This August 2008 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: Bellanca Cruisemaster. Injuries: None. Location: Keller, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot was attempting a takeoff. During the takeoff roll, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power. The pilot aborted the takeoff, applying the brakes so hard they locked up. The airplane veered off the left side of the runway. After the accident, the pilot checked the selected left fuel tank, and found the tank was empty. He said the fuel tanks had been previously filled, the airplane was flown seven days prior, and the pilot expected the left tank to be full. He reported that the fuel must have been stolen prior to his flight.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in an attempted takeoff without fuel in the selected fuel tank.
For more information: NTSB.gov