January 12, 2011, Venice, Fla., Beech A23-24


At approximately 1700 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was ditched in the Gulf of Mexico following loss of engine power. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and the three passengers received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated the airplane had 3.5 hours of fuel aboard; no anomalies were noted during the preflight inspection or engine run-up. After takeoff and at 1500 feet msl, the pilot made a right turn and the engine “suddenly quit.” The pilot established a glide, switched tanks, turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, enrichened the mixture and squawked 7700. An engine restart attempt was unsuccessful. The pilot turned back to the airport, realized he could not make it or the beach and ditched the airplane into the water.


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