On September 21, 1996, about 1445 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech V35A-TC, N7956M, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Santa Ynez, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight and no flight plan was filed. Neither of the pilots were injured. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a telephone interview conducted by an FAA inspector, the left seat pilot, who had just purchased the aircraft, was flying when they observed smoke coming from behind the instrument panel. The instructor pilot took control and proceeded to follow the emergency procedures for smoke/fire. The smoke cleared from the cockpit and the instructor gave control back to the owner pilot. They stated that even with the electrical master switch off they still had some lights and radios. As they were approaching the airport (with flaps still down and gear extended from the emergency checklist procedure), they could not add any additional engine power. The instructor again took control of the aircraft and performed the emergency landing.
A postaccident examination of the engine compartment was conducted by an FAA inspector. The examination revealed that the fuel injector lines to cylinders 2, 4, and 6 were loose. There were fuel stains on the cylinders and other left side components of the engine installation. A fire had occurred in the left aft side of the engine compartment and burnt the ignition leads and hoses in the area.
On August 30, 1996, an annual inspection was performed on the aircraft at a tachometer reading of 2,100.4 hours. According to the maintenance records, all fuel injectors were removed and reinstalled with new seals. After the annual inspection the aircraft was taken to another airport for a left-hand engine baffle repair at 2,101.9 hours. At the time of the accident the recording tachometer indicated 2,102.9 hours.