NTSB Identification: LAX95FA341.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 27, 1995 in VAN NUYS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/1996
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N15278
Injuries: 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.

The 70-hour student pilot was returning from a night cross-country flight when his home base airport went IFR. He diverted to another airport where the tower was closed. While descending in a 360-degree turn to lose altitude the engine quit. After switching tanks and turning the boost pump on he got a brief restart. After it quit again he switched tanks without a restart. Unable to reach the airport he descended into an unlighted spot in a residential area with the gear down and approach flaps. The airplane collided with trees into a residential backyard. According to the pilot's computer generated flight plan, he should have had 12.7 gallons of useable fuel remaining between the two stock fuel tanks. His electronic fuel computers non-volatile memory indicated 15.5 gallons remaining. There were minimal signs of fuel remaining at the accident scene. The student pilot had not been endorsed for the cross-country flight.

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

the pilot's fuel mismanagement and failure to assure that an adequate supply of fuel was available. His lack of familiarity with the airplane's fuel system, overcofidence, the dark night, and the lack of a suitable landing area were factors in the accident.

Full narrative available

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