NTSB Identification: WPR10LA408
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 16, 2010 in Sacramento, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/19/2011
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N67311
Injuries: 1 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 reported that prior to departing for the cross-country flight he had topped off the fuel in both fuel tanks. He took off with the fuel selector positioned to the left tank, and about 1 hour into the flight he switched to the right fuel tank. The remainder of the flight was uneventful until he started the airplane's descent to land. He stated that he switched the fuel selector back to the left fuel tank in preparation for landing. Shortly after he switched the fuel tank, the engine lost power. He repositioned the fuel selector to the right fuel tank and made an unsuccessful attempt to restart the engine. He initiated a forced landing to an open field, and during the descent the airplane struck power lines. The airplane landed hard in a wings-level attitude, substantially damaging the fuselage in the accident sequence. He reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident site that he had observed fuel leaking from the fuel cap after takeoff. During the on-scene examination of the airframe the FAA inspector observed fuel stains along the left wing originating from the fuel cap, which was consistent with fuel venting out of the wing. Recovery personnel recovered a minimal amount of fuel during the recovery process and reported that the fuel tanks had not been breached during the accident sequence. Examination of the engine found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction that would have precluded normal operation.

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

A total loss of engine power during descent due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's failure to ensure that the fuel cap was secured during the preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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