NTSB Identification: DFW05CA104.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 2005 in Bartlesville, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Beech J35, registration: N8396D
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 3,767-hour commercial pilot was getting ready to make a 180-degree turn for a 45-degree entry to a right downwind for runway 17, when the engine started sputtering. He immediately reached down and turned the fuel selector from the "left main" tank to what he thought was the "auxiliary" tank position. Subsequently, the engine stopped producing power. He then switched the auxiliary fuel pump to the "on" position, thinking that the engine would resume running momentarily, but it did not. The pilot then looked to the airport and realized that he would not be able to make it to the runway. The pilot then began to look for a suitable location for a forced landing. The pilot extended the airplane's landing gear and elected to land in an open pasture. After touching down in the pasture, he observed a ditch in his path which he would not be able to avoid. After the accident, the pilot discovered that he had turned the fuel selector to the "off" position, instead of the "auxiliary" position.

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

A loss of engine power due to the pilot's inadvertent and improper positioning of the fuel tank selector, which resulted in fuel starvation. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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