NTSB Identification: ERA09FA289
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 15, 2009 in Beauregard, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N191MK
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 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 pilot was on the second leg of his cross-country flight, after picking up three passengers at the intermediate airport. The passengers stated that while cruising at 7,000 feet, the engine lost power. The pilot was able to restart the engine but it lost power again. The pilot rearranged the aft passengers into the aft facing seats, and then performed a forced landing to a pasture, during which the airplane collided with trees and a large rolled bale of hay. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel selector valve was selected to the right fuel tank and the fuel drain on the selector valve was opened and there was no fuel present. The right tip tank was breached but contained about 4.5 gallons of fuel. The right main fuel tank was breached and no fuel was observed. The left main fuel tank bladder remained intact and was not leaking; approximately 1 quart of fuel was drained from the tank. The left wing tip tank was found separated from the wing; the tip tank was breached but contained approximately 1/2 gallon of fuel. No evidence of fuel leakage or browned grass was observed. Functional testing of the engine and fuel selector valve revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies. During the functional test of the engine, the fuel supply was intentionally interrupted by turning off the test cell fuel valve and by the disconnection of the fuel pump hose supple quick-disconnect. In both cases, after engine function ceased, fuel was present in the fuel control inlet and outlet lines. Witnesses stated that prior to the accident flight; the daughter of the pilot was seen draining what was later measured to be 25.4 gallons of fuel from the main tanks. At the time when the cross-country flight started, the airplane had approximately 48.6 gallons of fuel in the main tanks and 10 gallons of fuel in each of the tip tanks. According to performance calculations made during the investigation, the engine would have burned at least 48.6 gallons of fuel at the time the engine lost power, confirming that the pilot never utilized the fuel remaining in the tip tanks.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. Full narrative available
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