Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


December 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



12/4/2008 Report




Regarding the 11/23 V35B/PA28 midair collision near Winter Haven, FL, a reader sent this picture. The “unknown” damage to the Bonanza was quite extensive, including fuselage wrinkles that “will probably total the airplane.” 


Miraculously both pilots were able to land their stricken aircraft, and there were no injuries in either the Beech or the Piper.


(Add “Substantial damage”)


Thanks, reader, for the update.












Regarding the 11/24 triple-fatality B55 partial-panel loss of control at Nashville, Tennessee, AOPA has posted a file containing the ATC audio tape of this tragedy.  First indication N412ES had a problem was 13:08 minutes into the tape, when the pilot reported he was “all screwed up”.  At 14:43 into the tape, only one minute 36 seconds later, the pilot eerily radioed: “I got it in a spin and I can’t stop it,” followed by his breathing heavily on an open microphone until impact.  I report this not for the sensationalism of the audio tape, but for the lesson that loss of control happens rapidly, even for a professional pilot, if primary instruments fail and the pilot is not proficient at identifying the failure and transitioning to partial panel flight. 


A 2002 FAA/AOPA study, General Aviation Pilot Performance Following Unannounced In-Flight Loss of Vacuum System and Associated Instruments in Simulated Instrument Meteorological Conditions, includes this abstract:


Forty-one instrument-rated pilots were exposed to an unannounced failure of attitude and heading instrumentation during flight in single-engine general aviation aircraft: 25 in a Piper Archer PA-28 and 16 in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36. The PA-28 flights consisted of three groups: (1) Group A — a failure of the attitude indicator (AI) and directional gyro (DG), (2) Group B — same as Group A but received 30 minutes of partial-panel instruction in a personal-computer-based aviation training device (PCATD) prior to the flight, and (3) Group C – same as group A but had a failure-annunciator light (vacuum) on the panel. The A36 flights consisted of two groups: (1) Group A – a failure of the AI only, (2) Group B – a failure of the AI and the horizontal situation indicator (HSI). All of the PA-28 pilot maintained control of the aircraft, and 68 percent of them flew successful partial-panel approaches, and likely would have survived if it had been an actual emergency. However, 25 percent of the Bonanza pilots could not maintain control, and the evaluator had to assume control of the aircraft. Use of the PCATD prior to the data flight reduced the time required to recognize a failure while airborne (mean A&C = 7.6 min., mean for B = 4.9 min.), but there were no other observed differences in performance between the Archer groups. Recommendations are presented regarding both training and instrumentation.


The full report should be required reading for all instrument-rated pilots and students, and all practicing instrument flight instructors.





Date and time note reported, but sometime in early November, a Be33 suffered catastrophic engine failure at about 800 feet AGL while departing from a private airstrip at Barnesville, Georgia.  A reader reports the pilot has “several hundred hours in Bonanza aircraft. He has owned this one for [three] years. Oil was changed 11 hours prior to [the] failure. We could find no evidence of any other damage to the engine, as it only had 1 qt of oil left in the oil pan and there was no oil on top. [The] only oil [was] under the belly and right side firewall area.”  The reader provided a picture (right) that clearly shows crankcase and/or piston failure that may have initiated (or resulted from) the oil loss.  The unidentified F33A’s IO-550B engine had 318 total operating hours since new. 


(“Piston/cylinder failure”—and a great job of landing with no injury or further damage.)


11/30 2345Z (1845 local):  Television news reports a Be33 “went down” in the Gulf of Mexico off Tampa, Florida.  Searchers have not found the two aboard, although some items thought to have been on board the airplane were recovered.  The flight was en route from Tallahassee, Florida to Vandenberg Airport, east of Tampa.  The pilot reportedly had delayed departure for weather to pass, and may have been evading “strong thunderstorms” near Tampa when the Debonair crashed.  The airplane registration was not reported but the account suggests it was a 1964 C33.


(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”—the last two factors are unfortunately easy assumptions.  Numerous pilot reports of severe to extreme turbulence existed in the area at the time of the crash.  The U.S. Coast Guard has discontinued its search for the aircraft or its occupants.). 





11/27 1725Z (0925 local):  A Be36 “crashed into an orange grove under unknown circumstances” at Porterville, California.  The pilot and one passenger suffered “serious” injuries, while an aft-cabin passenger has “minor” injuries.   The aircraft has “substantial” damage and weather conditions were not reported.  N936EW (E-3645) is a 2007 G36, “registration pending” to an address in Carson City, Nevada.


(“Stall/Spin during go-around/missed approach” [more in a moment]; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC” [more in a moment]; “Recent registration”—Local news reports “the airport was inundated with heavy fog” and “when the single-engine Beach [sic] Bonanza plane missed the runway, [the pilot] tried to pull up, but the plane did not respond….”  A log of the flight shows nothing amiss, but altitude information suggests it may have been under VFR Flight Following and it’s not certain if the pilot was flying an instrument arrival or attempting to fly visually into the fog-strewn airport.   Online news video shows the airplane impacted at slow speed, flat and vertically, and the tail is twisted off…all suggestive of a spin.  The pilot suffered facial and upper body injuries that suggest the G36’s shoulder harnesses may not have been used properly.  It’s unknown how much experience the pilot may have had with the “glass cockpit” avionics system, or whether pilot proficiency played a part in the apparent loss of control during a missed approach.)


11/29 1600Z (0900 local):  A Be60 “encountered icing conditions” on a flight from Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, to Saratoga, Wyoming and could not maintain altitude.  During an attempted forced landing near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, the Duke struck a power line.  The two aboard avoided injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “IFR”.  N6693A (P-527) is a 1979 B60 registered since 2005 to a corporation in Scotts Bluff.


(“Airframe ice in cruise—unable to maintain altitude”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC”—High-elevation areas like Wyoming are more conducive to formation of large supercooled water droplets that support heavy, clear icing—the generally pollution-free skies have fewer particles to act as condensation nuclei, necessary for ice droplets to freeze, and mountainous terrain lifts moisture high into the atmosphere to present an airframe icing hazard.  The airplane’s skin itself becomes the condensation nuclei when the droplet is hit, turning abundant supercooled water almost instantly into a quickly growing layer of ice. 


Even “known ice” airplanes like the Duke have icing limits.  In fact, the certified range of conditions for which flight-in-ice certification is valid is fairly limited.  FAA recently released a General Aviation Safety Challenges report on the hazards of airframe ice, and AOPA’s Air Safety Foundation followed with an interactive program to teach about ice formation and escape.  Probably the best online training for pilots of ice-certified airplanes is the Cessna Caravan Cold Weather Operation course, which I’ve taken and highly recommend.  In fact the pilot-in-command of any Cessna Caravan is required to have passed this course within the previous 12 months for that airplane’s ice certification to be valid--perhaps the first marriage of recurrent pilot training requirements to specific weather-related aircraft operations.  Although the Cessna course is naturally oriented toward C208 operation, it contains a wealth of information not readily available elsewhere detailing what “known ice” certification means…and what it does not.)     


11/29 2035Z (1335 local):  A Be55 landed gear up at Casa Grande, Arizona.  Two aboard were unhurt; damage is “minor” and weather conditions “not reported”.  N12VB (TC-1064) is a 1968 B55 registered since 2004 to a Casa Grande-based corporation.


(“Gear up landing”) 


12/1 0424Z (2024 local 11/30/2008):  One passenger died, another suffered “serious” injuries and pilot of a Be36 has “minor” injuries after the Bonanza’s “engine failed and [the] aircraft force-landed in a field” near Coalinga, California.  The airplane has “substantial” damage.  Weather for the early-night flight “IFR”.  N3058Y (E-2366) is a 1987 A36 registered since April 2007 to a corporation in Long Beach.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC”; “Night”—The flight was IFR from Long Beach to the Harris Ranch airport and restaurant. The pilot “canceled IFR…at an altitude of 4,000 feet once he had [Harris Ranch Airport] in sight. After descending to an altitude of 2,500 feet, the pilot observed a fog layer over the airport and decided to divert to Santa Barbara, California. The pilot initiated a climb and contacted Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ATRCC) with his intentions. While climbing through an altitude of about 3,500 to 4,000 feet, the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to restart the engine with no success and diverted to [Coalinga]. As the airplane descended through 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot realized he was not going to make the airport and prepared for an off field landing. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard in an open field.”  Video of the initial recovery shows rescue vehicles in very thick fog.  A different video, taken the next morning, shows the airplane landed upright, gear up, with severe damage to the engine compartment but with an intact-looking cabin.  The flight log does not indicate anything related to the diversion away from Harris Ranch.  Including fuel burn for initial climb and possibly a climb in the diversion approximately one full wing tank of fuel may have been burned before the engine failed, merely a speculation among many possible explanations.)




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


**11/30 fatal A36 engine failure at Coalinga, CA, cited above.**



12/11/2008 Report




11/28 2235Z (1835 local):  Four aboard a Be58 were killed, two other passengers suffered “serious” injuries, and the Baron was destroyed, when the aircraft “impacted the ground after a low pass at Anapolis JK Airport (SWNS), Anapolis, Goias, Brazil…. According to the Aeronautical Accident Prevention and Investigation Center of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the airplane made a low pass over the airport and was observed to enter an ‘aileron roll.’ The airplane then collided with the ground and exploded.”  N400SA (TH-1454) was a 1987 Baron 58 registered to Brazilian corporation in September 2008.


(“Collision with the ground during attempted low-level aerobatics”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”—Was this an extremely ill-advised “victory roll” showing off a newly acquired aircraft?  What might drive pilots to attempt aerobatics in airplanes clearly not designed for aerobatic flight?  What justification is there for such an audacious display, especially at low altitude?  Why would a pilot purposely expose unknowing passengers, their families and friends, to this homicidal act?  Airplanes [and pilots] have limitations for valid reasons.  If you want to fly aerobatics, rent or buy an airplane certificated and maintained for aerobatics, obtain quality instruction in that airplane with an aerobatics instructor, and fly maneuvers within airplane and legal limitations including the need for low-altitude waivers as necessary.  I’ll say it again: fly the plane you’re flying, not like the airplane you wish it to be).


12/8 2145Z (1645 local):  On takeoff, a Be23 “ground looped” resulting in “unknown” damage, at Panacea, Florida.  The pilot and two passengers report no injuries.  Weather conditions were not reported.  N60410 (M-2162) is a 1979 C23 registered since 2006 to a Panama City, Florida-based corporation.


(“Loss of directional control on takeoff”—one suspects adverse winds, but to date we have no information to go on) 



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


**11/23 V35B/PA28 midair collision at Winter Haven, FL.**


**11/24 triple-fatality B55 partial panel loss of control at White’s Creek, TN.**


**11/27 G36 engine failure during missed approach at Portville, CA.  “Information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot was cleared by air traffic control to execute a VOR-A instrument approach to PTV. According to a passenger in the airplane, the pilot attempted to abort the approach and initiate a climb when the engine ‘did not react normally.’"   Did the pilot neglect to advance mixture to well rich-of-peak EGT prior to throttle application?  Because the ingrained tendency of pilots is to move the throttle fully forward when needing a quick increase in power (go-around, missed approach, drifting below altitude in an approach, etc.) I teach moving the mixture from whatever cruise position it was in to a full rich (or as required by field elevation) position outside the final approach fix inbound, or prior to arriving at pattern altitude for a visual approach.  This is especially important if you cruise lean of peak EGT (“LOP”).  When LOP power output drops dramatically with any further leaning of the mixture.  Advance the throttle with the mixture unchanged and power will diminish, perhaps to the point the airplane cannot maintain altitude (let alone turn a descent into a climb).  As it is adroitly put by engine instructors at Advanced Pilot Seminars (, “park the engine” well rich of peak EGT any time workload becomes a pilot attention factor, such as an approach.  Change “Stall/Spin during go-around/missed approach” to “Engine failure during go-around/missed approach.” ** 


**11/28 quadruple-fatality Baron 58 attempt at low-level aerobatics at Anapolis, Brazil, cited above.**



12/18/2008 Report




12/10 1052Z (0652 local):  A Be36 landed gear up during a predawn IFR arrival at Moore County airport, Pinehurst, North Carolina.  The solo pilot reports no injury, and the extent of damage is as yet “unknown”.  Weather: 500 overcast, visibility seven miles with a Rwy 22 RVR variable from 5000 to 5500 feet (or hovering around one statute mile) and an eight knot surface wind.  N6677Y (E-1594) is a 1979 A36 registered since 1985 to a Fayetteville-based corporation.


(“Gear up landing”; “IMC”; “Night”—it’s unusual to hear of a gear up landing in IMC, when pilots tend to be more procedurally attuned and standard procedure is to extend the landing gear at or before the final approach fix.  A flight track log shows the pilot flew a short hop from Fayetteville, NC, at what may have been an IFR altitude [roughly 3000 ft] but a curving route that is not suggestive of an IFR clearance.  Perhaps the pilot was attempting to circumvent areas of low clouds and poor visibility in the dark, and in that attempt was workload-saturated to the point extending the landing gear was omitted.  Western North Carolina is mountainous with frequent, isolated areas of IMC near dawn and in the cooler months.  Expect spotty IMC near dawn anywhere, if adequate moisture is present, but especially in areas of variable terrain, and don’t expect to be able to maintain visual separation from clouds and fog in the dark.)  


12/14 2103Z (1503 local):  A Be36 “experienced an engine problem and force landed on a road” at Edna, Texas.  The solo pilot was unhurt and there was no subsequent airplane damage.  Weather was clear, visibility seven miles, with a 13-knot surface wind.  N6FB (E-1318) is a 1978 A36 recently (March 2008) registered to an individual in Houston, Texas.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Recent registration”—and what sounds like a good job of getting the airplane down safely.)


12/15 2300Z (1700 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Crookston, Minnesota.  The lone pilot was not hurt; damage is “unknown” and the weather was “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind.  N473AB (D-1578) is a 1948 Model A35 registered since February 2007 to an individual in Grand Forks, North Dakota.


(“Gear up landing”)




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


**11/30 double-fatality B33 crash off Tampa, Florida.  “The pilot check[ed] with flight services for a weather briefing at 0853, 1309, 1526, and 1701 that day. The IFR flight plan takeoff time was amended three times before the actual takeoff. The pilot was in communication with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center at the time the airplane was lost from radar. The last radar hit was latitude 28.47:00 North and longitude 082.54:00 west. The airplane was on a heading of 143 degrees and mode c altitude was 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The United States Coast Guard located debris matching the description of the airplanes colors and personal effects from the persons onboard, several miles off shore from Homosassa Bay, FL, on the morning of December 1, 2008.

“Satellite weather imagery depicted a line of clouds along the front and over the last radar hit, consisting of nimbostratus to embedded cumulonimbus clouds with level
3 to 4 "heavy" intensity echoes. Sounding data has winds from the west at 50 knots at 5,000 feet, with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. There were in-flight weather advisories issued, including an AIRMET for occasional moderate turbulence below 12,000 feet over the region.”  On the basis of this report, change “Crash/Unknown” to “Loss of control: Thunderstorm/turbulence penetration”.


12/31/2008 Report




11/5 (time not reported):  “The pilot [of a Be33] was landing at his home airport and requested [sic] runway 32 since the winds were reported from 320 at 6 knots. Dusk lighting conditions prevailed. The final approach is initially over trees, then opens into a cleared area where approach lights are positioned. After crossing over the trees on short final, the airplane seemed to drop and the pilot added power. The airplane contacted the approach lights and the airport perimeter fence before coming to a stop in the grass adjacent to the runway. The FAA inspector examined the airplane after the accident and found no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure. The pilot concluded that he may have hit an air pocket. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot’s failure to maintain a proper glide path during the final approach, resulting in a collision with the airport approach lights.”  N5891J (CD-919) is a 1965 C33 registered since 1996 to an individual in College Park, Georgia.


(“Landed short”—watch for those “air pockets” [sic] that form when surface wind flows over obstructions, and rising and falling columns of air create up- and down-drafts over varying surface features.  Dusk lighting may have been a factor.)


12/18 0255Z (2055 local 12/17/2008):  Approaching the end of an IFR flight from Chicago (Illinois) Midway Airport, a Be36 disappeared from radar and communication was lost near Louisville, Kentucky.  The crash was later located on a golf course north of Louisville; the solo pilot died and the airplane was destroyed.  Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N7472N (E-32) was a 1968 Beech 36 recently (September 2008) registered to a Mingo, Iowa-based corporation.


(“Approach/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”; “Night”; “IMC” [based on press accounts]; “Recent registration”—a local news story reveals the pilot had “reported to [Louisville] Bowman Field that he was in distress at 3:52 a.m.” before contact was lost.  The same story includes a video of the Bonanza upside-down on the ground.  The landing gear was extended and the right wing had been sheared off, presumably on impact.  There is a small accumulation of snow on the ground in the photo.  Weather had been at or below freezing at the surface with IMC to LIFR conditions and drizzle/snow for at least 24 hours prior to the crash, according to local sources.  TV news reports the morning commute was “tricky” because of “a couple of inches of snow” overnight.  Flightaware shows a flight from Midway to LOU Bowman Field but no track, and the only altitude information was at the very end of the trip.)       


12/20 2130Z (1330 local):  Two died, and the Be35 in which they flew was “destroyed”, when the Bonanza crashed into a residential area at Warner Springs, California.  The flight had departed Chino, California, about half an hour earlier.  “Visual meteorological conditions prevailed”.  According to the NTSB an “onsite examination of the wreckage…revealed that the airplane had impacted an open field in a nose low, wings level attitude…. The airplane came to rest in an upright position and there was no postcrash fire. The examination further revealed that the cabin and cockpit areas were destroyed, the empennage was intact, and both wings had sustained structural damage. The nose gear, both main landing gear, and the flaps were observed in the retracted position. The engine remained attached to the fuselage, and the three-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine's crankshaft. The presence of fuel by smell was detected at the accident site. The airplane was recovered to a storage facility for further examination.”  N1587L (D-9865) was a 1976 V35B registered since 1998 to an individual in Las Vegas, Nevada.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”)


12/21 0250Z (1950 local 12/20/2008):  A Be58 descended into terrain eight miles from Trinidad, Colorado. The two aboard the Baron died; damage is “unknown”.  Weather for the night flight over mountains was “clear and 10” at the nearest reporting station.  C-GGBT (TJ-373) was a 1981 58P registered since early 2007 to an individual in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). 


(“Uncontrolled descent over mountains in high wind”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed” [from news accounts it is unrecoverable]; “Night”—Local television news states the Baron had been refueled at Pueblo, Colorado shortly before disappearing over mountains en route to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  A search the following day located the Baron at the roughly 11,600-foot level, near the mountaintops along the route of flight.  High winds hindered helicopter efforts to reach the crash site for several hours.


A Flightaware track log suggests this may have begun as an IFR flight when “[r]eportedly, the airplane was in cruise flight at 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) when it began an ‘uncontrolled’ descent toward an area of rising mountainous terrain. The last known radar position placed the airplane at 12,800 feet MSL and one mile east of Vermejo Peak (13,367 feet MSL). A short time later a ground fire was reported by a passing airplane in the vicinity of the accident airplane's last known coordinates.” 


[Intermediate altitude ups and downs as indicated in the Flightaware record are fairly common as an airplane descends, and may not be indicative of actual altitude excursions by the Baron in its final moments.  Factoring out these excursions the Baron descended about 5000 feet in the roughly eight final minutes of flight, averaging 625 fpm vertical speed.]   


Winds aloft along the route of flight exceeded 80+ knots from west-northwest, setting up the likelihood of mountain wave in the clear, cold night air.  Alternatively it could have caused severe the extreme turbulence if the air was unstable.  The early descent may have been influenced, if not caused, by downward-flowing air in the mountain wave on the lee side of the ridge, which was almost exactly perpendicular to the horrific wind. [Graphic by Wally Terps was posted on a public AOPA message board])


12/21 2100Z (1600 local):  A Be23 crashed onto a road “shortly after takeoff” from Linden, New Jersey.  Two aboard suffered “serious” injuries and the Beechcraft was “destroyed”.  Weather was “VFR”.  N2109W (M-1432) was a 1973 C23 recently (July 2008) registered to an individual in Hampton, Virginia.


(“Takeoff/Unknown”; “Serious injuries”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”)   


12/24 2005Z (1505 local):  Landing at Batesville, Arkansas, a Be55 “ran off the end of the runway.”  The two aboard suffered “serious” injuries; the Baron “substantial” damage.  Weather was “sky clear”, visibility 10 miles, with winds from the northwest at seven knots.  N8775R (TC-1782) is a 1974 B55 registered since 1995 to an individual in Rockwall, Texas.


(“Landed long”; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”—The runways at Batesville are 3079 X 60 feet and 6302 X 150 feet.  It is not reported which runway the pilot was attempting to use but prevailing winds may have made the shorter runway more attractive.)


12/27 2023Z (1523 local):  “Shortly after takeoff,” the pilot of a Be18 “reported engine failure” and the Twin Beech “crashed into a wooded area” near Fort Myers, Florida.  The solo pilot reports “minor” injuries.  Damage was “unknown” and weather “clear and 10” with a 13-knot wind.  N7765N (BA-413) is/was a 1959 E18S registered since 2004 to a Fort Myers-based corporation.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”)


12/28 1858Z (1258 local):  A Be33’s nose gear collapsed on landing at Addison, Texas.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a five-knot wind.  N550L (CE-1190) is a 1987 F33A recently (August 2008) registered to an individual in Dallas, Texas.


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


12/29 1600Z (1000 local):  A Be33 landed gear up at Lantana, Florida.  The two aboard report no injuries; damage is “unknown” and weather “not reported”.  N66822 (CE-887) is a 1979 F33A recently (February 2008) registered to a corporation based in Boynton Beach, Florida.


(“Gear up landing”)


12/30 2305Z (1908 local):  Taxiing in the dark at Chattanooga, Tennessee, a Be35 ran into a portable helicopter dolly.  Damage to the Bonanza is “substantial” but the solo pilot was unhurt.  Weather conditions were not reported.  N400SC (D-4569) is a 1956 G35 registered since 1965 to an individual in Chattanooga.


(“Taxied into obstruction/aircraft”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”)





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


**11/5 C33 descent into trees on landing near Atlanta, GA, cited above.**


**12/18 fatal Beech 36 crash near Louisville, KY, cited above.**


**12/20 double-fatality V35B crash near Warner Springs, CA, cited above.**


**12/20 double-fatality 58P descent into mountainous terrain near Trinidad, CO, cited above.**





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


Total reported:  214 reports 


Operation in VMC: 134 reports   (63%)  

Operation in IMC:    14 reports   (7%)  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  63 reports

Operation at night:  19 reports  (9%) 

Surface wind > 16 knots:  16 reports  (7%)             


Fatal accidents: 27 reports   (13%)  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 6 reports  (3%) 


“Substantial” damage: 67 reports   (31%)  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   28 reports   (13%)  


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  41 reports   (19%)  


(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  49 reports  

Be36 Bonanza  36 reports  

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza  29 reports  

Be58 Baron  19 reports   

Be55 Baron  17 reports  

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner 16 reports 

Be76 Duchess  13 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech  6 reports

Be24 Sierra   6 reports 

Be95 Travel Air   5 reports  

Be60 Duke  4 reports 

Be77 Skipper  3 reports  

Be65 Queen Air  3 reports 

Be17 Staggerwing  2 reports

Be19 Sport  2 reports

Be50 Twin Bonanza  2 reports 

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report  





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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS (89 reports; 42% of the total) 


Gear up landing

39 reports (Be18; three Be24s; six Be33s; fourteen Be35s; six Be36s; Be50; three Be55s; Be58; Be60; three Be76s)


Gear collapse (landing)

27 reports (Be17; three Be33s; six Be35s; two Be36s; Be50; three Be55s; three Be58s; two Be60s; two Be65s; two 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

3 reports (Be35; Be65, Be76)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

2 reports (Be55; Be95)


Gear collapse on landing: electrical failure/incomplete manual extension

2 reports (Be33; 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   (43 reports; 20% of the total) 


Engine failure in flight

19 reports (Be23; two Be33s; six Be35s; seven Be36s; Be55; Be58)


Engine failure on takeoff

7 reports (Be18; two Be33s; Be36; Be55; Be77)


Fuel exhaustion

5 reports (Be18; three Be35s; Be55)


Piston/cylinder failure in flight

3 reports (Be33; Be35; Be36)


Fuel starvation

2 reports (Be33; Be36)


Engine failure on approach/landing

2 reports (Be23; Be35)


Partial power loss: fuel line leak

1 report (Be36)


Propeller overspeed

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure—fuel system malfunction

1 report (Be36)


Propeller separation in flight

1 report (Be55)


Engine failure during go-around/missed approach

1 report (Be36)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (37 reports; 17% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

9 reports (Be18; two Be19s; two Be23s; two Be33s; Be36; Be77)


Hard landing

8 reports (seven Be23s; Be35)


Loss of control on landing—strong, gusty winds

4 reports (two Be23s; Be58; Be76)


Landed long

4 reports (Be33; Be55; Be95)


Hard landing—strong, gusty wind

2 reports (Be23; Be36)


Landed short

2 reports (Be33; Be35)


Wing strike on landing

1 report (Be58)


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)


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)



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (11 reports; 5% of the total) 


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

3 reports (two Be36s; Be58)


Loss of directional control during takeoff

3 reports (Be23; Be76; Be77)


Collision with landing aircraft

1 report (Be36)


Blown tire/loss of directional control during takeoff

1 report (Be35)


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)



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (11 reports; 5% of the total) 


Taxied into obstruction/aircraft

5 reports (Be23; Be33; Be35; 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)


Mid-air collision

1 report (Be35)


Collision with the ground during attempted low-level aerobatics

1 report (Be58)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (11 reports; 5% of the total)  



3 reports (Be24; two Be35s)



3 reports (Be23; Be35; Be36; Be58)



3 reports (Be33; two Be36s)


Forced landing/Unknown

1 report (Be36)


Ground/taxi unknown

1 report (Be33)



LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT   (8 reports; 4% 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)


Loss of control in flight: instrument failure

1 report (Be55)


Loss of control: thunderstorm/turbulence penetration

1 report (Be33)


Uncontrolled descent over mountains in high wind

1 report (Be58)



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)






Descent below IFR approach minimum altitude

1 report (Be36)


Airframe ice in cruise—unable to maintain altitude

1 report (Be60)




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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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