December 14, 2006, Peoria, Ill. / Beech BE-36-BE36TC


At 0804 Central time, the airplane was destroyed during a forced landing in a field following loss of engine power and an in-flight fire during cruise flight. The solo Private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in cruise flight, the engine started “missing.” The pilot put the mixture to full rich, switched fuel tanks, and adjusted the propeller and throttle, but the engine continued to run rough. The pilot then turned toward the nearest airport for an emergency landing.

He reported that the airplane was about 5 – 6 miles from an airport at 4500 feet msl and 100 knots, but he was unable to maintain altitude. The propeller was still turning, but the windshield was 60 percent covered with oil and smoke was coming into the cockpit.

The pilot reported that he realized that he could not reach the airport, so he executed a forced landing to a field. The airplane was still on fire when it came to a stop; the pilot exited the airplane uninjured. Fire consumed the engine compartment, cockpit and cabin. A hole was found in the top of the engine crankcase.


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