N4463T - crash on approach to KCCB


Piper Seneca crashes into rooftops on approach to Cable. Log stops at 1:12pm ET.




They’re reporting no post-crash fire. Even with just reserves, you’d think that bouncing around roof-tops would start a fire. I’m betting on fuel starvation, but that’s pure speculation.

Although worse case scenario, single-engine climb rate at max weight would be roughly 150fpm clean. Landing configuration, I suspect you’re going down unless the problem is recognized, then a go-around should have been possible assuming one operating engine.


Log stoppage is consistent with either IFR cancellation in the air, or change to frequency approved as Cable airport is uncontrolled.

Weather was not a factor per news report above and based on heading, probably was a visual approach to runway 6.



Does anybody have any statistics on what percentage of engine failures and/or accidents caused by engine failures are caused by fuel starvation? I’m thinkin’ it’s probably a very high percentage of overall incidents.


Or contamination were my first thoughts. Did he refuel in Van Nuys? Where were the fuel selectors pointing? Could have been a pre-landing checklist error and inadvertently switched off instead of both.

This could be an interesting accident report, thank goodness all walked away.


I was thinking fuel starvation too when I saw the lack of fire. I’ll bet its the cause in a very high percentage of accidents. Engine failure for other mechanical reasons* is probably a cause during take off/departure most often and then evenly spread across the spectrum at a lower rate. If anything, mechanical problems seem less likely on approach. It will be interesting to see what the report says. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Cable has a self serve fuel pump that’s 20cents per gallon less than VNY.

Edit: *This is also more recoverable, assuming the mechanical failure only affects one engine. Also we probably don’t read about most of those incidents. Glad everone lived in this case.


There is no “both” setting on the piper seneca. The fuel selectors are located between the seat cushions, and have “on” “off” and “x-feed” positions. During normal flight, the selectors are left in “on” the whole time. The only time to do otherwise would be to crossfeed gas usage following an engine failure or during training manuevers. The crossfeed allows the right engine to use fuel from the left tank and vise-versa; but crossfeeding both sides at the same time is not possible. The “off” position is a handy way for MEI’s like me to realistically fail an engine during flight training. This was always done at high altitude and is a great way to show a realistic engine failure simulation.
…I could go on but I think I’ll stop here.


No, go on!


Not always. Had a friend doing a MEI checkout (in the Seneca that I did my training in), with the owner of the flight school. The owner cut the fuel on final. My friend didn’t recognize the situation and the owner didn’t correct in time to prevent a fiery crash a mile short of the runway. They all lived (including one passenger) but not without serious injury.


That was dumb and not safe (IMO). That would be like practicing stalls on short final.


I would hope that the subsequent investigation resulted in the owner losing his license!

Although historically instructors are given a lot of leeway in what is and is not an acceptable practice during training.


Heh heh, I have the stall horn going full blast just before the wheels touch terra firma. Got plenty of vids if you want to see what I am talking about.

I call it “slow flight” just before landing, you wouldn’t call that not safe, would ya?

Another pilot went up with me, and he looked 3 sheets to the wind when we got out, and I asked him what he thought and he said he has never heard the stall horn that close to the ground. Talk about an accident waiting to happen…

So, yeah, I like “practicing” stalling just before landing, best landing IMHO. When the wheels touch, you know the plane has stopped flying.



LOL Stalling a foot over the runway is one thing… practicing a spin or stall on short final is retarded!


More like suicide - pure and simple.


I’d like to see a video of your plane.


archive.org/details/ALieberm … 6RaymondMS

flightaware.com/live/flight/N194 … Z/KPIB/M16 was the flight.

archive.org/details/ALieberm … fromMBOavi was a VFR flight.



Wow, its flat there… Nice videos and landings! Thanks for sharing.


When I got my CMEL the examiner did the same thing. It scared the crap out of for a few seconds until I went through my flow and noticed the right selector was off