This July 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Beech Bonanza. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Perry, Kan. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot, who had in excess of 3,000 hours, of which half had been logged in Bonanzas, contacted ATC and reported the engine had lost power.
The controller provided vectors to an airport 10 miles south of the airplane’s position. The pilot told the controller that he did not have enough altitude to glide to an airport. According to a witness, the airplane was on approach to an open field when the nose dropped suddenly and the airplane came down hard.
Recorded engine data revealed that the fuel flow dropped to zero and cylinder head temperature and RPM decreased in flight.
The post-accident examination revealed that foreign material had corrupted the bearings in the engine-driven fuel pump and the pump had seized. The source of the foreign material was not determined. The emergency procedures checklist for a loss of engine power included the activation of the electrical auxiliary fuel pump. The switch of the auxiliary fuel pump was found in the off position. No mechanical defects were found with the auxiliary fuel pump.
Probable cause: The failure of the fuel pump, causing a loss of engine power and the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control, resulting in an inadvertent stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to follow the emergency procedures checklist and utilize the electric fuel boost pump, which would have restored engine power.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10FA364
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