The Bellanca 17-30A was cruising at 8,500 feet when the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot switched the fuel selector from the auxiliary tank to the left main fuel tank.
During the transition, the engine experienced another loss of power.
The pilot was unable to restore the power, so he shut down the engine and made a forced landing on a road near Santa Rosa, N.M.
During the landing roll, the plane veered off the right side of the road and hit a post, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings.
The pilot noted that he exhausted the entire fuel supply in the auxiliary fuel tank. An examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that the auxiliary tank did not contain any fuel. The right and left fuel tanks contained 4.5 and 20 gallons respectively.
It is likely that the loss of engine power was a result of the brief fuel starvation during the transition from the empty auxiliary tank.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s mismanagement of the available fuel supply, which resulted in a loss of engine power and subsequent emergency landing.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA151
This February 2014 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.