Wants Emergency Procedures To Include Turbocharger Failure
The National Transportation Safety
Board wants operators of piston-powered aircraft equipped with
turbochargers to recognize the signs of turbo failure... and be
better able to deal with the problem in flight.
On Tuesday, the Board recommended the FAA require manufacturers
of aircraft equipped with engine turbochargers to amend their pilot
operating handbooks and airplane flight manuals to include in the
"Emergency Procedures" section information regarding turbocharger
failure and, specifically, procedures to minimize potential hazards
relating to fire in flight and/or loss of engine power.
As with other NTSB recommendations, there is a precedent for the
Board's action. In May 2004, a turbocharger-equipped Cessna T206H
(type shown below) operated by the Drug Enforcement Agency crashed
in Homer Glen, IL after the pilot reported a loss of engine power
while at cruise flight at 1,150 feet AGL. A witness reported they
heard several attempts to restart the engine, and that black smoke
billowed from the aircraft during each attempt.
The airplane struck trees as it descended and crashed into a
garage attached to a house. The pilot was killed when the plane
caught fire after impact, and exploded.
During its investigation, the NTSB discovered the turbocharger
had failed and the turbine wheel seized. These findings prompted
the Safety Board to examine the guidance in the Cessna T206H pilot
operating handbook (POH) regarding how to address a turbocharger
"This examination revealed that the in-flight emergency
procedures lacked information to assess the difference between an
engine and a turbocharger failure and did not provide any clear
guidance or instructions on how to handle a turbocharger failure
once a pilot identified the problem," the NTSB says. "The Board
determined that the probable cause of this accident was, in part,
'the seized turbocharger…. [c]ontributing factors were the
inadequate emergency procedures by the manufacturer.'"
The Board notes it issued a similar recommendation in April
1994, following another incident involving a Cessna T210L. In that
case, the plane suffered partial engine failure.. and as the pilot
attempted to remedy the problem, the aircraft crashed short of the
runway in Temple Bar, AZ.
Two persons onboard that plane were killed, and three others