NTSB Identification: DEN00LA101.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 04, 2000 in RICHFIELD, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: SCHUMACHER SWEARINGEN SX-300, registration: N2H
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While on downwind abeam the airport, the engine lost all power. The pilot switched from the left to the right fuel tank and turned on the boost pump. He said he could hear the electric boost pump running. With the propeller windmilling, the engine would not start, nor would it start when the pilot set the mixture to full rich and opened the throttle fully. The pilot attempted to land on the runway. When he thought he could glide to the runway, he lowered the landing gear. Aerodynamic drag dissipated what little airspeed remained, and the airplane touched down short of the runway. During the rollout, the airplane struck a raised road berm. Post-accident examination revealed an empty left tank and 17 gallons of fuel in the right tank. When the boost pump was activated, fuel flowed to the engine fuel control unit. The pilot reported that he had run fuel tanks empty before, but the engine always restarted after the fuel selector was switched to a tank containing fuel and the boost pump was switched on. The boost pump is mounted on the firewall about 6 inches above the fuel tank and about 2 inches below the engine-driven fuel pump. Blueprints show the boost pump being mounted in the area of the nose wheel well. Other builders of this airplane have installed a pulse pump at the fuel selector valve location because of possible fuel starvation.

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

Fuel starvation due to the unavailability of fuel to the engine for undetermined reasons and the pilot's misjudgment of distance/altitude on final approach. Contributing factors were the pilot's premature gear extension and the berm.

Full narrative available

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