NTSB Identification: LAX97LA146.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 05, 1997 in FURNACE CREEK, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 170B, registration: N2294D
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 departed with the fuel selector set to the 'both' tanks position. However, during the flight fuel appeared to have been mostly used from the right tank. To equalize the burn off, he repositioned the fuel selector to the left tank only position. Fuel continued to be consumed out of the right tank, and the engine quit when the right fuel tank gauge registered empty and the left tank gauge registered 3/4 full. The pilot made a forced landing on a road. Thereafter, the pilot examined his airplane and noted that the fuel selector handle was 'real loose.' The pilot manually siphoned between 12 and 15 gallons of fuel out of the left tank, poured it into the right tank, and took off. Several seconds into the initial climb, between 100 and 150 feet above ground level, all engine power was lost again. Unable to return to the road, the pilot made a forced landing on rough terrain. The fuel tank selector assembly was examined and its control shaft was found disconnected at its attachment to the fuel valve assembly.

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

Fuel starvation resulting from disconnection of the fuel selector valve. Factors which contributed to the accident were the pilot's intentional operation with known airplane deficiencies and the rough terrain.

Full narrative available

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