ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44720
Last updated: 24 November 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft C35 Bonanza
Registration: N63AC
C/n / msn: D-3279
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kalispell, MT -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Kalispell, MT (S27)
Destination airport:Kalispell, MT (S27)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The 1,323 hour private pilot had successfully passed a biennial flight review approximately one hour before the accident. The flight instructor who administered the check flight quizzed the pilot for more than two hours before the flight, emphasizing the importance of his knowledge of the fuel system. After preflighting the airplane and visually checking that the left main fuel tank was full and the right main tank was nearly full, the instructor and the pilot departed on the check flight with the fuel selector in the "Left Hand Tank" position. After the 1.2 hour check flight was completed satisfactorily, the instructor further quizzed the pilot, culminating with the instructor advising the pilot to check his fuel before departing on a local flight for the purpose of making multiple touch and go takeoffs and landings. There was no record to indicate that the pilot had refueled prior to the accident flight. While in the traffic pattern turning from downwind to base leg witnesses heard the engine emit a loud bang, sputter, hesitate, and then go silent before banking left and going straight down. A postaccident examination revealed that the left main fuel tank, right tip tank, and center tank were intact, while the right main fuel tank and left tip tank were breached. The aircraft was leveled and approximately 5 gallons of fuel was drained from the left main tank, 2 gallons drained from the right tip tank, and 1 gallon drained from the center tank. The fuel selector handle, which was placarded, was found half way between the "OFF" position and the "Right Hand Tank" position. The fuel screen was removed and found to be clean. The fuel gage indicator selector was in the #2, "Left Hand Tank" position. The airplane's fuel system consisted of two 20 gallon main tanks in each wing, 17 usable in each tank, and one 10 gallon auxiliary tank and two 15 gallon wing tip tanks, all of which was usable. There were no records to indicate when the airplane was last refueled prior to the instructional flight. Manufacturer instructions state that when operating the fuel selector, the pilot must feel for the detent position. A FAA airworthiness directive issued in 1999 as a result of reports of engine stoppage due to the incorrect positioning of the fuel selector, was rescinded in 2000. The airworthiness directive required installing a placard on the fuel tank selector to warn of the no-flow condition that exists between the fuel tank detents. Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would preclude operation prior to the accident.

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper positioning of the fuel tank selector, which resulted in fuel starvation and a subsequent loss of engine power while maneuvering.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
07-Dec-2017 18:18 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description