June 23, 2011, El Monte, Calif., Beech A36 Bonanza


At about 1845 Pacific time, the airplane landed hard during a forced landing. The commercial pilot was not injured but the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had just undergone an avionics and flight-instrument upgrade. This was the first time the pilot had flown the airplane solo since the new system was installed. During cruise flight, at 4500 feet agl, the pilot heard popping sounds, followed by total power loss. The propeller continued to turn, but the airplane immediately began to descend. The pilot told ATC he did not have time to perform troubleshooting or emergency checklist procedures. He landed on Runway 1, but stalled the airplane just prior to the flare.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings during the hard landing. The right wing main fuel tank was filled with fuel. The left main tank appeared empty when viewed through the filler cap. About 12 ounces of fuel were subsequently drained from its sump. Neither fuel tank appeared to have been breached during the accident sequence.


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