NTSB Identification: LAX05LA012.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 21, 2004 in Cloverdale, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Beech C24R, registration: N18942
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.

The airplane impacted vineyard crops during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while in cruise flight. The flight was intended to be a 30-minute trip between local airports. The pilot had the left fuel tank selected at the time of the power loss, and turned on the boost pump and selected the right fuel tank. The pilot was able to obtain a surge of power momentarily, but nothing more. He then setup for landing at the nearest airport. Upon noting his glide ratio would not allow them to reach the airport, he concentrated on landing in the vineyard. The airplane impacted the crops and was arrested by the crop trellis wires. Post-accident examination of the engine revealed no anomalies that would have prevented its normal operation. The left fuel tank contained 1 gallon of fuel and 11 gallons were in the right fuel tank. When electrical power was applied to the system, the fuel gages read values consistent with the fuel quantities found in the tanks. The unusable fuel quantity for each tank is 1.3 gallons.

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

the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation from the pilot's inadequate fuel system management and his delay in selecting the fullest fuel tank.

Full narrative available

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