NTSB Identification: DEN06FA091.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 03, 2006 in Montrose, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2007
Aircraft: Beech A36TC, registration: N1800Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, was receiving type-specific flight instruction to comply with insurance policy requirements, and had accumulated 6 hours of instruction. When the lineman checked the fuel tanks on the morning of the accident, they were half full. The pilots declined his offer to refuel. The airplane had been aloft for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, when it arrived at another airport and made 2 full-stop landings. Numerous witnesses reported hearing the engine "sputtering and coughing" and seeing the extended landing gear being retracted before the airplane struck a parked semi truck in a residential neighborhood. It exploded on impact and both the airplane and semi truck were consumed by fire. The fuel selector valve was found positioned on the left tank. The airplane was equipped with standard fuel tanks. According to the Beech A36 "Pilot's Operating Handbook," each wing tank holds 40 gallons of fuel, of which 37 gallons are useable. Performance charts indicate each takeoff and climbout would consume approximately 3.5 gallons of fuel (10.5 gallons). The airplane took off and made two takeoffs and landings prior to the loss of power. The airplane had been aloft for approximately 1.25 hours. Cruise performance charts for 10,000 feet (+20 degrees C. ISA) vary between 9.5 and 14.0 gph (gallons per hour), depending on leaning technique.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning/decision by not having the airplane refueled prior to takeoff, and allowing the engine to be starved of fuel because he failed to switch the fuel selector valve. A contributing factor was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the flight.

Full narrative available

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