NTSB Identification: LAX01LA247.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 19, 2001 in Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/05/2002
Aircraft: Beech J35, registration: N3014C
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

On short final to runway 19 right at McCarran, the engine lost power, resulting in a forced landing on a dirt road approximately 1/4 mile from the runway. The airplane was substantially damaged when it landed hard in a 5- to 10-degree bank and skidded to a stop. The pilot had departed the El Monte airport on the left main tank. After burning 10.1 gallons from the left tank, he switched to the auxiliary tank over Baker, California, which is approximately halfway between El Monte and Las Vegas. He continued on the auxiliary tank for the remainder of the flight. The right tank was not used. As he approached the airport for landing, he verified that the fuel selector was in the auxiliary position, and believed that he should have had about 13 gallons remaining. The airplane was equipped with a Shadin fuel management system, indicating fuel flow, gallons used, and gallons remaining. The fuel management system data indicated that the airplane had used 19.6 gallons total, at a rate of 12.7 gallons per hour on average. The two main tanks hold 20 gallons of fuel each totaling 40 gallons, of which 34 are useable. The interconnected auxiliary tanks hold an additional 20 gallons. The fuel flow was set to 12.2 to 12.6 gallons per hour during the cruise portion of the flight. The fuel injection system returns about 10 gallons per hour of excess fuel. Fuel return lines are routed through the selector valve to each main cell; except for the auxiliary cells, fuel is returned to the cell from which it is drawn. The auxiliary cells return fuel to the left main cell only. The pilot had burned 10.1 gallons from the left main tank prior to switching to the auxiliary tank, and then an additional 9.4 gallons was used from the auxilliary tank. However, 19.4 gallons would have actually been withdrawn from the auxiliary tank. The additional fuel was routed to the left main tank, which was then filled back up to capacity. This left only 4/10 gallon in the auxiliary tanks, which is to be used in level flight only, and never for takeoff or landing.

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

The pilot's failure to comply with the airplane flight manual, resulting in fuel starvation and subsequent forced landing on rough terrain.

Full narrative available

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