NTSB Identification: IAD05LA114.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 03, 2005 in Lyme, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Convair BT-13A, registration: N49646
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the takeoff the airplane became airborne half way down the runway, "leveled off" and accelerated in a northerly direction, then began to climb. After leveling off once more at approximately 300 feet above ground level, the airplane suddenly appeared to roll to the right, and descend in a nose down attitude into a cornfield fatally injuring the pilot and his passenger. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. A post-crash fire had consumed the majority of the fuselage and no preimpact mechanical failures with the engine or airplane were evident, however; no evidence of the engine producing power at impact was present. The surviving portions of the fuel system were devoid of fuel or fuel residue. During the investigation it was revealed that, the right main fuel tank unlike the left, was designed with a standpipe, which was plumbed to the outlet connection to provide a reserve fuel supply. Under normal conditions fuel would cease to be drawn from the tank when the fuel level became even with the top of the standpipe. The reserve fuel supply would always remain in the lower portion of the right tank until the pilot selected the "reserve line" which would draw fuel from a sump in the lowest part of the right tank. Printed guidance stated, that "when tanks are full take off on the right main tank," otherwise "take off on the fullest tank." A placard was installed on the airplane that read: "CAUTION: Unless Right Tank is full, use Reserve or Left Tank for Takeoff and Landing." Examination of the fuel selector revealed that the handle's pointer corresponded to a position in the R.H. MAIN quadrant area of the fuel selector placard, and a horizontal gouge was evident on the left side of the placard, that corresponded to selection of the fuel source as the right main tank.

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

The pilot's improper fuel management which resulted in an incorrect fuel selector position, fuel starvation, and subsequent loss of engine power. A factor in the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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