NTSB Identification: LAX93FA315.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 07, 1993 in BIG BEAR, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/1994
Aircraft: BEECH E35, registration: N3233C
Injuries: 2 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 PILOT SAID TO A WEATHER BRIEFER THAT HE MAY STOP EN ROUTE, AND THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED DURING AN APPROACH TO AN AIRPORT APPROXIMATELY MIDWAY BETWEEN THE DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION AIRPORTS. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH TREES AND POWER LINES WHILE ON FINAL APPROACH. A PILOT WITNESS WATCHED THE AIRCRAFT IN THE PATTERN AND NOTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLYING A CLOSE IN DOWNWIND AND BASE CONTRARY TO NOISE ABATEMENT PROCEDURES AND HIS TURNS WERE VERY STEEP. THE PILOT STATED TO PARAMEDICS THAT HE HAD LOST POWER ON FINAL. THE AIRCRAFT HAS FIVE SELECTABLE FUEL TANKS. THE MAIN SELECTOR WAS FOUND ON THE LEFT MAIN TANK. THE LEFT TANK WAS OF AN ORIGINAL DESIGN UNBAFFLED CONFIGURATION, WHICH WAS ON THE INSIDE OF ALL THE TRAFFIC PATTERN TURNS. THE AIRCRAFT FLIGHT MANUAL CAUTIONS AGAINST PROLONGED TURNS OR SLIPS WITH LESS THAN 10 GALLONS IN THE SELECTED TANK. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF A PREIMPACT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE.

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

A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO UNPORTING OF THE SELECTED MAIN FUEL TANK AT A CRITICAL TIME, WHICH WAS CAUSED BY THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIVES IN THE FLIGHT MANUAL REGARDING PROLONGED TURNS OR SLIPS WITH LESS THAN 10 GALLONS IN THE SELECTED TANK.

Full narrative available

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