ATL01LA038
ATL01LA038

On March 10, 2001, at 1030 eastern standard time, a Beech 55, N8472N, collided with the ground during an attempted forced landing in a pasture near Lake Wales, Florida. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with an instrument plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The private pilot was not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight departed Elkin, North Carolina, at 0710 hours.

Reportedly, upon arriving within range of the destination airport, the pilot cancelled his instrument flight clearance and entered the traffic pattern for a visual approach. While on final approach to land on runway 06, 100 feet above the ground and 1/4 mile from touchdown, both engines lost power. The pilot selected and attempted a forced landing in a nearby pasture. During the landing roll, the main landing gear was torn from the airframe, and the airplane sustained major structural damage.


Examination of the airplane did not reveal that any mechanical problems were found . The pilot had not reported a mechanical problem with the airplane before the total loss of power before his forced landing in the field. According to the Pilot's Operating Handbook, (POH) the BE-55 with the fuel system capacity of 136 gallons has an estimated endurance of five to seven hours. The pilot had flown only approximately three hours before experiencing a loss of power on both engines. The pilot also reported that he used the fuel from the auxiliary fuel tanks enroute to the destination airport. The pilot stated that he switched the fuel selectors to the main tanks on final approach. Both the descent and before landing checklists require that the pilot switch the fuel selectors to the main fuel tanks. The examination of the fuel system at the accident site disclosed that both main fuel tanks were full. The pilot stated that this accident could have been prevent by using "better fuel management. "

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