Shut Down The Right Engine To Preserve The Remaining Fuel To Make It To The Airport

Location: Wichita, KS Accident Number: CEN21LA302
Date & Time: July 1, 2021, 19:20 Local Registration: N10HK
Aircraft: Piper AEROSTAR 600 Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On July 1, 2021, about 1920 central daylight time, a Piper Aerostar 600, N10HK, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported to air traffic control, about five miles north of the Colonel James Jabara Airport (AAO), Wichita, Kansas, that the two Lycoming IO-540 engines were having issues after lowering the flaps to slow down the airplane for entry into the traffic pattern at AAO. The pilot raised the flaps thinking that the fuel ports may have been uncovered and he then shut down the right engine to preserve the remaining fuel to make it to the airport. The airplane was unable to continue with powered flight with just the left engine operating and the pilot performed a forced landing to a muddy wheat field about 2.5 miles north of AAO. The pilot was able to egress from the airplane without further incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The Federal Aviation Administration traveled to the accident site to examine the airplane. A continuity check of the flight and engine controls revealed no abnormalities. The master switch was turned on and the fuel gauges showed a zero indication. There was no evidence of fuel at the accident site or in the airplane. The wreckage is pending recovery for further examination.