The student pilot, accompanied by a CFI, was practicing maneuvers in a Beech Bonanza near Fort Stockton, Texas. During the approach to landing, the student was instructed to move the fuel selector from the right tank to the left tank.
When the plane was on the downwind leg for landing, the instructor told the pilot to reduce power and perform a simulated forced landing.
Because the plane was far from the runway and 200 feet above the ground, the instructor told the pilot to go around. The student advanced the throttle, but the engine did not respond.
The instructor took control of the airplane, turned 40° to the right, lowered the landing gear, and made an off-airport landing on a rough dirt field. The left wing hit brush on the rollout, which spun the airplane around 90° to the left and then it slid sideways for about 65 feet. Neither the instructor or student were injured.
After evacuating the airplane, the instructor returned to turn off the electronics and noticed that the fuel selector was in the OFF position.
The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident as the student pilot inadvertently switching the fuel selector to the OFF position and the flight instructor’s failure to monitor the student pilot’s actions.
NTSB Identification: CEN13CA207
This March 2013 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.