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Mon, Feb 22, 2021

NTSB Prelim: Beech 35

Attempted To Troubleshoot The Reduced RPM

Location: Santa Ynez, CA Accident Number: WPR21LA075
Date & Time: December 27, 2020, 18:12 Local Registration: N5474D
Aircraft: Beech 35 Injuries: 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 27, 2020, at 1812 Pacific standard time, a Beech 35 airplane, N5474D, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Santa Ynez, California. The pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot estimated that he departed with about 32 gallons of useable fuel. While en route to Lompoc, California, the pilot altered his course slightly to avoid inclement weather. The airplane passed one mile north of the Santa Ynez airport and when about 17 miles from Lompoc the pilot switched the fuel selector from the right main tank (which was indicating close to empty) to the left main tank (indicating slightly less than half full). As he manipulated the selector handle, the engine rpm decreased to what appeared to be idle power. Concerned that he was not able to get the handle into the detent, the pilot placed the selector back on the right tank.

The pilot elected to perform a 180-turn and land at Santa Ynez because it was closer in proximity. He attempted to troubleshoot the reduced rpm and despite his efforts, was unable to retore the engine power.

The airplane could not maintain altitude and the pilot performed a forced landing short of runway 08.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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