On January 28, 2002, about 1040 Pacific standard time, a Beech B-19, N23849, sustained substantial damage subsequent to an off airport forced landing near Moses Lake, Washington. The airplane is owned by Big Bend Community College, and was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) instructional flight under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The first pilot, an airline transport pilot/certified flight instructor, and the second pilot, a student pilot receiving instruction, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no FAA flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from Grant County International Airport (MWH) approximately 20 minutes prior to the accident.

In a written statement, the instructor reported that during a simulated engine out procedure, the student pilot incorrectly set the airplane up to land downwind in a field. According to the instructor's written statement, he instructed the student to go around, however, when the student pilot applied power the engine RPM increased and then decreased quickly. The instructor pilot took control of the airplane and initiated an off airport forced landing. After touchdown, during the rollout, the nose gear collapsed and the airplane nosed over.

Post-accident examination of the airplane's fuel system, by personnel from Big Bend Community College and the FAA, revealed that the airplane's fuel selector was found to be pointing almost to the right-hand "off" position, well beyond the right hand tank detent. In this position there was no fuel flow to the main fuel strainer and/or to the engine supply hose. By positioning the fuel selector valve in either the right-hand or left-hand detent, there was unrestricted fuel flow to the strainer and engine supply hose.

The student pilot reported, to the Director of Flight Operations, that he might have turned the fuel selector to the "off" position while attempting to change fuel tanks.

The instructor pilot reported, to the Director of Flight Operations, that he had not checked the position of the fuel selector valve prior to the accident.

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