The student pilot was flying the Beechcraft Bonanza on a solo navigation exercise from Jandakot to Narrogin and Merredin before returning to Jandakot via Perth. The aircraft departed at about 1300 WST and was due to land at Jandakot about 2 hours later. The pilot reported that during the approach to Jandakot, he levelled the aircraft at 1,000 ft and set power to maintain the altitude. He then completed the pre-landing checks and lowered the flaps to slow the aircraft. Soon after lowering the flaps, he noted that the engine rpm was rapidly dropping. He reported that he opened the throttle and conducted the appropriate checks but the engine did not respond. The pilot transmitted a Mayday and decided to attempt a forced landing in an open patch of ground in the Canning Vale area. He then turned off the aircraft's fuel and electrical systems.
Avoiding parked trucks and buildings, the pilot landed the aircraft in a parking area of the Caning Vale Markets. The aircraft slid 15 m before hitting an unoccupied temporary building and coming to rest. The building was destroyed, the aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot received minor injuries.
The post-accident inspection of the aircraft revealed that there was a substantial amount of fuel in both wing tanks but no fuel could be found in lines beyond the fuel selector valve. No fault was found with the aircraft's fuel system or engine.
Evidence was consistent with the engine sustaining fuel starvation and losing power but the investigation could not determine the reason for the fuel starvation.
|Date:||19 September 1998||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1506 hours WST|
|State:||Western Australia||Occurrence type:||Forced/precautionary landing|
|Release date:||04 August 1999||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Minor|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Beech Aircraft Corp|
|Type of operation||Flying Training|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|
|Departure point||Jandakot, WA|
|Departure time||1255 hours WST|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|