An unfeathered propeller on a shut down engine contributed to the crash of an aeromedical King Air at Moomba last December, according to the ATSB report issued yesterday.
The aircraft, B200 VH-MVL, crashed on 13 December 2016 with three people on board after the pilot shut down the left engine in a right hand circuit due to a fire warning. The aircraft landed in the sand alongside the runway and spun around. There were no injuries, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.
" ... the pilot did not feather the left propellor after the left engine was shut down, causing it to windmill, resulting in considerable drag," the ATSB found.
"In addition, the aircraft was in a right turn towards the engine developing power, with the landing gear extended and the flaps set to approach. This combination resulted in more thrust being required for continued safe flight than was available."
The pilot reported completing three of the four emergency steps in the case of engine fire, omitting to feather the prop. The ATSB noted that this was possibly due to the warning coming as the aircraft turned base, forcing the pilot to divide their attention between handling the aircraft and looking for visual cues for landing.
With the aircraft becoming increasingly hard to control in the right turn, the pilot checked to make sure the left was shut down, but didn't think to check the prop was feathered.
Also, the ATSB found no evidence of fire on the left engine, concluding that the warning was most likely a false indication, a known issue.
Investigations into crash revealed the company had elected not to modify the system to install a more reliable fire indication system in accordance with a manufacturer's service bulletin.
The full report is available on the ATSB website.