PKBWL report – Accident, Aero AT-3 R100 (SP-PBC), Witanowice, 30/06/2023

On 30th June 2022, the pilot of an AT-3 R100 aircraft, registration marks SP-PBC, was performing an en-route flight as part of his ATPL(A) training. After about 1 hour 40 min. from take-off, the engine stopped in flight and attempts to restart it were unsuccessful. The pilot was forced to land in a random hilly terrain. During the landing down to the slope, the plane hit the local land elevation sustaining a substantial damage. The pilot was not injured.

Cause of the occurrence: Engine stoppage in flight due to fuel starvation resulting from selection to feed the engine from an empty tank.

Contributing factors:

1) Landing in hilly terrain in the downhill direction;
2) An attempt to land against the wind, which was weak and from variable directions;
3) Hilly, difficult terrain and lack of the pilot’s experience in uphill landings;
4) Stress to the pilot caused by a sudden engine stoppage and time deficit;
5) Change of the decision about landing in the last phase of the approach;
6) Inadequate setting of the fuel quantity on the fuel meter of the left tank prior to the flight, what caused its improper readings during the flight and after landing;
7) Broken fuel valve knob of the right wing fuel tank.

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