NTSB Identification: CHI96LA226.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 01, 1996 in ALEXANDRIA, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/1996
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30 VIKING, registration: N838MM
Injuries: 1 Serious,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's owner hired the flight instructor to give him instruction so he could qualify as pilot-in-command. After about 1 hour of flight an owner-devised fuel tank change alarm sounded. The instructor said he thought the owner had switched the fuel tanks. The instructor was flying the airplane as it entered a base leg for landing when the engine stopped. The instructor selected another fuel tank and the engine would not start. The airplane landed gear up near the runway. The on-scene investigation revealed empty main fuel tanks. The flight had started with an empty left and full right main tank. The fuel tank selector was on the left main tank. The auxiliary fuel tanks were full. The instructor said he gave the owner 6 to 10 minutes of ground instruction regarding flight maneuvers to be performed. He said he did not observe the owner's preflight inspection.

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

the flight instructor's failure to assure a proper fuel tank selector position. Factors associated with the accident were improper preflight preparation and complacency by the flight instructor.

Full narrative available

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