CEN10LA005
CEN10LA005

On October 2, 2009, approximately 1310 central daylight time, a single-engine, Beechcraft A-36 airplane, N991PP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power, near Refugio, Texas. The private pilot received minor injuries and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered and operated by a private individual. The approximately 676 nautical-mile cross-country flight originated from the New Century AirCenter Airport (KIXD), Olathe, Kansas under visual meteorological conditions en route to the Corpus Christi International Airport (KCRP) Corpus Christi, Texas. About 180 miles from the destination airport, the pilot activated an instrument flight plan for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

According to the pilot, he departed KIXD with the fuel tanks "topped off", and that he managed the fuel en route by using the aircraft's engine analyzer. During the flight he switched between the left and right fuel tanks and recorded how much fuel was consumed. About four hours into the flight, the engine began to "sputter and lose power". The pilot asked for, and received a heading to the nearest airport from air traffic control. During the decent, the piloted switched from the right wing fuel tank to the left wing fuel tank, and then back to the right tank. However, he was unable to get the engine to restart. Unable to make the airport, the pilot elected to conduct an emergency landing in a field near the airport. The airplane collided with a bush before impacting terrain; the airplane then slid to a stop. The pilot and passengers were able to exit the airplane unassisted. The pilot added later, that while trying to restart the engine, he did not turn on the electric driven fuel pump. Additionally, he noted the checklist that he carried in the aircraft failed to mention the electric driven fuel pump; however, he noted that the pilot's operating handbook (POH) did mention the electric pump.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, who responded to the accident site, reported that the airplane's right gear had been forced through the wing, and that the airplane sustained substantial damaged during the forced landing. He added that the airplane's left wing fuel tank contained, "2 cups of fuel" and when the fuel cap from the right wing was removed, fuel would spill from the tank.

The wreckage was transported to a secure facility near Lancaster, Texas, for further examination.

An examination was conducted by the NTSB IIC with a technical representative from Teledyne Continental Motors, on 23 October, 2009.

The engine, with 81 hours since major overhaul, remained attached to the airframe. The engine/fuselage was placed on a trailer without the wings, which had been removed for transport. A fuel can was connected to the airplane's fuel system on the right side wing root. The airplane's propeller, which had been damaged in the accident, was replaced with a test propeller. Prior to starting the engine, a visual engine inspection was conducted and no abnormalities were discovered. Additionally, to check for proper operation, the fuel selector valve was turned to the left and right positions. The engine was then started and ran for several minutes at various (idle to full) power settings. During the tests, the engine appeared to produce full power.

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