This July 2009 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: Stinson 108. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Gardner, Kan. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, the airplane had just taken off and was approximately 300 feet above the ground when the engine lost power. He attempted a forced landing on a mowed, grassy section of airport property. During the landing, the left main gear sank into the mud and was torn off the airplane. The airplane skidded for approximately 180 feet, resulting in damage to the left wing and right landing gear, and right side of the fuselage.
After the accident, the pilot determined although he had switched the fuel selector valve to the fullest tank shortly before takeoff, the fuel selector handle did not set properly in its detent, cutting off the flow of fuel to the engine.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to ensure that the fuel selector valve was set properly in its detent prior to takeoff, resulting in fuel starvation.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN09CA473