Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


February 2004 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!


Copyright 2004 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved



2/5/04 Report




1/29 1217Z (0717 EST):  During a “training” flight at Fort Pierce, FL, a Be76 was departing on Runway 32 when it “swerved and hit (two) runway lights.”  The crew continued its takeoff, returned to land and touched down with a flat tire.  Pilot and instructor were not hurt; damage to the Duchess is “minor.”  Weather: “Few clouds” at 2000 feet, visibility 10 miles, with surface winds from 320 degrees at six knots.  N278D is a 1978 Duchess registered since 1996 to a corporation in Fort Pierce.


(“Impact with object during takeoff”; “Dual instruction”—my first thought given the type of airplane, the wind, and nature of the mission is that this was a training engine cut on the takeoff roll followed by loss of directional control, quickly recovered with a restored engine and a continued departure)


2/5 1600Z (0900 MST):  A Be33 “landed on a road due to icing,” at Columbus, NM.  There is no report of injury to the four aboard, the extent of injury, weather conditions or the point departure or planned destination of the flight.  N1565F does not appear on the FAA database.


(“Airframe ice/off-airport landing”)



NEW NTSB PRELIMINARY REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to update per NTSB findings. 


**1/22 “serious injury” A36 engine failure in the pattern, Farmington, NM.  The student pilot completed a three-hour cross-country flight.  Upon his return at approximately 1800 local time he asked the tower for a series of visual patterns.  His last takeoff clearance came at 1910 local; approximately 1915 local, or 4 hours 15 minutes of continuous operation, the engine failed in the pattern.  The airplane apparently stalled out of its glide.  The fuel tanks were compromised in the ensuring crash atop a police station building; “three to five gallons” of fuel leaked out and there was no fire.  Given this and pending the NTSB final investigation results, which may take up to a year to release, change “Engine Failure on Landing” to “Fuel starvation.”  Local media states the student pilot, a former Farmington fire fighter working toward a professional pilot career, suffered multiple arm, leg and facial injuries and requires significant reconstruction surgery but is expected to survive. **



2/12/04 Report




2/6 1735Z (1135 CST):  A Be35, taxiing at Ardmore, OK, “veered around a vehicle and into a ditch.”  The solo pilot was not injured and damage is “minor.”  Weather was VMC.  N149G is a 1966 V35 registered since 1995 to a Wilmington, DE corporation.


(“Taxied into object/pedestrian/other aircraft”)


2/7 1809Z (1109 MST):  A Be55 landed gear up at Sedona, AZ.  Damage was “minor;” injuries and weather conditions are “unknown.”  N75RA is a 1966 B55 registered since 1976 to an individual in Sedona.


(“Gear up landing”)


2/8 2015Z (1415 CST):  Climbing out from Mena, AR en route to Houston, TX, a Be24’s engine quit at 2200 feet and the Sierra “crashed into the woods.”  The lone pilot escaped injury despite “substantial” damage to the aircraft.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a seven-knot surface wind.  N234DD is a 1972 A24R registered since 1986 to an individual in Golden, MO.


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


2/9 0140Z (2140 EST 2/8/04):  Completing a night VFR flight from Louisville, KY to Sandusky, MI, a Be23 “hit a snowbank at the side of the runway,” causing “minor” damage but sparing injury to the two aboard.  Weather at Sandusky was “clear and 10” with an 11-knot wind.  N2122W is a 1973 C23 registered since January 2003 to a corporation in North Canton, OH.


(“Impact with obstacle during normal landing”; “Night”—I’m wondering if the FAA report misidentified Sandusky, OHIO as the accident site)


2/12 0416Z (2216 CST 2/11/04):  A Be35 was en route from New Smyrna Beach, FL to New Orleans, LA.   Near Pensacola, FL, the pilot reported “fuel problems” and made an “unsuccessful approach” at Pensacola, FL.  Last radio contact was 14 miles north of the Pensacola airport.  The solo pilot died and aircraft damage is “substantial.”  Weather for the night approach was 100 feet indefinite ceiling in with visibility ¾ mile in drizzle, and a 10-knot surface wind.  N8389D is a 1958 J35 recently (March 2003) registered to an individual in Port Orange, CA.


(“Fuel starvation” [subject, as always, to later revision]”; “Fatal”; “Night” “IMC”; “Recent registration”—Florida newspapers report essentially the same information and identify the pilot as the registered owner.  Straight-line distance from New Smyrna Beach to Pensacola is about 335 nautical miles, or about a two-hour flight.  Might the pilot have run a tank dry and not been able to affect a restart on the other tank?  Was the plane not fully fueled before departure?  This incident also reminds us to consider the additional risk of “overflying” areas of adverse weather conditions…might the LIFR have been a significant factor in turning the approach into a fatal crash?) 



 NEW NTSB PRELIMINARY REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to update per NTSB findings. 


**There are no new reports posted to the NTSB website this week**



2/19/04 Report




2/8 (time unreported):  During an organized flight training event the owner of an F33A became unconscious with no prior warning, at Melbourne, FL.  The instructor, who reported “a splitting headache” declared an emergency and landed with no further problem.  An ambulance met the airplane on the runway and administered oxygen; the pair has recovered.  According to the president of the flight training organization, “apparently the (engine) was emitting CO (carbon monoxide) into the cockpit.”  It was a cold morning and the crew was using the Bonanza’s heater.  “I estimate from literature I have read that the cockpit concentration (of CO) may have been as high as 1000 ppm (parts per million), a lethal dose if flight had been continued.”   The source did not identify the owner of the airplane or its registration number. 


(“Pilot incapacitation/CO poisoning”; “Dual instruction”—the training organization will now provide CO detectors [the squares with the circle that turns dark when exposed to CO].  Remember these inexpensive detectors have a useful life of 30 days and must be replaced regularly to be effective.  Remember also that the symptoms of CO poisoning, like any form of hypoxia, differ from person to person [as evidenced in this case], and one possible effect is sudden unconsciousness.  Once exposed to CO, which displaces oxygen in the hemoglobin, the body may take 24 hours to purge the harmful gas, meaning persons exposed to CO should delay subsequent flight by at least that duration.  Also, medical sources tell me that pulse oxymeters, which measure blood density, not content, provide falsely high O2 saturation readings in CO-exposed persons—a pulse oxymeter will not warn of CO poisoning.)





2/13 2049Z (1549 EST):  The pilot of a Be35 contacted ATC approximately 10 northwest of Lantana, FL, “declaring an emergency due to a gear problem.”  The airplane “circled the (Lantana) airport” and, after local fire crews were in place, landed “either with some gear up or (the gear) collapsed” on landing.  The two aboard were not hurt and damage is “unknown.”  Weather: 2200 scattered, 9500 scattered, visibility 10 miles with a seven-knot wind.  The reported registration, N1CH, comes up on the FAA database as a Cessna Citation, and is obviously incorrect.


(“Landing gear: known mechanical malfunction”)


2/16 0000Z (1800 CST):  A Be24 landed gear up during a night landing at Ashland, KY.  The pilot and three passengers report no injury; damage is “minor.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with an eight-knot wind.  N9299S is a 1975 B24R recently (September 2003) registered to an individual in Wheelersburg, OH.


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



NEW NTSB PRELIMINARY REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to update per NTSB findings. 


**2/8 Be23 forced landing near Mena, AR.  On a left downwind departure with a seven-knot tailwind and at 2000 feet AGL, the airplane’s engine quit.  The pilot attempted to land on the 5000-foot runway downwind but overflew the entire runway and landed off-airport in trees and power lines.  The airplane, being ferried for an annual, had in fact not been annualed since 1988; post-crash engine testing first led to a failure in five minutes of engine operation, then later found no mechanical defects with the engine.  (From 2000 AGL it may have been possible to land into the wind on the runway.  Given the contradictory engine test results this may have been a mechanical or a fuel contamination issue.)  **



2/26/04 Report




2/12 1900Z (1300 local time):  A Be36 lost engine power at 10,500 and glided to an off-airport landing in a remote and heavily wooded area of Paraguay.  The pilot and two passengers survived the impact and hiked three days before reaching civilization.  The airplane is presumed destroyed.  Weather conditions were “visual.”  The flight originated from the Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Paraguay about an hour and twenty minutes earlier.   ZP-TSJ is an A36 (year unreported) registered to a private individual in Paraguay.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Aircraft destroyed”)


2/20 1840Z (1340 EST):  A Be35 landed gear up at Clearwater, FL.  The extent of damage and injury are “unknown,” as is weather prevailing at the time.  N2452A is a 1969 V35A registered since 2000 to a corporation in Dover, DE.


(“Gear up landing”)


2/21 1722Z (1122 CST):  Departing Chickasha, OK, on a local “pleasure” flight, a Be35 “lost all electrical power” and the pilot “circled around for a landing.”  On touchdown the Bonanza’s landing gear collapsed, causing “unknown” damage and sparing the pilot any injury.  Weather was “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N1260Z is a 1961 N35 registered since 1999 to an individual in Chickasha.


(“Gear collapse/electrical failure”—here’s another one.  No matter how much “reserve” you think you have in your battery, it is of lower voltage than the alternator/generator system and consequently it will spin the gear motor more slowly.  In normal operation the gear motor cuts off before the gear reaches the extreme of travel, to prevent damaging the motor with a sudden stop; on lower, battery power the gear may not have enough inertia to coast the rest of the way to the “locked” position after the motor cuts out.  Any time you need to extend the gear on battery power alone, back it up with the manual landing gear extension procedure to make certain the gear has traveled all the way into the downlocks.)



NEW NTSB PRELIMINARY REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to update per NTSB findings. 


**2/11 fatal J35 crash near Pensacola, FL.  Change “fuel starvation” to “Loss of control—Non-IFR pilot maneuvering in IMC.”  Pilot was attempting nighttime visual overflight of low IFR conditions when he experienced some fuel transfer problems.  ATC was on its fourth attempt to vector the pilot onto the ILS approach course at Pensacola when the pilot reported he was losing control of the airplane.  Investigation revealed the pilot did not hold an instrument rating although the flight was operating on an IFR cross-country flight plan and clearance. ** 


**2/12 A36 engine failure over Paraguay, cited above. **




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