. The pilot was unable to restore engine power in either engine, and performed a forced landing to Interstate I-10. During the landing, the airplane struck trees, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.


Aero Commander 560 (File Photo) 

The CFI reported that he assumed control of the airplane immediately after the left engine failed. He secured the left engine and subsequently maneuvered the airplane for the forced landing. While on approach, he observed power lines which necessitated lowering the airplane's nose, and increased the touchdown airspeed. During the landing roll, the airplane's right tire departed the paved surface, and the airplane veered into trees, toward a fence.

The airplane was subsequently removed from the accident site for further examination to be conducted under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, at a later date.

The pilot further reported that the airplane had been operated for about 20 hours since it was purchased, and was last flown on August 11, 2010. At that time, fuel was added to the airplane which brought the total fuel on board to approximately 80 gallons in the main fuel tanks, and 20 gallons in the auxiliary fuel tanks.

The pilot reported 250 hours of total flight experience, which included about 90 hours in multiengine airplanes. His most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 15, 2009.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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