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Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


May 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



5/7/2009 Report



Several readers alerted me to national media reports of this tragic crash:

5/6 1530Z (1130 local):  Two aboard a Be35 died when the Bonanza’s engine failed on takeoff.  The airplane was seen to be “banking really hard” before impacting several airplanes on the ramp and coming to rest beneath a tractor trailer.  Witnesses report a fuel spill but the does not appear to have been a fire.  Weather appears to have been VMC.  Registration information for the Bonanza is not yet available.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—A news account says witnesses report the pilot appeared to make a commonly fatal mistake, attempting to turn around to land on the reciprocal runway when an engine quits shortly after takeoff.  A contributing factor was the ocean off the end of the runway.  Another press report quotes a former aircraft mechanic as saying “he saw the crashed plane on TV and recognized it as one he inspected…about two years ago.” He said “he asked the company to ground the plane. ‘There was a massive amount of corrosion on the aircraft," [he] said. "I was concerned then. I knew this was going to happen."’)



5/1 2145Z (1245 local):  On taxi, a Be24’s nose gear collapsed, on Molokai in Hawaii.  Four aboard the Sierra were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was VMC.  N6698E (MC-697) is a 1979 C24R registered since 1996 to a co-ownership in Honolulu, Hawaii.


(“Gear collapse during taxi”)


5/4 0204Z (2104 local 5/3/2009):  Taking off from Addison, Texas, a Be33 “experienced [an] engine problem” and crashed off the approach end of the runway.”  Two aboard have “unknown” injuries, the airplane “substantial” damage.  Weather was 2900 overcast, visibility greater than six, with an eight-knot surface wind.  N528BM (CD-1056) is a 1966 C33 registered since 2005 to an individual in Watauga, Texas.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”—according to a press report the “plane was taking off to the north, ‘and it veered off the end of the runway and crashed on the airport grounds,’ according to an airport spokesperson.  This makes more sense than a crash on the “approach end” as stated in the FAA preliminary report.  A photo in that report shows the airplane upright in a small ditch or depression, as if the pilot landed more or less under control.)



Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**4/15 A36 engine failure and landing on a road on Lopez Island, WA.** 


**4/21 V35B power loss during a Flight Review at Groveland, CA.  “During a simulated forced landing, the pilot attempted to takeoff following a planned touch-and-go. Both the pilot and the CFI said that when the pilot applied throttle the engine did not respond. The airplane impacted terrain at the east end of the airport and came to rest on a public roadway.”**


5/14/2009 Report



5/8 1700Z (1200 local):  A Be33 landed gear up at Abilene, Kansas.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”. Weather was “not reported”.  N852KS (CE-1766) is a 1993 F33A registered since new to a university in Salina, Kansas.


(“Gear up landing”)


5/9 0232Z (1932 local 5/8/2009):  Five aboard a Be55 perished, and the Baron was “destroyed”, when “crashed in a field under unknown circumstances” near Gardnerville, Nevada.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind.  N1533Z (TC-326) was a 1962 A55 registered since 1997 to an individual in Minden, Nevada.


(“Stall/spin during attempted aerobatics”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Wind”—Local news reports the Baron impacted terrain nearly vertically while engaged in what appears [if witness reports are true] to be a frankly homicidal/suicidal attempt at low-altitude aerobatics.  The Baron was reported to have overflown spectators on the ground at a low altitude, pull up to near vertical, and then stall or spin into the ground.  The National Weather Service reports that winds were gusting to 25 knots, which may have been a factor in the Baron’s apparent stall.)




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**5/6 double-fatality K35 loss of power on takeoff at Lantana, FL.  From the report:


The airplane reached an altitude of 75 to 100 feet above the ground, when the engine "sputtered" or "coughed" and then "quit." The airplane entered a right descending turn back toward the airport with the landing gear in the extended position and the propeller "wind-milling." The airplane struck two parked, unoccupied airplanes before impacting the ground and colliding with a tractor-trailer container…. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any catastrophic engine malfunctions…. The fuel manifold contained fuel and was absent of contamination…. Preliminary review of maintenance records revealed that at the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 2.5 hours since the engine was disassembled for "extensive engine repair" on December 5, 2008. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on April 1, 2009. Witnesses reported that they believed the airplane was flown sometime during the week prior to the accident.


Registration information for the airplane is now available; N111YR (D-6081) was a 1959 K35 registered since 2005 to an individual in Orlando, FL.**



5/21/2009 Report



5/13 1837Z (1437 local):  A Be58 “veered off the runway” during landing at Macon, Georgia.  Two aboard the Baron weren’t hurt; aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather was 4300 scattered, 4900 overcast, visibility 10 with a variable, six-knot breeze.  N858TC (TK-98) is a 1979 Baron 58TC registered since 2002 to a corporation in Macon.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”—was this a blown tire, a braking problem, a simulated engine failure gone bad….or any number of other possibilities?  Readers, if you have more details that can benefit our collective education please let us know)


5/14 1610Z (0910 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Long Beach, California.  The lone pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: 1500 broken, visibility seven miles with a six-knot wind.  N9657Y (D-7072) is a 1962 P35 registered since 1982 to a co-ownership in Cerritos, CA.


(“Gear up landing”)


5/15 1641Z (1241 local):  Two aboard a Be36 died, and two others received “minor” injuries, when a Be36’s pilot “declared an emergency [before the Bonanza] crashed in a field” five miles from Auburn, Alabama. The Bonanza was “destroyed”. Weather was 3900 scattered, visibility 10 miles with a five-knot surface wind.   N191MK (E-3362) was a 2000 A36 very recently (April 2009) registered to an individual in Atlanta, GA.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Fatal”, “Aircraft destroyed”: “Recent registration” –local news video shows the nose and cabin of the airplane severely damaged as far back as the pilots’ seats, with extensive wing damage as well. The airplane was resting upright with gear extended; news footage panned across what appears to have been a descent path through a line of trees that suggests the airplane did not spin or spiral, but instead descended more or less straight ahead with wings level.  


It is not possible to tell from the news reports if the airplane cartwheeled but aircraft damage suggests it might. The pilot and a 19-year-old in the front seats died but two teenagers in the back seats were able to walk out and use cell phones to call for help.  The flight was en route from Destin, FL to Newnan, GA; rescuers report there was “plenty of fuel” on board when the airplane impacted.)


5/19 2100Z (1500 local):  The nose landing gear of a Be35 collapsed during takeoff at Englewood, Colorado.  Two aboard were not hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “VFR”.  N1945D (D-3223) is a 1952 C35 registered since 2007 to an individual in Parker, CO.


(“Gear collapse on takeoff”)




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**5/3 C33 engine failure on takeoff at Addison, TX.  The report states: 


The pilot reported he was on departure from initial takeoff when the engine stopped producing power. He recalled the second pilot took control of the airplane and he switched the fuel selector, though he could not recall which tank it was on. The second pilot attempted to return to ADS and land, but the airplane landed short of the runway on airport property.


Examination of the airplane revealed the left main landing gear strut was sheared off and pushed up through the left wing. The left horizontal stabilizer was damaged and the fuselage was partially buckled. The left wing tank was intact and contained approximately five to six gallons of fuel and the right wing tank was empty. The fuel selector was found in the left tank position.


There’s a reason the Debonair carries a legally binding limitation that at least 13 gallons of fuel must be in each main tank for takeoff.  It’s to protect pilots and their passengers in the event the wrong tank is inadvertently selected, and to provide an alternate source of fuel if for any reason the selected tank does not deliver combustible fuel.  The pilot who feels him/herself “smarter” than the limitation, assured he/she will always select the proper tank, may unexpectedly need that “other” tank.  Change “Engine failure on takeoff” to “Fuel starvation”.**


** 5/9 quintuple-fatality A55 Baron crash during aggressive low altitude maneuvering at Minden, Nevada.  The NTSB preliminary report and a local witness with whom I spoke agree the flight was a premeditated “buzz job.”  Not the “vertical pull-up” described in initial accounts, the maneuver instead appears to be an attempt at the classic low altitude/high speed pass and pull-up, a sort of wingover.  From the NTSB:


Witnesses reported…the pilot had taken four friends that were attending an outdoor working party on a local flight. The airplane made two to three passes over the work party. On the final pass witnesses reported that the airplane was slightly above the tops of the local houses, between 100 and 300 feet above ground level (agl), and was traveling from northwest to southeast. The airplane made a sudden steep climbing left turn, appeared to decelerate at the top of the climbing turn, then dropped towards the ground nose first, and impacted a grass field. The engines could be heard "running perfectly" throughout the maneuver. 


My local contact is disappointed in and dismayed with the pilot—he had a reputation for being a meticulous planner who never took off without a specific purpose, and who was admired for his cautious approach to safety.  This may be a case of where, as another reader put it, good pilots make bad decisions.**



5/28/2009 Report



5/21 2100Z (1600 local):  A Be19’s nose gear collapsed on landing at Winsted, Minnesota.  Two aboard the “training” flight were unhurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “VFR”.  N3214L (MB-829) is a 1977 B19 registered since 1996 to a corporation in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.


(“Hard landing—landing gear collapse (fixed gear)”; “Substantial damage”; “Dual instruction”—Typically nose-heavy airplanes and airplanes with full-flying stabilators have a high incidence of hard landings on the nose, with subsequent failure of the nose landing gear.  The Beech Sport fits both these categories, especially in a training configuration with two aboard.  Airspeed and attitude control through touchdown are important in all airplanes but even more so in airplanes with these characteristics.  If the speed and attitude don’t match on final approach, or if the airplane bounces on first contact, don’t try to “salvage” the landing…or you may end up having to salvage the aircraft.)


5/22 1745Z (1245 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “force-landed in a field” near Grainfield, Kansas.  The pilot and three passengers report no injury; airplane damage is “unknown”.  Weather: 6000 scattered, 7500 broken, visibility 10 with a six-knot surface wind.  N3236V (E-2271) is a 1985 A36 registered since 1998 to a corporation in Wichita, Kansas.


(“Engine failure in flight” [assuming that’s the reason for the forced landing]—the flight was about 45 minutes into a flight from Wichita to Colby, KS, generally not long enough to be a fuel management issue assuming the airplane departed with full tanks.)


5/22 1920Z (1420 local):  A Be36 “bounced” on landing and the landing gear subsequently collapsed, at Decatur, Illinois.  The solo pilot was unhurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a three-knot wind.  N427DE (E-3899) is a 2009 G36 recently registered (May 2009) to a co-ownership in Norwell, Massachusetts.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—another instance where airspeed and attitude control before initial touchdown, and a well-timed go-around in lieu of riding out the remainder of the landing after the bounce, could have saved the day.  Like the Beech Sport, late model G36s tend to be nose-heavy airplanes unless [in the case of the Bonanza] passengers or cargo are in the aft cabin.)


5/26 2204Z (104 local):  A Be76 “landed and sustained minor damage” during a “training” flight at Pembroke Pines, Florida.  The pilot and instructor were not hurt; weather was “not reported.”  N6045M (ME-184) is a 1979 Duchess registered since 1996 to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Landing/unknown”; “Dual instruction”—if I had to guess, it was either a hard landing or a loss of directional control during a simulated engine-out landing or simulated engine failure on the “go” half of a touch-and-go.  Instructors, be ready to extricate the flight from any situation you put it into, always assuming the pilot-receiving-instruction [PRI] will not handle things alone.)




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**There are no newly posted piston Beechcraft NTSB reports this week**



SUMMARY: Reported Hawker Beechcraft piston mishaps, year-to-date 2009:


Total reported:  62 reports 


Operation in VMC: 44 reports    

Operation in IMC:    2 reports  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  15 reports

Operation at night:  8 reports 

Surface wind > 15 knots:  9 reports           


Fatal accidents: 6 reports  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 1 report 


“Substantial” damage: 23 reports  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   5 reports  


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  8 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   18 reports 

Be35 Bonanza   14 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza 7 reports

Be58 Baron  6 reports   

Be24 Sierra  5 reports

Be55 Baron  4 reports  

Be19 Sport  3 reports

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  1 report

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be56 Turbo Baron   1 report

Be60 Duke   1 report

Be76 Duchess   1 report



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




Gear up landing

15 reports (two Be24s; two Be33s; five Be35s; four Be36s; Be50; Be56)


Gear collapse (landing)

9 reports (Be24; two Be33s; two Be35s; Be36; Be55; two Be58s)


Failure of landing gear to extend due to mechanical failure

2 reports (Be58; Be60)


Gear collapse—retract rod failure after improper installation

1 report (Be36)


Wheel failure/separation

1 report (Be33)


Gear collapse during taxi

1 report (Be24)


Gear collapse on takeoff

1 report (Be35)


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



ENGINE FAILURE   (12 reports) 


Engine failure in flight

5 reports (Be19; Be35; three Be36s)


Engine failure on takeoff

3 reports (two Be35s; Be36)


Fuel starvation

2 reports (Be33; Be36)


Piston/cylinder failure in flight

1 report (Be35)


Loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be24)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (11 reports) 


Loss of directional control on landing

3 reports (Be19; Be36; Be58)


Hard landing

1 report (Be36)


Hard landing—airframe ice

1 report (Be58)


Landed short

1 report (Be35)


Landed long—runway overrun

1 report (Be33)


Collision with animal on landing

1 report (Be36)


Hard landing—simulated engine failure on takeoff (twin-engine airplane)

1 report (Be58)


Wingtip contact with the runway

1 report (Be58)


Hard landing—landing gear collapse (fixed gear)

1 report (Be19)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (3 reports)  



1 report (Be19)



1 report (Be35)



1 report (Be76)





Airframe ice in cruise—unable to maintain altitude

1 report (Be36)


Attempted visual flight into IMC

1 report (Be36)



STALL/SPIN  (2 reports)


Stall/loss of control during go-around

1 report (Be55)


Stall/spin during attempted aerobatics

1 report (Be55)




Wheel/strut failure on landing—fixed gear airplane

1 report (Be23)





Loss of directional control during takeoff—strong, gusty wind

1 report (Be55)





Loss of control: Attempted visual departure in IMC

1 report (Be36)




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!





Thomas P. Turner, M.S. Aviation Safety, Master CFI

2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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