April 20, 2012, Yorktown, N.Y., Beech A36 Bonanza


The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. The accide nt occurred at 1626 Eastern time. The private pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan was filed.

The airplane was in cruise flight at 7000 feet when it lost engine power. The pilot determined the airplane would not reach an airport and selected a forced landing site. During the descent, the pilot performed remedial actions in accordance with the checklist, and switched the fuel selector from the right tank position to the left tank. The engine would surge during the descent but would not make power to maintain altitude. A witness described the engine sound as surging between idle and “extremely high rpm.” He said that the engine sounded as though it was “starving for fuel.” The fuel selector was found positioned between the left tank and right tank detents. A detailed examination by FAA inspectors at a recovery facility revealed continuity of the fuel system, unobstructed fuel lines and filters and an operational fuel selector.


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