NTSB Identification: LAX98LA015.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 19, 1997 in CHINO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Beech D17S, registration: N67736
Injuries: 2 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 reported that no mechanical malfunctions were experienced during the 30-minute-long nighttime flight in his 1943 model 'Stagger Wing' airplane. During the flight he had switched fuel tanks several times. Upon turning onto the final approach leg at the destination airport the center fuel tank's low fuel pressure warning light activated. Thereafter, the fuel pressure decreased and all engine power was lost. The pilot further reported that he switched tanks and used the wobble pump but to no avail as the airplane developed a high sink rate. The pilot made a forced landing into a plowed field and collided with dirt berms about 1/2 mile short of the runway. During the airframe examination no fuel was found in the two upper wing tanks, the center fuselage tank, or in the lower wing's right tank. Approximately 10 gallons of fuel was observed in the lower wing's left tank. Airplane operating procedures required the pilot to have the fuel selector positioned toward the center fuel tank during takeoffs and landings. The lower wing tanks are only to be used during level flight.

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

fuel starvation resulting from the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning and improper fuel management. Contributing factors were the nighttime conditions and the rough/uneven terrain.

Full narrative available

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