NTSB Identification: WPR11LA410
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 28, 2011 in Napa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2013
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N6052W
Injuries: 3 Minor,2 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.

While on final approach to the destination airport, about 1.5 miles from the approach end of the runway, the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot advanced the throttle, checked that the mixture was rich, moved the fuel selector from the left tank to the right tank, and activated the fuel boost pump. The engine did not regain its power, and the pilot executed a gear up landing on a nearby highway. During the landing, the airplane hit a vehicle and the left wing impacted a metal pole and the left fuel tank was breached. First responders reported that there was no indication of fuel in the left tank or leaking from the airplane, and the right tank was about 1/4 full. The propeller blade tips were curled; two blade tips curled forward, and one blade tip curled aft, consistent with a propeller that was under power at the time of contact with the hard, flat roadway. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel starvation, and the pilot’s action of switching to the right fuel tank resulted in the engine regaining power at the same instant that the airplane landed with its gear up on the highway.

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

The pilot’s mismanagement of the fuel supply, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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