Poor fuel management for Beech pilot

Aircraft: Beech A36. Injuries: 3 Minor. Location: Napa, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was on final approach about 1.5 miles from the runway when the engine suddenly lost power.

Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful and the pilot made a gear-up landing on a nearby highway. During the landing, the airplane hit a vehicle and the left wing hit a metal pole, breaching the left fuel tank.

First responders reported that there was no indication of fuel in the left tank or leaking from the airplane, and the right tank was about 1/4 full. The propeller blade tips were curled, two blade tips curled forward, and one blade tip curled aft, consistent with a propeller that was under power at the time of contact with the hard, flat road.

Probable cause: The pilot’s mismanagement of the fuel supply, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

NTSB Identification: WPR11LA410

This August 2011 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.


  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    Long final approach with low fuel is assinine. stay high and make a 360 overhead approach in a glide. I know this calls for a little common sense and a degree of skill.
    If this pilots 1st Instructor had discussed some common sense emergency procedures,
    this accident would not have occurred. “ENGINES QUIT” usually from fuel starvation caused by lack of attention by the pilot. always know where to land and how to safely put it down

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *