Engine failure leads to crash

This March 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna Crusader Injuries: 1 Fatal Location: Louisa, Va. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: During takeoff, one witness noted that one of the airplane’s engines seemed to be running rough and did not appear to be generating power. Several other witnesses, located about a half mile northwest of the airport, saw the airplane pass overhead in a right turn. The engine noise did not sound normal.

Two of the witnesses noted grayish black smoke emanating from the airplane. The airplane rolled left and crashed nose down into the front yard of a residence and burst into flames.

Tear-down examination of the right propeller revealed that the blades were not at or near the feather position, which was contrary to the emergency procedure published by the manufacturer in the event of an engine power loss. The right propeller exhibited signatures consistent with low or no power at impact, while the left propeller exhibited signatures consistent of being operated with power at impact.

Review of maintenance records revealed the airplane underwent an annual inspection and extensive maintenance about three months before the accident. One of the maintenance issues addressed was a problem with the right engine as it was reportedly running rough at cruise. The right engine fuel pump, metering valve, and fuel manifold were removed and replaced with overhauled units. The right engine fuel flow was reset contrary to procedures contained in an engine manufacturer service information directive. However, the fuel pump could not be tested due to thermal damage and the investigation could not determine if the fuel flow setting procedure contributed to the loss of power on the right engine.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control and secure the right engine during a loss of engine power after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the loss of engine power on the right engine for undetermined reasons.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: ERA10FA161



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  1. crusaderman says

    A Cessna Crusader is one of the easiest twins to fly one one engine, as it has counter-rotating props.( that wouldn’t be an advantage when the right engine failed).
    Especially with a light load, the plane was very capable of flying one one engine with proper piloting techniques.

    god bless the deceased pilot. May he rest in peace

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