“The Engine “Went Back To Idle, Like Someone Had Pulled The Throttle Back”

Location: Green Sea, SC Accident Number: ERA21LA002
Date & Time: October 1, 2020, 20:04 Local Registration: N656V
Aircraft: Beech BE-36 Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 1, 2020, at 2004 eastern daylight time, a Beechcraft M35 Bonanza, N656V, was involved in an accident in Green Sea, South Carolina. The private pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot provided a written statement and conducted a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, and his description of events was consistent throughout. The pilot said they departed Greensboro (GSO), North Carolina en route to Myrtle Beach (MYR), South Carolina. While in cruise flight at 5,500 ft as the airplane approached their intended destination, the pilot said he listened to the Airport Terminal Information Service (ATIS) recording, moved the fuel selector from the auxiliary tank position to the right tank position and then requested a descent from air traffic control (ATC), which was granted.

The pilot stated that when he disconnected the autopilot to initiate the descent, the engine “went back to idle, like someone had pulled the throttle back.” He said he moved the propeller, throttle and mixture levers full forward, checked switch positions, and tried all positions on the fuel selector, and power was not restored. He “bumped” the fuel boost pump to the on position then turned it off to prevent flooding of the engine. The pilot informed ATC of the engine power loss, who provided the pilot with “options” for the forced landing; the closest of which was Green Sea Airport (S79). The airplane collided with trees and terrain about 1 mile west of S79, which substantially damaged the airplane.

The airplane was recovered to an aircraft recovery facility where it was retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov