On December 9, 1994, at 0800 eastern standard time, a Beech A36, N36YE, lost total engine power and a forced landing was made on a road in Montrose, Pennsylvania. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The 189 nautical mile instrument flight rules cross country flight departed Summit, Delaware, and was destined for Ithaca, New York. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he did a "...thorough preflight inspection..." prior to departure. He stated he visually checked the fuel levels to verify the amount of fuel he thought should be in the tanks. The pilot stated that he thought the airplane had a total of 35 gallons on board. He reported, "The last fuel purchase was at Charlotte, NC,...on Nov. 26, when the PIC for that flight had the aircraft fueled to the slot in the tabs, which indicates 60 gallons of useable fuel. The tach time was 541.0. When the aircraft landed at Summit Airport (N92) the tach time was 543.3. At 65% power the fuel consumed from Charlotte (CLT to N92) was 30.6 gallons (2.3 hours times 13.3 gph). Therefore, at least 29 gallons of useable fuel were in the plane."
The pilot stated that the departure from Summit was uneventful. He stated that during the flight, the "...fuel pressure read 13 gph." He stated that while in cruise flight at 4,000 feet mean sea level, he moved the fuel selector from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank. The pilot stated that while the fuel selector was selected to the left tank, about one hour after departure, "...the engine sputtered." He stated he moved the fuel selector back to the right tank and the engine continued to sputter and then lost total power. He said he accomplished all emergency procedures but the engine did not restart. He said he moved the fuel selector back to the left tank and then prepared for an emergency landing. He stated he made an emergency landing on a road and during the roll out the airplane's left wing impacted a pole and a tree. The left wing was torn away from the fuselage and the airplane nosed over. He reported the airplane slid another 1/4 of a mile, crossed a ditch, and came to rest.
During a postaccident interview with the pilot, the pilot stated that he could not remember what the fuel quantity gauges were reading at the time of the accident. He stated that everything appeared to be "normal" just prior to the engine quitting. He recalled that after the engine stopped and a restart was attempted, the fuel flow gauges did not "spike" or measure any fuel flow.
Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the airplane came to rest upside down in a field with its left wing crushed and torn away from the fuselage. The right wing was in tact. No evidence of fuel was found at the accident site. Due to the location and position of the airplane, the airplane was moved from the accident site and stored in a hangar for further examination.
The fuel system was tested and no anomalies were found. The right fuel tank was pressurized with air and about 1/2 of a cup of fuel and about 1/16 of a cup of water came out of the fuel line. The fuel line and fuel vent line were free from obstructions.
The left wing fuel tank was damaged and ruptured. A portion of the left wing fuel tank vent line was recovered and checked for obstructions. No obstructions were found.
The engine fuel lines were examined and about 1/8 of a cup of fuel was found throughout the engine's fuel lines. No fuel line leaks were found. Fuel was then provided to the engine through the fuel lines at the wing root and the engine was started. The engine ran with no anomalies noted. The fuel selector functioned with no anomalies noted.
According to Signature Air located in Charlotte, North Carolina, N36YE received 40 gallons of fuel on November 26, 1994. According to the pilot, the airplane was "topped off" at the time the airplane was fueled and the tachometer read 541.0 hours. After the accident the tachometer read 544.3 hours.
According to the Beech A36 flight manual, the airplane's total fuel capacity is 80 gallons, of which 6 gallons are unusable. The Performance Cruise Power Setting Chart in the A36 flight manual reports the maximum fuel burn at 75 percent Maximum Continuous Power (or Full Throttle) 2500 RPM, is 15.2 gallons per hour. (See attached Performance Charts).