This March 2008 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 Minor. Location: San Diego, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot had leaned the mixture during cruise flight but did not adjust the mixture setting prior to initiating an approach to landing. While on final approach, the engine lost power. She advanced the throttle but there was no change in engine performance. The airplane landed hard in an open area just short of the approach end of the runway. After the accident, the engine was started and ran normally through various power settings. No anomalies were noted with the engine or airframe. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook normal procedures state to enrich the mixture as required for descent and before landing.
Probable cause: A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot’s improper use of the mixture control.
For more information: NTSB.gov