NTSB Identification: WPR11LA283
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 23, 2011 in El Monte, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N2206L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 airplane had just undergone an avionics and flight instrument upgrade, completed on the morning of the accident. The pilot had intended to fly the airplane on a cross-country flight later in the day; however, subsequent flights revealed a discrepancy in the fuel pressure indication system and the airplane was returned to the maintenance facility, where the problems were resolved later that afternoon. This was to be the first time the pilot had flown the airplane solo since the system upgrade and, although he was instrument rated, he did not want to perform an instrument flight rules approach with the new avionics. He was now in a hurry to depart and performed a cursory preflight inspection. He could not recall if he checked the fuel tank quantity or used a checklist. Ten minutes into the flight the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot was convinced that the loss of power was caused by a maintenance oversight and did not switch fuel tanks, perform any troubleshooting steps, or review the emergency checklist. He performed a forced landing and inadvertently allowed the airplane to stall as it turned from the base leg to the final leg of the traffic pattern. The airplane landed hard, bending both wing spars, collapsing the right main landing gear, and separating the nose gear. A postaccident examination revealed that the left fuel tank was empty and that the fuel selector valve was set to the left tank. The fuel lines from the selector valve to the engine were devoid of fuel. Additionally, data extracted from the engine monitoring system revealed that the pilot departed with an almost full right tank but limited quantities of fuel in the left tank. The data indicated that he subsequently continued the flight until the fuel in the left tank became exhausted.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the forced landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's improper fuel management.

Full narrative available

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