While on final during a practice instrument approach, the engine lost total power. An attempted engine restart and switching of the fuel tanks was unsuccessful.
The flight instructor took control of the Beech V35B from the pilot receiving instruction, and executed a forced landing to a corn field near Sioux Falls, S.D.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings.
The airplane was recovered from the field and about one cup of fuel was found in the right fuel tank, while the left wing fuel tank was about 3/4 full.
The engine was functionally tested for about 10 minutes on the airframe with no anomalies noted.
The pilot reported he did not check the wing fuel tanks during pre-flight and relied on the cockpit fuel gauges for fuel quantity.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to adequately manage the available fuel supply, resulting in fuel starvation and a total loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate preflight by the pilot and flight instructor, and the flight instructor’s failure to monitor the fuel levels.
NTSB Identification: CEN16CA364
This August 2016 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.