NTSB Identification: CHI06FA090.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 06, 2006 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Beech J35, registration: N8271D
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Minor.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airplane impacted an embankment following a reported loss of engine power while on approach. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A witness stated, "The pilot of N8271D announced that he was 10 miles or so south of the airport and was inbound for runway 26. ... He replied that he would join 8 for a right downwind and would follow us in. ... The pilot of 71D continued to make radio calls announcing his progress in the traffic pattern. We were waiting at the end of the taxiway for 71D to land. We saw the landing lights as 71D turned to final. As we watched 7ID's progress on final, suddenly the lights simply disappeared. ... It did appear to me that 71D was at an unusually steep descent angle." The witness stated that the pilot said over the headset that the airplane lost engine power. She stated that the airplane was in a turn while on approach during the reported engine power loss. An on scene investigation revealed that the left and right auxiliary fuel tanks contained a fluid that exhibited a smell consistent with aviation gasoline (avgas). The left and right main fuel tanks did not contain any fluids. Flight control continuity and engine control continuity was established. The fuel tank selector was found in the detent selecting the left main tank. Air pressure was applied to the fuel supply line and air was heard escaping in the left main fuel tank. An inspection of the left main fuel tank revealed no anomalies. Battery power was applied to the electric fuel pump with the fuel selector selecting the left main tank and no fluids were observed exiting the fuel supply line to the engine driven fuel pump. The fuel selector was rotated to the detent for the auxiliary tank, battery power was applied to the electric fuel pump, and a fluid consistent with avgas exited from the same supply line. The engine's crankshaft propeller flange had separated from the crankshaft and remained attached to the propeller. A propeller flange was welded to the engine's crankshaft and the engine was test run with no anomalies detected.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A lossof engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's improper fuel system management and failure to select a tank containing fuel. A factor was the dark night conditions. Full narrative available
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