Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


March 2006 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 2006 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved



3/2/06 Report




2/23 1454Z (0854 local):  A Be55’s landing gear collapsed during the landing rollout at Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The solo pilot was uninjured and damage is “unknown.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N184S (TC-838) is a 1965 B55 registered since 2002 to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


2/25 0311Z (2111 local 2/24/06):  Completing a flight from Kansas City, Missouri with a night landing at Cahokia, Illinois, a Be23 “went off the runway into the grass [and the] front landing gear broke.”  Three aboard the Beechcraft report no injury, and damage is “minor.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with a nine-knot wind.  N9744L (M-1372) is a 1971 C23 recently (January 2006) registered to an individual in Kansas City.


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



2/25 1945Z (1345 local):  Landing at Sikeston, Missouri, the nose gear of a Be55 collapsed.  The two aboard weren’t hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with surface winds at 14 gusting to 21 knots.  N562T (TC-35) is a 1961 95-55 recently (November 2005) registered to an individual in Manila, Arkansas.


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




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


**2/12 C23 engine failure mishap at Reid-Hillview Airport, San Jose, California.  Change “Engine failure on approach/in the traffic pattern” to “Fuel starvation.”** 



3/9/06 Report




2/21 2115Z (1615 local):  A Be55 landed gear up at Reedsville, North Carolina.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N7909K (TC-659) is a 1964 B55 registered since 1987 to an individual in Madison, North Carolina.


(“Gear up landing”.  There is no track log of this flight.)


3/4 0138Z (1738 local 3/3/06):  “On takeoff,” a Be35 “failed to develop power and [gain] altitude, [then] settled back onto [the] runway, [and] slid off the runway into a field,” at Burns, Oregon.  The two aboard the flight, filed IFR from Burns to The Dalles, Oregon, were not injured despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather at KBNO was ceiling unreported, visibility ¾ mile in unstated conditions, with a five-knot wind.  N3511V (D-10353) is a 1980 V35B registered since 1994 to a co-ownership in Olympia, Washington.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC”—collisions with obstacles during low-visibility takeoffs are often initially reported as engine failures, so this [like all WAU reports] is subject to update if more information comes in.  Understandably, there is no track log of the proposed flight).


3/7 0154Z (2054 local 3/6/06):  Completing a trip from Anderson, South Carolina to Holland, Michigan, a Be35 “crashed 1/3 mile west of the approach end of the runway.  Three aboard have “unknown” injuries and the Bonanza is “destroyed.”  Weather for the night landing was “clear and 10” with a three-knot surface wind.  N8271D (D-5404) was a 1958 J35 registered since 2003 to a corporation in Harpster, Ohio.  The Bonanza was registered in the Experimental category “to show compliance with FAR.”


(“Landing/Unknown”; “Serious injuries” [according to press accounts]; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Night”—Local television news “tracked the flight of the plane. It took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida around 11 a.m. Monday morning. It stopped in Andersen, South Carolina at about 3:15 p.m. and then continued north to Holland where the crash happened just before 9 p.m….Two people on the plane were taken by helicopter to Spectrum [Hospital] in Grand Rapids, a third person was taken by ambulance to Holland Hospital.  Police and family members tell 24 Hour News 8 that the woman taken to Holland Hospital was up and walking around when emergency crews arrived and is expected to be okay. The two men taken to Spectrum have serious injuries.”  A track of the flight reveals the trip lasted almost exactly four hours, with several changes in altitude presumably for an improved ride or better groundspeed against a strong wind.  That suggests that fuel state in the multi-tank J35 may have been a factor, and there are unofficial reports that the back-seat passenger mentioned the two “up front” were discussing possible engine problems before the crash.  Other possibilities in the very cold, night weather include CO poisoning from the cockpit heater, oxygen effects of extended night flight at altitudes as high as 12,000 feet, or other, as-yet-unknown contributing factors).



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


**2/20 V35 impact with terrain at San Antonio, Texas “…following a loss of control during approach…. In a telephone conversation [with NTSB investigators], the pilot reported that he was on a visual approach to the airport when "the right wing went up and the left wing went down." The pilot stated that he added power, but did not think the airplane would be able to out-climb the trees at the end of the field, so he elected to land in an open field. The airplane impacted trees at the edge of the field during the landing roll.”  There is no mention of the "engine failure" radio call that appeared in the FAA preliminary report.  (The airplane was reportedly flying level at MDA on a nonprecision approach, flaps up and gear down at 90 knots, when control was lost.  The pilot’s statement is consistent with the typical Bonanza tendency to drop sharply to the left in a stall, especially with the drag of landing gear and the power needed to hold altitude and that speed at a high angle of attack.  It may also be indicative of an incipient spiral.  Either could have been caused by internal or external inputs on the flight controls.  The flight log of this trip provides no further clues).  Change “Approach/Unknown” to “Loss of control-- approach in IMC**   


**2/22 fatal 58P engine failure at Bow, Washington.  The FAA preliminary report that the failure occurred on takeoff was incorrect; “the pilot radioed Seattle Center communicating that he was out of 8,700 feet. Seattle Center acknowledged the pilot and cleared the airplane to 15,000 feet. Shortly thereafter, Seattle Center received a ‘mayday’ transmission followed by ‘lost an engine.’ Shortly after the transmission, radio and radar contact with the airplane was lost.  Witnesses reported that they observed the airplane in an unusually steep descent prior to impacting terrain. One witness stated he heard a high-pitched noise emanating from the airplane as it descended toward the ground.”  The flight log of this trip confirms the flight did not originate at Bow as previously reported.  Change “Engine failure on takeoff” to “Engine failure in flight.”** 



3/15/06 Report




2/17 0100Z (1800 local 2/16/06):  During a local “training” flight, a Be95 was “substantially” damaged in a gear up landing at Kingman, Arizona.  The commercial pilot receiving instruction for his airline transport pilot certificate and the CFI providing instruction were not hurt.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.  “According to…the CFI, the student had just completed a missed approach from a single engine VOR/DME…approach to runway 21 at Kingman. The CFI took over the airplane to allow the student to remove his view-limiting device (foggles) and to demonstrate a landing. The flight entered the downwind leg for runway 3, the CFI noted that the winds were from 020 degrees at 10 knots, and heard another airplane announcing that they were taxiing to runway 21. The CFI announced their position and indicated they were coming in for a touch-and-go landing on runway 3.  As the flight transitioned through the traffic pattern, the instructor continued to announce their position. As they were getting ready to turn onto final approach, the student noticed an aircraft had departed runway 21 and was making a right turn toward them. The CFI indicated that he had not heard a transmission from the departing aircraft. The CFI maneuvered the airplane away from the departing aircraft, and due to the distraction, "forgot to verify that I had lowered the landing gear" before touching down on runway 3 with the landing gear retracted.”  N2096C (TD-284) is a 1959 Model 95 registered since 2001 to a flight school in Kingman.


(“Gear up landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Dual flight instruction”—a classic distraction scenario, and a reminder to include a short-final gear check in ALL landings)


2/28 2100Z (1500 local):  While conducting “touch and go landings,” the nose gear of a Be95 collapsed at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The solo pilot avoided injury and damage is “minor.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with a nine-knot wind from the south.  N5476U (TC-1037) is a 1967 B55 registered since 1990 to an individual in Ocean Springs.


(“Gear collapse--touch and go”—another in the common correlation of gear collapses during touch-and-goes, potentially resulting from trying to “clean up” the airplane rapidly during the short time on the runway).


3/1 1739Z (1139 local):  A Be24’s nose gear collapsed on landing at Topeka, Kansas.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather was “clear and 10” with a variable, three-knot wind.  N90KW (MC-744) is a 1981 C24R registered since 2004 to an individual in Andover, Kansas.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


3/7 1515Z (1615 local):  The lone occupant of a Be23 died after radioing an MAYDAY and then disappearing from radar, about 10 miles off the Danish coast near Ribe, Denmark.  The pilot was on an IFR flight plan in weather “as yet to be determined.”  The airplane, carrying the German registration D-ETRA, was “destroyed.” 


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


3/9 1839Z (1339 local):  A Be23 “landed hard causing the nose wheel to separate,” at Captiva, Florida.  The two aboard the “pleasure” flight weren’t hurt, and damage to the airplane is “unknown.”  Weather was 5000 scattered, visibility 10 miles, with a surface wind at 14 gusting to 17 knots.  N2354J (M-312) is a 1963 Model 23 registered since 2003 to a co-ownership in Pineland, Florida.


(“Hard landing”)


3/10 2030Z (1530 local):  An unidentified Be36 experienced a landing gear collapse touching down at Maxton, North Carolina. The solo pilot was not hurt; damage is “minor” and the weather was “not reported.” 


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


3/11 1534Z (1034 local):  A Be58, landing at Caldwell, New Jersey, “veered off the side of the runway” causing “unknown” damage but sparing the solo pilot injury.  Weather was “not reported.”  N108CD (TJ-35) is/was a 1976 58P registered since 1999 to a corporation in Dover, Delaware.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”)


3/11 2200Z (1600 local):  During a flight from Bessemer, Alabama to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the pilot of a Be33 “reported [an] engine problem and made a forced landing in a field” near Paducah, Kentucky.  The two aboard weren’t hurt and damage is as yet “unknown.”  Weather near KPAH was  3700 scattered, visibility 10 miles, with surface winds at seven gusting to 10 knots.  N5854J (CD-924) is/was a 1965 C33, “registration pending” to a new owner.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Recent registration”—there is no flight track log of this trip.)


3/13 1745Z (0945 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “reported engine failure on takeoff” at Santa Monica, California.  “On [an] attempt to return to [the] airport” the Bonanza “crashed into the ocean.”  Two aboard died and the airplane incurred “substantial” damage.  Weather for the IFR flight: “not reported.”  N16JR (E-433) is a 1973 A36 registered since 2004 to a co-ownership in Los Angeles, California.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—press reports say a third person may have been on board but has not yet been located.  The Bonanza impacted water about 200 yards offshore but has been recovered from the water.  The flight track log shows an attempt to return to the airport after engine failure about 2900 feet above the surface).


3/13 2246Z (1646 local):  During a local flight at Houston, Texas, a Be33 landed gear up.  The solo pilot was not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather was 8000 broken, visibility 10 miles with a nine-knot wind.  N3737L (CE-929) is a 1980 F33A registered since 1999 to an individual in Houston.


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




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


**2/16 Travel Air gear up landing during instruction at Kingman, Arizona (cited above)**


**3/3 V35B impact with obstacles during an IMC takeoff at Burns, Oregon.  “According to the pilot, he did not ensure that the snow that had accumulated on the aircraft both prior to and after he began the taxi sequence was fully removed from the aircraft's wings prior to takeoff. During the takeoff, the aircraft did not lift off as it normally does, and the takeoff roll ended up being longer than usual. Once the pilot got the aircraft in the air, it was not climbing at an acceptable rate, so the pilot retracted the landing gear because he thought that action would help the aircraft to climb. Soon after the landing gear was retracted, the aircraft settled back onto the runway, hit a runway light, and then slid off the departure end of the runway onto a snow and ice covered field.  According to the pilot, the engine was producing full power and was running very smoothly.”  (As noted in the original WAU report, the initial engine failure report was suspect).  Change “Engine failure eon takeoff” to “Failure to climb—contamination with snow/frost.”**


**3/6 serious injury J35 impact just short of the runway at Holland, Michigan.  Investigation shows that the engine failed “in a turn” in the traffic pattern just before impact and that there was no fuel in either main fuel tank.  Fuel was available in the wing-mounted auxiliary tanks but there is no mention of fuel in the wing tip tanks.  The J35 is placarded that auxiliary and tip tank fuel is for use in level flight only.  The fuel selector was found positioned to the left main tank (either beforehand leading to completely emptying that tank, or by the pilot in response to the engine failure if using auxiliary fuel and those tanks unported in the descending turn.  In last week’s report I noted that the airplane had been aloft three hours and 59 minute.  That was in error.  The flight tracking system showed 3:59 en route, but that began at 2700 MSL and ended with last report at 6000 MSL.  Actual flight and engine run time was greater).  Change “Landing/Unknown” to “Fuel Starvation” and change “Aircraft destroyed” to “Substantial damage”** 


**3/7 fatal Be23 crash off Denmark, cited above.**



3/23/06 Report




3/18 0337Z (2237 local 3/17/06):  After departing Glendive, Montana on an IFR flight plan to St. Paul, Minnesota, radio contact was lost with a Be56 at FL270 and it continued past destination at altitude.  The aircraft became a Homeland Security “target of interest” and was intercepted by fighters, the crews of which were unable to raise the solo pilot.  The Baron presumably ran out of fuel over West Virginia and crashed 10 miles northwest of Charleston.  The pilot died and the Baron was “destroyed.”  Weather conditions were not reported.  N18LL (TG-65) was a 1968 56TC registered since 2002 to an individual in St. Paul.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Night” [by the time of impact]—the flight track shows an apparent “direct” route to a waypoint near St. Paul, then a turn southwest direct to the impact site. 


3/19 0202Z (1802 local 3/18/06):  The landing gear of a Be35 collapsed on landing at Santa Rosa, California.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt; damage is “minor.”  Weather was VMC with winds exceeding 25 knots.  N7777J (D-3519) is a 1953 D35 registered since 1994 to a co-ownership in Temple Hills, Maryland.


(“Gear collapse on landing”—another correlation between high surface winds and landing gear-related mishaps)


3/20 2335Z (1635 local):  Two aboard a Be33 were confirmed dead, and the airplane “destroyed,” after an overdue flight from Las Vegas, Nevada to Scottsdale, Arizona was “located in mountainous terrain 38 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona.”  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N41PT (CE-1175) was a 1987 F33A recently (August 2005) registered to an individual in Scottsdale.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”—there is no Flight Aware log of this flight)



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


**2/25 95-55 landing gear-related mishap at Manila, Arkansas.  The mishap was first reported to have taken place at Sikeston, Missouri.  Change “Gear collapse on landing” to “Gear collapse—known inadvertent pilot activation of gear on groundduring “after-landing taxi.”** 


**3/13 double-fatality A36 engine failure off Santa Monica, California.  Change “Engine failure in flight” to “Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure” and “Weather not reported” to “VMC.”  A third person listed on the IFR flight plan was not found, and there’s a question of whether a third person was indeed aboard.**



3/30/06 Report




Re: the fatal 3/18 56TC crash near Charleston, West Virginia:  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Loss of control—pilot incapacitation.”  The flight path and unsuccessful attempts at contact both by radio and by intercepting fighter aircraft suggest that the pilot succumbed to some sort of loss of consciousness.  Although it’s not definitively indicated in this incident, given that the flight was at FL270 for a long period of time in an unpressurized airplane the investigation will likely first look at hypoxia as the precipitating factor.  Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC), the duration from interruption of oxygen flow to pilot incapacitation for a typical healthy nonsmoker, is under three minutes at this altitude.  Hypoxia symptoms, including euphoria (a sense that all is going well) and loss of reasoning and motor skills, will begin much sooner.  Persons who smoke (or who have smoked significantly at any time in their life) or have other personal histories may have an even lower TUC, according to FAA physiological training.  Solo flight, without someone along to monitor pilot symptoms and actively watch oxygen flow, becomes progressively riskier as altitude increases above FL180.






3/25 2040Z (1440 local):  A Be35’s engine failed “after departing” Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  The pilot, alone in the Bonanza, “made a landing in a nearby field,” suffering no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was 4400 overcast, visibility 10 miles with a three-knot surface wind.  N810R (D-5924) is a 1959 K35 registered since 1986 to an individual in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.


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


3/26 2325Z (1725 local):  A Be36 “lost oil pressure and [the pilot] made a forced landing in a field” near Petal, Mississippi.  The two aboard the flight from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Monroeville, Alabama were not hurt; damage is as yet “unknown.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with a six-knot wind.  N57SB (E-1467) is a 1979 A36 registered since 1994 to a Monroeville, Alabama corporation.


(“Engine failure in flight—loss of oil pressure”)




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


**3/19 double-fatality F33A impact with terrain near Kingman, Arizona.  “Both instrument and visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the intended route of flight…the pilot had not filed [an IFR] flight plan...the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert notification (ALNOT) after receiving notice from a concerned family member that the airplane was missing and overdue…the accident site was on a slope in mountainous terrain….”  Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Controlled flight into terrain—cruise flight/mountainous terrain.”**   




SUMMARY: Reported Raytheon/Beechcraft piston mishaps, year-to-date 2006:


Total reported:  41 reports 


Operation in VMC:  25 reports 

Operation in IMC:   6 reports 

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

Operation at night:  7 reports         


Fatal accidents:  12 reports

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  1 report  


“Substantial” damage:   13 reports 

Aircraft “destroyed”:   8 reports 


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   7 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:


Be35 Bonanza  9 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   8 reports 

Be36 Bonanza   7 reports 

Be55 Baron    7 reports      

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  4 reports 

Be58 Baron   3 reports 

Be24 Sierra  1 report  

Be56 Baron  1 report 

Be76 Duchess   1 report 

Be95 Travel Air  1 report 





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




Gear collapse (landing)

6 reports (Be24; two Be35; two Be36s; Be55)


Gear up landing

4 reports (two Be33s; Be55; Be95)


Gear collapse (touch and go)

1 report (Be55)


Gear collapse—known inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground

1 report (Be55)




ENGINE FAILURE  (9 reports)


Engine failure in flight

3 reports (Be33; Be35; Be58)


Fuel starvation

2 reports (Be23; Be35)


Engine failure on takeoff

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure on takeoff—loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be33)


Engine failure in flight—loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure

1 report (Be36)





CAUSE UNKNOWN   (4 reports)



2 reports (Be23; Be35)



2 reports (Be35; Be58)







Hard landing

2 reports (Be23; Be36)


Loss of directional control on landing

2 reports (Be23; Be58)







Runway excursion—low visibility takeoff

1 report (Be33)


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

1 report (Be55)


Failure to climb—contamination with snow/frost

1 report (Be35)






Loss of control during practice maneuvers at altitude

1 report (Be33)


Loss of control-- approach in IMC

1 report (Be35)


Loss of control—pilot incapacitation

1 report (Be56)







Controlled flight into terrain—cruise flight/mountainous terrain

2 reports (Be35; Be55)


Attempted visual flight in IMC—mountainous terrain

1 report (Be33)





STALL/SPIN  (2 reports)   


Stall during circling maneuver in low IMC

1 report (Be55)


Stall or spiral during go-around/missed approach

1 report (Be76)






Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft

1 report (Be35)




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