NTSB Identification: FTW97LA272.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 19, 1997 in CHICKASHA, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Beech C35, registration: N1878D
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 had been practicing night landings at the Chickasha Municipal Airport. While in the traffic pattern (for runway 17), the engine lost power, and the pilot initiated a forced landing. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a fence and crossed a ditch, collapsing the nose landing gear. The airplane came to rest inverted approximately one half mile north of runway 17. The pilot reported that he had selected the left fuel tank, and 'thinks the engine quit because there was no fuel left in the left fuel tank.' Examination of the fuel system revealed that there was no fuel in the left main fuel tank and tip tank. The fuel selector was positioned to the left tank, and there was no evidence of fuel spillage from that tank. The right main fuel tank contained fuel; it was leaking fuel from its filler cap. The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the airplane stated in Section IV, Normal Procedures, page 4-10, Before Landing, 'Fuel Selector Valve - SELECT MAIN TANK MORE NEARLY FULL.'

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

the pilot's improper positioning of the fuel selector, which resulted in fuel starvation and loss of engine power. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot's failure to follow the checklist, and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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