NTSB Identification: FTW95FA300.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 15, 1995 in PLANO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N1997D
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

DURING FINAL APPROACH TO LAND, THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE PILOT TURNED ON THE FUEL BOOST PUMP AND ADDED FULL THROTTLE, BUT DID NOT SWITCH FUEL TANKS. HE ATTEMPTED TO LAND IN A FIELD; HOWEVER, PRIOR TO TOUCHDOWN, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK A TREE AND IMPACTED THE GROUND. THE FUEL TANK SELECTOR WAS POSITIONED TO THE LEFT MAIN TANK, AND THE LEFT MAIN TANK WAS EMPTY. FUEL WAS AVAILABLE IN THE RIGHT MAIN TANK. ALSO, THE SINGLE FUEL QUANTITY GAGE WAS SET TO INDICATE THE FUEL QUANTITY IN THE RIGHT MAIN TANK. THE MANUFACTURER'S EMERGENCY PROCEDURE CALLED FOR THE PILOT TO CHANGE TANKS FOLLOWING A POWER LOSS. THE PILOT REPORTED HE HAD RECENTLY FOUND WATER CONTAMINATION IN THE FUEL SYSTEM AND BELIEVED THE POWER LOSS WAS A RESULT OF THE CONTAMINATION. A TRACE OF WATER WAS DRAINED FROM THE MAIN FUEL SUMP; HOWEVER, THE WATER LEVEL IN THE SUMP WAS BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE FUEL OUTLET TO THE ENGINE.

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

FUEL STARVATION DUE TO THE IMPROPER POSITION OF THE FUEL SELECTOR, AND FAILURE THE PILOT TO FOLLOW EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.

Full narrative available

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