NTSB Identification: ERA10FA150
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 25, 2010 in Winter Haven, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N180ED
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.

During the initial climb after takeoff, the engine lost power, and the airplane stalled and impacted the ground. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The fuel selector was observed in the off range after the accident and immediate postaccident testing of the selector valve revealed no mechanical anomalies. While the pilot’s cockpit actions pertaining to the fuel selector valve following the loss of engine power could not be determined, the lack of a preimpact mechanical failure of the engine or its systems, and the lack of an issue related to fuel quality are consistent with the fuel selector valve being in the off range for takeoff. Inspection and operational testing of the fuel selector valve was reportedly performed as required during the last annual and 100-Hour inspections; however, no guidance was given to maintenance personnel on how to perform the operational shutdown test. Different interpretations of what constituted proper engine shutdown was noted by the mechanics that performed the last annual and 100-Hour inspections. The mechanic who performed the last 100-Hour inspection approximately 6 months prior to the accident failed to detect that the fuel selector valve guard and stop did not contain required markings which clearly depict the off range for the pilot.

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

The pilot’s improper placement of the fuel selector valve during takeoff, and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed following a total loss of engine power resulting in an inadvertent stall. Contributing to the accident was the failure of maintenance personnel to detect the lack of proper markings on the fuel selector stop and fuel selector valve shroud at the last 100-Hour inspection.

Full narrative available

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