LAX03LA121
LAX03LA121

On March 30, 2003, about 2030 mountain standard time, a Beech V35A, N95DC, collided with terrain near the North Las Vegas airport, North Las Vegas, Nevada. The collision with terrain was precipitated by a loss of engine power during the takeoff climb. The commercial pilot/owner was seriously injured; the airplane was destroyed. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan had been filed, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The purpose of the flight was for pilot currency and departed North Las Vegas about 2120.

Witnesses at the scene reported that the airplane's engine quit. The airplane then dove towards the road, and struck the road and a fence before coming to rest in a ditch during the forced landing. The pilot stated in the Pilot/Operator Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that after climbing out from his first touch-and-go the engine quit at 300 feet. He reached down to the fuel selector handle and tried to select the right main tank but inadvertently selected the right tip tank. He then aimed for a drainage ditch along a road in which to land the airplane.

The pilot told the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he visually checked the fuel level in each fuel tank during his preflight inspection. He could see that the fuel level was below the lower tab (the tab indicates 27 gallons of usable fuel per the pilot's operating handbook). He estimated that the airplane had about 15 gallons in each main tank.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane wreckage and reported that he found no evidence of fuel in the left main and left tip fuel tanks. The right main and wing tip tanks were breached, making it not possible to determine the amount of fuel onboard at the time of the accident. The fuel selector handle was in the right tip tank position. The pilot said that the fire department washed away fuel that was around the airplane after the accident. There was no post accident fire.

An Air Safety Investigator for Teledyne Continental Motors inspected the engine under the supervision of the FAA. The Continental investigator's examination report states, "No evidence of fuel was noted in any of the fuel lines or fuel tanks. The top spark plugs were removed and visually examined. All exhibited lean operating signatures." No evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure was found during the engine examination.


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