NTSB Identification: DEN04LA082.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 28, 2004 in Calhan, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Lockheed TV-2, registration: N6617
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.
According to the pilot, at approximately 45 nautical miles southeast of his intended destination, the wing tip tank low fuel light illuminated. He stated that this was planned, and he selected the 150-gallon wing tank. Approximately two minutes later, the low fuel light illuminated for the wing tank. A "drop," in the fuel quantity indication on the main fuselage tank gauge, confirmed the wing tanks low fuel condition. He then selected the 100-gallon leading edge tank, and within a few minutes, its low fuel light illuminated as well. Again, he noted a "drop" in the fuel quantity indication on the main fuselage tank gauge, confirming the leading edge tanks low fuel condition. The pilot immediately contacted the local Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), reported a "fuel emergency," and stated that he was going to make a precautionary landing at a nearby dirt strip. Upon landing, he retracted the flaps and applied full brakes; however, the airplane departed the end of the runway, struck a ditch, and slid approximately 400 feet, coming to a stop in an open field. The impact with the ditch collapsed and separated both main landing gear assemblies from the wing spar. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wing spars and the lower aft fuselage. According to the pilot, the airplane departed with approximately 700 gallons of fuel. Prior to evacuating the airplane, he noted that the main fuselage tank gauge indicated approximately 68 gallons of fuel. During an examination of the wreckage, approximately 56 gallons of fuel was recovered. According to a maintenance representative, no aircraft anomalies were noted. However, a stuck fuel tank float valve would allow fuel to "drain out of the saber vents at approximately 30 gallons per minute." The representative also stated that, the calculated fuel loss, from the moment the fuel pumps were turned on to the moment the tanks indicated empty, correlated to the amount of unaccountable fuel.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the failure of the fuel tank float which resulted in the draining of fuel out the vents, and a low fuel supply. Contributing factors include the insufficient runway length, the ditch, and the rough, uneven terrain. Full narrative available
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