On December 15, 2011, about 1605 central standard time, a Beech 95-B55, N275D, experienced a total loss of power from both engines while on final approach to the Midland Airpark (MDD), Midland, Texas. The pilot made a forced landing to a residential street and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Midland College of Midland, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The flight originated from the Biggs Skypatch Airport (43OK), Wellston, Oklahoma at 1425. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, the airplane departed with approximately 65 gallons of fuel. During takeoff, the fuel selectors were in the main (MAIN) tank position for both engines. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot selected the auxiliary (AUX) fuel tanks "to burn from them first." Approximately 30 minutes later, the left engine started to vibrate like it wasn't getting enough fuel, so the pilot selected the left fuel tank from AUX to MAIN. The fuel selector change corrected the engine problem. At this point, the left engine fuel was being drawn from the left MAIN tank and the right engine fuel was being drawn from the right AUX tank.
A short time later, the right engine began to vibrate and the pilot selected the right fuel tank from AUX to MAIN. The fuel selector change corrected the problem. At this time, both fuel selectors were in the MAIN tank position.
Approximately 35 miles from MDD, the pilot elected to cross feed the tanks to "balance the main tanks more." He selected the right fuel selector to CROSS FEED and the left fuel selector to AUX. The pilot and passenger then reference the flight manual for cross feed fuel operations and verified the operation.
The pilot reported entering the airport traffic pattern on the downwind leg, followed by the completion of the “Before Landing Checklist.” While on final approach, and about a mile from the end of the runway, both engines lost power. The pilot attempted an engine restart to no avail. Unable to reach the runway, the pilot selected a residential road and performed a forced landing. During the forced landing, the airplane’s left wing and fuselage sustained structural damage. Both occupants were able to exit the airplane unassisted.
The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. After the accident, the total fuel in the MAIN and AUX fuel tanks was not determined due to impact damage.
In the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), the pilot reported he misinterpreted the airplane's cross feed fuel operation and suggested he should have stopped en route for fuel.