NTSB Identification: SEA92LA062.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47736.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 15, 1992 in ELBE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION, registration: N4021K
Injuries: 3 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.

SHORTLY AFTER COMMENCING A DESCENT, AND SEVERAL MINUTES AFTER SWITCHING FROM THE 'AUX' TO 'MAIN' FUEL TANKS, THE FUEL PRESSURE DROPPED TO ZERO AND THE ENGINE QUIT. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO ACCOMPLISH A RESTART AND EXECUTED A FORCED LANDING. UPON BREAKING OUT OF A 500 FOOT OVERCAST DURING DUSK CONDITIONS AND OVER AN OCCUPIED ROAD AND WOODED TERRAIN, THE PILOT MANEUVERED THE AIRCRAFT AWAY FROM THE ROAD TOWARDS THE ONLY SUITABLE LANDING AREA AVAILABLE. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING THIS MANEUVER. POST CRASH EXAMINATION BY THE FAA REVEALED NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION WITHIN THE FUEL SYSTEM. THE PILOT REPORTED DEPARTING MOSES LAKE, WASHINGTON, WITH 20 GALLONS OF 80/87 OCTANE FUEL IN THE 'AUX' FUEL TANK AND A 50/50 MIX OF 100 LOW LEAD AND AUTOMOTIVE GASOLINE IN THE 'MAIN' TANK. RESEARCH INTO THE ISSUANCE OF AN STC FOR AUTOMOTIVE GASOLINE IN THE NAVION WAS NOT PURSED DUE TO A FINDING OF 'SEVERE VAPOR LOCK' DURING ITS USE.

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

FUEL STARVATION, IMPROPER FUEL, IMPROPER AIRCRAFT SERVICING (FUELING), AND CLEARANCE NOT POSSIBLE. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: NO SUITABLE TERRAIN, LOW CEILINGS, DUSK AND TREES.

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