Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


February 2009 Reports


Official information from FAA and NTSB sources (unless otherwise noted).  Editorial comments (contained in parentheses), year-to-date summary and closing comments are those of the author.  All information is preliminary and subject to change.  Comments on preliminary topics are meant solely to enhance flying safety.  Please use these reports to help you more accurately evaluate the potential risks when you make your own decisions about how and when to fly.  Please accept my sincere personal condolences if anyone you know was in a mishap. I welcome your comments, suggestions and criticisms.  Fly safe, and have fun!


©2009 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


 2/5/2009 Report




11/14 2008 2100Z (1300 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at the Jefferson County Airport, Port Townsend, Washington.  Two aboard the “pleasure” flight were not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather conditions were not reported.  N411B (D-5960) is a 1959 K35 registered since 2000 to a co-ownership in Mukilteo, WA.


(“Gear up landing”; “Substantial damage”)


1/18 0158Z  (1858 local 1/17/2009):  a Be36’s gear collapsed during a night landing at Farmington, New Mexico.  The solo pilot was not hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “VMC”.  According to NTSB, “after positioning the gear handle in the ‘DOWN’ position, the pilot stated that the gear sequence sounded normal, but was ‘faster than normal.’ The three position lights did not activate, so the pilot radioed the control tower and requested an visual inspection of the landing gear. After performing a low approach, the tower controller responded that the landing gear appeared to be down. The pilot proceeded to land on runway 25. During the flare, the pilot did not receive the gear warning horn and after touchdown the gear collapsed. The pilot lost control of the airplane and the airplane exited the right side of the runway. The pilot brought the airplane to a stop and was able to egress normally. Damage was sustained to the airplane's firewall and right wing.

“A review of maintenance records revealed that on December 4, 2008, various maintenance action[s] were perform on both main landing gears. An examination of the maintenance preformed by an aircraft mechanic determined that the left main landing gear retract rod was installed incorrectly. The airplane accumulated 72.7 hours before the retraction rod failed on the accident flight. The landing gear transmission/motor limit switch was damaged and rendered inoperative.”   N8074P (E-2733) is a 1992 A36 registered since new to a corporation in Farmington.


(“Gear collapse—retract rod failure after improper installation”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”)


1/31 1630Z (1130 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Williamson, Georgia.  The lone pilot has “unknown” injuries, the airplane “minor” damage.  Weather was not reported.  N156RP (D-4492) is a 1956 G35 registered since 2007 to a co-ownership in Macon, GA.


(“Gear up landing”)   


2/1 1453Z (0953 local):  A Baron 55’s nose gear collapsed “on landing nine miles west of Dripping Springs, Texas.”  The solo pilot reports no injury and only “minor” airplane damage.  Weather was “clear and 10”.  N12TH (TC-752) is a 1964 B55 registered since 2006 to an individual in Navasota, TX.


(“Gear collapse on landing”—and my assumption from the wording this was on a private airstrip and not a planned or unplanned off-airport landing)



UPDATES FROM NTSB: Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**1/3 Baron 58 airframe ice-related hard landing at Brainerd, MN.  “The pilot reported that during the flight he encountered unforecasted freezing rain. He questioned air traffic control about the weather and was told that they were not showing any precipitation. The pilot requested and received a descent to a lower altitude to stay below the clouds. The airplane's airspeed continued to decrease and the pilot informed air traffic control that he wanted to divert to a nearby airport. The pilot made two low passes over the airport while trying to clear ice off of the windshield; however, the windshield alcohol de-ice could not keep up with the ice accumulation. The pilot stated he had to look out of the side window during the landing and once he descended below the tree line, he was unable to accurately judge his height over the runway. He stated this was compounded by the light color of the new concrete runway which had snow blowing across it. A hard landing resulted after which the pilot taxied the airplane to the ramp. The right wing strut was bent and the wing was pushed into the fuselage during the landing.”  Change “Bounced landing” to “Hard landing—Airframe ice”.**


**1/6 A36TC ice-laden controlled flight into terrain at Three Rivers, MI.  The pilot stated he flew the en route portion of the flight…at 9,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) and that the cloud tops were at 6,500 msl. He was in contact with…approach control when nearing [his planned destination]. He stated the only pilot report regarding icing was from an airplane over Lake Michigan.

“The pilot was cleared for the global positioning system (GPS) 27 approach and the airplane picked up light rime ice during the descent through the clouds, breaking out of the clouds around 1,700 msl (900 above ground level). He stated he had the pitot head [sic] and defrosters on, but he was unable to see out of the forward windscreen so he had to look out the side window during the landing. The pilot reported that as he neared the airport he attempted to add engine power, but was able to maintain only 17 inches of manifold pressure. He stated he maintained as much airspeed as possible until the airplane contacted the frozen river. The pilot reported the airplane normally stalls at 62 knots; however, it stalled at 82 knots during the landing.”


The turbocharged/turbonormalized Bonanza’s alternate induction air source is in the lower, low-pressure area of an engine compartment.  If the inlet air filter clogs with ice or snow the induction air pressure is low enough the turbocharger cannot provide full power—I’ve received several reports where 17 to 21 inches of manifold pressure is all that results at full throttle.  Turbocharging is not a panacea for airframe ice…not only may power drop off dramatically when the inlet filter is blocked, but the propeller becomes less efficient at turning power into thrust, and the wings and tail become aerodynamic unknowns.  What has been said about the effects of density altitude on airplane performance goes for airframe ice accumulation as well—you can’t turbocharge the propeller, wings or tail.**



2/12/2009 Report



Regarding last week’s report of an 11/14/2008 K35 gear up landing at Port Townsend, Washington, a reader writes:


I'm familiar with this one, it's based at my home airport.  I know the pilots and I've talked to a mechanic who gave a repair estimate. Although I haven't talked to the pilots personally, word from those who have is that it was a [Flight Review] ride.


With two sets of eyes, two sets of hands and two minds on board there is ample opportunity to recover—but also twice the human factors chance of an oversight.  Regardless of who is writing PIC time in a logbook, the flight instructor must assume final responsibility for the safe outcome of every flight, while the pilot receiving instruction (PRI) must operate as if he/she is alone in the airplane, independent of an instructor’s last-minute save. 


A reader forwards:

2/3 1840Z (1240 local):  A local news report states “a [Be60] made a rough landing at Slidell [Louisiana]'s municipal airport Wednesday after its landing gear failed to deploy properly. No one was injured in the crash….”  The pilot ‘said he heard a loud pop’ when he tried to extend the plane’s wheels for a landing…. Instruments in the cockpit indicated that two of the plane's three wheels had not extended and [the pilot] said he smelled smoke.  Thinking there might be a fire, [he] restarted the plane's electrical system but a second attempt to extend the landing gear failed as well.  [The pilot] then brought the 1969 Beechcraft Duke in for a ‘hard landing’ on the plane's one extended wheel.  ‘After that, it was just hang on,’ he said.  The plane skidded down and eventually off the runway….”  The pilot “was alone in the plane, which he owns, and was flying from Texas to work on an oil rig.”  No registration or serial number information is available for the Duke.


(“Failure of landing gear to extend due to mechanical failure”)




2/4 (time note reported):  A Be50 landed gear up “on a private, grass strip near Waco, Texas.”  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “unknown”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind.  N3581B (CH-41) is a 1954 B50, “sale reported” to an address in Aspen, Colorado.


(“Gear up landing”; “Recent registration”) 


2/6 0045Z (1645 local 2/5/2009):  Three died when a Be36 crashed “under unknown circumstances” shortly after taking off from Avalon, Catalina Island, California.  The airplane, which after some time was located on the southwest side of Santa Catalina Island, has “substantial” damage.  Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N66819 (E-2084) is a 1983 A36 registered since 2006 to a Dana Point, California corporation.


(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—Local news reports the Bonanza was departing Avalon for a short flight to Long Beach, CA.  “It was raining and cloudy when the plane took off from the island,” according to the report, “making weather and poor visibility probable factors in the crash.”  The airplane burned extensively, suggesting fuel availability was not an issue.  The report characterizes this as a “charter” flight, with two out-of-state tourists as passengers and the private/instrument rated pilot.  "We believe that it's a charter flight and that they were tourists, but we can't know that for a fact," a police depart spokesman said. "The man who was flying the plane was in the business of doing that [advertising as a charter operation]" although “it is unclear whether [the tourists] paid for the trip.”  Although the alleged regulatory impropriety most likely did not directly contribute to the tragedy, if true it might point toward an overall attitude toward regulations and safety that could have led to his decision to attempt a VFR departure in “raining and cloudy” conditions from the notoriously foggy and hilly island.)       



UPDATES FROM NTSB: Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**There are no new piston Beech NTSB reports this week.**


2/19/2009 Report



2/12 0130Z (1930 local 2/11/09):  On landing at Nashville, Tennessee, the nose gear of a Be35 collapsed and the Bonanza “caught on fire.”  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage was “minor” despite the fire.  Weather: 5500 overcast, visibility 10 miles with surface winds from 260° at 12 gusting to 25 knots.  N9216Q (D-9268) is a 1971 V35B registered since 1994 to a corporation in Collierville, TN.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Night”; “Wind”—although most landing gear systems are designed to withstand nine Gs or better vertically and along the longitudinal axis of the airplane, certification requires they withstand only about 1.5 G side load.  Almost all runways in the greater Nashville area are nearly north/south [the report does not state at which airport the pilot was landing], so the gusty crosswind was nearly 90° to the runway—conducive to landing with side loads that might exceed the design strength of the landing gear.) 


2/12 2323Z (1723 local):  Two aboard a Be55 died when the Baron “crashed under unknown circumstances” at Porter, Texas.  The airplane was “destroyed”.  Weather was “few clouds” at 15,000 feet, visibility 10 miles with surface winds at 14 knots.  N9648Y (TC-383) was a 1962 A55 registered since 2005 to a corporation in Austin, Texas.


(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—A local news account says “witnesses reported seeing the plane approach the runway at about 50 feet off the ground. They said the plane began to climb again but took a sharp left bank into the tree line.”  The Baron then “missed [a]house by 50 feet or so” and “hit [a] cyclone fence surrounding the property which is in the immediate back yard."  The pilot had not indicated any trouble, according to another report; the Baron was arriving from Austin, Texas when the crash occurred, and a daughter of the couple on board was at the airport to meet them.  A third report states “an eyewitness told…news that the aircraft was on final approach when it overshot the runway, accelerated hard to the right to try to gain altitude then hit some trees before crashing to the ground…. “The plane’s right wing sheared off upon impact with the ground. Despite a small odor of fuel, there was no fire.”  It sounds as though the pilot may have been attempting a go-around, either because of some unstated problem or runway obstruction, or perhaps a low pass [as is sometimes the case] in a show of élan for family or friends awaiting the flight’s arrival.  The lack of fuel or fuel odor will undoubtedly be investigated by NTSB. 


Most powerful light airplanes will pitch up excessively when takeoff or go-around power is applied.  The effect is magnified if the aircraft is in a landing configuration and the pilot has trimmed for short-final speed—airplanes will pitch to maintain a trimmed airspeed as configuration and/or power changes; a slow airplane given a lot of power will pitch up excessively, possibly into a stall or to a point where the pilot does not or cannot compensate for the turning tendencies created by the propeller.  There are specific pitch and performance targets to attain in a balked landing [“go-around”].  Power-up must include controlling pitch to achieve and maintain a controllable climb speed and angle, with adequate rudder applied as necessary for coordination and directional control.) 


2/17 1530Z (0930 local):  “Shortly after takeoff,” a Be35’s “engine failed and [the pilot] force-landed in a field” near Grain Valley, Missouri.  The solo pilot escaped injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather: 2600 overcast, visibility 10 miles with winds at 11 gusting to 18 knots.  N7942D (D-5192) is a 1957 H35 registered since 1998 to an individual in Independence, Missouri.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”; “Wind”)  



UPDATES FROM NTSB: Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**2/5 double-fatality A36 collision with terrain at Avalon, CA.  Change “Crash/unknown” to “Loss of Control: Attempted visual departure in IMC”.**



2/26/2009 Report



2/21 1855Z (1155 local): A Be35 “lost power, struck a power line, and crashed in a field”  one mile from Alamogordo, New Mexico.  The two aboard were not hurt despite “substantial” airplane damage.  Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N8799A (D-2221) is a 1950 B35 registered since 2000 to an individual in Reedley, California.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”)



UPDATES FROM NTSB: Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**2/12 double-fatality A55 crash at Porter, TX. From the NTSB preliminary report:


Several witnesses located at the airport observed the airplane as it approached the airport and stated that it flew over the runway at a low altitude, but never landed. It began a climbing right hand turn as it approached the end of the runway then nosed over into the trees. One witness, a retired state trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, stated that he was sitting in his truck talking with the airport manager when he first noticed the airplane approaching the runway, which he noted was free of obstructions. The airplane flew down the length of the 3,594-foot-long runway, but never touched down. The airport manager made the comment to him that the airplane was "floating too long." When the airplane approached the end of the runway, it pitched up and the engine power increased. He said, "It was lifting above the tree line on the south end of the runway, when it made a sharp roll to the right and appeared to nose dive behind the tree line.


The pilot had apparently been concerned about the 3500-foot runway length and obstructions.  The report continues:


The airport manager stated that she had received a call from a pilot earlier that day that was planning on flying his twin-engine airplane into the airport. The pilot wanted to know about the trees located at the airport. She told the pilot that a "considerable" amount of trees had been cleared on the south end of the runway and some trees had been cleared to the north. The manager advised that runway 35 would be the preferred runway if the winds permitted. Later that day, she observed a twin-engine airplane on final approach for runway 17. She stated, "It appeared to be higher than I would have expected. As it flared, it seemed to float for an unusually long period. By midpoint on the runway, it seemed unlikely that he would be able to complete the landing successfully. He seemed slow to commit to a go-around." Shortly after, she heard power increase on the engines and the airplane began to climb. The manger said that she heard no abnormal noises or saw anything wrong with the engines. The airplane then began to climb and bank to the right before it nosed over and descended into the trees.


Change “Crash/unknown” to “Stall/loss of control during go-around”.**



SUMMARY: Reported Hawker Beechcraft piston mishaps, year-to-date 2008:


Total reported:  24 reports 


Operation in VMC: 16 reports    

Operation in IMC:    1 report  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  7 reports

Operation at night:  7 reports 

Surface wind > 15 knots:  3 reports           


Fatal accidents: 2 reports  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 0 reports 


“Substantial” damage: 9 reports  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   1 report  


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  3 reports  


(Note: FAA preliminary reports no longer identify the purpose of the flight involved in mishap.  Consequently the number and percentage of Beech mishaps that occur during dual instruction will become less and less accurate over time.  Since the late 1990s the percentage of Beech mishaps that take place during dual flight instruction has remained very consistently about 10%). 



By Aircraft Type:


Be36 Bonanza   6 reports 

Be35 Bonanza   6 reports

Be19 Sport  2 reports

Be24 Sierra  2 reports

Be55 Baron  3 reports  

Be58 Baron  2 reports   

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza 1 report

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be60 Duke   1 report 




PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE (all subject to update per NTSB findings):




Gear up landing

7 reports (two Be24s; two Be35s; two Be36s; Be50)


Gear collapse (landing)

5 reports (Be33; Be35; Be36; Be55; Be58)


Gear collapse—retract rod failure after improper installation

1 report (Be36)


Failure of landing gear to extend due to mechanical failure

1 report (Be60)


...for more on Landing Gear-Related Mishaps see these data and this commentary. 



ENGINE FAILURE   (4 reports) 


Engine failure in flight

2 reports (Be19; Be35)


Piston/cylinder failure in flight

1 report (Be35)


Engine failure on takeoff

1 report (Be35)


...for more on fuel management-related mishaps see  



IMPACT ON LANDING  (2 reports) 


Hard landing—airframe ice

1 report (Be58)


Loss of directional control on landing

1 report (Be19)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (1 report)  



1 report (Be19)





Airframe ice in cruise—unable to maintain altitude

1 report (Be36)





Loss of directional control during takeoff—strong, gusty wind

1 report (Be55)





Loss of control: Attempted visual departure in IMC

1 report (Be36)



STALL/SPIN  (1 report)


Stall/loss of control during go-around

1 report (Be55)





Recognize an N-number?  Want to check on friends or family that may have been involved in a cited mishap?  Click here to find the registered owner.   


Please accept my sincere personal condolences if you or anyone you know was involved in a mishap.  I welcome your comments, suggestions and criticisms.  Fly safe, and have fun!





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