Aviation safety investigations & reports

Beechcraft A36, VH-MKF, 2 km NE of Jandakot WA, 15 July 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The Pilot-under-Instruction selected the left fuel tank during the pre-landing checks as the aircraft joined the circuit on left base leg. Approximately 20 seconds later, and after the aircraft had commenced descent for landing, the engine stopped. The selector lever was returned to the right hand tank position but the fuel boost pump was not turned on. The engine did not restart immediately and the Pilot-in-Command elected to concentrate his efforts on a forced landing. The aircraft touched down in an uncleared bush area and overturned when the nosegear collapsed. The subsequent investigation determined that the fuel selector panel had been fitted with a decal which indicated an incorrect position for the left tank. The decal had been modified some time prior to the accident, with a coloured pen, to show the correct position. The colouring had subsequently worn off, resulting in both correct and incorrect positions being visible. The fuel selector was also fitted with detents to help locate the correct selection positions. A build up of grease and wear on the detent combined to make the left tank detent less positive than normal. When the pilot had moved the selector, he had not noticed the detent, and had inadvertently shut off the fuel to the engine. During his pre-flight inspection, the Pilot-under-Instruction had noted that the selector was different from that discussed during a briefing given by the Pilot-in-Command on the aircraft systems. However, he had not alerted the Pilot-in-Command to the anomaly.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 15 July 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1310    
Location: 2 km NE of Jandakot    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 08 February 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 36  
Aircraft registration VH-MKF  
Serial number E-30  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Jandakot WA  
Departure time 1230  
Destination Jandakot WA