NTSB Identification: LAX93LA313.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 03, 1993 in TEHACHAPI, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1994
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BC-12D, registration: N95907
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 PILOT WAS A TOW PLANE PILOT FOR SAILPLANES. ACCORDING TO HIS LOG BOOK, HE HAD PERFORMED 14 TOWS DURING THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT. DURING THE DAY HE HAD BORROWED SOME FUEL CONTAINERS TO PURCHASE AUTOMOBILE FUEL. HE THEN PLANNED TO DEPART IN THE EARLY EVENING FOR A CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT OF ABOUT 2 HRS. THE AIRPLANE DID NOT HAVE AN ELECTRICAL SYSTEM OR LIGHTS. DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB, THE ENGINE QUIT. WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE START TO TURN BACK TOWARD THE RUNWAY, AT WHICH TIME THE NOSE DROPPED AND THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED THE GROUND IN ABOUT AN 80 DEG NOSE-DOWN ATTITUDE. WRECKAGE EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT ALL 3 FUEL SELECTOR VALVES WERE IN THE OFF POSITION. THE AIRPLANE WAS ABOUT 29 LBS OVER MAX GROSS WEIGHT, AND THE AFT CENTER OF GRAVITY LIMIT WAS EXCEEDED BY ABOUT 0.5 INCHES. WITNESSES STATED THAT THE PILOT DID NOT PERFORM A RUNUP OR MAGNETO CHECK PRIOR TO TAKEOFF, AND THE ENGINE SOUNDED AS THOUGH IT WAS NOT DEVELOPING POWER.

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

FUEL STARVATION DUE TO THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO CORRECTLY POSITION THE FUEL SELECTOR PRIOR TO DEPARTURE, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED MARGIN ABOVE STALL WHILE ATTEMPTING TO RETURN TO THE RUNWAY. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PERFORM A PREFLIGHT CHECK OR USE A PRETAKEOFF CHECKLIST, HIS FAILURE TO PROPERLY LOAD THE AIRCRAFT WITHIN THE ALLOWABLE WEIGHT AND CENTER OF GRAVITY LIMITS, AND PRESSURE TO COMPLETE THE FLIGHT PRIOR TO DARKNESS.

Full narrative available

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