NTSB Identification: LAX98LA212.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 26, 1998 in SAN ANDREAS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/23/2000
Aircraft: North American NAVION, registration: N1400Z
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.
A witness to the accident reported that the airport is located on a plateau and that the surrounding area is not suitable for an off-field landing. The witness reported that he observed the airplane takeoff and as it passed by it looked and sounded normal. He returned to his hangar and heard the engine go to idle. The witness went outside and observed the aircraft losing altitude as it made a 180-degree turn to attempt a return to the runway. The witness reported that the engine caught and sounded as if it was at full power, the airplane regained some altitude, and then the engine stopped. The airplane descended into the ground short of the runway. The pilot stated that he had completed work on the fuel selector handle and had inadvertently reversed the handle when he reinstalled it into the airplane. When he selected the main tank with the fuel selector handle, the fuel valve for the main tank would have been closed and the fuel valve for the aft tank would have been open. The pilot stated that he had refueled the main tank, but the aft tank did not have enough fuel in it to keep the engine running.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper reinstallation of the fuel selector valve handle, which led to the selection of the wrong fuel tank and fuel starvation. Full narrative available
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