NTSB Identification: CHI92LA204.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47490.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 11, 1992 in ORTONVILLE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/1993
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6617V
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 OF THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE HAD JUST CANCELED AN IFR CLEARANCE AND WAS DESCENDING IN VFR CONDITIONS WHEN HE LOST ENGINE POWER AT APPROXIMATELY 1200 FEET AGL. HE DECLARED AN EMERGENCY TO ATC AND UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO RESTART THE ENGINE. HE GAVE UP THE RESTART ATTEMPTS AND REMEMBERS THINKING; 'I'VE GOT TO STOP PLAYING WITH IT AND LAND THIS THING.' HE REMEMBERS TURNING THE MAIN FUEL SWITCH OFF JUST BEFORE THE AIRPLANE STRUCK THE TREETOPS. AN AFTER ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE DISCLOSED NO MECHANICAL DEFECTS IN THE AIRFRAME. NO MECHANICAL DEFECTS WERE NOTED IN THE ENGINE THAT WOULD HAVE CAUSED AN INFLIGHT STOPPAGE. EXAMINATION OF THE FUEL SYSTEM SHOWED THE MAIN FUEL SWITCH OFF AND THE SECONDARY AUXILIARY FUEL TANK SELECTOR SWITCH SELECTED TO AN EMPTY AUXILIARY TANK. FUEL WAS PRESENT IN ALL OF THE MAIN FUEL TANKS AND THE OTHER AUXILIARY TANK.

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

IMPROPER USE OF THE FUEL TANK SELECTOR SWITCH AND INADEQUATE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES BY THE PILOT IN COMMAND.

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