NTSB Identification: CHI05LA023.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 06, 2004 in Wasta, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12-D, registration: N39971
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 terrain after suffereing a loss of engine power followed by a loss of control. The student pilot was returning to land at his farm field when the accident occurred. A witness reported seeing the airplane's wing "wobble" when it was at an altitude of about 300 feet above the ground prior to it descending to impact. He stated he was in a vehicle at the time and was unable to tell if the engine was operating. The accident occurred at sunset and the airplane was not equipped with any cockpit lighting. Post accident examination of the airplane revealed it impacted the terrain in a nose down, left wing low attitude. One of the wooded propeller blades was shattered and the other was intact. The mixture control was in and the pushpull type fuel shutoff valve was pulled to the off position. The fuel shutoff valve was bent upward and formed around the instrument panel. The carburetor heat control was pushed in. Airworthiness Directive (AD) 51-09-03 applied to the accident airplane. The AD stated that a safety device must be installed on the fuel shutoff valve to prevent inadvertent operation of the valve while in flight. The safety device was installed; however, it was bent so that it was not covering the fuel shutoff valve. No discrepancies were noted during the engine teardown that would have prevented the engine from producing power.

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

The pilot inadvertently pulled the fuel shut off valve resulting in fuel starvation and a subsequent loss of engine power. The pilot also failed to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in the airplane stalling.

Full narrative available

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