Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


February 2007 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!


©2007 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


 2/1/2007 Report




1/26 1815Z (1215 local):  A Be55’s landing gear collapsed at Dothan, Alabama.  The lone pilot was not hurt.  Aircraft damage is “unknown” and the weather “not reported”.  N7887R (TC-1222) is a 1969 B55 registered since 1999 to a corporation in Savanna, Georgia.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


1/27 2144Z (1644 local):  A Be33 landed gear up at Manassas, Virginia.  The solo pilot reports no injury; damage is “unknown” and weather “VFR”.  N5717V (CD-1027) is a 1966 C33 registered since 1999 to an individual in Arlington, Virginia.


(“Gear up landing”—locals describe what seems like a classic “oops, I forgot”-type gear up, and note that would-be rescuers need to beware of spinning propellers and jet blast from airplanes holding for updated clearance.  Remember that at controlled airfields all persons and vehicles must receive ATC clearance to enter the movement areas and runways to avoid far worse tragedy in the aftermath of a gear-up landing)


1/30 2140Z (1640 local):  Two aboard a Be36 were not hurt when the Bonanza’s nose gear collapsed on landing, at Waterbury, Connecticut.  The airplane has “unknown” damage and the weather was “not reported”.  N488DP (E-522) is a 1974 A36 recently (June 2006) registered to an individual in Harwinton, Connecticut.


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



NTSB PRELIMINARY or FACTUAL REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to change per NTSB findings.


**1/12 A36 wing impact on landing during an instructional flight at Farmington, New Mexico.  Instructors: watch for unexpected and aggressive student control inputs at critical phases of flight.  This is one reason I have a “personal minimum” of having dual controls installed for all instruction I provide—I believe dual controls (which this accident airplane does have) give the only chance to overcome this sort of input.  I’ve personally seen it on more than one occasion from highly experienced pilots with a lot of time in that specific airplane.  Change “minor” damage to “substantial”**



2/8/2007  Report




2/1 1911Z (1211 local):  A Be33 landed gear up at Glendale, Arizona.  The solo pilot reports no injury and damage is “minor”.  Weather was 8000 scattered, 15,000 broken, visibility 20 miles with surface winds at nine gusting to 16 knots.  N8555N (CD-640) is a 1963 B33 recently (September 2006) registered to an individual in Scottsdale, Arizona.


(“Gear up landing”; “Recent registration”—another in the correlation between strong and gusty surface winds and landing gear up)


2/3 1935Z (1335 local):  A Be55 crashed under unknown circumstances while on approach to Paducah, Kentucky.  The solo pilot reports no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “VFR”, clear with 10 miles’ visibility.  N694T (TC-590) is a 1964 B55 registered since 2000 to an individual in Martin, Tennessee.


(“Approach/Unknown”; “Substantial damage”—do any readers have more information about this?)


2/4 2020Z (1420 local):  A Be35 “landed in a field due to engine failure” at McKinney, Texas.  The two aboard report no injury; damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a six-knot wind.  N6XH (D-4247) was a 1955 F35 registered since 2005 to a corporation in Princeton, Texas.


(“Fuel starvation”, “Aircraft destroyed”—on the basis of a reader who permits me to quote unconfirmed yet “reliable” local sources who state:  “An F35 that was modified with the addition of an IO-470N and other mods was forced to make an off-airport ‘landing’ approx[imately] 5 nm North of Aerocountry Airport in McKinney, TX on Sunday.  The sale of the aircraft was in progress.  A demo pilot [friend of the seller] who was thought to have experience in the type was flying the prospective buyers, one at a time, on local hops.  After approx 1.5 hrs of flight, just after taking off with the second partner, the non-pilot prospective buyer noted zero fuel pressure and the engine quit.  Attempts by the demo pilot to restart the [engine] failed, and the aircraft struck the ground nose high, striking the tail first, then sliding approx[imately] 75 ft to a stop in a soft field. Both occupants escaped without serious injury, except for cuts on the pilot’s hands.   According to sources, the aircraft was run off the same tank (right) for all of the flight. The F35 uses a shared fuel gage, which is switched between the Left & Right tanks to check quantity.  FAA inspectors on scene determined no fuel existed in the Right tank, and the Left tank appeared full.  There was no fire. On-scene witnesses noted that the pilot stated he did not realize he was out of fuel in the right tank until the engine quit and that he may have been unfamiliar with the fuel gage system in that particular aircraft. The aircraft was destroyed.”  Lesson: familiarity with one model of Bonanza does not equate to familiarity with them all.)



NTSB PRELIMINARY or FACTUAL REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to change per NTSB findings.


**There are no newly posted NTSB reports on piston Beechcraft this week**



2/15/2007 Report




2/9 1415Z (0815 local):  A Be18, on a scheduled cargo run from Wichita, Kansas to Great Bend, Kansas, crashed on approach to Great Bend, killing the solo pilot.  The Twin Beech was “destroyed”.  Weather at Great Bend was 400 overcast, visibility 1 ¾ miles, with surface winds at four knots and a surface temperature of -5˚C.  N45GM (BA-717) was a 1965 H18 registered since 2003 to an individual in Waukee, Iowa.


(“Approach/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “IMC”—a local news report quotes the Great Bend airport manager, a pilot I’ve spoken with several times myself, as saying “the pilot [of the Twin Beech] had been flying into Great Bend for the past two or three months. ‘She spent some time flying with their other pilots getting checked out in the Beech 18,’ he said. ‘She'd been flying by herself a few months now.’ [The airport manager] said the weather was overcast with about a 400-foot ceiling and 2.5 miles visibility. Freezing drizzle had been falling intermittently.  ‘We were out fueling a plane and [an] Air Midwest flight came in about 30 minutes ahead of the accident,’ he said.  ‘I know that Air Midwest de-iced their plane before they left.’”.  It’s uncertain yet whether airframe icing was a causal factor in this accident.  Regardless, it serves as a reminder that, even if you are able to overfly icing conditions, planned or unplanned eventually you may have to come back down through them.)


2/9 1945Z (1445 local):  A Be36 was on a flight from Fort Pierce, Florida to Wilmington, Delaware.  Near Brunswick, Georgia, the pilot reported an engine failure; the Bonanza was “destroyed” in the forced landing that ensured, although the solo pilot reports no injury.  Weather in the area was “few clouds” at 4900 feet, visibility 10 miles with a seven-knot wind.  N315P (E-3434) was a 2002 A36 recently (March 2006) registered to a corporation in Holland, Michigan.


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


2/9 2316Z (1816 local):  During an IFR flight from Titusville, Florida to Anderson, South Carolina, a Be36 was flying at 13,000 feet and requested lower when “radar contact [was] lost at 12,900 feet” and the aircraft broken up in flight near Fort Stewart, Georgia.  Four aboard the Bonanza died and the aircraft was “destroyed”.  Weather at nearby Savannah, Georgia was 3500 overcast, visibility five miles in rain, with surface winds at seven knots and a surface temperature of 11˚C.  N506BC (E-1024) was a 1977 A36 recently (February 5, 2007) registered to an “aviation sales” corporation in Melbourne, Florida.


(“Loss of control—airframe ice; in-flight break-up”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Night”; probably also “IMC” at altitude when the loss of control occurred; “Recent registration”.  A reader tells me recovery teams on the site confirm the aircraft broke up in flight, and airframe ice was a factor.  A press report shows only one small piece of wreckage surrounded by security tape.  Another report says the airplane “was in the process of being bought” from the registered owner.  For most pilots, flight in an A36 at 11,000 to 13,000 feet along the eastern seaboard means they were trying to avoid something—this time of year, and with the reported surface temperatures and weather aloft prevalent at the time, that “something” is usually ice.  Except for PIREPs there is no system currently in place that specifically detects and reports icing or cloud tops—the tops, and ice, are where you find them. The worst airframe ice is often found near the tops of clouds, so if an attempt to climb above tops is unsuccessful often the result is an increase in ice accumulation, and a descent back through the ice the pilot was initially attempting to escape.  If the track log of this trip is accurate it appears the pilot may have initially planned a VFR trip [the first hour is flown at an apparent VFR cruising altitude] and transitioned to an IFR altitude when [speculatively] he/she was unable to maintain VFR in rising clouds.  The record shows a descent of approximately 500 feet to an appropriate IFR cruising altitude for just a few minutes, then a climb of several thousand feet as if trying to outclimb adverse weather.  Final report from preliminary information is that the flight had been cleared down to 11,000 feet before breaking up.)



NTSB PRELIMINARY or FACTUAL REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to change per NTSB findings.


**There are no newly posted NTSB reports on piston Beechcraft this week**



2/22/2007 Report




2/18 1755Z (1155 local):  During a local “training” flight at Chattanooga, Tennessee, a Be76 landed gear up.  Student and instructor were unhurt; aircraft damage is “minor”.  Weather at KCHA was “few clouds” at 3000 feet, visibility 10 miles with a five-knot surface wind.  N6718X (ME-348) is a 1981 Duchess registered since 2004 to an Acworth, Georgia-based corporation.


(“Gear up landing”; “Dual instruction”—Students, don’t let “instructor-induced stupidity” lull you into thinking the CFI will take care of you—fly as if you’re alone in the airplane.  Instructors, you are ultimately responsible for the outcome of the flight.  Everyone: when distractions are great such as in multiengine training, be even more aware of the risk of a gear-up landing.)


2/18 1845Z (1245 local):  A Be58 departed Aberdeen, South Dakota bound for Minneapolis, Minnesota, but the pilot “reported a gear problem” and returned to land at Aberdeen.  On landing the gear collapsed; after exiting the aircraft the pilot found the “nose gear tow bar was [still] attached.”  The pilot and three passengers were uninjured and damage is as yet “unknown.”  Weather conditions were not reported.  N7235K (TJ-492) is a 1985 58P registered since 1990 to a corporation in Aberdeen.


(“Gear collapse on landing—tow bar attached”—likely the tow bar jammed against the nose gear doors or in the wheel well, impeded the mechanism and blew the circuit breaker on retraction.  Audible cues may have caused the pilot to return to the departure airport.  When boarding an aircraft the very last thing I do before stepping onto the wing [or into the cabin] is to crouch down and look under the aircraft.  I’m looking for “chocks, rocks, leaks, tiedowns and towbars”—anything that would prevent aircraft movement or be sucked up into the propeller[s].  This last-minute check has prevented me from forgetting the nosewheel chocks several times; who knows what it might protect me [or you] from.)



NTSB PRELIMINARY or FACTUAL REPORTS:  All previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update, and subject to change per NTSB findings.


**2/9 quadruple-fatality A36 in-flight breakup in icing conditions at Hinesville, Georgia.  Tragically, the NTSB preliminary report shows the scenario played out almost exactly as I’d speculated (with good input from the scene) after reading earlier information—the flight began VFR and picked up an IFR clearance en route but entered an area of reported ice and was unable to outclimb the cloud tops.  The pilot then apparently lost control and the airplane broke up in descent.**


**2/9 A36 engine failure in flight and ditching 150 feet offshore at Brunswick, Georgia.**


**2/9 fatal H18 crash in icing conditions at Garden City, Kansas.  Change “Approach/Unknown” to “Loss of control: Missed approach/icing conditions.”  Investigators found the “leading edges of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers revealed ¼ to ½ inch of clear ice.”  Earlier reports quoted reliable witnesses as saying freezing drizzle was reported at the airport prior to the crash.**



SUMMARY: Reported Raytheon/Beechcraft piston mishaps, year-to-date 2007:


Total reported:  19 reports 


Operation in VMC:  13 reports    

Operation in IMC:     3 reports    

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  3 reports    

Operation at night:  2 reports         


Fatal accidents:  4 reports    

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


“Substantial” damage:  3 reports    

Aircraft “destroyed”:     6 reports    


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   5 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   5 reports

Be35 Bonanza   3 reports

Be55 Baron     3 reports      

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   2 reports 

Be58 Baron    2 reports

Be95 Travel Air   2 reports    

Be18 Twin Beech  1 report 

Be76 Duchess    1 report  




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




Gear up landing

5 reports (two Be33s; Be35; Be55; Be76)


Gear collapse (landing)

3 reports (Be36; Be55; Be95)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

1 report (Be95)


Gear collapse on landing—tow bar attached

1 report (Be58)



ENGINE FAILURE   (2 reports) 


Fuel starvation

1 report (Be35)


Engine failure in flight

1 report (Be36)





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

1 report (Be36)


Loss of control-- Missed approach/icing conditions

1 report (Be18)





Force landed due to unspecified mechanical problem

1 report (Be35)


In-flight collision with trees and terrain while maneuvering

1 report (Be58)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (2 reports)  



2 reports (Be36; Be55)





Wingtip strike on landing—crosswind

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

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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