On October 25, 2004, about 1530 Pacific daylight time, a Bellanca BL17-30, N4894V, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with the airport perimeter fence at Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight originated from Gillespie Field Airport, El Cajon, California, about 1330, with a planned destination of Henderson. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, the pilot stated that as he approached the vicinity of the airport, he confirmed that the fuel sector was on the left tank. He verified that the cockpit fuel quantity gauge showed about 3/8 of fuel remaining in the left main tank, which he equated to be about 10 gallons. He opted to make a right traffic pattern with the intention to land on runway17R, and kept the fuel selector on the left main tank. While executing a right turn onto base leg, about 1/8 mile from the airport, he attempted to add power and the engine quit. With the airplane so low to the ground, he thought that he did not have enough time to switch to the right main tank and turn the fuel boost pump on. Upon touchdown, the airplane collided with the airport's perimeter fence, damaging the right wing.
The pilot further stated that after egressing the airplane he examined the airplane's fuel tanks. His examination revealed that both the left main and auxiliary fuel tank were empty, with the right main tank having about 18 gallons of fuel remaining. He reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. He opined that if the airplane was at a sufficient altitude he would have been able to switch to the right tank and successfully restart the engine.
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane after the accident occurred. He stated that during his examination of the wreckage he found no fuel in the fuel flow divider diaphragm or in the main fuel line. He found no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure.