NTSB Identification: CHI98LA006.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 05, 1997 in WEST LAFAYETTE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Beech V35A, registration: N1566A
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.

A witness, near the approach end of the runway, monitoring the air traffic control tower frequency, heard the tower clear the airplane to enter left traffic for runway 23, and saw the airplane enter left downwind for the traffic pattern. The witness said that the airplane 'was very low for that part of the pattern, 300 to 500 feet above ground level. The pilot told the tower that he was abeam the numbers for runway 28 and wanted to land on that runway. The airplane 'began a sharp turn, but without much bank - probably skidding - when parallel to runway 28, the plane wobbled, banked sharply left and right, and lost altitude. The airplane 'appeared to be in a landing-type attitude, not nose down.' The airplane wobbled, straightened out, then 'disappeared from sight behind hills and buildings.' Examination of the airplane's fuel tanks revealed no fuel in the right fuel tank. Six gallons of fuel were recovered from the left fuel tank. The fuel selector valve in the airplane's cockpit was positioned on the right fuel tank. No other anomalies were found with the airplane.

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

the pilot's improper decision not to land before his airplane ran out of fuel, fuel exhaustion and the inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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