NTSB Identification: WPR09LA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2008 in Coalinga, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N3058Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that after an uneventful night cross-country flight, he established visual contact with the area of his intended destination and started a descent towards the airport. The pilot stated that due to a layer of fog over the airport, he diverted to an alternate airport equipped with an instrument approach and initiated a climbing left turn. Shortly after, the engine lost power and the pilot altered his course to the nearest airport, and conducted his emergency checklist. Despite numerous attempts, the engine would not restart. The pilot further stated that upon realizing he would not be able to make the airport, he set up for an off-field landing with the flaps and landing gear retracted. During the emergency descent, visibility was limited due to a layer of fog. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard in an open field and came to rest upright. First responders reported that thick fog in the area at the time of the accident hampered the search and rescue operation while locating the downed airplane. The engine was removed from the airframe and installed on a test stand. The engine was started and ran smoothly at an idle speed before the engine was shut down using the mixture control cutoff. No preexisting mechanical anomalies were noted with examination of the recovered airframe and engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The loss of engine power while in climb to cruise flight for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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