NTSB Identification: WPR12LA178
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 21, 2012 in Pendleton, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2014
Aircraft: Beechcraft Corporation A36TC, registration: N3862C
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 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 the airplane had been refueled before the flight and that the fuel had expanded during the day due to heat, which resulted in fuel draining from the vent. The pilot loosened the fuel caps to facilitate draining excess fuel from the tank; however, he forgot to resecure the left-side cap after he finished draining the fuel. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that one of the airplaneā€™s fuel caps was not secure and requested permission to return to the airport for landing. However, the pilot did not maintain an adequate glidepath during the approach, and the airplane impacted terrain short of the runway. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. During the impact sequence, the pilot's shoulder harness webbing separated, resulting in a serious injury. Examination showed that the webbing met the original load requirements as specified by the manufacturer, and no photodegradation was evident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate glidepath for landing, which resulted in a collision with terrain short of the runway. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to secure the left-side fuel cap before departure. Contributing to the pilot's injuries was the broken shoulder harness.

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