NTSB Identification: WPR11LA004
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 08, 2010 in Blue Diamond, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2012
Aircraft: BEECH A35, registration: N8402A
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 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 stated that, during a cross-country flight, she flew the airplane about 1.5 hours with the right fuel tank selected. When the engine lost power, she stated that she switched the fuel selector to the left and auxiliary fuel tank positions during her attempts to restart the engine, but the engine would not restart. The pilot subsequently made a forced landing on a highway, and the airplane struck a dirt embankment during the landing roll. The airplane veered to the right, and the landing gear collapsed. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation. None of the fuel tanks were damaged. The right fuel tank was empty and the left tank was almost completely full (it could not be determined whether there was fuel in the auxiliary tank). After the accident, the fuel selector was found selected to the right tank position. Examination of the fuel selector confirmed that the selector switch operated normally; however, the “fuel selector not engaged” light was not functioning. The pilot should have switched tanks earlier in the flight and did not properly manage the airplane’s fuel consumption. Although the fuel selector was found in the right tank position, it could not be determined whether the pilot placed the selector in that position or if the fuel selector was not engaged when she moved it to the left and auxiliary fuel positions. Under either circumstance, the engine was starved of fuel, which resulted in a loss of engine power.

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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