Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


February 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



2/7/2008 Report




A reader forwarded this from-the-scene update on the 1/27/2008 F33A landing gear collapse at Sacramento Executive Airport, California: 


“Just read of the F33[A] gear collapse at Sacramento Executive (KSAC) on Tom Turner's weekly Beechcraft accident report.  I was looking at that airplane from my car (it was raining) the other day, and the damage is weird.  The prop blades (Hartzell three blade fat blade) were curled back 360 degrees, curled in a full circle about the diameter of the width of the blade, damage under the nose, right main gear door chewed up, but didn't see any damage to the flaps (!) or left main gear. Should have examined the right wing tip, as it looks like the left main may have stayed down.  The F33 was sitting on all three gears, they are down now.” 


Main gear inner doors are only damaged if they are not fully retracted when they impact the ground, i.e., usually the result of an inadvertent gear selection that begins the retraction cycles while rolling on the runway.  Usually propeller blades curled backward on landing indicate the engine was not developing power, which forces blade tips forward and tends to make the tips curl forward on impact; but if the engine is at idle power, such as during the landing roll, the blade tips may not be thrusting forward and the blades may curl after on touchdown.  We’ve recently seen how the landing gear squat switches may not protect you from a gear collapse if you accidentally move the gear selector on landing.  Note: Since writing that item I’ve learned some Garmin transponders may be installed with an optional reference to GPS groundspeed, switching from ground to flight modes and vice versa at 60 knots ground speed, so GTX330 indications may not be indicative of squat switch position if that option is selected.   


Change “Gear collapse on landing” to “Gear collapse—pilot activation of gear on ground”).  See the tips below for avoiding gear collapse during the landing roll. 


Thanks, reader, for passing this along.





2/4 1558Z (0858 local):  A Be60’s gear collapsed during the landing rollout at Glendale, Arizona.  The pilot, alone in the Duke, was not hurt; damage is “minor”. Weather: 5000 broken, visibility 20 miles with calm winds.  N139 (P-321) is a 1975 B60 recently registered (July 2007) to a Las Cruces, New Mexico corporation.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Recent registration”—Gear collapses [where the gear is down but for some reason does not remain down on the ground] come from one of four causations:


  1. Inadvertent retraction of the landing gear, initiated by the pilot;

  2. Mechanical failure of some component of the landing gear, usually due to corrosion or inadequate system maintenance;

  3. Incomplete extension of the landing gear prior to touchdown, and retraction on the ground as a result of landing-roll forces;

  4. Excessive side-load on the landing gear system, exceeding the gear’s load-bearing capability.


Guard against the causes of gear collapse by:


  1. Delaying any “clean up” actions until coming to a complete stop at the end of your landing roll.  This includes avoiding touch-and-go landings except under very controlled circumstances, with a division of labor between qualified pilots in the cockpit.

  2. Inspecting, lubricating, maintaining and replacing as necessary components of the landing gear system in accordance with factory recommendations or more stringent intervals as suggested by aircraft owners’ groups or the requirements of excessively harsh operations and/or environments.

  3. Verifying “down and locked” indications by all means available, including sound, control feel, performance effects and visual checks when able in addition to cockpit gear indications, and accomplishing the emergency gear extension procedure to complete gear extension after any extension on less than full electrical system voltage and/or when the sound and/or time of gear transit is abnormal.

  4. Completely compensating for any crosswind or other factors that might cause the airplane to touch down with drift or out of alignment with your intended direction of rollout, and delaying turns off the active runway until the airplane has slowed to a walking pace and can be turned with no apparent side load on the landing gear.


2/5 2300Z (1800 local):  A Be76 landed gear up at Burlington, Vermont.  The two aboard report no injury; damage is “unknown” and weather conditions were “not reported”.  N707DJ (ME-367) is a 1980 Duchess registered since 2006 to a corporation in South Burlington, Vermont.

(“Gear up landing”—two aboard a Duchess often indicates an instructional or Practical Test flight, but the flight log shows it was not a local flight, and there is no other indication either of these is truly the case)


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




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 piston Beechcraft NTSB reports this week.**



2/14/2008 Report




1/16 1429Z (0829 local):  A Be58 “damaged [its] right wing” on landing at Hereford, Texas.  The two aboard were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was not reported.  N42SM (TH-109) is a 1977 58P registered since 1995 to a corporation in Mount Pleasant, Texas.

(“Wing strike on landing”—This could have been wind-related, a simulated single-engine landing on an instructional flight gone bad, or a simple loss of control due to distraction or some other factor.  Given this was not an NTSB-reportable mishap, we may never know more.  Does any reader have more information?)


1/23 1032Z (1132 local):  Two died, and a third person aboard the Be58 suffered “serious” injuries, when the 58P impacted water about seven miles north of Maupertus Airport (LFRC), Cherbourg, France.  The airplane was “destroyed”.  Day, visual weather conditions prevailed.  “The flight originated at West Midlands International Airport (EGBE), Coventry, United Kingdom, and was enroute to Guernsey Airport - Channel Islands (EGJB), United Kingdom.  Prior to the accident, the pilot declared an engine(s) failure, and was diverting to Maupertus (LFRC) when the aircraft ditched in the ocean approximately 7 nautical miles from LFRC.”  N2326Y (TJ-83) was a 1976 58P recently registered (Mach 2007) to a corporation in Cornwall, U.K.

(“Engine failure in cruise flight—multiengine aircraft”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”—it’s unknown what circumstances might have brought this Baron down, whether control was lost of the airplane impacted the water under control after being for some reason unable to maintain altitude.  That the pilot had reported an engine failure and was diverting to another airport suggests he/she successfully feathered the propeller and shut down the engine.  Did the pilot allow airspeed to decay while maneuvering?  Was there an engine fire that structurally damaged the wing?  Was the airplane in IMC at altitude and the attitude indicator fail?  A stuck pneumatic manifold valve can dump air from the “good” pump overboard, causing air-driven instrument to tumble.  Was the Baron in icing? Although deice boots theoretically should work on a single pneumatic pump, there are numerous reports where the airplane was operating on a single pump [engine shutdown; individual pump failure] and activating the deice boots overstresses the remaining pump to failure, leaving the pilot “partial panel” in addition to engine failure.  Especially given the airplane was lost in the English Channel, we may not get any answers to the questions this crash raises.)


2/1 0013Z (1713 local 1/31/2008):  Landing at Boulder, Colorado, a Be35 “bounced” and then its nose gear collapsed.  Two aboard have “unknown” injuries; the Bonanza suffered “substantial” damage.  Weather was “not reported”.  N347T (D-7058) is a 1962 P35 registered since 1998 to an individual in Denver, Colorado.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”)


2/9 0042Z (1842 local 2/8/2008):  A Be35 landed gear up at Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas.  The two aboard report no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather at Love was “few clouds” at 5500 feet, visibility 10 with a nine-knot wind.  N9792R (D-6298) is a 1960 M35 registered since 2006 to an individual in Austin, Texas.


(“Gear up landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”)


2/10 0020Z (1920 local):  During a night arrival the landing gear of a Be35 collapsed, at Stockbridge, Georgia.  The two aboard report no injuries despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear” with “light wind”.  N56VB (D-4833) is a 1956 G35 registered since 1997 to an individual in McDonough, Georgia.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”)


2/10 1400Z (0900 local): While landing at Fort Myers, Florida’s North Captiva Island airport, a Be23 “slid off the runway and hit a fence.”  The solo pilot was unhurt; aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with winds from 040˚ at 17 gusting to 20 knots.  N2382J (M-345) is/was a 1963 Model 23 registered since 2006 to a co-ownership in Pineland, Florida.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”; "Wind"—most airplanes have a maximum demonstrated crosswind component; for most this is in the 12 to 17 knot range.  The true limitation on crosswind capability, however, is the pilot’s currency with crosswind landings.  Exceed your capability to compensate for crosswinds in that airplane as it exists on any given day and you may find yourself in a similar situation as this Beech pilot.  Note also that most lightplane landing gear is extremely strong in all directions but sideways.  Land with even a little drift and you’ll put excess stress on the landing gear.  It might fail right away, or it might develop an internal fracture that does not manifest itself until many flights in the future, when it could give way on even a calm day or in the most expertly handled crosswind.  Work on your skills to land with zero drift, and include crosswind landing practice in your syllabus of recurrent dual-instruction training.  Consider any crosswind that would exceed your ability to overcome on that day without drift to be in excess of your personal crosswind limitation.)


2/12 2205Z (1505 local):  A Be45 (T-34)’s landing gear collapsed during the landing roll at Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado.  The airplane skidded off the runway and into the grass.  The two aboard were not hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “few clouds” at 7000, 11000 scattered, visibility 10 miles with an eleven-knot wind.  N34KF (G-120) is a 1953 A45 registered since 1995 to an individual in Castle Rock, Colorado.


(“Gear collapse on landing: electrical failure/incomplete manual extension”; “Substantial damage”—a local news report includes a picture and notes “the pilot had a battery problem after takeoff. Officials said he turned around to land the plane and had to hand crank the landing gear. After landing, one side of the landing gear collapsed and the plane skidded off the runway.”  There is a frequent correlation between in-flight electrical failures and gear collapse from an incomplete extension.  As we’ve discussed in the Weekly Accident Update many times, follow any gear extension using less than full electrical system voltage with the emergency gear extension procedure to ensure it is fully down and locked.  Also, in some airplanes “locked” indications may occur when the gear is not completely down, if the gear is extended manually or without full system voltage.  Contact the type club for the airplane you fly to determine any “tricks” necessary to determine the gear is fully down-and-locked after an alternate-procedure [emergency] extension.)




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


** 1/2 A36 loss of control on landing at Brunswick, Georgia.  “During landing on runway 34, a 3,313 foot-long and 75-foot wide asphalt runway, the pilot of the Beech A36 airplane encountered a wind gust, which he estimated to be about 40 knots. The airplane then bounced on the runway and the landing gear collapsed, substantially damaging the right wing. The wind reported at the airport, 8 minutes after the accident, was from 300 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 24 knots.”  Change “Gear collapse on landing” to “Hard landing—strong, gusty wind” and add “Substantial damage” and "Wind". 


* 1/23 double-fatality 58P engine failure near Maupertus, Cherbourg, cited above.**



2/21/2008 Report




2/17 2100Z (1300 local):  While landing at Salem, Oregon, a Be35 struck a bird, damaging the Debonair’s wing.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was not reported.  N1310A (CD-1105) is a 1967 C33 registered since 1998 to a Portland, Oregon corporation.


(“Bird strike on landing”)




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 piston Beechcraft NTSB reports this week.**



2/28/2008 Report




A reader reports:  On or about 2/26/2008 a Be35 made a forced landing in a field near Atlanta, Georgia.  No one was hurt but airplane damage was "substantial" as the Bonanza ran into a ditch during the off-airport landing.  According to the pilot, the propeller went into overspeed during a test flight immediately following an annual inspection that included replacing two cylinders.  Prop control varied with throttle movement and exceeded redline when the throttle was near fully open.  The engine continued to run smoothly.  Weather conditions were VMC.  The airplane's registration and serial number are not available, but the aircraft is a 1979 V35B.


("Propeller overspeed"; "Substantial damage"--Propeller control in the fuel-injected Bonanzas [and most other airplanes built since the mid-1950s] is accomplished by oil pressure boosted and controlled by the prop governor.  In most single-engine airplanes the system is designed to go to HIGH rpm in the event of oil pressure loss, the logic providing for maximum power development for as long as possible if the engine starves for oil.  Contrast this with the design of most multiengine airplane propellers, which are spring-loaded to the feathered position in the event of oil loss--providing minimum drag for flight on the other, "good" engine.  Propeller overspeed may be the first indication of a massive loss of engine oil in single-engine airplanes, which is why the PROPELLER OVERSPEED checklist for the V35B reads [with my comments in brackets]:


1.  Throttle -- RETARD TO IDLE [to keep the propeller within structural rpm limits]

2.  Airspeed -- REDUCE [to aid in keeping propeller speed down]

3.  Oil Pressure -- CHECK [as the most obvious reason for a prop overspeed]



[from Beechcraft Bonanza V35B POH for serial number D-9948 and after]


The urgency of dealing with a propeller overspeed is that, if the prop exceeds its design rpm, the propeller may fail and shed one or more blades.  The resulting imbalance can [and in some cases, has] almost instantaneously rip the engine from its mounts, rendering aircraft control difficult, or even impossible [if the engine separates from the airplane] because of the resulting aft shift in center of gravity.  Consequently a propeller overspeed calls for reducing throttle and airspeed immediately to keep the prop within design limits, and as the Emergency Procedure states putting the airplane down on the closest suitable surface--prepared runways are optional


It's not known if the pilot in this instance noticed any oil pressure indications before or after the propeller first went into overspeed.  The malfunction may have been the result of catastrophic oil failure to the engine, blockage of oil to the propeller through the crankshaft channels, or an obstruction within, improper adjustment of the prop governor or malfunction of the prop governor.  It may or may not have been detectable by an oil leak to be found during preflight inspection, in the pretakeoff propeller governor check ["cycling the prop"], with in-flight oil temperature and pressure indications, or indirectly by noting high CHTs in flight [if engine oil loss was the issue].   


Like pilots, mechanics are human beings and are subject to distraction and oversights just like those of us who [only] fly.  After a detailed post-maintenance preflight inspection, the first flight after maintenance or inspection is your first chance to detect any errors that may have occurred in the shop.  The post-maintenance test flight [and that's what it is, a test flight] should be conducted very carefully, in good weather and preferably within gliding range of the airport…just in case.)






1/23 1615Z (1015 local):  The right main landing gear of a Be58 collapsed on landing at St. Louis/Downtown Airport, Cahokia, Illinois.  The solo pilot of the air cargo Baron, who had departed Downtown on a local flight about 55 minutes earlier, was not hurt.  Aircraft damage is “substantial”.  Weather was “VMC”.  N4626A (TH-39) is a 1970 Model 58 registered since 1993 to a corporation in Orlando, Florida.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Substantial damage”—assuming the report is complete and the nose gear was not first to collapse [which if it occurred might indicate an inadvertent gear retraction by the pilot], it’s likely this was the result of a gear pushrod or rod end failure.  Experts on the Beech landing gear system suggest detailed inspection of the entire gear system at each annual or 100-hour inspection, as appropriate, and preemptive replacement of the rod ends at 2000 hours in service.  Alternatively, a weak gear motor has been known to cause a single main gear to collapse as well.    Time in service of the parts on this airplane are not available, but if any reader has information that provides the true nature of this mishap and/or the time in service of gear components for the purposes of education it would be greatly appreciated.)


2/20 1616Z (1116 local):  A Be36 “made an emergency landing in a cane field for unknown reasons,” at Pahokee, Florida.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage was “minor.”  Weather: “unknown”.  N36GJ (E-3020) is a 1996 A36 registered since 1999 to an individual in Aspen, Colorado.


(“Crash/Unknown”—the pilot is likely relieved that whatever caused the crash did not happen on the day before.)


2/22 0102Z (2002 local 2/21/2008):  Completing an IFR flight from Charleston, West Virginia to Cumberland, Maryland, a Be36 “crashed under unknown circumstances” on an instrument approach after being directed to contract the advisory frequency by controllers.  The two aboard died and the Bonanza has “substantial” damage.  A METAR from Cumberland taken four minutes after the crash reported weather to be 600 overcast, visibility 1.5 miles in fog, with winds from 150˚ at five knots, and a surface temperature of -6˚C and dew point of -7˚C.  N3815T (E-1805) is a 1981 A36 registered since 2006 to a corporation in Bear, Delaware.


(“Approach/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC”; “Night”—comments in a local news report suggests the investigation is focusing on airframe ice as a possible contributing factor.  A witness “said the aircraft is the same type he used to own and is not equipped with de-icing equipment on the wings. The propellers do have a rubber-leading edge from the factory [part of an electrothermal deicing system]…and there are some after-market options for de-icing the wings. It’s unknown if the [accident airplane] had any of those additions.”  Weather conditions were certainly conducive to ice formation during the level phases of the instrument approach. 


When planning "only a few minutes of ice" exposure it's extremely important to understand the effects even “a little” ice can have on lift, stall speed and thrust generation.  According to a 2006 NTSB assessment of the danger of airframe ice, “wind tunnel data [shows]…particles of only 1-2 mm diameter [the size of a grain of table salt], at a density of about one particle per square centimeter, can cause lift losses of about 22 and 33 percent, in ground effect and free air, respectively.  Every icing encounter is a unique event, and small differences in the shapes and locations of ice will have different effects on performance and handling.  Gambling that you can visually distinguish between an accretion that is flyable and one that threatens survival is a dangerous gamble.”


Unfortunately the science to determine the presence and rate of ice accumulation is just beginning to emerge and we don't have the tools, except for accurate and timely PIREPs, to determine these things ahead of time.  When we have an icing equivalent of a Stormscope in the cockpit we'll be able to be much more flexible with our ice planning.  Until then, using a "through the clouds" route as an "out" for icing conditions, or expecting a safe climb or descent though areas with a strong potential for ice, is based largely on hope--not a good tool for risk management.


2/26/2143Z (1643 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “reported a mechanical problem [and] force-landed in a field,” six miles from the airport at Athens, Georgia.  The flight had departed the Atlanta area en route to Charlotte, North Carolina, but turned back toward Athens, presumably after reporting the problem.  The Bonanza “nosed over on rollout,” suffering “unknown” damage.  The solo pilot reports no injury.   Weather was 3900 broken, 5000 overcast, with visibility of 10 miles.  N623CQ (E-1382) is/was a 1978 A36 registered since 2001 to a corporation in Atlanta, Georgia.


(“Forced landing/unknown”—I’d suspect an engine problem but we have no further information right now.  Readers?)




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


** 1/23 Baron gear collapse at Cahokia, IL, cited above.**


** 2/12 T-34 gear collapse at Englewood, CO. **




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


Total reported:  29 reports 


Operation in VMC: 18 reports  

Operation in IMC:    1 report  

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  10 reports

Operation at night:  7 reports 

Wind > 15 knots:  2 reports          


Fatal accidents: 4 reports  

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 0 reports 


“Substantial” damage: 7 reports  

Aircraft “destroyed”:   3 reports   


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):  4 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  

Be58 Baron  5 reports   

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza  4 reports  

Be35 Bonanza  4 reports  

Be76 Duchess  3 reports  

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report  

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report 

Be55 Baron  1 report  

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  1 report 

Be60 Duke  1 report 

Be65 Queen Air  1 report 

Be77 Skipper  1 report  

Be95 Travel Air   1 report  




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




Gear up landing

5 reports (two Be33s; Be35; Be58; Be76)


Gear collapse (landing)

4 reports (Be50; Be58; Be60; Be95)


Failure of nose gear to extend due to mechanical failure

2 reports (Be65, Be76)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

1 report (Be55)


Gear collapse—pilot activation of gear on ground

1 report (Be33)


Gear collapse on landing: electrical failure/incomplete manual extension

1 report (Be45)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (5 reports) 


Loss of directional control on landing

2 reports (Be23; Be77)


Hard landing

1 report (Be35)


Wing strike on landing

1 report (Be58)


Hard landing—strong, gusty wind

1 report (Be36)



ENGINE FAILURE   (4 reports) 


Engine failure in flight

1 report (Be35)


Partial power loss: fuel line leak

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure in cruise flight—multiengine aircraft

1 report (Be58)


Propeller overspeed

1 report (Be35)


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



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (3 reports)  



1 report (Be36)



1 report (Be36)


Forced landing/unknown

1 report (Be36)





Pilot incapacitation—heart attack

1 report (Be58)


Bird strike on landing

1 report (Be33)





Loss of directional control during takeoff

1 report (Be76)





In-flight break-up—probable pilot incapacitation

1 report (Be35)




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.

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