NTSB Identification: CHI98FA068.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 17, 1997 in EVANSVILLE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Beech C35, registration: N782D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane hit the tops of trees located about 280 feet from the impact site on the side of a highway berm. The descent angle measured eight degrees. The left wing hit two small trees located 17 feet in front of the initial ground scar. The airplane spun around and came to rest 9 feet from end of the initial ground scar. No propeller ground scars were found. One propeller blade was undamaged. The other blade was undamaged except it had 4 inches of chordwise scratching on the backside of the blade. The examination of the airplane revealed flight control and engine continuity. The fuel system on the engine had been converted to a fuel injection system. The fuel in the airplane was autogas. A green hose was found connecting the fuel line at the fire wall to the engine driven fuel pump. The fuel line was marked, 'GATES 6C5D FLEXLINE 5/16 INCH 1500 PSI MAX HYD WP MADE IN USA.' The manufacturer of the green hose reported it was a common hose used for petroleum products such as transmission fluid or anti-freeze. The manufacturer reported it had not made aviation hoses for many years. Inspection of the green hose revealed that the B nut attached to the fire wall was loose. A witness reported that the pilot performed maintenance on the airplane, although he was not an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.

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

Improper maintenance by the use of a loose fitting unapproved fuel line, which resulted in fuel starvation and the loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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