The commercial pilot was practicing agricultural application operations on his first flight in the Weatherly 620B.
While climbing after completing a spray pass, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot made a forced landing near Coleman, Texas. During the forced landing, the airplane nosed over.
Examination of the airplane revealed that the right fuel tank was intact and void of fuel, while the left tank was breached, with fuel leaking from the tank. The fuel selector was in the right tank position. No engine anomalies were observed.
The pilot had been advised by the owner to switch fuel tanks after flying about 40 minutes, but failed to do so.
That advice was based on the engine’s typical fuel burn of about 33 gallons per hour and fuel tank capacity of 35 gallons per wing tank.
The owner estimated the airplane was airborne for about one hour before the accident occurred.
Given the airplane’s time in flight and the lack of fuel found in the right wing tank after the accident, it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel starvation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA038
This November 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.