NYC99LA109
NYC99LA109

On May 9, 1999, about 1345 Eastern Daylight Time, a Beech A35 Bonanza, N722B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, while approaching Phillipsburg Airport (3I7), Phillipsburg, Ohio. The certificated private pilot was uninjured, and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the flight between Urbana Grimes Field (I74), Urbana, Ohio, and Phillipsburg. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot reported to the Ohio State Police that he was operating on the left fuel tank, and the tank was about 1/2 full. In a separate written statement, the pilot reported that he was between 1,900 feet and 1,700 feet, "when the engine just died, within a minute it had restarted and died again.... I looked to see where the fuel selector was and it was on the left fuel tank. I had tried the boost pump and to restart to no avail."

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, the engine shut down approximately 5 nautical miles north of the airport. On-site inspection of the airplane revealed that the fuel selector was on the right tank. No fuel was found in the right tank, while the left tank was found to be full of fuel.

In an interview with an Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer, a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic stated that the fuel tanks were normally switched manually, and that he arrived on the accident scene about 2030. He also stated that "the aircraft was flying on right side. Right side was empty." When asked if he was saying that the "pilot ran out of fuel," the mechanic stated, "yes."

Another witness, who was also a pilot and a field service representative, stated that he saw the airplane lose engine power intermittently several times, then totally lose power. "It appeared to me that the loss of power may have been a fuel tank shortage and switching of tank. Pilot mentioned he had just bought aircraft. I checked left inboard tank - full. Right not checked."

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