May 15, 2009, Beauregard, Ala., Beech A36 Bonanza


At 1142 Central time, the airplane crashed into trees and terrain, killing the pilot and one passenger; two other passengers received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; the airplane was substantially damaged. According to the passengers, they were flying at about 7000 feet when the pilot told them he was having engine problems. The pilot restarted the engine, but it stopped again after about 30 seconds. Soon, the airplane began hitting trees and came to a stop.

A preliminary investigation discovered the right wings leading edge was separated. The wingtip fuel tank separated from the wing and was breached, but still contained about 4.5 gallons of fuel. The left wing fuel bladder remained intact and was not leaking; approximately one quart of fuel was drained from this tank. The left wingtip tank was breached but still contained approximately a half-gallon of fuel. The fuel selector valve was selected to the right fuel tank. The fuel drain on the selector valve was opened and there was no fuel present. The fuel selector valve was removed and tested with no reported anomalies.


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