This December 2009 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Beech Bonanza. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Lehi, Utah. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: Witnesses listening to the common traffic advisory frequency for the pilot’s intended destination reported that they overheard a radio transmission “mayday mayday, I am at the point of the mountain, 5,100 feet, my engine just quit.” Witnesses near the accident site saw the airplane on a westerly heading near a major interstate when it suddenly banked to the right and descended into snow-covered terrain.
The wreckage recovery company reported the airplane contained sufficient quantities of fuel in the left and right main fuel tanks, and a minimal amount of fuel was found in the left and right auxiliary tanks. The fuel selector valve was observed in the “right main” fuel tank position.
Due to the pilot’s injuries, he could not remember the accident sequence.
Probable cause: The loss of engine power during cruise flight for undetermined reasons.
For more information: NTSB.gov; NTSB Identification: WPR10LA076