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An unusual twin accident - fuel exhaustion?

I have both performed and watched a lot of asymmetric go-arounds and, if done properly, they are not a problem.

Same here, but they were mainly go-arounds from some IFR minimum, they were anticipated and everything was fully operational.
A “balked landing” at very low altitude and with a slow aeroplane with the flaps fully down (I never land a piston twin with full flaps other than for training purposes or if the runway length requires that!) may very different to handle.

EDDS - Stuttgart

A bit like buses I suppose. 62 year old female-ran out of fuel.

She was lucky , I think the trees, and build quality, possibly saved her…….await her reasoning for having no fuel..

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

So, I would beg people, once they have passed their MEP tests using the otherwise useless dead leg method, to only rely on gauges when the chips are down.

I would respectfully disagree.

The dead leg dead engine mantra is mainly for EFATO drills, where the priority is ensuring control of the aircraft. Searching gauges on a piston engine, is not foolproof as Timothy points out. The MP may revert to ambient on the failed engine, the RPM may not fluctuate, fuel may still be flowing and temperature and pressure gauges may not show a difference. Peter is correct that the EGT will quickly show a drop, but unless you have a good multi-probe engine analyzer most legacy EGT gauges are inop, or practically so.

With your eyes looking for, and deciphering engine gauges, and not on the AI, or outside, you can quickly lose it. The IR EFATO practical test standard is 20 degrees of heading and minus zero on blue line speed, and most examiners would treat this as a fail if mis-managed.

You then have the kung fu artist students who have practiced their asymmetric drills to demonic perfection, and proceed, with a flurry of arms and hands, to shut down the live engine. The exercise of ensuring and registering, in a careful methodical manner, that you have identified the correct live and dead engine, is quite a good practice if you want to avoid a self inflicted double engine failure. This is why dead leg, dead engine is only the start of the drill – depending on type you would then carry out further checks, starting with opening up to full power (or more power if in the cruise) the live engine, and then, only then proceed to feather the ‘dead’ engine.

In defence of the Seneca 1 it is a worthy old bus which I believe has never suffered a Vmc training accident. NTOFP performance for nearly all light piston twins is around 2-3% gradient, which is marginal – put into context you need 6 miles to clear a 1,000’ obstacle with that climb gradient. The Seneca 1 is also a good trainer in that it will not climb on a SE unless the configuration is correct, and you are on speed and with 3 degrees bank towards the live engine – then she will show you the 2-300 fpm which virtually all MEP deliver – OK the Baron E55 and 56TC might do significantly better, but not many of those left.

Oxford (EGTK)

Well, an instructor at my field flew a Seneca 1 into a group of trees on one engine, maybe 3 years ago. Airplane looked a ball of aluminum foil – instructor and students only very light bruises, thank god.

I agree with What_next (and forgot to mention that in my initial post): Yes, what I meant was a go-around from Full Flaps, geard down and at low altitude … Of course it can be safely done from the IFR minimum.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 16 Nov 17:20

I did my MEP in a Seneca V, and the instructor that he would always recommend rather crashing it in a controlled way on the rwy or in a field than trying a go-around on one engine.

Subject to my earlier comments I think he was wrong. I have done plenty of single engine go arounds from DH and they really arent the problem made out.

I rather agree with Timothy. In my experience, so far any way, it is pretty obvious which engine has failed / is failing. With fuel starvation (as in running out of fuel) it will stop pretty quickly so you will know.

I suspect so much of the problem is how infrequently most pilots rehearse single engine approaches so when they are done in earnest it is all too easy to end up with an unstable approach. It is so different from a single where not much changes when you become a glider other than going down rather more quickly than you might expect. So in a way SEP pilots re rehearsing engine failures most closely every time they land. In a twin the aircraft really does behave in a different way on one engine and the only time you experience that is when you rehearse single engine flight. So plently of opportunity to end up with a very unstable approach, pilot getting uncomfortable, over correcting and probably all too often getting low on the approach. The work load is high and the opportunity for things to spiral ever present. If the hydraulic pump is on the “wrong” engine sorting out the gear and flaps is yet another reason for the work load going up.

Last Edited by Fuji_Abound at 16 Nov 17:33

A bit like buses I suppose. 62 year old female-ran out of fuel.

Where did you get this information from? The article in the link says nothing about fuel.

Slight drift: I always find it amazing how U.S. media name pilots, victims and witnesses in their news reports. In my part of the world, it would be unthinkable to publish the names of any of these people (unless they are public figures) without their consent. Especially for a commercial pilot, a newspaper report containing his name and (maybe wrongly) giving fuel starvation as reason for his crash, it would mean the end of his career.

Last Edited by what_next at 16 Nov 17:46
EDDS - Stuttgart

Seconded all that, WN, plus I wonder what value it adds to the present discussion.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Subject to my earlier comments I think he was wrong. I have done plenty of single engine go arounds from DH and they really arent the problem made out.

Yes, from DH. We have talked about that, see above.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 16 Nov 18:17

it would mean the end of his career.

Maybe this is the problem, and not naming names…

LSZK, Switzerland

What next, if you watch the video report, the reporter confirmed a ’ ran out of fuel’ incident. The reporter talks about it. No ground fire evident, but I agree the article did not mention it. I appreciate, early days for whatever caused the fuel scenario, if that WAS the reason.

It was not a twin, but it seems appropriate that we were discussing this incident , which started with a fuel mgt scenario, and then up pops another incident. Almost immediately.

Actually, there are a lot of these fuel mgt crashes/incidents. Too many I fear.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow
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