NTSB Identification: FTW96LA304.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 14, 1996 in FALCON, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Beech 76, registration: N6708A
Injuries: 3 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.
In preparation for the cross-country flight, the pilot visually checked the fuel tanks for the specified quantity and found they were fueled evenly to the specified level. The right gauge showed lower than the left. During cruise flight at 11,000 feet msl, with about 30 min remaining to destination, the right tank fuel gauge was indicating less than 1/4 full and the left tank fuel gauge was indicating slightly less than 1/2 full. The left engine then quit and the pilot requested vectors to the nearest airport, which was about 4 miles distance. (The single engine service ceiling of the aircraft for the operating conditions present was 5,500 feet msl. The terrain elevation was 6,874 feet and the density altitude was 8,100 feet.) During descent for landing, the pilot thought the left engine might run so he restarted it and it ran until shut down via the mixture after landing. The pilot spotted what he thought was the airport, and during approach discovered it was a residential street. Because he had unexplainable power problems, he continued the approach and landed. During landing roll, the left wing collided with a mail box post. Examination revealed that the fuel lines were crossed. No maintenance entry was found to determine when this maintenance error occurred, and examination of like aircraft provided no duplication of fuel line routing. With the fuel feed line plumbing routed in the manner it was found, had the pilot selected cross feed it is possible that both engines would have lost power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to the pilot's inaccurate fuel consumption calculation, and his failure to properly identify the area of intended landing as an airport. A factor was the misrouting of the fuel line by unknown persons. Full narrative available
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