This May 2008 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: Commander AC-680. Injuries: None. Location: Hope, Ark. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot held a private certificate for airplane single-engine land only. The accident airplane is a multi-engine design. The pilot’s last FAA third class medical was issued Feb. 5, 2008. At the time he reported 1,000 hours, of which 986 hours were in single-engine airplanes and 14 in multi-engine airplanes. All 14 hours were in the same make-model as the accident airplane and were logged as pilot-in-command. At the time of the accident, the pilot did not have a current Biennial Flight Review, as required by Federal Aviation Regulations.
The pilot told investigators that he attempted to land to check the fuel. While on final approach in a crosswind, the airplane drifted to the left of the runway centerline. The pilot compensated with right rudder input and increased power on both engines. The right engine did not power up immediately and the airplane yawed to the right of the centerline. Witnesses said the engines did not sound right and the airplane was weaving back and forth as it approached the runway with its right wing low. The pilot was unable to get the airplane back on the centerline before it hit the ground. The airplane bounced several times before it came to a complete stop. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and tail cone. The right main and nose landing gear were also damaged, and all three propeller blades on the right engine were bent aft at the tips. The airplane was equipped with three fuel tanks in each wing, which consisted of one inboard of the engine nacelle and two outboard. The right wing’s two outboard tanks had been disabled and only the right inboard tank was being utilized at the time of the accident. It appeared to be less than a quarter full. Approximately two cups of what appeared to be a mixture of brown sludgy debris, water, and blue fuel were drained from the main fuel strainer in the fuselage. It was also noted that several avionics were not installed in the instrument panel and a large amount of duct tape was placed over a panel on the nose cone near the pilot’s side windshield.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the twin-engine airplane while landing. Contributing to the accident were the crosswind and partial loss of power on the right engine.
For more information: NTSB.gov