November 17, 2006, Flagstaff, Ariz. / Beechcraft J35 Bonanza


The airplane was substantially damaged and the solo Commercial pilot seriously injured after losing power at about 1930 Mountain time during a landing approach. Night visual conditions prevailed. A witness near the airport heard the airplanes engine surge and rev loudly three times before going silent. About 10 seconds following the loss of engine power he heard a loud crash. He subsequently found the airplane near one of the outlying lights of the approach lighting system. He approached the airplane from the left side and noted that the left wing was missing and that there was no smell of fuel at the accident site. According to an FAA inspector, the left fuel tank had been compromised during the accident sequence; he confirmed there were five gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank. The fuel selector was in the “Auxiliary” position. The inspector removed the inlet and outlet lines from the fuel manifold and observed no fuel in any line. According to the pilots wife, he was not sure if he needed gas to complete the flight but would stop en route, if necessary, to refuel. There was no record of the pilot stopping for fuel.


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