WPR09LA208
WPR09LA208

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 21, 2009, about 1750 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Beech V35B, N8124R, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power during a go-around at Pine Mountain Lake Airport (E45), Groveland, California. The co-owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot with a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate sustained serious injuries, and the private pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) received minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local instructional flight departed Livermore, California, about 1720. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The private pilot was being given a biennial flight review (BFR) by the CFI. The private pilot reported that he accomplished one touch-and-go. During the second approach he asked his instructor if he could practice an emergency approach. The instructor told the private pilot to wait until he was downwind and abeam the numbers on the approach end before pulling the power. The pilot set up for the simulated emergency approach, but realized on final that he would be landing too long. The pilot announced that he would do a go-around. The airplane was floating down the runway when the pilot added power to go-around, however, the engine did not respond. The pilot rechecked the engine controls as the airplane was still floating down the runway. Realizing that he was running out of runway, the pilot pushed the nose down to try and land before hitting objects in his flight path. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain at the east end of the airport and came to rest on a public roadway.

During the recovery of the airplane it was noted that the fuel selector handle was out of the detent between the right and left main fuel tanks. In the pilot's written statement, he indicated that "for the record, I did not touch the fuel selector valve."

On April 29, 2009, investigators conducted an examination of the airplane and engine.

Four separate engine runs were accomplished. Two test runs of the engine were performed with the fuel selector handle out of the detent between the right and left main fuel tank selection. During the first test run, the engine ran at 2,700 rpm for 24 seconds before stopping. The second test run the engine was at idle and the engine ran for 1 minute 38 seconds before stopping. No anomalies were noted during the runs.

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