Lockheed P-38 Lightning
 
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NTSB Identification: FTW94LA184.

Accident occurred MAY-28-94 at BRECKENRIDGE, TX
Aircraft: LOCKHEED P-38, registration: N38LL
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

DURING TAKEOFF INITIAL CLIMB, THE AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER ON BOTH ENGINES DUE TO FUEL STARVATION. DURING THE LANDING, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK NUMEROUS TREES. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THAT ONLY THE LEFT PROPELLER SWITCH WAS IN THE FEATHER POSITION AND THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE WAS IN THE DROP TANK POSITION. DROP TANKS WERE NOT INSTALLED ON THE AIRPLANE. THE PILOTS FLIGHT OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS MANUAL INDICATES THAT WARM UP, TAKEOFF AND THE FIRST 15 MINUTES OF FLIGHT SHOULD BE MADE WITH THE FUEL SELECTORS IN THE RESERVE POSITION. THE RESERVE TANKS DID NOT HAVE ANY EVIDENCE OF FUEL. THE PILOT HAD A TOTAL OF 3 HOURS AND FORTY-ONE MINUTES IN THIS MAKE AND MODEL OF AIRPLANE PRIOR TO THIS FLIGHT, OF WHICH ONE HOUR AND FORTY-ONE MINUTES WERE WITHIN THE LAST 30 DAYS.

Probable Cause
THE FUEL STARVATION INDUCED LOSS OF POWER DUE TO IMPROPER POSITIONING OF THE FUEL SELECTOR. FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THE TYPE AIRPLANE, AND THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

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