Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine power loss (fuel tank exhaustion) 102 km north Adelaide, SA 18 October 2007,VH-TMP, Cessna C404

Investigation number:
AO-2007-049
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 343KB]
 

On 18 October 2007, the pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company C404 Titan aircraft, registered VH-TMP, was conducting a charter flight from Adelaide Airport, SA to Parafield Airport, Beverley airstrip, and return to Adelaide. The pilot had commenced descent into Adelaide on the final sector of the flight when the right engine lost power. There were no apparent anomalies and the fuel quantity gauges were showing adequate fuel in each tank. After securing the right engine, the pilot continued to Adelaide Airport and landed without further incident.

Aircraft maintenance engineers who inspected the aircraft reported that 3 L of fuel was drained from the right tank and 90 L was drained from the left tank. The fuel quantity gauge was indicating 150 lbs (95 L) in the right tank. An engineer found that one of the electrical circuits in the right fuel quantity indication system had a high resistance. After wiring in the circuit was repaired, the fuel quantity gauge correctly indicated zero fuel in the right tank. Calibration of the fuel quantity indication system was carried out and during that process, the left and right signal conditioners were found to be unreliable and were replaced or repaired.

The operator amended its fuel documentation and fuel planning procedures to include a secondary means of verification of fuel on board to cross-check the electric fuel indication system.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) advised that a Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 215 direction [WRA3130] had been issued to the operator. In late 2007, CASA withdrew Airworthiness Bulletin 28-002.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 343KB]
 
 
 

Preliminary

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[Download  PDF: 299KB]
 

Preliminary report released 12 December 2007

On 18 October 2007, the pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company C404 Titan aircraft was conducting a charter flight from Adelaide Airport, SA to Parafield Airport, Beverley airstrip, and return to Adelaide. The pilot had commenced descent into Adelaide on the final sector of the flight when the right engine lost power. There were no apparent anomalies and the fuel quantity gauges were showing adequate fuel in each tank. After securing the right engine, the pilot continued to Adelaide Airport and landed without further incident.

Aircraft maintenance engineers who inspected the aircraft reported that 3 L of fuel was drained from the right tank and 90 L was drained from the left tank. The fuel quantity gauge was indicating 150 lbs (95 L) in the right tank. An engineer found that one of the electrical circuits in the right fuel quantity indicating system had a high resistance. After wiring in the circuit was repaired, the fuel quantity gauge correctly indicated zero fuel in the right tank. Calibration of the fuel quantity indicating system was carried out and during that process, the left and right signal conditioners were found to be unreliable and were replaced or repaired.

The operator amended its fuel documentation and fuel planning procedures to include a secondary means of verification of fuel on board to cross-check the electric fuel indication system.

Download Preliminary Report
[Download  PDF: 299KB]
 
 
 
General details
Date: 18 October 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1400 CST   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 102km N Adelaide    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 23 January 2009   Occurrence class: Technical  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
  Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 404  
Aircraft registration VH-TMP  
Serial number 4040125  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Beverley SA  
Departure time 1230  
Destination Adelaide SA  
Last update 14 November 2018