Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary WPR21LA315

Whitefish, MT, USA

Aircraft #1


BELLANCA 14-19-3


The pilot reported that, at the request of the airplane owner, he was going to reposition the airplane to another airport for an annual inspection. As a precaution, the pilot wanted to fly around the airport traffic pattern to refamiliarize himself with the airplane. The pilot reported that when he arrived at the hangar, the owner stated that the airplane was “ready to go” and that 25 gallons of fuel had been added to the right fuel tank. They departed for a flight around the pattern and were on the crosswind leg when the engine lost power; he adjusted the throttle, mixture, and engaged the boost pump, and the engine started. They continued with the landing sequence, and on the base leg, the engine lost power again. The pilot did not believe the airplane was going to make the runway and elected to land straight ahead in a grassy field. During the landing roll out, the airplane impacted a dirt berm and slid sideways before it came to rest upright. After they exited the airplane, the pilot checked the right fuel tank and noted it was empty. The airplane was inspected at the accident site by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, and it was determined that the right fuel tank was empty, and the left fuel tank was nearly full. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to accomplish a preflight inspection.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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