SEA93LA160
SEA93LA160

On July 24, 1993, at approximately 1125 mountain daylight time (MDT), a Cessna 337, N2269X, experienced a nose gear collapse during an attempted forced landing near Jerome, Idaho. The FAA certificated private pilot received serious injuries, his passenger received minor injuries, and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. The personal pleasure flight, which departed Pocatello Municipal Airport, Pocatello, Idaho about one hour earlier, was operating in visual meteorological conditions at the time of the accident. The aircraft was not on a filed flight plan, and the ELT, which was activated by the impact, was turned off at the scene.

The pilot, who was not rated for multi-engine operations, and who was flying an unregistered, out-of-annual twin engine aircraft, said that he was cruising at about 1,500 feet AGL when the rear engine quit. He was able to get it restarted, but soon thereafter the front engine quit, and he was not able to get that engine restarted. Then about one minute after the front engine quit, the rear engine quit again. This time, the pilot was unable to get the rear engine restarted. He then switched to the auxiliary fuel tanks, but still could not get the engines restarted in time to avoid a forced landing. He touched down in a cultivated field, and the nose gear collapsed during the landing roll.

According to the FAA Inspector who responded to the accident, both main fuel tanks were found to be empty. He said that about seven gallons of fuel were found in the right auxiliary tank, and the severed fuel line from the left auxiliary tank was observed to leak fuel for about an hour after the accident. Although the pilot said that the main tank fuel gauges read about half-full at takeoff, there was no evidence of any en route fuel leakage or malfunction in the fuel system.

During the investigation it was noted that for all engine restarts in flight, the aircraft operating manual calls for the fuel selector valve to be in the Main Tank position, and for the auxiliary fuel pump to be in the "HI" position. In a telephone discussion with an investigator from Cessna Aircraft Corporation, he stated that since there are no auxiliary fuel pumps between the auxiliary fuel tanks and the engines, it is questionable whether the engines will restart once the auxiliary tanks are selected.

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