CHI99LA347
CHI99LA347

On September 25, 1999, at 1749 central daylight time, a Beech V35B, N3047W, piloted by an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), sustained substantial damage during an in-flight collision with the terrain following a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing near Henrietta, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the three passengers sustained minor injuries. The flight departed Lexington Municipal Airport, Lexington, Missouri, at 1705.

According to pilot statements, taken by a Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, the purpose of the flight was to take his grandchildren and daughter-in-law for a local sightseeing flight. The pilot reported that he originally departed from Independence Memorial Airport, Independence, Missouri, and flew to Lexington Memorial Airport to pick-up his passengers. The pilot stated that he departed Lexington Memorial Airport at 1705 for the local flight. The pilot reported that while in level flight, at approximately 1,000 feet above ground level, the engine sputtered, surged, and quit. The pilot stated that after the engine had lost complete power he switched the tanks, "a couple of times", and turned on the fuel transfer pumps. The pilot reported that he decided that he was going to make his forced landing to an east-west road. The last memory the pilot had of the accident was turning, to the right, in order to line-up with the road.

According to a passenger statement, while the pilot was maneuvering the airplane for the emergency landing she, "...looked out and saw the tops of the trees. It was very shortly after that it felt like something just picked up the left side of the plane and we hit the ground."

According to a FAA Inspector's statement, the aircraft impacted a level field, on a southerly heading, in a nose-down attitude, approximately 45-minutes after the departure from Lexington Memorial Airport. The wing flaps were found in the retracted position, the landing gear was extended, the throttle full open, the propeller control back approximately one-inch, mixture full rich and the fuel selector on the right tank. The right wing had separated during the impact with terrain, rupturing the right main fuel tank. The left main fuel tank remained intact and 14-gallons of fuel was drained from it. The two wing-tip tanks were destroyed during the impact with terrain. A passenger verified that there was fuel present in both wing-tip tanks by visually noting the quantity, during the flight, through transparent windows on the wing-tip tanks.

Examination of the engine and its related fuel systems revealed no fuel present in the fuel control unit, injector pipes leading to the injectors, or fuel lines leading to and from the fuel control unit. The electric fuel pump was operated and no anomalies were noted. No additional anomalies were found with the engine or with the airplane's fuel system.

According to the owner of the airplane, there was approximately 60-gallons of fuel on board the airplane when the pilot originally departed Independence Memorial Airport. The owner reported that the fuel was distributed equally in four fuel tanks, two main tanks and two wing-tip tanks.

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