NTSB Identification: ANC97LA017.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 02, 1997 in NOME, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185F, registration: N23CB
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot and passenger prepared to depart on a volunteer search and rescue flight. A front seat belt became lodged under the fuel selector handle located on the cockpit floor between the two front seats. When the seat belt was pulled loose, the long, pointer end of the fuel selector handle snapped off. The pilot positioned the remaining portion of the fuel selector to what appeared to be the 'BOTH' position. Just after takeoff, the engine suddenly quit, and the pilot performed an emergency landing on snow covered terrain. Following the accident, the pilot discovered he had positioned the fuel selector to the 'OFF' position. The loss of the pointer end of the selector handle allowed the selector to rotate 360 degrees.

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

the pilot's failure to properly verify the position of a fractured fuel selector handle, which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. A factor related to the accident was: the fractured handle that allowed the fuel selector to be rotated to an OFF position.

Full narrative available

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