NTSB Identification: CEN09LA170
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 21, 2009 in La Luz, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: BEECH B35, registration: N8799A
Injuries: 2 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.

The pilot was receiving an "initial aircraft familiarization" from the designated pilot examiner. As they were returning to the airport, the engine lost power and the examiner noticed that the fuel pressure had dropped. The electric boost pump was switched on, and the examiner directed the pilot to start pumping the warbler pump. Fuel pressure rose slightly to 2.5 pounds per square inch and the engine restarted and ran for about 20 seconds. Gliding towards an open field, the examiner lowered the landing gear and raised the nose to clear some power lines. He felt "a snag" on the left main gear "which diverted our flight path slightly to the left." The airplane touched down and, during the landing roll, it struck a dirt berm that collapsed the nose gear and spun the airplane around. The right wing was bent and the left wing sustained spar damage when it struck mesquite bushes. The airplane was later examined by the pilot's mechanic. In an e-mail to the pilot, the mechanic reported finding "what appeared to be a dirt doppler nest in the right fuel tank vent," causing a vacuum and preventing fuel from flowing.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of a blockage in the right fuel tank vent.

Full narrative available

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