Beech A36 Bonanza
Chebanse, Illinois/Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 Minor
The pilot reported that, during a cross-country flight, while in cruise altitude at 3,000 ft mean sea level, the engine lost power. He subsequently performed a forced landing to a muddy wheat field. Examination at the site revealed that the left and right main fuel tanks were intact; the left tank was empty and the right tank contained about 25 gallons. The wing tip tanks were breached during the accident, but burns in the field were indicative of fuel being in the wing tip tanks at the time they were breached. The fuel selector was found in the left tank position.
Further examination revealed that the fuel line from the fuel selector to the engine-driven fuel pump contained no fuel. A test run of the engine revealed no anomalies. Given the absence of fuel in the left tank, the position of the fuel selector at the accident site, and the engine’s nominal performance during a postaccident test run, it is likely that the engine consumed all of the available fuel in the left fuel tank, which resulted in fuel starvation and a subsequent total loss of engine power.
PROBABLE CAUSE(S): A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
Note: The report republished here is from the NTSB and is printed verbatim and in its complete form.