Verdigris Plane Crash Blamed On Fuel Pump Manufacturer
VERDIGRIS, Oklahoma - The National Transportation Safety Board blames the fuel pump manufacturer for a plane crash in Verdigris last March.
The single-engine Cessna 208B turboprop, tail number N106BZ, came to rest near a house shortly after taking off from Tulsa International Airport on March 24, 2015.
The pilot, 39-year-old Markus Bastuck, and his passenger, 36-year-old Andrew Anklam, received only minor injuries.
The NTSB said the men had taken off on a test flight after maintenance had been completed on the plane. The pilot noticed trouble with the engine and determined he couldn't make it back to the airport.
In its final report on the incident the NTSB lists the probable cause as a fuel pump problem.
"The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The fuel pump gear manufacturer’s allowance of set-up gears made from a nonconforming material to be put in the production inventory system, the installation of a nonconforming gear in the accident airplane’s production fuel pump, and the gear’s failure, which resulted in a loss of fuel flow to the engine and the subsequent loss of engine power."
The NTSB said the manufacturer -- Shimadzu, a Japanese company -- determined it had put the wrong gears in three fuel pumps but it has never found the other two.
The Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine had been run for only nine hours since being installed on the airplane two weeks before the crash, according to investigators.
The NTSB says Honeywell issued bulletins to everyone using engines with fuel pumps with the same part number gear sets as the plane that crashed.