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On left base for runway 26 at Essendon the right engine started to run roughly and surge and continued to do so until the aircraft landed. Towards the end of the landing roll the right engine stopped. The pilot reported that after the aircraft was parked the fuel gauges were indicating 200 lbs per side. When inspected, the right fuel tank was found to be empty. The right engine subsequently ran normally during a ground run with the left tank selected. The aircraft was delivered to its maintenance organisation where it was determined that the indicating system for the left fuel tank was faulty. A signal condition unit was replaced and a fuel calibration carried out after which the aircraft was returned to service. Investigation of the operational factors revealed that it is the operator's standard practice to fill the tanks to a total of 1250 lbs of fuel for a typical day's operation. It is not possible to see the fuel through the filler point when the tanks are only filled to this level. It is therefore normal practice to cross check fuel added against calculated fuel used on the previous flight and gauge indication as a check of fuel in the tanks. On the flight that terminated in this incident, the pilot had crossfed fuel in flight from the right tank due to unbalanced gauge indications. Hence, the reason that the right tank ran dry while there was still plenty of fuel in the left tank. Factors The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the incident: . The fuel quantity gauge indication for the right tank was inaccurate due to a faulty signal condition unit. . The inaccurate indication for the right tank led the pilot to believe that there was an imbalance between the left and right tanks. . Because of this percieved imbalance he crossfed from the right tank during flight until the imbalance appeared to be corrected. . This in turn resulted low fuel quantity in the right tank which eventually led to the right engine being starved of fuel.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 14KB]
General details
Date: 19 June 1995 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 20:17 EST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type:Fuel systems 
 Occurrence class: Technical 
Release date: 21 August 1995 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final  
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 404 
Aircraft registration: VH-ANP 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Hamilton VIC
Destination:Essendon VIC
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Last update 21 October 2014