NTSB Identification: ANC96LA046.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 11, 1996 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Stinson ST-75, registration: N235C
Injuries: 1 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 airplane had a new fuel valve installed and the mechanic put 10 gallons of fuel in each wing tank to perform the installation and tests. Prior to takeoff, the pilot filled the right fuel tank and did not visually check the left fuel tank quantity. The pilot stated that his taxi and runup took approximately 15 minutes. This was accomplished with the left fuel tank selected. The pilot made the takeoff and after reaching 300 feet above the ground, the engine lost power. He selected the right fuel tank and some power was restored. He stated that he was too low to the ground so he turned his attention to the forced landing. Later examination showed that the left fuel tank had 15 gallons of fuel. However, the left wing tip was resting on the ground and the fuel tanks interconnect through the fuel valve even when the fuel valve is in the off position. The aircraft owner's operating manual pre takeoff checklist states that the fuel selector should be placed on the tank with the greatest amount of fuel. The engine was examined and no mechanical failure was found.

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

The pilot's failure to select the proper fuel tank prior to takeoff resulting in fuel starvation. A factor in the accident was the pilot's failure to follow the checklist.

Full narrative available

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