NTSB Identification: CEN12LA346
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 07, 2012 in Clark, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2013
Aircraft: BEECH 77, registration: N18012
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 passenger reported that the airplane’s low fuel light illuminated during the flight. She stated that they continued the flight and were circling to land on a grass runway when the airplane crashed. A witness reported seeing the airplane pass over the runway at a low altitude with the engine operating. The airplane then abruptly climbed and initiated a turn. The witness said that the airplane’s nose dropped as if the airplane had stalled and it then descended and impacted the ground. The airplane incurred substantial damage, which included separation of the engine, outboard left wing and aft fuselage, and upward bending of the right wing. There was no bending of the blades of the engine’s propeller, indicating that the engine was not producing power at the time of the impact. Both fuel tanks ruptured, and only 1 gallon of fuel was recovered at the scene. No fuel was found in the gascolator or carburetor. No fuel odor was present at the accident site. The airplane maintenance manual indicated that 1 gallon of the airplane’s fuel supply was unusable fuel. It is likely that the engine lost power during the landing approach due to fuel exhaustion and that the pilot failed to maintain airspeed after the power loss, resulting in an inadvertent stall.

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

The pilot’s improper fuel management, which led to fuel exhaustion, and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed resulting in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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