Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


February 2005 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 2005 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


2/3/05 Report




1/27 2000Z (1400 local):  A Be36 with two instructors on board experienced a mechanical landing gear failure during a VFR flight at Batavia, Ohio.  The pilots reported hearing a loud “pop” during gear retraction, and on a subsequent extension attempt did not get a full gear down-and-locked indication.  They then tried cycling the landing gear several times to no avail.  Using all resources at their disposal, the crew contacted UNICOM by radio and their indications were relayed by telephone to for discussions with Bonanza technical experts.  The Beech’s mechanical landing gear system, however, does not allow a backup extension when gear pushrods fail; the Bonanza crew landed smoothly with a partial gear extension, resulting in no injuries and likely only “minor” damage.  Post-landing investigation revealed that the nose gear pushrod end failed at the gearbox attachment.  N25625 is a 1973 A36 registered since 1996 to a corporation in Batavia, Ohio.


(“Landing gear: known mechanical malfunction”—Generally, if the landing gear gives an abnormal indication [the oft-reported "popping sound"], it's best not to cycle it up and down--this may only leave the broken gear in an even less desirable position.  Landing gear rod end failures are becoming more and more common as the aircraft fleet logs time.  Many expert mechanics currently recommend replacing the landing gear rod ends and bolts at 2000 total airframe hours or 15 calendar years, whichever comes first.)





1/27 1747Z (1247 local):  A Be55 was “cleared to land on (Palm Beach, Florida’s) RWY27R when (the tower) controller noticed (its) gear was still up.  (The Baron) was issued multiple go-around instructions (but) the pilot landed gear up on RWY27R.”  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather: 3500 scattered, visibility 10, with surface winds from 290 degrees at eight knots.  N36638 is a 1980 B55 registered since 1995 to a corporation in Grafton, Ohio.


(“Gear up landing”—one wonders what cockpit distraction might result in a forgotten gear extension and failure to heed multiple ATC instructions that were likely delivered in a very emphatic tone).


2/1 0243 (1843 local):  The pilot of a Be18 was unhurt and there was no damage reported when a Be18 “ran off the left side of the runway into a grassy area,” at Everett, Washington.  Weather for the night landing was not reported.  N228A is a 1962 H18 registered since 2002 to a corporation in Burlington, Washington.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”; “Night”)




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


**There are no Beech piston NTSB preliminary reports this week**



2/10/05 Report




2/4 1420Z (0920 local):  Four died and the Baron in which they flew was “destroyed,” when it crashed “under unknown circumstances” near Niles, Michigan while on an IFR flight from Sheboygan, Wisconsin to Lebanon, Ohio.  Weather near the crash site, along the Michigan/Indiana border, was 200 scattered to broken, visibility one mile with a surface temperature and dew point both at +3C.  N12AZ was a 1970 Model 58 recently (November 2004) registered to a corporation in Kohler, Wisconsin.


(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “IMC”; “Recent registration”—local press reports shed little light on the mishap other than witness statements make it appear the Baron may have been on a diversionary landing attempt when it went down.  Initial speculation: engine trouble, or airframe ice [very common on the lee side of Lake Michigan in winter].)


2/5 1742Z (1242 local):  The lone pilot of a Be35 died when the airplane “crashed under unknown circumstances” at Lt. Warren Eaton Airport, Norwich, New York.  The Bonanza was “destroyed”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with light winds.  N35JL was a 1976 V35B registered since 1976 to a corporation in Mount Vernon, New York.


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




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


**1/17 C23 engine failure shortly after takeoff, at Roseboro, North Carolina.  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Engine failure in flight—catastrophic oil loss”** 


**1/25 serious injury P35 crash at Ukiah, California.  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Loss of control: disorientation during approach in IMC” and “Substantial damage” to “Aircraft destroyed”.**


2/24/05 Report




2/10 2330Z (1730 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “put (the landing) gear down while in (the) pattern at Bay St. Louis (Mississippi) on base leg.  (The) pilot recycled (sic) (the) gear due to no gear light down indication.  On landing (the) right gear (was) partially down or collapsed.  (The) aircraft went off the right side of RWY36 and (its) nose gear was buried in the sand.”  The three aboard report no injury and the extent of damage is “unknown.”  Weather: “clear” with an eight knot wind.  N6742S is a 1979 A36 registered since 2002 to a corporation in New Orleans, Louisiana.


(“Gear collapse—partial extension with no manual extension”—generally, any abnormal gear indication in the traffic pattern should be grounds for climbing away from the traffic pattern, troubleshooting the problem, backing up abnormal extension indications with the manual landing gear procedure, and then a return to the pattern for landing)


2/13 1653Z (1053 local):  During a forced landing a Be35 “landed on a road, clipped a stop sign and the wing broke off,” near Angleton, Texas.  The solo pilot, en route IFR from Houston, Texas to Angelton, escaped injury despite “substantial” damage.  Weather in the area was “few clouds” at 1000 feet, 2800 overcast with six miles visibility and a nine-knot surface wind.  N6717S appears on the FAA database as a Beech 77 Skipper.


(“Engine failure in flight” [unless we learn another reason for the off-airport landing]; “Substantial damage”)


2/14 0040Z (1640 local 2/13/05):  A Be36 “landed short of the runway” at Temecula, California, incurring “minor” damages and resulting in no injuries to the solo pilot.  Weather: 3300 broken, 25,000 overcast, visibility 115 miles with a five knot wind.  N935JW is a 1982 A36 recently (June 2004) registered to an individual in Las Vegas, Nevada.


(“Landed short”; “Recent registration”)


2/14 2109Z (1709 local):  Two died and a two additional occupants have “serous” injuries after a Be35 crashed “under unknown circumstances” near Leesburg, Florida.  The Bonanza was “destroyed.”  Weather was “not reported.”  N634Q is a 1955 K35 registered since 1998 to an individual in West Monroe, Louisiana.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”)


2/15 0000Z (1600 local 2/14/05):  A Be95 “crashed under unknown circumstances while en route,” leaving two dead and the airplane “destroyed” when it impacted the southeast side of Mount Helena, near Yountville, California.  Surface weather in the area was reported as 7000 broken, 9000 broken, visibility unlimited with a seven-knot wind.  N8269D was a 1958 Travel Air recently (August 2004) registered to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


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


2/15 2235Z (1735 local):  A Be33 crashed “after departure” from Clearwater, Florida.  Two aboard died when the Debonair impacted “between two houses,” although there are no reported injuries to those on the ground.  The airplane has “substantial” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a nine-knot surface wind.  N3NM is/was a 1965 C33 registered since 1987 to an individual in Clearwater.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—local press reports state the airplane “sheared off the roof” of a house near Clearwater Executive Airpark, the departure airport.  Witnesses “heard the plane sputter” before it “went straight down.”)


2/16 1357Z (0757 local):  An air freight Be58’s nose gear collapsed on landing at Memphis, Tennessee.  The lone pilot was unhurt; damage is “unknown” and weather “not reported.”  N1888W is a 1978 58 registered since 1999 to a corporation in Orlando, Florida.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


2/20 2208Z (1508 local):  The nose gear of a Be76 collapsed on landing at Glendale, Arizona.  The two aboard were unhurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather: 3000 broken, visibility 15 with calm surface winds.  N6701R is a 1980 Duchess very recently registered (2/8/2005) to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Recent registration”-chances are pretty good this was “Dual instruction” as well.)


2/22 1822Z (1222 local):  While in cruise between Houma, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a Be58 suffered “substantial damage” from a “bird strike that damaged (its) horizontal stabilizer,” about five miles north of Thibodaux, Louisiana.  The solo pilot was not hurt and weather was “not reported.”  N22944 is a 1977 58P registered since 1992 to a corporation in Houma.


(“Bird strike”; “Substantial damage”—perhaps indicating the bird strike theory in the 2/4 fatal Baron crash near Niles, Michigan (see NTSB reports below) is not so far-fetched).



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


**2/4 fatal Be58 impact near Niles, Michigan.  The NTSB report, unusually detailed for a preliminary report, describes what must have been a horrific, near-vertical plunge from cruise at 7000 feet to the surface less than a minute later.  From the description of the pattern of wreckage it appears the aircraft remained intact until impacting trees.  This remains “Crash/Unknown” for now; given this information speculation may turn to an autopilot failure, a trim runway, pilot medical factors or even a bird strike at altitude.  Change “IMC” to “VMC” (the aircraft was cruising in visual conditions above fog when it began its fatal plunge).**


**2/5 fatal V35B crash at Norwich, New York.  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Engine failure on takeoff” with an apparent stall/incipient spin attempting “to land on a road.”** 





Return to  archives page.