This October 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: Beech Bonanza. Injuries: None. Location: Salina, Kan. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot told investigators that when he switched fuel tanks in preparation for landing the engine lost power. Attempts to restart the engine failed. The pilot made a forced landing on a road near the airport.
The post-accident investigation determined the left fuel tank gauge indicated the tank was empty and the right fuel tank was between a quarter and half-full. No mechanical deficiencies were noted with the airplane or engine.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to properly manage the available fuel supply, which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power.
For more information: NTSB.gov