NTSB Identification: LAX89LA097.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38925.
Accident occurred Friday, January 27, 1989 in PARLIER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1990
Aircraft: BEECH E33, registration: N8403N
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

BEFORE DEPG ON A FLT FROM SAN DIEGO TO FRESNO, THE PLT VISUALLY INSPECTED THE FUEL TANKS & BOTH WERE FULL. HE TOOK OFF AT ABOUT 1515 PST USING THE LEFT TANK. HE RPRTD THAT OVER THE SEAL BEACH AREA, HE SELECTED THE RIGHT TANK. APRX 2 MIN LATER, THE ENG BEGAN RUNNING ROUGH & HE NOTED A DROP IN FUEL PRESSURE. HE THEN RESELECTED THE LEFT TANK & THE ENG RETURNED TO NORMAL OPN. OVER THE LAKE HUGHES AREA, HE MOMENTARILY SELECTED THE RIGHT TANK AGAIN & EXPERIENCED THE SAME PROBLEM. AT THAT TIME, HE BELIEVED THERE WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FUEL IN THE LEFT TANK TO CONTINUE TO FRESNO. HOWEVER, WHEN THE ACFT WAS ON ARRIVAL AT THE ALTTA INTXN (IAF FOR THE ILS RWY 29R APCH), THE ENG LOST POWER. THE PLT SELECTED THE RIGHT TANK, BUT WAS UNABLE TO RESTART THE ENG. HE MADE AN EMERGENCY LNDG IN AN OPEN AREA, BUT AFTER ROLLING APRX 100 TO 150 FT, THE ACFT HIT A DITCH & WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED. AN EXAM REVEALED THE LEFT TANK WAS EMPTY & THE RIGHT TANK WAS FULL. A FURTHER EXAM REVEALED THE RIGHT FUEL TANK VENT TUBE WAS OBSTRUCTED WITH INSECTS & DEBRIS.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION TO CONTINUE TO THE DESTINATION AIRPORT AFTER ENCOUNTERING A RESTRICTIONOF FUEL FLOW FROM THE RIGHT TANK AND SUBSEQUENT FUEL STARVATION WHEN THE LEFT TANK EMPTIED. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE THE BLOCKED FUEL VENT AND A DITCH.

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