This June 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 206.
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was on approach to landing. While approximately five miles from the airport, he was instructed by approach control to fly a heading of 280° for a right base for Runway 04R. He performed the pre-landing checklist, which included moving the fuel selector from the left to right tank. The engine started losing power. The pilot then moved the fuel selector back to the left side, but power was not restored. The pilot declared an emergency and informed the control tower that he would be landing at a nearby football field. About 500 feet short of the intended landing site, the right wing clipped a tree. The airplane then came down in a residential area two miles short of the airport. The right wing was on top of a house and the left wing on a car. An FAA inspector found that the fuel selector was not in the left detent position. Five gallons of fuel was drained out of the left fuel tank.
Probable cause: Fuel starvation as result of the pilot’s failure to properly position the fuel selector.
For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070717X00951&key=1.