FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Helena FSDO-05
NTSB Identification: WPR16CA145
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 18, 2016 in Helena, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2016
Aircraft: BEECH 19A, registration: N7645R
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that during the initial climb after takeoff, about 500 feet, the engine lost power. He made a left turn to return to the airport, but instead touched down hard next to the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.
This was the first flight following completion of an annual inspection. During the inspection maintenance personnel had placed the fuel selector valve (FSV) in the off position, and did not return it to the full on position before the flight. The pilot reported that he and the owner usually kept the fuel selector valve in the on position, and that he did not use a checklist or confirm that it was in the full on position before takeoff.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to reposition the fuel selector valve to the on position prior to takeoff resulting in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to properly complete the pre-takeoff checklist.
A small plane crashed in Helena on Monday morning.
Emergency personnel responded to the scene near the Helena Regional Airport.
The Lewis & Clark County/City of Helena 911 Center shared the following information on Facebook at about 9:15 a.m.: "Public Safety and Airport emergency resources are on scene of small aircraft crash at the airport. Minor injuries are reported. More information to come forward when we get it."
At 9:52 a.m., the Helena 911 Center said: "Local law enforcement and fire apparatus have cleared the scene. The investigation has been turned over to the FAA and airport authorities. The pilot was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. No additional information to report."
An airport official told MTN News that the pilot was the only person on board the plane, and was attempting takeoff when it happened.
The cause of the crash is not yet known. The investigation will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration.
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