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N20XY accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 35.990833°N, 115.133056°W
Nearest city Henderson, NV
36.039699°N, 114.981937°W
9.1 miles away
Tail number N20XY
Accident date 04 Jan 2016
Aircraft type Beech 35 C33
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On January 4, 2016, about 1715 Pacific standard time, a Beech 35-C33, N20XY, landed short of a runway after experiencing a partial loss of engine power on final approach to the Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Henderson, Nevada. The private pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. The airplane is registered to, and operated by, the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Placerville Airport, Placerville, California, at 1405.

The flight instructor reported that the owner, who is a private pilot, just purchased the airplane, and they were flying it to Kentucky. It was a cross-country instructional flight to familiarize the owner with the make and the model of the airplane. The flight instructor filed the flight plan to Santa Fe, New Mexico; however, they diverted to HND as the owner was not comfortable flying in the airplane at night.

The flight instructor entered the downwind for runway 17L and performed the GUMPS (gas, undercarriage, mixture, propeller, seat belt and switches) checklist to ensure nothing critical was forgotten before landing. He rotated the fuel selector switch to the right tank as it contained more fuel. As the flight instructor entered the final, he "felt something was wrong". He could not articulate what was wrong, but he recognized that the engine was not developing power. The propeller did not stop spinning, and the engine did not backfire. There was no difference in noise that the airplane was producing. He checked propeller and mixture settings, manipulated the fuel selector, and adjusted the throttle in order to regain power; however, he did not have enough altitude to restart the engine. The airplane impacted the terrain short of the runway; subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest nose down. The flight instructor reported that prior to take off, he topped off both fuel tanks. The airplane was also equipped with an auxiliary fuel system giving it an extended range up to 6 hours. During an examination, a Federal Aviation Administration inspector stated that about 12 gallons of fuel were drained from the left tank, and that the right tank was full.

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) CD-1083, was powered by a Continental Motors IO-470-K11B engine, 092964-R, rated at 225 horsepower. It was equipped with a McCauley 2A37C223-BC two-bladed, variable pitch propeller.

Review of the airframe and engine maintenance logbooks revealed that the most recent annual inspection was conducted on March 15, 2015, at the engine time of 581 hours, and the airframe and tachometer time of 2,913.28 hours.

The airplane engine was examined at Air Transport facility, Phoenix, Arizona, on January 25, 2016, by representatives from Continental Motors and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The engine remained attached to the airframe, and the engine mounts were intact. The two-bladed propeller remained attached to the crankshaft's propeller flange. One blade tip was bent aft, twisted slightly to lower pitch, and displayed leading edge gouges. The other blade displayed span-wise gouges toward its tip, and paint burnishing at a 45-degree angle on the cambered side of the blade. The throttle and mixture controls remained attached to their respective cockpit controls and their control levers, and they moved in a corresponding movement of the control levers and shafts. The magnetos remained secured to the topside of the engine, and the ignition harness was in place. The ignition terminals remained secured to the sparkplugs. The tops sparkplugs were removed from their respective cylinders, and all displayed dark black soot. The sparkplugs displayed a new-to-normal wear condition. The propeller was manually rotated, and a spark was observed on each of the sparkplugs in firing order with no anomalies noted.

With the sparkplugs removed, the cylinders were borescope inspected with no anomalies noted with the pistons, cylinders, valves, or valve seats. A thumb compression test was conducted, and suction of pressure was obtained by all six cylinders. Camshaft continuity was confirmed through rocker and valve movement.

With no pre-accident anomalies noted with the engine, the engine was test ran on the airframe using the airframe fuel system. The engine was run through various power settings to include idle and full power. However, the engine could only be run smoothly at idle after leaning the mixture control. Application of throttle required a richening of the mixture control to obtain full power. No anomalies were noted with the engine core components or the ignition system though the sparkplugs were covered with dark soot prior to the engine test run. The complete engine examination report is appended to this accident in the public docket.

The engine-driven fuel pump, the throttle body/fuel metering unit, and the fuel manifold valve were removed and sent for a further examination. The components were examined and tested at Continental Motors facility, Mobile, Alabama, on March 15, 2016, by representatives from Continental Motors and the NTSB. The fuel pump drive coupling remained intact, and the fuel pump drive coupling gear was undamaged. The fuel pump was placed on a test bench, and put through a production test cycle. The fuel pump operated normally, and no anomalies were noted. The fuel metering assembly remained intact, and displayed impact damage to the heat shielding. The metering assembly was placed on a production test bench, and no adjustments were made to the fuel metering assembly. The metering assembly was capable of flowing fluid at all throttle angles. The fuel manifold valve remained intact and undamaged. The manifold valve was installed on a production test bench with all of the fuel nozzles installed. The fuel manifold valve operated normally on the test bench, and was capable of flowing fluid normally. The nozzles were used during the fuel manifold valve production test cycle, and all of the nozzles operated normally. Observed values of the fuel system components flow/pressure test were recorded without adjustment. Specification values correspond to the engineering specifications of the original calibration of the component to ensure desired performance within the full range of operation. It was noted that certain observed values had fallen outside the range of the specification values. No anomalies were noted that would have prevented these components from operating normally on the engine. The complete fuel components examination report, which includes tables of both values for each component, are appended to this accident in the public docket.

NTSB Probable Cause

A partial loss of engine power during final approach for reasons that could not be determined based on available information.

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