On May 3, 2009, about 2106 central daylight time, a Beech 35-C33 airplane, N528BM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power after takeoff from Addison Airport (ADS), Addison, Texas. Both commercial pilots were seriously injured. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The repositioning flight was originating from ADS, and was en-route to Hicks Airfield (T67), Fort Worth, Texas. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The pilot was flying in the left seat to build high performance pilot in command (PIC) time. His first flight in the airplane was the afternoon of the accident, when he and the airplane owner, who was also a commercial pilot, flew the owner’s son from T67 to ADS. The pilot stated he was unfamiliar with the airplane.

The owner-pilot, who was in the right seat, stated he had checked the fuel before flying to ADS and determined each main tank had between 15 and 20 gallons of fuel and the fuel selector was on the right main tank.
The airplane was on departure from initial takeoff and about 200 feet above the ground when the engine started sputtering. The owner-pilot immediately suspected the problem was that the fuel selector was still on the right main tank and it should have been switched to the left main tank. He reached for the fuel selector switch, which was located under the pilot’s left leg, but he could not reach it. He then took control of the airplane and the pilot switched the fuel selector. The pilot stated he could not recall which tank it was on. The owner-pilot then attempted to return to ADS and land, but the airplane landed short of the runway on airport property.

The owner-pilot stated on the Accident/Incident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) “I believe we took-off on the [right main fuel tank] and ran it empty. There [was not] time for the fuel in the [left main fuel tank] to restart the engine before we hit the ground. Other factors were that [the pilot] was unfamiliar with the airplane and I [was not] double checking him.” “The aircraft hit the ground before I could see [the ground].”

Examination of the airplane revealed the left main landing gear strut was sheared off and pushed up through the left wing. The left horizontal stabilizer was damaged and the fuselage was partially buckled. Investigators on scene found the left wing tank was intact and contained approximately five to six gallons of fuel and the right wing tank was empty. The fuel selector was found in the left tank position.

A post accident engine inspection revealed the fuel inlet line and fuel vapor line were both dry and did not contain any fuel. Fuel was observed in the fuel manifold. The inspection did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation.

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