NTSB Identification: SEA04LA094.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 29, 2004 in Havre, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Beech P-35, registration: N7DR
Injuries: 4 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 reported that just after lift-off from runway 25, he verified a positive rate of climb and retracted the landing gear. Shortly thereafter, the pilot felt a slight hesitation in the engine. The pilot switched the fuel selector when the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot initiated a forced landing on the remaining runway. The aircraft touched down and the right main gear collapsed. The right wing contacted the runway surface and the aircraft spun around coming to rest near the end of the runway. Post-accident inspection of the engine found no evidence of a mechanical malfunction. Both fuel tanks were inspected for fuel and a trace amount of fuel was found in each fuel bladder. Inspection of the right wing inboard fuel sender found that the unit was unsecured. The left wings sender unit was secured. Both sender units were checked for cockpit indications. Both indicated empty when the float was extended to the bottom of the tanks and indicated fuel levels throughout the movement of the float from top to bottom. Approximately three gallons of fuel was put in the right side fuel tank to inspect for leaks. None were detected. The left wings piping structure had pulled out of the bladder connector during the accident sequence which allowed fuel to drain from the left fuel tank therefore fuel quantity could not be determined. The left and right side fuel tanks are not interconnected.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation during the initial climb after takeoff as a result of an unsecured fuel sender unit which resulted in a false fuel quantity indication.

Full narrative available

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