NTSB Identification: DFW05FA055
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 14, 2005 in Patterson, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55, registration: N7912R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The 6,000-hour airline transport pilot was observed to make a steep climb followed by a shallow left turn during the initial climb after take off. The steepness of the bank progressed, and then the nose of the airplane dropped. Subsequently, the airplane began to spin before impacting a tree then terrain. Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel selector handles were set to the auxiliary fuel tanks. A review of the Normal Procedures section of the airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) revealed that the fuel selectors must be set to the main tanks for take-off. Additionally, the FAA issued Airworthiness Directive (AD)-68-26-06 in 1974 "to prevent a power loss." It required this model airplane to have a placard installed on the pilot's instrument panel, which stated the following: "TAKE OFF AND LAND ON MAIN TANKS ONLY. TURNING TYPE TAKE OFFS OR TAKE OFFS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING FAST TAXI TURNS PROHIBITED." A review of the POH also revealed that the best rate of climb speed with one engine inoperative (Vyse) was 100 knots and the minimum controllable airspeed (Vmc) was 78 knots. It also stated, "Two major factors govern one engine operations; airspeed and directional control. The airplane can be safely maneuvered or trimmed for normal hands-off operation and sustained in this configuration by the operative engine AS LONG AS SUFFICIENT AIRSPEED IS MAINTAINED...The most important aspect of engine failure is the necessity to maintain lateral and directional control. If airspeed is below 78 knots, reduce power on the operative engine as required to maintain control."

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

The pilot's failure to follow check-list procedures and the required placard instructions, which resulted in the fuel selectors being selected to the improper fuel tanks for take-off, resulting in a loss of engine power to the left engine. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed required to maintain control.

Full narrative available

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