NTSB Identification: ERA12FA508
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Clifton Park, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N678DR
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot and passenger were departing on an instrument flight rules business flight. During the initial climb, at an altitude of about 800 feet above the ground, the pilot advised air traffic control that the airplane had lost engine power. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing; however, the airplane struck several trees about 1,000 feet short of an open field. Examination of the airframe revealed no deficiencies of the fuel or fuel system, and a test run of the engine showed that it was capable of producing power. However, during the test run, the right magneto was found to be non-functional, and further disassembly of the component revealed that its contact points were corroded. Once the corrosion was cleaned away, the magneto functioned normally on a test bench.

The investigation was unable to determine a definitive cause for the reported total loss of engine power, although a non-functional right magneto could result in a partial loss of power and/or perceived rough engine operation. According to the airframe manufacturer’s procedure for a loss of engine power immediately after liftoff, the auxiliary fuel pump should only be placed in the “HI” position in the event of an engine-driven fuel pump failure. With the engine-driven fuel pump operating, the engine would “run rich and may quit depending on throttle setting, temperature and altitude.” Due to the extent of the damage surrounding the auxiliary fuel pump switch, its preimpact position could not be determined.

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

A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined during the postaccident investigation and testing.

Full narrative available

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