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NTSB: Empty Tank Selected In Bonanza Accident

Fuel Starvation Led To Stall-Spin, Crash

The NTSB has issued it's probable cause report concerning a fatal crash of a Beech Bonanza D35 (file photo of type, below) near Trinity, AL last August. In it, the agency says it was probably the pilot's failure to properly manage his fuel that caused the accident.

Investigators say they found the fuel selector had been switched to an empty fuel tank -- while the aux fuel tank was almost full. The resulting fuel starvation led to an inadvertent stall-spin, and pilot William Powell was killed. His passenger, Chris Wright, was hurt in the crash.

A day after the August 6, 2005 accident, NTSB investigator Butch Wilson told local reporters he found the fuel selector switch, along with evidence that the engine wasn't running when the plane hit the ground. Wilson said Powell was apparently trying to get back to Pryor Field Regional Airport, but didn't make it.

In the meantime, Wright, 37, has yet to return to his job at North Alabama Aviation. He's undergone a number of surgeries since the accident.

But if there's any bright spot to this at all... the Decatur Daily newspaper reports he and his wife are expecting a baby in May.

FMI: Read The Probable Cause Report

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