LAX97LA238
LAX97LA238

On July 4, at 1130 hours mountain standard time, a Bellanca 17-30, N70EC, collided with the runway at the Prescott, Arizona, airport following a loss of power during a go-around attempt. The aircraft sustained substantial damage and the private pilot and his passenger were not injured. The aircraft was being operated as a personal flight under 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident with variable wind conditions. A VFR flight plan was not filed. The flight originated in Quartzsite, Arizona, at 1045.

The aircraft was entering the airport for runway 21 when the tower cleared him to land on runway 30 instead. The pilot said he attempted to add power to extend his approach when the engine seemed to drop to idle. In an attempt to land on runway 21 he extended his landing gear but touched down approximately 60 feet short of the runway. The pilot stated he had 45 gallons of fuel in the airplane before takeoff.

At the request of the Safety Board, an operations inspector from the Scottsdale Flight Standards District office examined the aircraft after it had been recovered from the accident site. The operations inspector performed a stick test to determine the amount of fuel in each wing. The left auxiliary fuel tank was found to show no visible fuel on the stick. The right auxiliary fuel tank showed a trace of fuel on the stick. The right and left main tanks each showed 4 inches of fuel on the stick. A visual inspection of the interior of the aircraft revealed that the fuel selector position does not have a visible detent from position to position. Additionally, the placards were not legible. The fuel tank selector was found in the "off" position.

According to the airworthiness inspection performed on August 14, 1997, the fuel lines from the fuel distributor were removed at all six cylinders and found to be dry. The main fuel line from the fuel pump to the fuel distributor was removed at the low point in front of the firewall and found to be dry. The engine was rotated by hand at the crankshaft and a click was heard from the magneto impulse coupling. According to the operations inspector who performed the examination, "there was no reason that this powerplant would not run if supplied with fuel into the cylinders through the fuel lines."

According to the information supplied by the pilot, he had less than 6 hours of total flight time in this make and model of aircraft.

The Safety Board did not take custody of the wreckage.

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