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N4890J accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Mounds View, MN
45.104966°N, 93.208558°W
Tail number N4890J
Accident date 10 Nov 2001
Aircraft type Beech V35
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 10, 2001, at 1620 central standard time, a Beech V35, N4890J, piloted by a commercial pilot was destroyed when following a loss of power, the airplane struck a tree and subsequently impacted the terrain 1 mile south of the Anoka County/Blaine Airport (ANE), Mounds View, Minnesota. A post crash fire ensued. The airplane was operating in the left hand traffic pattern for runway 35 at ANE. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger in the right seat sustained serious injuries in the accident. A second passenger seated in the rear seat reported minor injuries. The local flight originated at ANE.

In her written statement, the pilot said they departed ANE for some touch and go landings. The pilot said, "After 2 uneventful landings (1 stop and go) (1 touch and go) we turned onto final approach when sudden and complete engine stoppage occurred. As I recall there was no roughness or sputtering prior to the complete loss of power. The landing checklist on downwind had the flaps set in the 10-degree position and the landing gear was down and locked. After engine failure a restart was attempted with no success. The landing gear was brought up to increase our glide distance but the airport could not be made. The terrain was wooded with homes interspersed. No good landing areas were apparent so I steered towards the trees rather than the homes. I then made an emergency call to the ANE control tower. We clipped trees with the right wing followed by the left wing. It was a hard impact and I was knocked unconscious soon after that. We landed nose first in a grove of trees close to a detached garage."

In his statement to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the passenger in the rear seat said that they had been operating in the traffic pattern approximately 20 to 30 minutes when the engine quit. The passenger said the propeller continued to windmill. They turned base to final. Then the airplane's right wing hit a large tree. The passenger said the airplane then went straight down. The passenger said he got out of the airplane through an emergency door. He noted that fire was on the ground all around the airplane. The passenger said he then got the pilot and the other passenger out of the airplane. The passenger said that when the airplane's engine quit, he noticed the right seat passenger reach over the pilot to get something. The passenger said the pilot attempted to restart the engine, but was not successful. The passenger stated that he observed the pilot-rated passenger perform the preflight inspection. He said that the pilot-rated passenger checked the fuel in the right tank. He said that the pilot-rated passenger did not check the fuel in the left tank. He observed the pilot-rated passenger check and sump both tanks at their low point. The passenger said that sometime during the preflight, he heard the pilot-rated passenger say that they had about 3/4 total fuel. He could not recall which fuel tank was selected when they took off.

A FAA inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane's main wreckage rested in a wooded area behind a residence and next to a garage. The airplane's right wing preceded the main wreckage by 75 feet. It was broken aft and charred by fire. The airplane's right main fuel tank was broken open. The tank was also charred, melted, and consumed by fire. The airplane's forward fuselage and cabin were melted and consumed by fire. The aft fuselage and empennage were intact and showed bends and buckling. The airplane's left wing was intact. The inboard portion of the wing near the wing root was broken aft and charred. No fuel was observed in the left fuel tank. The propeller showed nicks in the leading edges of the blades. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the airplane's fuel system revealed the fuel selector valve, located behind the front lower left wall of the cockpit area, was positioned between the left and right tank lines, providing no fuel to flow through the valve. An examination of the engine, remaining engine controls, and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

The V35 Owner's manual states that the standard usable fuel capacity for the airplane is 49 gallons. According to the V35 Owner's Manual under FUEL TANK SELECTION, the text reads:

"Ordinarily, take-offs and landings should be made using the cell that is more nearly full."

According to the V35 Owner's Manual under ENGINE MALFUNCTION IN FLIGHT, Engine Failure, the text reads:

"The most probable cause of engine failure would be the loss of fuel flow or improper functioning of the ignition system.

Under Discrepancy Checks, the checklist reads as follows:

(Loss of engine power, loss of fuel flow, rough running engine, etc.)

1. Fuel Quantity Gage - CHECK (Fuel cell being used is empty).

Air Start Procedure

a. Throttle - RETARD

b. Mixture Control - FULL RICH

c. Fuel Selector - CHANGE TO OTHER CELL (check visually)

d. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - ON until power is regained, the OFF

e. Throttle - ADVANCE to desired power

f. Mixture Control - LEAN for altitude as desired"

NTSB Probable Cause

Fuel starvation caused by the pilot's improper positioning of the fuel tank fuel selector while in the traffic pattern, and the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing. Factors relating to the accident were the pilot not complying with the emergency procedures checklist, and the tree.

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