NTSB Identification: DEN99LA046.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 27, 1999 in LAMAR, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/13/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-23C-250, registration: N6574Y
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot worked all day on February 26, 1999, and took a late night flight from Seattle, Washington, arriving in Fort Worth, Texas, at approximately 0530. He flew the accident airplane which he was planning to purchase, for approximately one hour. He departed Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, with 144 gallons of fuel on board, for Denver, Colorado. The pilot reported that he used all the fuel in the auxiliary tanks and switched back to the mains. Approximately 20 minutes later, the left engine lost power. He attempted to manipulate the fuel cross-feed system, and to restart the left engine. He turned the airplane towards Lamar, Colorado, and then the right engine lost power. During the forced landing, the nose wheel landing gear separated from the airplane, and subsequently damaged the nose cone and both engine mounts. Postaccident examination of the main fuel tanks revealed that approximately 8 gallons had been used from each. No evidence was found during the investigation to indicate that there were any abnormalities in the fuel feed system.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's improper use of the airplane's fuel tank selector switches. Factors were the fuel starvation to both engines, the pilot's lack of sleep, and the soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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