Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


September 2008 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!


©2008 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved



9/4/2008 Report




6/21 0100Z (1800 local 6/20/2008):  “On takeoff,” the propeller of a Be36 “struck the runway” at Klamath Falls, Oregon.  The pilot and four passengers report no injury.  Damage was “minor” and weather conditions “not reported”.  N99VM (EA-1400) is a 1980 A36TC registered since 2000 to a Sunriver, OR-based corporation.


(“Propeller strike on takeoff”—was this a landing gear collapse, or did the airplane settle back to the runway after prematurely lifting off? Five persons aboard a turbocharged Bonanza would probably be within c.g. limits [the TCs are very nose-heavy], but would also very commonly be well above maximum gross weight unless this particular A36TC was atypical of the type.  Summertime temperatures and the heat of induction air compression may have been factors, along with the 4000+ foot field elevation at Klamath Falls.  If an airplane is “forced” into the air before attaining an initial climb speed it may not want to climb out of ground effect when heavy and/or in increased density altitude conditions.  Any attempt to pull back on the yoke to induce a climb will severely increase induced drag, causing the airplane to lose altitude.   Retract the landing gear too soon and the propeller will likely be the first thing to strike the surface.  The key to high weight and/or density altitude takeoff is to lift off at the proper speed, to a shallow climb attitude that permits acceleration out of ground effect, while accepting the increased ground roll and reduced initial climb rate that results.  Even more important is to take off at the lowest possible weight [reduced fuel load, with accompanying plans for reduced range] in hot weather, or the coolest possible temperature [delaying takeoff if necessary] if departing near or at the airplane’s maximum takeoff weight.  See my article “Hot and High How-To” in the July 2008 issue of Aviation Safety.) 


8/25 1810Z (1410 local):  Three aboard a Be55 died, and the Baron was destroyed in a post-crash fire, after the airplane crashed into a private residence near Curico, Chile.  No one on the ground was injured.  The commercial pilot and two passengers were on a “private” flight from Santiago, Chile, bound for Curico.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.  “The flight originated from San Javier Las Mercedes, Chile, at 1325 [local time]….  According to an Air Traffic Control (ATC) controller on duty at General Freire Airport, Curico, Chile, the pilot called on their radio frequency at 1351 [local] and reported 10 miles north of the airport at 6,500 feet (Curico’s elevation is about 750 feet above sea level). About one to two minutes later the pilot informed the controller that he needed to land at Curico due to an engine problem. A few moments after the call the pilot declared an emergency. The controller observed the airplane making a right turn until the airplane disappeared from view behind a tree line.”   CC-PBY (TC-1349) was a 1970 B55, the Chilean owner not reported.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—The Flight Safety Foundation [] reports that, despite official word the airplane suffered “substantial” damage, it was “written off” as “damaged beyond repair”. reports that  “witnesses of the accident coincided with the police report stating that the engine of the device were arrested moments before they rush to land and caught fire after crashing against the house.”  A better translation might say that witnesses confirm one engine was shut down before impact.)


8/27 1817Z (1317 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Tyler, Texas.  The solo pilot was unhurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a variable, five-knot surface wind.  N119TT (D-10369) is a 1981 V35B registered since 2001 to an individual in Mount Vernon, Texas.


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


8/28 1215Z (0815 local):  While en route from Sebastian Cove, Georgia to Smith Reynolds Airport, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a Be33’s pilot “reported [a] loss [of] oil pressure.”  During an apparent attempt at a precautionary landing at Spartanburg, South Carolina, the airplane “landed short of the runway.”  The two occupants of the Debonair were unhurt and aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather at Spartanburg was 300 broken, ceiling 700 overcast, visibility 1 ¼ miles in drizzle, with a six-knot surface wind.  N7741R (CJ-10) is/was a 1968 E33C recently (February 2008) registered to a corporation in Eatonton, Georgia.


(“Landed short—precautionary landing due to loss of oil pressure”; “IMC”; “Recent registration”—Part of planning for a cross-country trip should include consideration for possible en route reasons requiring a diversion or early landing.  Several en routes events can mandate a descent into en route weather, so the pilot needs to be ready for the weather that lay under the trip as well as that at cruise altitude and the departure and arrival ends of the trip.  Constant engine and systems monitoring is necessary, with a decision to divert made earlier rather than later for best chances of success.  It appears that, when faced with a precautionary landing [and perhaps a total engine failure] the pilot did a masterful job of descending through IMC to an injury-free off-airport landing.)


8/28 1514Z (1114 local):  While landing at Lakeland, Florida, a Be19 “veered off the runway and the nose gear collapsed.”  The solo pilot reports no injury and airplane damage is “minor”.  Weather: 1300 scattered, 25,000 scattered, visibility 15 with a variable, four-knot wind.  N282L (MB-700) is a 1974 B19 recently registered (June 2008) to a Lewes, Delaware corporation.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”; “Recent registration”)


8/29 1950Z (1550 local):  “During a maintenance check,” a Be23 “struck a tied-down ultralight,” at Zephyrhills, Florida.  Two aboard the Beechcraft weren’t hurt and the Beech was not damaged.  There is no report on the condition of the ultralight.  Weather was “VFR”.  N2323Z (M-20) is a 1962 Model 23 registered since May 2007 to an individual in Zephyrhills.


(“Taxied into obstacle/aircraft”—was this a true taxi mishap, did the brakes fail, or did the persons aboard the Beechcraft merely focus on whatever they were checking on the airplane, to the exclusion of where they were going when they applied power?)



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


** 8/25 triple-fatality B55 engine failure loss of control at Curico, Chile, cited above. **



9/11/2008 Report




A reader reports:


9/8 0230Z (2130 local 9/7/2008):  On landing at Mesquite, Texas, A Be35 “porpoised” and the propeller struck the nose gear strut and runway.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”; weather was “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N555SF (D-8660) is a 1967 V35A registered since 1981 to an individual in Dallas, TX.


(“Pilot-induced oscillation/propeller strike”-- the FAA preliminary report incorrectly classified this as a gear up landing.  PIO results from attempting to land at too great a speed, attempting to “force” the airplane onto the runway, and/or failing to maintain sufficient control pressure after touchdown.  All to often pilots “give up” once the airplane is on the ground, forgetting the need to continue with positive control inputs.  Escape from PIO by applying firm back pressure to dampen out the oscillations.  Sometimes a brief, minor burst of power will help, if applied carefully.)





8/28 (time not reported):  A Be23 “landed hard” during a “training” flight at Grayslake, Illinois.  Student and instructor avoided injury despite “substantial” airplane damage.  Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N6664N (M-2386) is a 1983 C23 registered since 1998 to a Wheeling, IL-based corporation.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Dual instruction”—Proper airspeed control is vital to a smooth touchdown.  It’s natural for student pilots to make “hard” landings, but part of the instructor’s responsibility is to anticipate the hard landing, coach the student as long as the touchdown is salvageable, intercede vocally to prompt the student to act as needed, and take over the controls if the student is not able to correct the condition in time.  In this regard flight instruction is an art, the instructor permitting the student to go just far enough to glean maximum learning from a situation, without allowing the scenario to deteriorate to the point damage or injury occurs.  In the final analysis, flight instructors must be safety officers first, and teachers-of-flight second. 


9/3 2038Z (1638 local):  During a cross-country instructional flight, a Be33 “lost power and [the pilot] declared MAYDAY.”  The Bonanza then “force-landed on a highway” five miles from Scroon Lake Airport, New York.  Three aboard were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was 6500 scattered cumulonimbus, with 10 miles visibility and a three-knot surface wind.  C-GSCG comes up on the Canadian registry as a Cessna 182RG.   The airplane was identified as a Bonanza, and the aircraft’s operator was named, in news reports and that school is known to utilize F33A Bonanzas in an instructional role.


(“Engine failure in flight”—From local reader input the pilots did a very good job getting down safely in rugged terrain.  Press accounts state the instructional flight was en route from Toronto, Ontario [Canada] to Burlington, Vermont when the Bonanza’s engine began making a “clicking” sound.  The crew reportedly aimed for the nearest airport, about five miles away, but the engine then quit completely.  They then glided to a landing on an interstate highway; drivers of two large trucks reportedly saw the final seconds of the Bonanza’s glide and slowed to stop traffic, clearing the way for the successful landing.)


9/6 1900Z (1500 local):  A Be35 “force-landed in the [Tennessee] River at Knoxville, Tennessee.  The pilot suffered “minor” injuries; a single passenger was unhurt and the two swam to their destination airport on the shore.  The airplane was completely submerged, suffering “substantial” damage.  Weather was “few clouds” at 2500, 6000 overcast, visibility 10 with a seven-knot wind.  N4403D (D-4623) is/was a 1956 G35 registered since 2002 to an individual in Knoxville.


(“Fuel starvation” [more in a moment]; “Substantial damage”—A member of the team that recovered the airplane pointed me to a description of the event he posted on a public website:


This aircraft was on left downwind for Rwy 26 [at Knoxville Downtown Island Airport]. The engine quit. The owner/pilot used the wobble pump and was able to bring back power for only an instant. As he turned base, with a dead engine, he felt he would not make the runway. He raised the gear and headed for the water. He landed about mid-channel in the Tennessee. Both inner gear doors were pried open enough to indicate that the doors were not quite closed prior to initial impact.

The occupants exited and stood on the wing and evaluated their distance from shore. They were near mid-stream slightly further from the airport side. The river is approx. 575 feet wide at that point. They chose to swim to the airport side and were able to do so. As they began to swim the plane went down nose first. On its way to the bottom it pivoted and came to rest on its top and in 27 feet of water.

The pilot and passenger walked off the airport (the plane was based 10 miles away at a private airport). The pilot is reported to possibly have a broken nose and ribs. The passenger reportedly was uninjured. The incident was not reported at that time….  The recovery began [the next] morning at approx. 0800….

I assisted in inspection of the plane's fuel system, its tanks controls, etc. The aux tanks were 2/3 full of fuel. The left main had no detectable fuel visually and the same for the right main. Neither tank had any water nor had either been breeched. The pressure carburetor was opened and no fuel came out. The fuel selector was on the left main and the gauge selector was on the right main. No effort was made to drain the main fuel tanks while I was there. At this point it appears the cause of the engine stoppage was fuel starvation.


Thanks, reader, for your input.  Pre-80 gallon two-tank Bonanzas have a fairly intricate fuel system, with a then-standard, now-unique system with a single fuel gauge that must be switched to display fuel level in the tank in use.  This archaic design has played a part in many fuel starvation events.  I wrote a detailed article on fuel system operation and monitoring in the “aux tank Bonanzas” in the April 2007 issue of ABS Magazine


In all cases, monitoring fuel load is vital, with proper planning to permit descent and landing on a tank with sufficient fuel.  Auxiliary fuel tanks are commonly placarded against use except in straight-and-level flight and, although commonly fuel may be drawn from them while climbing, descending or maneuvering gently if great care is paid to control coordination, in practice the prohibition against attempted takeoff or landing on auxiliary fuel tanks has been proven again and again in mishap reports. 


The pilot’s broken nose suggests a shoulder harness was not installed or, if installed, not used.  Had the pilot been stricken unconscious by impact, or had suffered very much more injury as a result of his head apparently striking the panel, this would probably have ended in a fatal drowning.


9/9 1300Z (0900 local):  A Be33 suffered “minor” damage while being relocated for maintenance at Daytona Beach, Florida.  The solo aircraft occupant was unhurt.  Weather was VMC.  N90WM (CE-1439) is a 1990 F33A registered since 1997 to an individual in Port Orange, FL.


(“Ground/taxi unknown”) 



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


** 8/6 Beech Sundowner instructional hard landing at Augusta, KS.  From the report: 


According to the flight instructor's accident report, there was rain to the north and northeast of Wichita [a few miles to the west of Augusta] that was moving to the east. He observed rain and lightning to the distant north and made the decision to give his student some experience in touch-and-go and crosswind landings. He said the wind was out of the east-northeast at 14 knots. As they taxied for takeoff, he checked the Jabara (3KM) [sic] Airport's ASOS (Automated Surface Observing [sic] System), and it was reporting the wind from 050 degrees at 10 knots. The takeoff and crosswind and downwind legs were without incident. When they turned on to final approach, the student used the VASI (Visual Approach Slope Indicator) lights as an aid for proper glide path. The instructor said that their speed was 70 knots and the student had deployed one notch of flaps. When they were on a 1-1/2 mile final approach, they encountered turbulence and airspeed had dropped to 68 knots. Short of the runway threshold, the airplane "experienced a sinking action" from an altitude of about 30 to 40 feet. The instructor pushed the nose down "to gain some lift," then pulled up to flare. The airplane continued to sink and struck the runway "at a high rate" and bounced. The airplane touched down again and skidded off the left side of the runway onto the grass. It struck a ditch and the nose gear collapsed. Later examination revealed the left main landing gear had been torn off and it struck the left horizontal stabilizer, denting the leading edge and bending the stabilizer midspan.

Asked how the accident could have been prevented, the instructor wrote: "Receive a better weather report and understand the effects of a frontal boundary and windshear. Carry more speed on final when these conditions exist as well as be prepared for windshear and identify windshear early enough to power out of the condition." 



9/18/2008 Report




9/11 (time not reported):  A Be76’s nose gear collapsed “under unknown circumstances” at Livermore, California.  The solo pilot was not hurt; damage is “minor” and weather was “VMC”.  N5351Y is a registration reportedly “held” after being released from an exported airplane, suggesting perhaps this is a “recent registration” aircraft.


(“Gear collapse [presumably] on landing”)


9/11 2108Z (1708 local):  A Be36, “operating as an Angel Flight, made a hard landing on [Erie, Pennsylvania’s] Rwy 6 due to apparent fuel starvation.”  Pilot and passenger were unharmed; damage is “substantial” and weather conditions were not reported.  N710ND (E-3751) is/was a 2007 G36 registered since January 2007 to a corporation based in Boston, Massachusetts.


(“Fuel starvation”; “Substantial damage”—Notably, if the FAA preliminary report is correct this G36 is the first known instance of a glass-cockpit, general aviation aircraft fuel starvation or exhaustion event. NTSB and AOPA have previously reported, and Mastery Flight Training research has confirmed, that to date the advanced fuel monitoring capability of integrated glass cockpit technology has seemed a panacea to the scourge of “running out of gas”.   Unfortunately we see again that cockpit technology is a fantastic aid to status monitoring and risk management, but it is not the ultimate solution to judgment-related mishaps. 


Avoid fuel starvation by moving the “Fuel tank—selected for landing” step of your Before Landing checklist instead to the beginning of your Descent checklist, confirming you have selected a tank with sufficient fuel for descent, approach, landing and a possible go-around or missed approach.  It’s amazing how many fuel-related events [like, “apparent”ly this one] occur very near or even on the destination airport.  If you don’t have sufficient fuel in your selected tank for all landing and go-around/missed approach functions, then frankly you’ve not done a good job of preflight planning or in-flight fuel monitoring and management.


In recent weeks we’ve seen where NTSB has stated it is taking a close look at volunteer charity flight safety as a result of three fatal accidents in this type of operation this year.  Although this fourth event was not fatal, the fact the charitable flight organization was specifically noted in the FAA preliminary report suggests that this focus is indeed under way.  All pilots must use extreme care to plan and fly within the safe margins of the airplane’s performance envelope.  When pilots extend their valuable services to unknowing and trusting persons in need, however, there is an even greater responsibility to act conservatively.  It does no one any good for a pilot to generously offer aerial transportation to persons who cannot otherwise afford it, only to risk life, and tarnish the charity and all general aviation by attempting to stretch beyond the airplane’s, or the pilot’s, capabilities.


9/15 2100Z (1700 local):  A Be55’s landing gear collapsed during landing at Pompano Beach, Florida.  Two aboard the “training” flight avoided injury and aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind. N2128L (TC-1986) is a 1976 B55 recently (June 2008) registered to a corporation in Parkland, FL.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Recent registration”; “Dual instruction”)


9/15 2339Z (1539 local):  A Be18’s landing gear collapsed during taxi at Yakutat, Alaska.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt; damage is “unknown”.  Weather was VMC.  N166H (BA-253) is a 1957 E18S recently (February 2008) registered to an individual in Yakutat.


(“Gear collapse during taxi”; “Recent registration”)




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


**8/2 H35 gear up landing at Bay City, MI. **




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


Total reported:  164 reports 


Operation in VMC: 110 reports   (67%)  

Operation in IMC:    7 reports   (4%)  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  47 reports

Operation at night:  12 reports  (7%) 

Surface wind > 15 knots:  13 reports  (8%)             


Fatal accidents: 19 reports   (12%)  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 3 reports  (2%) 


“Substantial” damage: 54 reports   (33%)  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   18 reports   (11%)   


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  29 reports   (18%)  


(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:


Be35 Bonanza  39 reports  

Be36 Bonanza  24 reports  

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza  22 reports  

Be58 Baron  15 reports   

Be55 Baron  14 reports  

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner 12 reports 

Be76 Duchess  12 reports  

Be24 Sierra   5 reports 

Be95 Travel Air   5 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech  4 reports

Be65 Queen Air  3 reports 

Be19 Sport  2 reports

Be50 Twin Bonanza  2 reports 

Be77 Skipper  2 reports  

Be17 Staggerwing  1 report

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report   

Be60 Duke  1 report 




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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS (73 reports; 45% of the total) 


Gear up landing

29 reports (Be18; two Be24s; five Be33s; twelve Be35s; three Be36s; Be50; two Be55s; Be58; two Be76s)


Gear collapse (landing)

22 reports (two Be33s; four Be35s; Be36; Be50; three Be55s; three Be58s; Be60; two Be65s; three Be76s; two Be95s)


Gear collapse—pilot activation of gear on ground

5 reports (Be33; two Be35s; Be55; Be58)


Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure

4 reports (Be33; Be35; Be45; Be76)


Gear collapse (takeoff)

3 reports (Be18; Be36; Be58)


Gear collapse during taxi

3 reports (Be18; Be58; Be76)


Failure of nose gear to extend due to mechanical failure

2 reports (Be65, Be76)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

2 reports (Be55; Be95)


Gear collapse on landing: electrical failure/incomplete manual extension

1 report (Be45)


Gear collapse on landing—known incomplete electrical extension

1 report (Be58)


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



ENGINE FAILURE   (31 reports; 19% of the total) 


Engine failure in flight

13 reports (two Be33s; five Be35s; five Be36s; Be55)


Engine failure on takeoff

6 reports (two Be33s; Be36; Be55; Be77)


Fuel exhaustion

3 reports (two Be35s; Be55)


Engine failure on approach/landing

2 reports (Be23; Be35)


Fuel starvation

2 reports (Be33; Be35)


Partial power loss: fuel line leak

1 report (Be36)


Propeller overspeed

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure—fuel system malfunction

1 report (Be36)


Piston/cylinder failure in flight

1 report (Be35)


Propeller separation in flight

1 report (Be55)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (30 reports; 18% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

8 reports (Be18; two Be19s; two Be23s; Be33; Be36; Be77)


Hard landing

6 reports (five Be23s; Be35)


Loss of control on landing—strong, gusty winds

3 reports (two Be23s; Be58)


Landed long

2 reports (Be33; Be95)


Wing strike on landing

1 report (Be58)


Hard landing—strong, gusty wind

1 report (Be36)


Impact with animal while landing

1 report (Be76)


Impact with obstacle on landing

1 report (Be35)


Loss of control--attempted go-around in strong/gusty winds

1 report (Be55)


Landed short

1 report (Be35)


Nosed over on landing

1 report (Be17)


Bounced landing

1 report (Be23)


Landed long/failed to go around

1 report (Be36)


Landed short—precautionary landing due to loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be33)


Pilot-induced oscillation/propeller strike

1 report (Be35)



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (8 reports; 5% of the total) 


Taxied into obstruction/aircraft

4 reports (Be23; Be33; Be76; Be95)


Pilot incapacitation—heart attack

1 report (Be58)


Bird strike on landing

1 report (Be33)


Gear door damage—ice accumulation

1 report (Be33)


Wing explosion—suspected fuel leak ignited by arcing electrical wiring

1 report (Be58)



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (8 reports; 5% of the total) 


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

3 reports (two Be36s; Be58)


Loss of directional control during takeoff

1 report (Be76)


Collision with landing aircraft

1 report (Be36)


Blown tire/loss of directional control during aborted takeoff

1 report (Be24)


Runway overrun—failure to abort takeoff

1 report (Be35)


Propeller strike on takeoff

1 report (Be36)




CAUSE UNKNOWN  (8 reports; 5% of the total)  



2 reports (Be35; Be36; Be58)



2 reports (Be33; Be36)



2 reports (Be24; Be35)


Forced landing/Unknown

1 report (Be36)


Ground/taxi unknown

1 report (Be33)



LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT   (5 reports; 3% of the total) 


Loss of control—single engine visual approach

3 reports (Be55; Be58)


Loss of control—airframe ice; in-flight break-up

1 report (Be35)


Loss of control on instrument approach

1 report (Be35)




STALL/SPIN   (4 reports; 2% of the total)


Stall--attempted go-around in strong/gusty winds

1 report (Be23)


Stall/Spin during turn in visual traffic pattern in strong/gusty winds

1 report (Be35)


Stall/Spin on takeoff

1 report (Be55)


Stall on landing—returning with unidentified urgency

1 report (Be58)





In-flight break-up—probable pilot incapacitation

1 report (Be35)


In-flight tail vibration/flutter

1 report (Be35)




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!




Return to  archives page.