NTSB Identification: DFW05CA128.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 21, 2005 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N39821
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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.

Before the 470-hour private pilot departed on a night cross-country flight, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane, but he did not visually check the fuel quantity in each of the four wing fuel tanks. However, the fuel gauges indicated that the tanks were full for a total of 72 gallons. The 1-hour and 15-minute flight was normal until the airplane was on final approach to the destination airport. At an altitude of 800 feet above ground level, the engine stopped producing power and the pilot made a forced landing to a golf course. Examination of the airplane revealed that four wing fuel tanks were intact, and there was no fuel in the left wing tanks or the right main tank. However, the right auxiliary tank was full. The main fuel selector handle was found set to the RIGHT MAIN tank, and the auxiliary fuel selector handle was found set to the FUSELAGE position. In addition, there was no evidence of any fuel spillage or spoilage of vegetation on or around the airplane. Due to the extent of impact damage, the fuel system could not be pressurized and checked for leaks.

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

The pilot's mismanagement of the fuel and his inadequate monitoring of the fuel supply which resulted in fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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