November 8, 2007, Jean, Nev., Beech A36 Bonanza


At 1937 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a loss of power and encountered rough terrain during a forced landing on the desert floor. The airplane sustained structural damage to the firewall and fuselage areas. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Prior to departure, the pilot refueled the airplane; the left fuel tank was “full” and the right fuel tank was full “to the tabs.” When the engine began to lose power, he reported his situation to the LAS Tracon, stating there was a smell of fuel in the cockpit. The airplane was losing altitude faster than the pilot expected. The pilot said it was a dark night, and he chose an area to make a gear-up landing, hoping for the best.


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