NTSB Identification: LAX01LA022.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 24, 2000 in BULLHEAD CITY, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: Beech 35B33, registration: N8587M
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

The pilot made a power-off landing about 1/2 mile short of the runway in rough terrain, which resulted in substantial damage. The pilot was abeam the airport in cruise at 4,500 feet when the engine lost power. The pilot was unable to restart the engine, and made a dead stick landing. The wings had been removed during recovery. The recovery agent drained about 8 ounces of fuel from the left wing, and 28 gallons of fuel from the right wing. Each tank held 40 gallons of fuel (37 gallons useable). The top spark plugs exhibited characteristics of normal operation. Investigators removed the valve covers and manually rotated the engine. They obtained thumb compression on all cylinders; the valves moved in sequence and all appeared to have the same lift; the accessories rotated freely; and all ignition leads sparked. The throttle, propeller, and mixture controls all operated stiffly through their full range of motion. The fuel tanks were not compromised and the vents were open. The fuel selector valve was at an intermediate position about 0.5 inches clockwise from the right tank position, and the boost pump switch was in the off position. Investigators connected an auxiliary battery to the airplane battery and hooked up a fuel supply to the right wing fuel line. They disconnected the fuel inlet line to the fuel manifold distribution valve. With the mixture and throttle levers in, there was no fuel flow. They turned the boost pump on and a steady stream of fuel spurt out. The fuel flow gauge showed less than 5 gallons per hour initially, but peaked at 16 gallons per hour. The owner's manual directed pilot's who experienced a loss of engine power to turn the boost pump ON.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning that resulted in fuel starvation and a loss of engine power, and his failure to engage the fuel boost pump in accordance with the owner's manual. A factor was rough terrain in the forced landing area.

Full narrative available

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