LAX96LA286
LAX96LA286

On July 22, 1996, about 1730 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech J-35, N8399J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Lovelock, Nevada. The pilot received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot had performed 8 or 9 touch-and-go landings on runway 01. During the initial climb, about 200 feet agl, the engine lost power and the pilot landed straight ahead coming to rest about 1/4 mile beyond the end of the runway. The pilot reported that the outside air temperature was 104 degrees Fahrenheit. He stated that the engine temperatures were high, but not abnormal.

According to the FAA inspector on-scene, the pilot told him that each time after departure he would fly out about 5 miles and then return to the airport. During this time, he would switch between the main fuel tanks and the auxiliary tanks. The fuel system consists of two 20-gallon main fuel tanks (17 gallons usable each) and two 10-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks. The pilot stated that the fuel tanks were topped off prior to the flight. The pilot also stated that the engine may have lost fuel flow when the engine quit. He stated that he had been airborne about 1.5 hours prior to the loss of engine power.

The fuel system components that were examined forward of the firewall were the fuel distributor valve, fuel vapor return line, and the fuel pump outlet line; all with no signs of fuel. The fuel pump inlet line had traces of fuel present. The fuel inlet screen was clean and dry with a fitting broken from the assembly body. The fuel tanks were visually checked at the accident site. Both auxiliary tanks had in excess of 2 inches of fuel remaining. The left main fuel tank was 1 inch from the filler neck. The right main was dry with the quick drain valve severed. Evidence of fuel was found in a dirt sample under that drain valve.

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