On November 5, 2000, at 1210 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 185F, N185CY, lost engine power on departure and impacted terrain on airport property at Carson City, Nevada. The airplane was operated by the owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight and no flight plan had been filed.

A Safety Board investigator interviewed the pilot. He stated that on climb out the engine "got quiet," and there was a subsequent loss of engine power. The airplane was past the departure end of the runway when the pilot made the emergency landing.

In the pilot's written statement to the Safety Board he indicated that there was 80 gallons of fuel on board the airplane at the time of the accident.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that he was conducting a maximum angle climb after takeoff when the engine quit. He tried to turn 90 degrees to the runway to land on a perimeter road inside the airport, however, the airplane impacted a berm and sheared off the landing gear, and some of his right wing. The airplane crossed the road, the left wing contacted the ground, and "deformed his fuselage." The pilot further stated that during the engine failure he did not look at or switch anything inside the airplane. The engine surged a couple of times as if it was running out of fuel.

According to witnesses interviewed by the FAA, the engine popped two or three times and blew out puffs of white/bluish smoke, like it was burning oil before it quit.

An engine inspection was conducted under the supervision of the FAA inspector. No discrepancies were noted with the ignition, induction, exhaust, oil, or fuel systems. The compression check was normal. The only item of note was the fuel selector valve. The inspector noted that the valve has a plastic ridge around it. It allows the valve to be placed in the forward both on, right tank, or left tank detents. The plastic ridge on the fuel selector housing had been depressed and deformed down to allow the fuel selector valve to move to the aft position (fuel off position).

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