Heard A “Ticking” Noise That Progressively Got Louder And Eventually Turned Into A “Thumping” Noise

Location: Tooele, UT Accident Number: WPR22LA064
Date & Time: November 24, 2021, 12:40 Local Registration: N4370W
Aircraft: Beech A36 Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On November 24, 2021, about 1240 mountain standard time, a Beech A36, N4370W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Tooele, Utah. The pilot and 2 passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that during a descent to pattern altitude at his destination airport, he reduced the propeller rpm from 2,400 rpm to 2,300, and immediately heard a “ticking” noise that progressively got louder and eventually turned into a “thumping” noise. The pilot said he initially thought something was coming off the airplane, and noticed that his airspeed had decreased from 170 miles per hour (mph) to 150 mph. While diagnosing the loss of airspeed, he verified the landing gear was still retracted as the noise continued to get louder and the airplane began shake and yaw left and right.

As the airplane descended through about 1,200 ft above ground level, the pilot advanced the throttle and propeller levers full forward and realized the engine had lost total power. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a nearby road; however, he observed a vehicle traveling opposite direction on the road and elected land in an open desert area nearby. During the off-airport landing, the airplane struck multiple juniper trees before it impacted terrain and came to rest nose low.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the left wing was structurally damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov