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On 16 August 2015, the pilot of a Beech A36 aircraft, registered VH-PAK, conducted a private flight from Pacific Haven to Southport, Queensland. The pilot reported that the aircraft engine ran normally throughout the cruise. At about 0945 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot joined the circuit at Southport Airport, with the intention to land on runway 19.

About 800 m from the runway threshold, at about 150 ft above ground level, the aircraft engine stopped. The pilot broadcast a Mayday call and conducted a forced landing. The aircraft collided with trees, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot was not injured.

The ATSB assessed that the engine ceased operating as a result of fuel exhaustion. This conclusion was due to the combination of starvation of fuel to the engine and the lack of fuel remaining on board.

Fuel management starts with knowing exactly how much fuel is on board at the commencement of each flight. It also relies on a method of knowing how much fuel the aircraft consumes. The likelihood of fuel starvation is reduced by adhering to procedures, maintaining a record of the fuel tank selections during flight and ensuring appropriate tank selections, particularly for take-off and landing.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin Issue 46

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General details
Date: 16 August 2015 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0945 EST  
Location   (show map):Southport Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction 
Release date: 28 January 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Beech Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: A36 
Aircraft registration: VH-PAK 
Serial number: E-1060 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Pacific Haven, Qld
Destination:Southport, Qld
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Last update 17 October 2017