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On August 28, 2011, at 1230 Pacific daylight time, after a loss of engine power, a Beech A36, N6052W, made a gear up landing on State Route 29, 1 mile east of the Napa County Airport, Napa, California. During the landing sequence the airplane struck the rear end of a vehicle on the highway. The three people in the ground vehicle all received minor injuries and the vehicle was damaged. The private pilot and his passenger were uninjured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at South Lake Tahoe, California, around 1130.
The pilot reported in the NTSB Pilot Accident Report (form 6120.1/2) that the airplane departed South Lake Tahoe with both fuel tanks half full, estimating about 40 gallons total, and was airborne for about an hour. The pilot said that while on a 1.5-mile final for runway 24 at Napa County Airport the engine suddenly lost power. He advanced the throttle, checked that the mixture was rich, switched the fuel selector to the right tank, and energized the fuel boost pump. The action did not regain engine power. The pilot made a right-hand turn and executed a gear up landing on the highway. During the landing the airplane's left wing leading edge struck a metal pole creating a 1-foot-wide hole in the fuel tank, and impacted the back end of an automobile.
First responders reported that there was no evidence of fuel present in or around the left wing, or leaking from either wing after the accident. Two blades of the three bladed propeller exhibited forward blade tip curling, and the third blade tip was curled aft.
During the post accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, 11 gallons of fuel was recovered from the right wing.
The engine was examined by a technical representative of the engine manufacturer under the supervision of the FAA Inspector. The inspection did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation and production of rated horsepower. The fuel selector was inspected and observed to operate normally.
The pilot, age 55, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane dated March 13, 2010. He held a third-class medical certificate issued November 16, 2008, with the limitation that he possess glasses for near vision. The pilot reported total flight time of 1,450 hours, with 1,250 hours in the make and model of the accident airplane. His most recent flight review was conducted in a Beech A36 in September 2009.
The 6-seat, low wing, single engine, airplane with retractable landing gear, serial number E-1497, was manufactured in 1979. It was powered by a Teledyne Continental IO-550B, 300-hp engine, and equipped with a Hartzell controllable pitch propeller. The most recent inspection was an annual inspection conducted on August 22, 2011, at a total airframe time of 3,982 hours. The engine tachometer read 3,986 hours at the time of the accident.
The Beech Bonanza A36 Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) states for manual fuel leaning fuel flow schedule for full throttle and 2,700 rpm, at 8,000 feet msl, fuel flow is 22.4 gph. The pilot reported that the airplane routinely operated at 18.5 gph.