April 11, Fullerton, Calif. / Beech Bonanza


At 12:07 PDT, a Beech B36TC struck utility lines and a house while returning to land following takeoff. The pilot was killed. The controller reported that the pilot radioed that the aircraft door had come open and that he was requesting permission to return for landing. The pilot was cleared for a left downwind approach to runway 24. The pilot said he had no emergency at first, then the same voice said emergency, I got … There were no further transmissions from the pilot. Witnesses reported the aircraft was trailing dark smoke immediately after takeoff, which lightened to gray. Another witness said the engine sounds stopped prior to the crash. The smoke apparently was traced to having the fuel boost pump on HIGH, which the manufacturer said would cause black smoke and no power loss at high power settings, but light smoke and excessive power loss at reduced power settings. As the throttle is reduced further, the engine would quit.


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