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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44578
Last updated: 29 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft J35 Bonanza
Registration: N399RH
MSN: D-5720
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Abernathy, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Shallowater, TX (TA67)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
A witness observed the airplane flying at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet agl with its landing gear and flaps extended on a downwind leg to land at an adjacent airport. When it was abeam the north end of the runway, it began to descend below 500 feet agl in a northerly direction. The airplane then made a descending right turn toward a southerly heading. Subsequently, the witness observed the right wing impact the ground. Within seconds after the airplane came to rest, it was engulfed in flames. The right main fuel tank was ruptured and destroyed by fire. The right auxiliary tank contained residual fuel that was blue in color. The fuel cap was secure, and the finger strainer was free of debris. The left main fuel tank contained approximately 3/4-inch of blue fuel. The left auxiliary tank contained approximately two inches of blue fuel. The fuel cap was secure, and the finger strainer was free of debris. The fuel selector was found in the "auxiliary" fuel tanks position. The fuel screen in the fuel selector was clear of debris and installed with the cone upward. An engine examination was performed under the supervision of the NTSB at a nearby maintenance facility. The engine was rotated by hand at the crankshaft and valve train continuity and piston movement were verified on all six cylinders. No defects or anomalies were found with the engine that could have precluded normal engine operation. The fuel pump was removed and did not contain any fuel. The fuel screen was free of debris. A review of the before landing checklist in the airplane flight manual revealed that prior to landing, the fuel selector must be positioned to the "MAIN TANK MORE NEARLY FULL."

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]
06-Dec-2017 06:52 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]

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