NTSB Identification: LAX94LA363.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 12, 1994 in BORREGO SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N622D
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
IN CRUISE OVER THE MOUNTAINS, THE FUEL PRESSURE DECREASED AND THE ENGINE QUIT. ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE POWER BY ACTIVATING THE HAND OPERATED PUMP ON THE FUEL SELECTOR AND SWITCHING BETWEEN TANKS WERE FUTILE. THE PILOT SPOTTED THE DESERT FLOOR AIRPORT JUST BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS AND ATTEMPTED A FORCED LANDING ON RUNWAY 25; HOWEVER, HE LANDED 100 YARDS SHORT IN ROUGH DESERT TERRAIN. FAA INSPECTORS FOUND THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE ON THE RIGHT TANK AND THE SELECTOR HANDLE EXTENDED INTO THE PUMP OPERATING POSITION. NO FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE RIGHT TANK, WITH NO EVIDENCE OF SPILLAGE NOTED ON THE SURROUNDING GROUND. THE LEFT FUEL TANK CONTAINED ABOUT 1/4 TO 1/2 CAPACITY. THE ENGINE-DRIVEN FUEL PUMP AND THE COMBINED FUEL SELECTOR VALVE AND HAND FUEL PUMP WERE FOUND TO FUNCTION. THE COMBINATION FUEL SELECTOR AND HAND OPERATED FUEL PUMP UNIT HAS TWO SEPARATE MODES. WITH THE HANDLE IN THE DOWN POSITION, THE UNIT IS A FUEL SELECTOR VALVE. WHEN THE HANDLE IS EXTENDED INTO THE PUMP POSITION, THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE MODE IS DISABLED. THE PILOT PURCHASED THE AIRCRAFT ABOUT 3 WEEKS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT AND HAS ONLY 6 HOURS IN THE AIRCRAFT.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadvertent allowance of a fuel starvation loss of power event and his failure to select a tank containing fuel due to his lack of knowledge about the fuel pump/selector unit operating limitations. Factors in the accident were his limited experience in the aircraft. Full narrative available
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