NTSB Identification: LAX94LA022.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 24, 1993 in INDIAN SPRINGS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/1994
Aircraft: BEECH B35, registration: N5005C
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 BEECH B35 WAS DAMAGED DURING A FORCED LANDING. REPORTEDLY, THE ENGINE HAD LOST POWER & BEGAN TO 'SPUTTER AS THE PILOT CHANGED FUEL TANKS. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE/MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND DURING THE INVESTIGATION; HOWEVER, THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE PILOT HAD NOT PROPERLY OPERATED THE AIRPLANE'S FUEL SELECTOR HANDLE. FUEL SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED FROM THE LEFT TANK FIRST TO ALLOW EXCESS FUEL THAT BYPASSED THE ENGINE TO RETURN TO THAT TANK. HOWEVER, WHEN CHECKED AFTER THE ACCIDENT, THE LEFT TANK WAS FULL & FUEL 'GUSHED OUT.' THE RIGHT TANK WAS FOUND EMPTY. THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE & HAND FUEL PUMP WERE COMBINED ON THIS AIRPLANE; ALSO, THERE WAS A RED LIGHT ON THE INSTRUMENT PANEL TO INFORM THE PILOT, WHEN THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS DISENGAGED. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT A RED LIGHT HAD ILLUMINATED DURING THE OCCURRENCE. HE HAD LOGGED ABOUT 7 HOURS OF FLIGHT TIME IN THIS MAKE & MODEL. NO RECORD WAS FOUND THAT HE HAD RECEIVED TRAINING IN THE AIRPLANE OR ITS FUEL SYSTEM.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO PROPERLY OPERATE THE AIRPLANE'S FUEL SELECTOR, WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL STARVATION, AND HIS IMPROPER EMERGENCY PROCEDURE FOR RESTARTING THE ENGINE. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PILOT'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS MAKE AND MODEL OF AIRPLANE.

Full narrative available

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