NTSB Identification: LAX98LA040.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 18, 1997 in SAN CARLOS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Aero Commander 200D, registration: N2910T
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.

The aircraft's engine lost power on final approach and the aircraft collided with terrain short of the landing runway. The pilot stated that due to approaching inclement weather he abbreviated the preflight inspection of the aircraft. Specifically, he did not visually examine the fuel level in the tanks. The flight was conducted on the left tank, which the fuel gage indicated full at takeoff. During the before landing checklist the left gage still read 1/4 tank. On final approach, about 200 feet altitude, the engine stopped and there was insufficient time to switch tanks and restart the engine before impacting the ground short of the runway. The pilot reported that after the accident a visual check of the left tank showed it to be empty, and yet the fuel gage read 1/4. The pilot said that he knew that on previous occasions the fuel gage had been inaccurate and that he made note of it to the maintenance facility performing the just completed annual inspection. After the accident the left main tank contained 1 cup of fuel, the right main tank contained 1 gallon of fuel, the left auxiliary tank was nearly full, and the right auxiliary tank, which had leaked after the accident, contained 5 gallons of fuel.

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

The pilot's failure to verify that there was an adequate supply of fuel in the selected fuel tank prior to takeoff.

Full narrative available

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