NTSB Identification: MIA96FA165.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 24, 1996 in ST. PETERSBURG, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Beech P35, registration: N1527S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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.

On 6/21 the airplane was refueled with 39.8 gallons. The flight departed on 6/24 at 0935. According to the right front seat passenger the pilot had completed a pre-flight inspection of the airplane including checking the fuel and draining the fuel tanks. About 5 miles north of the airport, the pilot contacted the tower controller and rerported that he had lost power and did not think he could make the runway. The controller observed the airplane turn to the left, enter a nose high attitude, and impact the water nose and left wing low. During the examination of the wreckage, water was drained from the right fuel tank and no fuel was present. The fuel selector was found selected to the right tank, and the fuel boost pump switch was broken. About 23 gallons of fuel was drained from the left fuel tank. Less than 1/2 ounce of water was found on the bottom of the left tank. There were no breaches found throughout the fuel system, and the fuel selector was free to move through all positions. The fuel supply lines were found clear and unobstructed. Overall visual examination of the engine compartment and airframe did not reveal any evidence of fuel stains or fuel leakage. The fuel selector was disassembled, no leaks or discrepancies were observed.

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

the pilot's improper procedure by not placing the fuel selector on the tank with the most fuel.

Full narrative available

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