NTSB Identification: DEN02LA068.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 26, 2002 in Montrose, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Beech K35, registration: N9518R
Injuries: 1 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.
The pilot said that he was practicing flight maneuvers between 500 to 1100 feet above ground level. He said the fuel selector was on the left main tank, and the engine began to sputter. He switched the fuel selector to the right main tank, but did not turn on the boost pump. All attempts to restart the engine failed and he made a forced landing in a bean field, subsequently wrinkling the fuselage, and bending several bulkheads and the lower centerline spar carry through members. An FAA inspector examined the accident aircraft and found the left main fuel tank empty, the right main tank was approximately half full (about 11 gallons), and the auxiliary selector position (two 10 gallon tanks feed one position) with approximately 15 gallons of fuel. The Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) for the airplane states that the engine air start procedure includes turning the auxiliary fuel pump on "until power is regained, then off." A published temporary change to the POH states: The addition of a placard to the fuel selector to warn of the no-flow condition that exists between the fuel selector detents.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to follow published aircraft operating procedures, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.
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