The student pilot reported that, while attempting to take a picture of himself, he accidentally moved the fuel shutoff switch to the OFF position. The engine experienced a complete loss of power.
He initiated a forced landing onto open water near Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and was rescued by boaters.
The Quicksilver sustained substantial damage to the wing and the structural tubing of the fuselage.
Probable Cause: The student pilot’s inadvertent movement of the fuel shutoff switch to the “off” position while attempting to take a picture of himself, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and a subsequent ditching in open water.
This December 2019 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.