NTSB Identification: DFW07LA016.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, October 26, 2006 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Beech F33, registration: N1096W
Injuries: 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.
Prior to the 2,174-hour commercial pilot return flight to his home airport, the airplane was serviced with 54 gallons of fuel, for a total of 74 gallons of fuel on board. A review of the flight manifest for October 25 had the airplane airborne for 2 hours and 18 minutes, with the take-off at 1740 and landing Houston at 1958. The airplane was equipped with two 40-gallon wing fuel tanks, with 37 gallons useable. Additionally, the operator planned for an 18-gallons/hour fuel burn during cruise flight, and 22-gallons/hour in a climb. On October 26, the pilot departed approximately 16:40 for a 221 nautical mile flight. During the flight, the pilot decided to return to the airport due to "bad" weather and moderate to heavy turbulence. Approximately 40 minutes after departure, the "engine quit"; the pilot ran the checklist, which including switching fuel tanks (from the right to the left tank), turning on the [electric] fuel pump, applying full rich mixture and turning the magnetos; left, right and to both. The engine did not restart and the pilot elected to land in a field. During the forced landing the airplane's nose gear collapsed and the came to rest with the nose down. The pilot reported that after the landing he looked in each fuel tank and observed, " sufficient quantities of fuel." The following morning, with the airplane still tipped up on it's nose an FAA inspector observed that the left fuel tank was empty and the right tank had "about an inch" of fuel in the tank. During the airplane salvage retrieval, recovery personnel reported they drained 21 gallons of fuel from the right fuel tank and that the left tank contained approximately 1 quart of fuel. Environmental personnel reported that "no sheen or soil staining" was observed in the area of the crash and no fuel was spilled in the airplane recovery. The pilot reported to the NTSB IIC, that he visually checked the fuel level, and both tanks were at the three-quarter full level prior to the flight; on the NTSB form 6120.1 (Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report) he reported that he had 46 gallons of fuel on board and that he used approximately 1 gallon of fuel before departure. The airplane was transported to a salvage yard and an airplane examination was conducted. The fuel lines and vents were clear and unobstructed. The two wing drain ports were undamaged with no evidence of any leakage. Both wing fuel tanks were not breached in the accident sequence. The engine's fuel servo fuel-screen was removed and was in good condition and absent of any debris. Other than a bent propeller, the engine did not appear to have sustained any impact damage during the accident. The engine was fitted with a test propeller and a fuel container was attached to the fuel line on the left side of the airplane. The engine's oil was checked and read as 11 quarts on the dipstick. The airplane's electric fuel pump operated and was used to prime the engine. The engine was then started and run for approximately 5 minutes. The engine was then shutdown and the fuel container was switched and connected to the right side fuel line. Again, the engine was started and run for approximately 5 minutes. During the engine runs, the engine was run to full power, the oil pressure was normal, and the left-right magneto drop was between 50-60 rpm. No abnormalities were found with the engine operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's improper fuel management. Full narrative available
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