October 16, Trenton, N.J. / Pilatus PC-12


At about 1425 eastern time, a Pilatus PC-12/45 suffered an engine failure and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing. One passenger suffered minor injuries and the other three occupants were not injured. The pilots said the flight departed runway 06, the airplane was cleaned up and then it entered the clouds. They detected a smell they could not identify and there were multiple bangs from the front of the airplane. Flame and sparks were observed coming from the left side engine exhaust. The pilot turned toward the airport, shut down the engine and feathered the prop. The airplane landed long and fast with a 20-knot tailwind and wet pavement. The airplane departed the end of the runway, continued for about 300 feet in a grassy area, and struck a chain link fence to the right of extended runway centerline. Engine examination revealed the compressor section was frozen. Small particles of ferrous material were found throughout the engine. The metal cage used to contain the balls of the number one bearing was fractured. Most of the fracture faces were polished smooth. A gauss meter detected magnetic fields on the gears in the accessory gear box and the compressor drive shaft. Metallurgical examination of the compressor drive shaft and gears leading back to the attach point for the starter generator revealed pitting consistent with electrical arcing.


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