Report: Pilot was switching fuel tanks

The pilot of a small plane that crashed into a Carson City resident's back yard had just switched fuel tanks as he approached the airport to land on Sept. 1, investigators reported Friday.

Dr. Kevin Jensen told a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he selected a different fuel tank and the engine lost power on his Piper Cherokee.

According to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board on Friday, Jensen told the investigator he remembered the fuel pressure gauge reading zero and turned on the electric fuel pump, but the engine did not ignite.

The NTSB did not indicate when a final report would be issued.

Jensen, who is recovering at his Carson City home, was asleep and unavailable for comment.

Jensen, his wife Lois, and Apollo Drive resident Bob Griffin were injured when the doctor's plane hit a tree and landed on Griffin in his back yard.

According to the report, the plane had taken off at 7:15 p.m., just 38 minutes before the 7:53 p.m. crash.

The Piper Cherokee's fuel tanks contain more than 50 gallons. Jensen said he purchased the aircraft a month and a half before.

Fuel was spread on the ground around the aircraft crash site.

Jensen said when he lost power he tried to steer the airplane away from the homes along Apollo Drive.

Then he hit a tree and the aircraft was knocked from the sky, landing on Griffin, 63, who was watering snapdragons in his back yard.

Griffin's legs are being held together by pins and his forehead was cut in the crash. He is in fair condition at Washoe Medical Center.


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