March 1, 2013, Broomfield, Colo., Aero Commander 500-B


At about 1545 Central time, the airplane experienced a loss of power to both engines after takeoff and its pilot performed a gear-up forced landing to a golf course. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the takeoff and initial climb were normal. After setting cruise power, the pilot turned off the left engine electric boost pump and confirmed normal pressure from the engine-driven fuel pump. As he performed the same procedure for the right engine, the left one began surging and lost power. The pilot executed an immediate left turn towards the airport and contacted ATC with intentions to perform a single-engine, straight-in approach for landing. Immediately thereafter, the right engine began to surge and also partially lost power. The pilot immediately declared an emergency and determined that he had insufficient engine power and altitude to return. The pilot executed a no-flap landing on the golf course fairway. The fuselage structure, forward of wing attach point, was crushed and vertical deformation was noted throughout the length of the fuselage.

The pilot stated that during the preflight of the aircraft, the fuel gauge indicated 65 gallons and there was no way to visually confirm the fuel level through the fueling port. This fuel level indication was later confirmed by the FAA Flight Standard District Office when battery power was applied to the aircraft. The airplane’s fuel system was drained and approximately ½ gallon of 100LL aviation gasoline was recovered.


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