NTSB Identification: LAX88FA252.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39067.
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 12, 1988 in LOMPOC, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: BEECH A35, registration: N27EB
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLT PLANNED A SHORT X-C FLIGHT. AT ABOUT 400 FT AGL DURING INITIAL CLIMB, HE EXPERIENCED A TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. THE PLT TRANSMITTED A DISTRESS MESSAGE OVER UNICOM, STALLED, ENTERED AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT & CRASHED 1/2 MILE FROM THE ARPT. THE PILOT HAD 88 HRS OF FLT EXPERIENCE IN THIS ACFT. EXAM OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED HE HAD BEEN USING AUTO FUEL IN AT LEAST ONE TANK & AVIATION FUEL IN ANOTHER TANK. FUEL WAS WAS FOUND THROUGHOUT THE ENGINE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF IN THE FUEL LINE BETWEEN THE FIREWALL AND THE CARBURETOR. ON 6-29-88, A MECHANIC WHO HAD INSPECTED THE ACFT, WROTE IT UP AS 'DISAPPROVED FOR RETURN TO SERVICE'. HE HAD FOUND OIL LEAKS AND CYLINDER HEADS THAT APPEARED CRACKED. NO EVIDENCE OF MAINTENANCE WAS FOUND IN THE ACFT LOGS BETWEEN 6/29 & 7/12.

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

PILOT'S IMPROPER USE OF THE FUEL SYSTEM AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF HIS AIRCRAFT. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL OPERATION OF AN AIRCRAFT WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN EQUIPMENT, HIS IMPROPER EMERGENCY PROCEDURE AND HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THE MODEL OF AIRCRAFT.

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