NTSB Identification: LAX98FA119.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 17, 1998 in AUBURN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Beech A35, registration: N8597A
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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's engine lost power during the initial climb after departure, and the pilot performed a 180-degree turn back towards the airport, but landed short of the runway. The airplane was equipped with a hand operated emergency fuel pump, which was part of the fuel selector valve. The emergency procedures section of the POH states that the emergency hand pump should be used to restore fuel pressure in the event of an engine driven pump failure. The pilot stated that he never attempted to use the emergency hand fuel pump. An on-scene examination revealed fuel in both main tanks. Examination of the engine driven Lear-Romec fuel pump coupling found it had sheared and separated. Internal examination of the pump revealed bluing of the steel pump vane tips and galling of the pump liner. According to the manufacturer, the pump at some time had been operated without fuel, which cools the vanes, and had overheated. Metallurgical examination of the failed fuel pump coupling revealed that it separated due to ductile torsional overstress at a designed location. According to records available, the pump had accumulated about 619 hours since overhaul with an unknown total time.

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

failure of the engine driven fuel pump drive coupling and the pilot's failure to perform the emergency procedure specified in the Pilot Operating Handbook.

Full narrative available

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