OHIO CRASH OF E-90 KING AIR LIKELY ANOTHER ENGINE LOSS OF POWER WITH FOUR-BLADED PROPELLER.
Two pilots are dead in the fiery crash of a Beech E-90 King Air. The aircraft was equipped with four bladed propellers. While giving a quieter ride, these four-bladed propellers are like barn doors in the event of engine failure.
The investigation is just beginning but there is just no reason for an aircraft like this to crash absent a loss of power on one side.
The original aircraft was equipped with 3 bladed propellers and VMCA, minimum control airspeed with the critical engine wind-milling was computed with the propeller not feathered. When equipped with four-bladed propellers, the VMCA goes through the roof, some 30 knots higher and landing speeds are below VMCA. Absent immediate feathering of the propeller on the affected engine, the airplane will slow down and stall. On takeoff the airplane will roll towards the inoperative engine until upside down.
I have no doubt these pilots were skilled and experienced but taken by surprise recovery from an engine failure is no easy task.
Typical reasons for engine loss of power are PY air leak, bleed valve failure or less likely a catastrophic failure of either the power section or gas generator. In some modes of failure there is no annunciation of that failure to the pilots.
The Wolk Law Firm has handled a dozen King Air crashes due to loss of power.
May their memories be a blessing.
Arthur Alan Wolk
October 18, 2
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