NTSB Identification: WPR09CA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 18, 2009 in Three Forks, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2009
Aircraft: RYAN NAVION, registration: N4443K
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that prior to departure he noted that both wing tip tanks were full of fuel and that the main tank was at least 2/3 full, giving adequate fuel for the flight. After takeoff, the pilot repositioned the fuel selector to draw fuel from the right tip tank, and later, while en route, the pilot switched the fuel selector to the left tip tank. Approaching the destination airport, the pilot became somewhat distracted while talking with a passenger. He did not follow the prelanding checklist and failed to reposition the fuel selector to the main tank, which contained adequate fuel. When the airplane was about 2.5 miles from the airport, all engine power was lost. The pilot then repositioned the fuel selector to draw fuel from the main tank; however, engine power was not restored as the airplane descended from the traffic pattern. The pilot made a forced landing on the underlying rough terrain. During roll out, the airplane collided with vegetation and a wing broke.

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

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's inadequate fuel system management. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's diverted attention and failure to perform the prelanding checklist.

Full narrative available

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