NTSB Identification: LAX97LA042.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 15, 1996 in APPLE VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Beech 35-33, registration: N961T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot reported that while he was descending toward the Apple Valley Airport, the engine began to run rough, then it lost power. He was using the left auxiliary fuel cell at the time, and further reported that he immediately switched to the right main tank, which was the fullest. He was unable to obtain a restart, even by positioning the fuel selector to other tanks. As the aircraft neared the ground, the pilot attempted to land on a dirt road, but had insufficient altitude and landed in rough terrain. The aircraft collided with a berm during the landing sequence. Aircraft recovery personnel found about 23 gallons of fuel in the right main tank and 10 gallons in the left auxiliary. Both tanks were leaking fuel at the time. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right main tank. Postcrash inspection of the engine revealed no discrepancies. Inspection of the fuel system revealed that the left auxiliary fuel cell vent lines were plugged by insects and mud at two different internal locations.

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

fuel starvation, due to plugged fuel system vent lines, which resulted in loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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