NTSB Identification: LAX05LA209.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2005 in Apple Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Beechcraft K35, registration: N3067C
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
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's wing collided with a post during a forced landing on a road after a loss of engine power, and the airplane went into a ditch. The pilot was on a cross-country flight when the engine began sputtering. The pilot thought that he had a fuel problem. The fuel pressure began to vary. The pilot switched fuel tanks, turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, and richened the mixture. He noted that the fuel flow stabilized briefly, and then it started varying again. Shortly thereafter, the engine quit, and the pilot made a forced landing on a dirt road. At that time, he turned the fuel pump off, and made the landing with the gear down and flaps extended. The airplane touched down successfully on the main landing gear. During the rollout, a wing clipped a metal post, which spun the airplane into a ditch. The nose wheel collapsed, and the wing sustained substantial damage. Recovery personnel drained 15 gallons of fuel from each of the main wing tanks. They found no fuel in the auxiliary fuel tanks, which can contain a maximum of 19 gallons of usable fuel according to the manufacturer's systems description. Post accident examination revealed that the fuel selector was in the auxiliary fuel tank position. The fuel boost pump was in the emergency or HI position. A fuel supply was plumbed into the left wing fuel inlet. The engine was started, and it ran smoothly at various power settings for 15 minutes, including several times at full power. The engine displayed good response to throttle movements and exhibited no hesitation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: fuel starvation due to the pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel system management and failure to set the fuel selector valve to a tank containing fuel. A factor was the ditch that the aircraft encountered. Full narrative available
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