NTSB Identification: LAX92LA235.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45803.
Accident occurred Sunday, May 10, 1992 in CASA GRANDE, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1993
Aircraft: MCQUEN GLASSAIR III, registration: N115DM
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.

ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, THE AIRCRAFT HAD JUST COME OUT OF A MAINTENANCE PERIOD WHERE PLACARDS WERE INSTALLED ON THE FUEL SELECTOR PANEL. THE FUEL SELECTOR HAS A HANDLE AND A POINTER, WHICH, ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, ARE SIMILAR IN SHAPE AND SIZE. THE PILOT SAID THAT HE HAD NEVER MOVED THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE FROM THE MAIN TANK POSITION SINCE HE PURCHASED THE AIRCRAFT. THE VALVE WAS APPARENTLY FOUND IN THE 'HEADER TANK' POSITION AFTER THE ACCIDENT. THE HEADER TANK ONLY HOLDS 4 GALLONS OF FUEL AND IS FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY. THE PILOT THOUGHT THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS POSITIONED TO THE MAIN TANK. THE AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN AIRBORNE FOR 15 MINUTES WHEN THE ENGINE SUDDENLY QUIT. THE PILOT LINED UP FOR A LANDING ON A ROAD, HOWEVER, WHEN THE AIRCRAFT WAS ON SHORT FINAL A SCHOOL BUS TURNED ONTO THE ROAD DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT. THE PILOT TURNED LEFT TO AVOID COLLIDING WITH THE BUS AND HIT A LARGE TREE.

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

FUEL STARVATION DUE TO THE PILOT'S MISREADING OF A NEWLY INSTALLED FUEL SELECTOR PANEL WITH PLACARDS AND A POSITION POINTER WHICH WERE CONFUSING. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE THE CONFUSING NATURE OF THE FUEL PANEL AND PLACARD DESIGN AND THE SCHOOL BUS WHICH SUDDENLY TURNED IN FRONT OF THE LANDING AIRCRAFT.

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