Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


September 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



9/1/2009 Report



8/30 2100Z (1700 local):  A Be19 “crashed under unknown circumstances” one mile from Thomasville Airport, Thomasville, Pennsylvania.  The solo pilot repots no injury; damage is “unknown” and weather conditions were “not reported”.  N6982R (MB-752) is/was a 1975 B19 Sport registered since 2005 to an individual in Hanover, Pennsylvania.


(“Crash/unknown”—any readers have more information?)


8/30 2247Z (1747 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Conway, Arkansas.  The three aboard were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather conditions were not reported. N631Z (D-3201) is a 1952 C35 registered since 2005 to a co-ownership based in Heiskell, Tennessee.


(“Gear up landing”)




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**8/9 A36TC “short” landing at Brighton, MI.  The pilot’s account of gusty wind shearing to reduce headwind component on short final closely matches initial speculation in the Weekly Accident Update.**


**8/21 serious-injury Baron 58 crash during an attempted night go-around at Teterboro, NJ.  The report states:

ATC cleared the airplane for a visual approach to Runway 1, a grooved asphalt runway that was 7,000 feet long, and 150 feet wide. The runway was equipped with high-intensity runway edge lighting and Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) guidance. 

Preliminary radar data depicted the airplane as it approached from the west on an extended left base for runway 01, at 1,400 feet msl and 204 knots ground speed. The airplane maintained 204 knots and descended to 1,300 feet msl within one mile of the airport before it turned north towards the airport. The radar track overshot the runway centerline and at 600 feet msl and one half mile from the airport, the airplane's ground speed was 178 knots. The airplane crossed the runway threshold at 186 knots ground speed, and was depicted over the center of the airport at 100 feet msl and 160 knots. Witnesses stated the airplane flew the length of runway at low altitude before it overshot the departure end, departed airport property, struck a sign and a tree, and burst into flames.

ATC reported that all communications with the airplane were routine, that no emergency was declared by the crew, and that no communications were received from the accident airplane after it was cleared to land.  Due to their injuries, neither pilot was immediately available for interview.


Examination of the landing gear actuator revealed a position consistent with the down-and-locked position. The flap actuators were measured and the measurements were consistent with flaps in the "approach" position.  The fuel selector valves were disassembled and each was intact and absent of water and debris. Both selectors were found in positions consistent with their respective fuel cells.  There was no indication of engine malfunction.  Curiously, although there were no internal witness marks to indicate propeller blade position at impact, the blades of both propellers appeared in a position consistent with the "feathered" position.  Did the pilot intentionally feather the props when he saw an impact was coming?  Did the crew mistakenly feather the props instead of advance the power to initiate go-around, with the 3:20 am time of the event suggesting fatigue as a possible factor?**



9/10/2009 Report



Regarding the 8/30 Beech Sport crash at Thomasville, Pennsylvania, the owner/pilot writes:


I took off from York [PA] for an eastern departure and at 1500 ft the engine began to miss so I added carb heat, checked boost pump and switched to the other tank. It smooth out a little but would only run at 2500 rpm or higher. I continued the turn back to the airport and overflew the field at 2,000 [ft]. I turned downwind, pulled power back to 1500 rpm and began the setup for landing. When I was abeam the numbers, I was still indicating 100 mph so pulled the throttle back more and waited for airspeed to drop to 90. I put in one notch of flaps, trimmed the aircraft for 80 and turned left base. Once level I tried to add power to stop the sink rate but the engine didn't respond. I quickly ran through the restart procedures but with no luck.  There were houses to my right, high tension power lines to my left and the airport too far away so I decided to continue straight and land in the corn field. I retracted the flaps to extend the glide and kept pushing the nose over whenever the stall horn sounded. I clipped a tree, which turned me 90 degrees to the left, and then I hit the corn. 30-50 ft later I was stopped and unhurt. FAA will try to determine what happened but the airplane is destroyed. Hull is slightly twisted and the wings damaged. The right gear and the nose gear were ripped off too.


A good reminder to fly our patterns tight and close to the airport, if for no other reason to condition us to fly it the same way when under the stress of a partial power loss.  Thanks, reader, for giving us the inside story.  Good work getting down without injury.  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Engine failure in flight”.



9/4 1740Z (1140 local):  A Be33 “force landed due to a loose cowling,” landing at Granby, Colorado.  Two aboard the Bonanza were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N720DW (CJ-30) is a 1970 F33C registered since 2005 to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Cowling open in flight”—I spoke with a person in the know who reports the airplane’s left cowl door opened in cruise flight but did not separate from the aircraft.  Double-check the security of all doors and windows before every flight.)


9/7 1700Z (1000 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Sedona, Arizona.  Two aboard avoided injury; damage is minor.  Weather was “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N2135W (D-9648) is a 1974 V35B registered since 2001 to a corporation in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.


(“Gear up landing”)


9/7 2300Z (1700 local):  On landing at Sullivan, Missouri, a Be36 “skidded off the end of the runway and [its] nose gear collapsed.”  The solo pilot was unhurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather was sky clear, visibility nine miles, with a four-knot wind.  N65873 (EA-342) is a 1983 B36TC registered since new to an individual in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.


(“Landed long—runway overrun”; “Substantial damage”—airspeed control is vital to landing with precision.  The long, thin wing of the B36TC supports an extended float if airspeed is too great, which compounds any aim beyond the proper touchdown zone.  High summer temperatures can make matters even worse—for a given indicated airspeed true airspeed if greater, meaning there’s more energy to dissipate, requiring more runway to come to a halt.  A heavy airplane compared to other Bonanzas, the 36TC uses a good bit more runway than its Beech brethren…although it stands to reason the pilot was the owner, and has decades of experience landing it in hot weather.) 




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**8/11 Beech Musketeer loss of directional control during a touch-and-go at Sanford, FL.  “According to several witnesses, the airplane was observed performing touch and go landings and takeoffs on runway 9R. The airplane landed, and was beginning another takeoff when the accident occurred. Rescue and firefighting personnel who responded to the accident reported that the two pilots told them that after the initial loss of directional control, both of them simultaneously attempted to manipulate the controls to regain directional control. The SFB air traffic control tower (ATCT) was operating at the time of the accident, but the personnel in the ATCT did not witness the accident.


“According to information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident scene, tire marks and ground scars indicated that the airplane initially veered slightly beyond the left edge of the runway, and then crossed the runway and continued into the grass beyond the right edge of the runway. The ground scars indicated that the airplane crossed, but did not descend into, a wide drainage ditch off the right side of the runway, and that the nose landing gear collapsed when it struck the far side of the ditch. The airplane traveled several hundred feet beyond the point where it initially departed the right edge of the runway, and came to rest south of the taxiway that paralleled the runway.”**


9/17/2009 Report



 9/8 2100Z (1500 local):  While taxiing at Fallon, Nevada, a Be35 “went into a fence,” suffering “substantial” damage.  The solo pilot was not hurt.  Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N272D (D-7463) is a 1964 S35 registered since 1990 to an individual in Fallon.


(“Taxied into obstacle”; “Substantial damage”)


9/9 1810Z (1410 local):  While landing at Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, a Be35 crashed.  The solo pilot has “minor” injuries and the airplane “substantial” damage.  Weather was “not reported.”  N5469D (D-4954) is/was a 1957 H35 registered to an individual in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  There is no registration date on the online FAA record.


(“Engine failure in flight” [from news accounts]; “Substantial damage”—local news says the pilot reported his engine quit.  Pictures show the airplane landed flat in a small clump of trees in a residential back yard.  The engine is canted downward, the winds are torn off at the roots and the tail is twisted about 90 degrees relative to the airframe.  A witness was working in the yard and said the aircraft missed hitting her by “two feet.”  The pilot “suffered some cuts and lost two teeth but was otherwise not seriously injured.”)  


9/9 2202Z (1802 local):  A Be33’s nose gear failed to extend at White Plains, New York.  Two aboard were unhurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was 5000 scattered, 11,000 broken, visibility 10 miles with an eight-knot wind.  N8519M (CD-628) is a 1963 35-B33 registered since 1986 to a corporation in Purchase, New York.


(“Failure of landing gear to extend due to mechanical failure”; “Substantial damage”—the pilot posted on a public internet bulletin board: “Doing touch and goes…and on the tenth or so we landed normally on the mains to find the nosegear hadn't deployed…. This was not a collapse; the gear never dropped…both mains extended normally. Even the nosegear doors failed to open. This is a single green light model, and yes it was lit up.)


9/10 1813Z (1413 local):  A Be36 crashed “under unknown circumstances” near Asheville, North Carolina.  The solo pilot died in the crash; aircraft damage is “substantial.”  Asheville reported the weather as “VFR”.  N888WD (E-3004) is/was a 1996 A36 registered since 2004 to an individual in Fletcher, North Carolina.


(“Controlled flight into terrain: Attempted visual flight into IMC” [until/unless we hear otherwise; more momentarily]; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—the local newspaper reorts:  “’It is very, very foggy here,’ [a witness] told a dispatcher on a recording of [a] 911 call. ‘I saw nothing. I heard a single-engine airplane and then I heard a crash.’”  There was an “explosion” after impact.  Photos on various television news websites showed emergency responders working in extremely foggy conditions.  Reports indicate the pilot was “not referencing instruments” at the time of impact, and records reveal the pilot was not instrument rated.)  


9/13 2150Z (1550 local):  A Be35 “bounced” on landing, then “veered off the runway” before its “nosewheel collapsed,” at Hailey, Idaho.  The pilot and four passengers all escaped injury despite “substantial” airplane damage.  Weather was “few clouds” at 10,000 feet, with 30 miles visibility.  Winds were variable from 160° to 260°, at eight gusting to 22 knots.  N81895 (D-8071) is/was a 1966 V35 registered since 1991 to an individual in Olympia, Washington.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Wind”—local news says the airplane burned after the passengers escaped.  An aerial photo of the airport shows terrain that could create challenging turbulence in the strong winds that were reported.  Most pilots experienced in mountain flying recommend against flight in the afternoon, especially when winds are strong.  Gusty, variable winds can create powerful wind shear close to the ground.  Aft c.g. loading increases instability and makes it even harder to control through the gusts, and creates a strong pitch-up tendency that can contribute to a hard landing and make a stall much more likely on final or in a go-around—even if it was within c.g. limits, a V35 with five persons and most likely baggage for a trip on board would be very aft-loaded, adversely affecting stability and control even in calm winds.)


9/14 1417Z (1017 local):  A Be36 taxied into a tent support at Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a four-knot surface wind.  N3247P (EA-647) is a 1999 B36TC registered since 2000 to a Hickory, North Carolina-based corporation.


(“Taxied into obstacle”)




Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**There are no newly posted piston Beech NTSB reports this week.**



9/24/2009 Report



9/19 1315Z (0915 local):  A Be36 “force landed off the end of the runway” at Fairmont, West Virginia.  The four aboard have “unknown” injuries, the Bonanza “substantial” damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a variable, three-knot breeze.  N57S (E-2290) is a 1985 A36 registered just days before the accident, to a corporation in Dothan, Alabama.


(“Runway overrun—failure to attain climb”; “Serious injuries” [based on press reports]; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—local press accounts state law enforcement “pieced together how the crash happened through eye witness accounts….  The plane attempted to take off, but once it got in the air, it came down. The plane then lost control, hit an embankment, then rolled up.”  A sheriff’s deputy is quoted on camera as saying the airplane got about 15 feet in the air before it settled back to the ground, and then the pilot appears to have lost control.  The flight was reportedly destined for a football game at Auburn University in Alabama. 


From the information currently available, the pilot was seated in the front of the airplane, and three passengers occupied the aft cabin area.  From the report: “The front passenger was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital for back and head injuries. The other three went to Fairmont General Hospital for observation.”    Photos posted online show the airplane just off the end of the runway, upright with no apparent damage to the cabin.  The engine is severely canted upward and to the right; the landing gear appears to be up [unless it was completely sheared away on impact], but there is nothing that suggests a properly restrained pilot should have been severely injured.


Shoulder harnesses, if installed, are required to be worn by everyone aboard, passengers included, for ground operation, takeoff and landing (FAR 91.107 and likely most non-U.S. equivalents).  This accident airplane has shoulder harnesses as standard at all seats.  I cannot stress enough the need for installing shoulder harnesses if they are not already installed in the aircraft—the Weekly Accident Update has reported many serious and fatal mishaps brought on by head trauma when front-seat occupants do not have [or use] shoulder harnesses in an otherwise relatively low-speed impact.


Three in the aft cabin may have made the Bonanza’s center of gravity somewhat aft.  If the quartet was planning to stay over after the game then baggage may have moved the c.g. even further rearward.   Even if within the loading envelope, if the pilot does not apply appropriate control force at liftoff an aft c.g. will tend to cause an airplane to pitch up early and excessively.  Angle of attack and consequently drag will increase to the point the airplane may not climb out of ground effect.  Add an early gear retraction, when gear door transit adds even more drag, and the airplane may quickly settle back to the ground. 

When taking off with a large aft cabin payload [and assuming the center of gravity is still within limits]:

·         Set the trim properly in accordance with Pilot’s Operating Handbook guidance;

·         Ensure the aircraft attains the proper liftoff speed before letting it take off; and

·         Be ready for a need for reduced control back pressure compared to more forward-loaded takeoffs, and possibly the need to apply forward control pressure to resist a nose-up tendency;


On all takeoffs:

·         Aim for the proper attitude and airspeed for initial climb [at Vx, Vy or some other speed as conditions dictate];

·         Ensure the airplane attains and maintains a positive rate of climb before changing aircraft configuration [retracting landing gear and/or flaps as appropriate] or power setting.


Note that airplane handling with three passengers in the aft cabin will handle significantly different than how the airplane would have handled in a pilot-and-instructor aircraft checkout.  Instructors, include at least discussion of handling differences with different cabin loadings, if you are unable to provide actual checkout training in different c.g. configurations.)


9/19 1840Z (1440 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Crystal River, Florida.  Two aboard were not hurt; damage to the aircraft is “minor”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a six-knot wind.  N2015W (D-7975) is a 1965 S35 registered since 2003 to a co-ownership in Crystal River.


(“Gear up landing”)


9/20 2218Z (1718 local):  The pilot of a Be35 reported an “engine problem” and landed short of the runway at Nacogdoches, Texas.  The solo pilot was not hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a five-knot surface wind.  N97500 (D-8083) is a 1966 V35 registered since 1990 to an individual in Beaumont, Texas.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”—local news reports tell us the pilot successfully landed on a four-lane highway.)





Events previously appearing in the Weekly Accident Update:


**9/7 B36TC runway departure at Sullivan, Missouri.  From the NTSB preliminary report:  “The pilot reported that during the initial climb, he experienced an abnormality in the flight controls and executed a downwind landing to a taxiway. The airplane veered off the taxiway and impacted the terrain.”  Possibilities:  a mechanical failure of part of the control system due to corrosion or use factors; control cable interference behind the instrument panel (see past issues of ABS Magazine to see examples of elevator bobweight and aftermarket avionics interference with control cables); maintenance/inspection error; or failure of the pilot to remove the control gust lock (which probably would not have permitted a course reversal and downwind landing).  A Before Takeoff controls “free and correct” check may not have protected against some of these causes, if the failure or interference occurred after the check—it appears the pilot did a great job of using the control available to him to get the airplane back on the ground.   Change “Loss of directional control on landing” to “Loss of control authority on takeoff”—with more information to come, hopefully, with the NTSB final report.**


**9/10 fatal A36 attempt at visual flight in IMC at Flat Rock, North Carolina.**




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


Total reported:  131 reports 


Operation in VMC: 89 reports   

Operation in IMC:    3 reports  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  36 reports

Operation at night:  11 reports 

Surface wind > 15 knots:  16 reports          


Fatal accidents: 16 reports  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 4 reports 


“Substantial” damage: 52 reports  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   14 reports  


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  18 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   38 reports 

Be35 Bonanza   34 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza 16 reports

Be24 Sierra  9 reports

Be58 Baron  8 reports   

Be55 Baron  7 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech   4 reports

Be19 Sport  4 reports

Be60 Duke   3 reports

Be17 Staggerwing   2 reports

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  2 reports

Be76 Duchess   2 reports

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be56 Turbo Baron   1 report

Be95 Travel Air   1 report



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




Gear up landing

22 reports (two Be24s; two Be33s; nine Be35s; seven Be36s; Be50; Be56)


Gear collapse (landing)

15 reports (two Be24s; four Be33s; three Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; two Be58s)


Failure of landing gear to extend due to mechanical failure

4 reports (Be24; Be33; Be58; Be60)


Gear collapse during taxi

3 reports (Be24; Be36; Be76)


Gear collapse on landing following electrical failure

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Gear collapse on takeoff

2 reports (Be24; Be35)


Gear collapse—retract rod failure after improper installation

1 report (Be36)


Wheel failure/separation

1 report (Be33)


Gear collapse on landing—pilot-induced retraction on the runway

1 report (Be35)


Gear collapse on takeoff—touch and go

1 report (Be36)


Gear collapse—retract rod bearing separation

1 report (Be55)


Tailwheel failure

1 report (Be18)


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



ENGINE FAILURE   (27 reports) 


Engine failure in flight

9 reports (Be18; two Be19s; three Be35s; two Be36s; Be55)


Engine failure on takeoff

5 reports (Be33; three Be35s; Be36)


Fuel starvation

3 reports (Be33; two Be36s)


Fuel exhaustion

2 reports (Be35; Be60)


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


Piston/cylinder failure in flight

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be24)


Engine failure on approach

1 report (Be33)


Engine failure in the traffic pattern

1 report (Be33)


Catastrophic oil loss

1 report (Be35)


Fuel starvation—fuel cap O-ring failure

1 report (Be36)


Loss of turbo boost—induction manifold failure

1 report (Be58)



IMPACT ON LANDING  (20 reports) 


Loss of directional control on landing

4 reports (Be18; Be19; Be36; Be58)


Landed long—runway overrun

3 reports (Be17; Be33; Be36)


Collision with animal on landing

2 reports (Be36; Be58)


Landed short

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Hard landing

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Loss of directional control on landing—strong, gusty wind

1 report (Be17)


Hard landing—airframe ice

1 report (Be58)


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)


Loss of directional control on go-around/fuel imbalance

1 report (Be35)


Go-around/failed to clear obstacles

1 report (Be58)



MISCELLANEOUS  (9 reports)


Taxied into obstacle

2 reports(Be35; Be36)


Wheel/strut failure on landing—fixed gear airplane

1 report (Be23)


Unattended airplane with engine running taxis into obstruction

1 report (Be36)


Windscreen separation in flight

1 report (Be35)


Runway overrun—high-speed taxi test

1 report (Be60)


Unoccupied aircraft rolled into parked airplanes

1 report (Be36)


Struck by taxiing aircraft

1 report (Be35)


Cowling open in flight

1 report (Be33)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (8 reports)  



3 reports (Be33; Be35; Be36)



2 reports (Be19; Be95)



2 reports (Be24; Be35)



1 reports (Be76)






Loss of directional control during takeoff—strong, gusty wind

2 reports (Be35; Be55)


Runway overrun during attempted aborted takeoff

1 report (Be35)


Loss of directional control on takeoff—touch and go

1 report (Be23)


Runway overrun—failure to attain climb

1 report (Be36)


Loss of control authority on takeoff

1 report (Be36)



STALL/SPIN  (5 reports)


Stall on final approach

2 reports (Be33; Be36)


Stall/spin on approach

1 report (Be18)


Stall/loss of control during go-around

1 report (Be55)


Stall/spin during attempted aerobatics

1 report (Be55)






Airframe ice in cruise—unable to maintain altitude

1 report (Be36)


Attempted visual flight into IMC

2 reports (both Be36s)





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.

There's much more aviation safety information at




Return to  archives page.