NTSB Identification: WPR10LA252
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 21, 2010 in Bakersfield, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2012
Aircraft: Luscombe Silvaire Aircraft Co. S-LSA-8C, registration: N599LS
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 departed for a cross-country flight with full fuel in the left and right fuel tanks and with the left fuel tank selected. However, during the flight the pilot was unable to change from the almost empty left fuel tank to the full right fuel tank. When the engine began to lose power due to fuel starvation, the pilot decided to land in a field to troubleshoot the fuel selector issue. A witness, who saw the airplane land and spoke with the pilot, said that the pilot reported a problem with the fuel selector valve. The witness saw the pilot working on the airplane, and then the pilot and passenger stated that they were going to fly to a nearby airport to complete repairs. According to the passenger, they examined the fuel valve and found that the set screw had fallen out. He thought that they set the fuel selector to the right fuel tank before attempting the flight for further repairs. However, about 10 seconds after takeoff the engine started to lose power again. The pilot attempted to turn back to land in the field again, but the airplane pitched down in a left turn and impacted the ground. Postaccident examination of the fuel selector valve and assembly revealed that the fuel selector valve shaft was sheared off, disconnecting the handle from the valve, and that the fuel valve was positioned to draw fuel from the left fuel tank. The airplane total time at the accident site was 1.82 hours. A logbook entry dated the day of the accident documented the issuance of a Special Airworthiness Certificate and Operating Limitations that day. Photographs taken during the issuance of the Special Airworthiness Certificate and Operating Limitations and those taken after the accident (as well as a note on the pilot’s kneeboard), indicated that the airspeed indicator color arcs were not marked as required.

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

The pilot's continued operation of the airplane with known mechanical deficiencies, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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