Report: Misuse of fuel selector led to fatal Anderson County plane crash

Beech 35 crash in Anderson County in March of 2021.
Beech 35 crash in Anderson County in March of 2021.(NTSB)
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A plane crash in Anderson County which led to the death of a person was caused when they did not properly switch fuel tanks.

The National Transportation Safety Board released their findings in a final report. One other person in the wreck was seriously injured.

According to a previous report, the single-engine Beech 35 crashed on March 6, 2021, in the 5000 block of FM 1990.

The report states about 43 minutes into the flight, the fuel in the left-wing fuel tank was depleted and the crew switched to the right-wing fuel tank with no issues. The pilot then suggested they switch to the auxiliary fuel tank. When the copilot switch to the auxiliary tank, a total loss of engine power occurred.

The report states the copilot switched the fuel selector again but power was not restored. After several attempts to restart the engine, the pilot transferred the flight controls to the copilot for a forced landing.

During post-accident investigation, it was discovered the fuel selector placard was not in the wreckage. The selector was found with the handle between the “off” and “left tank” positions.

“In this position, fuel would not pass through the selector,” the report states.

The report states cellphone records indicate the copilot sent a text message to the previous plane owner and asked what position on the fuel selector was for the auxiliary tank.

“Therefore, it is likely the fuel selector placard was not installed in the airplane,” the report states. “The text message also indicates the flight crew lacked an understanding of how to properly operate the fuel selector.”