NTSB Identification: ATL05CA056.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 03, 2005 in Eagleville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N4024B
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight was cruising at 3,000 feet approximately 15 nautical miles north of Bomar Field - Shelbyville Municipal Airport, Shelbyville, Tennessee, when the engine sputtered and lost power. The pilot stated he moved the fuel selector from the auxiliary fuel tank to the right main fuel tank, established glide airspeed, and reported the loss of engine power to the Nashville air traffic control tower. The pilot stated he tried to find a road or clearing for landing, but he could not distinguish the terrain in the darkness. The pilot glided the airplane toward a dark area, then turned on the landing light and immediately saw treetops. The airplane collided with the trees and the ground. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunction with the airplane. He stated he had planned to change the selected fuel tank in five or ten minutes, and he had inadvertently allowed the auxiliary tank to run out of fuel before switching to a tank containing fuel. The elevation at the accident site was approximately 830 feet.

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

The pilot's mismanagement of the fuel supply by his failure to switch the fuel selector position , which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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