NTSB Identification: LAX01LA064.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 23, 2000 in BAKERSFIELD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 140, registration: N72970
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

During a forced landing precipitated by fuel starvation and a loss of engine power, the airplane collided with a fence and overturned. The engine stopped producing power about 2 miles from the airport, and the pilot thought he could make it to the airport. About 500 feet above the ground, he noticed the airport boundary fence. He felt he might strike it with the landing gear while in flight, so he decided to land short of the airport. After the airplane came to rest, the pilot saw fuel leaking from the inverted wing fuel tanks and evacuated the airplane. The pilot did not recall moving the fuel selector valve after landing. The fuel selector valve pointed to a position 20 to 30 degrees left of the right fuel tank position. It pointed to the middle of a placard that indicated right tank. However, a mechanic said he felt this position would not allow either tank to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. He observed a flexible detent that was installed to ensure proper position of the fuel selector valve when the right fuel tank was selected. The flexible detent bent down and was not useable.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning, fuel management, and inadequate remedial actions, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. The pilot made an off-field landing and collided with a fence.

Full narrative available

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