NTSB Identification: CHI97LA226.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 26, 1997 in MITCHELL, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Beech D50A, registration: N3BE
Injuries: 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.
After performing maintenance work on the aircraft, the pilot had the aircraft fueled. 25 gallons of fuel were put into each outboard auxiliary tank. The fueler reported that the pilot removed the outboard fuel caps and he filled those tanks; the pilot then replaced the fuel caps after fueling was completed. The pilot stated he 'failed to recheck fueling and individual tanks.' The main tanks located on the inside of the engine nacelle were not filled. The pilot did a run up and partial power taxi, returned, checked the engines for leaks, and departed. After leveling off at 1500' above ground level and 10 minutes en route, the left engine lost power. The pilot switched to the auxiliary tank, the engine gained power but then quit. The pilot prepared for landing and landed in a rough field. The right main gear and nose gear came off and the fuselage wrinkled behind the cockpit. The pilot reported the next day that he checked the left main tank and found it to be 'bone dry.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper fuel selector position and the fuel starvation. Factors contributing to the accident were: the pilot's inattentiveness of the refueling, inadequate aircraft preflight, and the rough terrain/ditch. Full narrative available
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