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Dual Engine Failure--Yeow!

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
I gleaned this from the NTSB website, address noted below. Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I haven't seen it addressed on the board.

Any clues as to what happened?


NTSB Identification: CHI02IA151
Scheduled 14 CFRPart 121 operation of Air Carrier SPIRIT AIRLINES INC.
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at Wichita, KS
Aircraft:McDonnell Douglas MD-82, registration: N823NK
Injuries: 111 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On June 4, 2002, at 1238 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, N823NK, operated as Spirit Airlines Flight 970, experienced a loss of power from both engines while in cruise flight at flight level 330. The power loss occurred about 20 nautical miles west of Wichita, Kansas. Power from both engines was restored and the airplane diverted to the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas, without further incident. The 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled passenger flight was operating on an instrument flight rules flight plan. No injuries to the 105 passengers or 6 crewmembers, were reported. The flight originated from the Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado at 1140 and was en route to the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

I wonder if there is an ATR code for soiled shorts?
I worked for a company that flew several types of large four engine airplanes. I was called to take over a crew position in an aircraft following loss of the crew. I didn't get any details, but learned on arrival that the crew was missing. Sure enough, when I got to the aircraft it had been cleaned out. This particular type of operation required the crew to be with the aircraft for extended periods, and all their things were gone. Nothing but dust.

I pieced together what had happened to them over the next few days. They had departed under IFR, and were between ten and twelve thousand feet when they experienced a rough engine on #3. They performed a precautionary shutdown and cage. Shortly thereafter, they developed fuel fluctualtions on #1, #2, and #4. Upon applying backup boost pressure, those engines quit, leaving them to begin an all-engine-out descent in IMC.

After 60 seconds without power, they restored power on one, two, and four, and continued to a safe landing. Within a day, both crewmembers had left and that was that. There was more involved, of course, and I don't think the captain would have quit over just that...it wasn't too big a deal. However, it came on the heels of the burning death of two close friends in a large airplane crash only a couple of weeks before, the birth of a new child, and during a fresh marriage...with heavy pressure from the wife to get out.

Sometimes there's a lot of wisdom in knowing just when to call it quits.

It's times like these, however, when things begin to go wrong and blood pressure rises just a little, that we're reminded of why we got into flying to begin with. With a little tension comes a welcome challenge and a change, and what was for a brief period routine, becomes fun again. It's all just a learning experience.
Probebly a elementary question, but does the MD-82 have a RAT for this very thing? Im know genous and no nothing about the MD-80 family, but if you don't have a RAT, then what altitude do you need to desend to so you can fire off the APU to help with the loss of power issue. I dought it would fire at FL330.

Be gentle, as I said I know nothing about the Mad Dog.
PA-31 dual engine failure

Any PA-31-350 pilots out there should read this.........

Go to www.atsb.gov.au
and search for a/c VH-MZK, it had a dual engine failure on May 31, 2000. A very good report with pictures and a MUST read for anybody flying Navajo's..............
Thanks for the link.

Who would have thought that proper leaning and antiseize compound would be associated with an engine failure? Is the copper based stuff still called "C5-A"?

I only know of one double engine failure that happened in the US on a Navajo. It was caused by a guy who violated his company's policy to remain with the plane during refueling. When he returned to the plane (after not looking closely at his fuel bill to see what he was paying for...) he took off with a load of Jet-A. He and the plane safely returned to the airport. About two months later, I had the pleasure of flying the same plane.

-With two brand spankin' new engines.
The MD-80 series does not have a Ram Air Turbine to provide emergency electrical power. The emergency power system is powered by the aircraft battery and powers flight instruments and avionics necessary for a safe diversion. The APU may be started at FL300 or below, sometimes well below depending on how cold soaked it is.
The pilot of a Navajo operated by a former employer found the aux tanks full when he preflighted, normal procedure was full mains and 15 ea. aux, thinking someone topped it off by mistake and ferrying to pick up 2 people he didn't see a problem with full tanks. Reaching cruise flight he switched to the aux tanks and very high CHT and engine roughness began soon thereafter, switched back to main tanks and engine operation returned to normal. The aux tanks had been topped off by mistake, with JET-A! Pilots of piston airplanes should be aware of the possibility of fuel contamination. An easy check for jet fuel is to take a strip of plain white paper and dip it in the fuel if it is avgas it will evaporate leaving no sign it was ever wet. If it is contaminated with even a small amount of jet it will appear oily and will never completely dry. Afer the above incident I did this test on every flight that I did not personally observe the fueling of the aircraft.

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