Jan. 02, Farmingdale, N.Y. / Beech C24R Sierra


At about 09:30 EST, a Beech Sierra was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Farmingdale. The two occupants sustained minor injuries. After engine start, the pilot taxied to the run-up area, and reported that the engine was running rough. He said he was going to taxi back to the ramp and speak with the owner of the airplane about the engine condition. They could not find the owner, and the pilot told the passenger that the engine was running normally, so they returned to the run-up area and took off. The engine surged and failed, but the pilot was able to restart the engine. He advised the tower of a power loss, and the engine failed again and could not be restarted. The aircraft landed in a cemetery 1,800 feet short of the runway. The passenger reported that he had observed the pilot perform a preflight examination of the airplane, which included removing the fuel caps and looking into the tanks. He did not observe the pilot drain fuel from either the fuel tanks or the main sump drain. The pilot said he struck his head during the forced landing and had no recollection of the flight. Investigators found that the main fuel bowl of the fuel strainer was contaminated with water, dirt, rust, paint and sand. In addition, rust was found on the inlet screen to the fuel injection unit and on the fittings to the fuel injection manifold.


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