NTSB Identification: FTW00LA170.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 04, 2000 in BRECKENRIDGE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2001
Aircraft: Aero Commander 700, registration: N700AF
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may 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 flight departed with the fuel quantity gauges indicating 350-360 pounds of fuel in each fuel tank. Approximately 15 minutes from the destination, the fuel low light illuminated with an indication of approximately 100 pounds of fuel in each fuel tank. According to the aircraft manufacturer, the fuel low light should illuminate when there are 63 pounds of fuel remaining. When the flight was 5-10 miles from the airport, the fuel low light went out and the left engine lost power. The pilot turned the fuel boost pumps to high and noted that the fuel quantity gauges were indicating 50 pounds of fuel in each fuel tank. The pilot then opened the crossfeed valve and the left engine regained power. Shortly thereafter, both engines started to lose power. The pilot landed the airplane in a field; however, he could not stop the airplane before it impacted a barbed wire fence and mesquite trees. The pilot stated that the flight lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. At a best power (76% BHP) fuel flow rate of 130 pounds/hour, each engine would have used approximately 292.5 pounds of fuel. Assuming each fuel tank contained 350 pounds of fuel at the start of the flight, this would leave approximately 57.5 pounds of fuel in each fuel tank, allowing for 26 minutes of flight time.

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

Fuel exhaustion as a result of an inaccurate fuel quantity indicating system. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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