FTW00LA131
FTW00LA131

On April 25, 2000, at 1505 central daylight time, a Beech BE-35, single-engine airplane, N5269C, struck power lines during a forced landing following the loss of engine power near Lancaster, Texas. The airplane was co-owned by two private individuals and operated under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The ferry flight departed Redbird Airport, Dallas, Texas, at 1450.

The pilot reported, to the FAA inspector, that he had not flown the airplane in about 6 months. The airplane was being ferried to the Lancaster Airport for an annual inspection. He further stated that about 6 quarts of oil had leaked into a drain pan during the time the airplane sat idle. Eight quarts of 50-weight mineral oil were added during the preflight preparation for this flight. He further stated that the aircraft was "low fuel in the right tank and he had the fuel selected to the left tank." The aircraft needed to be "jump started initially because of a low battery condition. Consequently, it was decided to conserve electrical power by leaving the landing gear in the down position." No other discrepancies were found during the preflight, engine run-up, or the takeoff/departure climb to 1,000 feet msl. During cruise flight, at 1,500 feet msl, at a power setting of 20 inches manifold pressure and 2,400 RPM, the engine began losing power. Pumping the hand operated "wobble" fuel pump did not restore continuous engine power.

During the forced landing to the field, the right wing struck a pole. Subsequently, the airplane struck power lines before coming to rest in the field.

The FAA inspector found the fuel selector in the "OFF" position, the ignition keys removed, and the magnetos in the "OFF" position. Both main landing gear were found extended, and the flaps were in the retracted position. The nose landing gear, engine mount, firewall, and engine cowling were found detached from the fuselage. Substantial damage was found to both wings and the empennage. The right main fuel tank and both wing tip tanks were found empty. The left main fuel tank was almost full. The tachometer reading was 0739.9 hours.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the private pilot reported that he had accumulated 634.5 total flight hours of which 98.7 hours were in the make and model of the accident aircraft. In the previous 90 days, the pilot had flown 4.6 hours of which 0.2 hours were in the aircraft on the day of the accident. In the past, he had been one of the co-owners of the aircraft.

The aircraft records, reviewed by the FAA inspector, revealed that on May 2, 1986, the Continental E-225-8 engine was installed following a major overhaul. In May 1989, the carburetor was removed, overhauled, and reinstalled. In July 1989, the fuel pump and the magnetos were removed, overhauled, and reinstalled. The aircraft was registered to the current owners on January 13, 1997. According to the maintenance logbooks, the airframe underwent an annual inspection and the engine a 100-hour inspection on September 26, 1998. At the time of the inspections, the airframe had accumulated 5,757.8 flight hours, and the engine had accumulated 803.9 hours since the last major overhaul. On April 25, 2000, the propeller was removed and reinstalled after compliance with an airworthiness directive.

On April 28, 2000, the aircraft was examined at Lancaster, Texas, under the surveillance of the NTSB investigator-in-charge. One propeller blade was bent aft 30 degrees, and one propeller blade was not damaged. The engine mounts were separated. The exhaust pipes were crushed. Oil did not show on the dipstick and wet oil was found on the bottom of the fuselage. The scavenge line from the oil tank had a hole in it and oil was leaking from the line. Approximately 6 quarts of oil were drained from the engine. The engine, the drained oil, and the oil scavenge line were shipped to the engine manufacturer's facility in Mobile, Alabama, for further examination.

On July 19, 2000, an engine run was performed at Mobile, Alabama, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. During the engine startup, run, and full power check, no discrepancies were found. The oil scavenge line was "hard and the fabric was torn at approximately the center." According to the engine representative, "if the hose leaked, the engine had plenty of oil to operate at the time of the accident."

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