Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


April 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


4/7/05 Report




3/26 1140Z (1240 local):  Three died and the fourth occupant of a Be23 suffered “serious” injuries, when the airplane “departed controlled flight and crashed during the initial climb following takeoff” at the Ottengruner Heide Airport, Ottengruner Heide, Germany.  The Beechcraft, bound for Aisch, Germany, has “substantial” damage. Weather conditions were not reported. N4705J (M-1011) is a 1966 A23A registered since 1982 to an individual in Berlin, Germany.


(“Loss of control on takeoff/initial climb”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—this airplane was issued a Special Flight Permit for operation “Excess of Maximum Weight” in 1971, suggesting it was ferried to Europe in that year).


3/30 1435Z (0735 local):  A Be36 “became airborne and returned to (the) runway, (then) regained control and rolled out” during takeoff at Farmington, New Mexico.  The solo pilot was unhurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather at KFMN was “few clouds” at 2400, 2900 overcast, with 10 miles visibility.  Surface winds were running 10 to 20 degrees off runway heading from the left, at about 10 knots .  N1830V is a 1997 A36 (E-3087) registered since 1998 to an airline ab initio training program in Farmington.  


(“Loss of control during takeoff—crosswind/wind shear”; “Substantial damage”—A reader, the chief instructor of the training program, reports: “This was a directional control problem by a solo Commercial student. Winds were slight left cross [10-20 degrees] compounded with the torque

and P-factor of the high angle of attack soft field takeoff and not enough right rudder to maintain centerline. Got near or off the hard surface and airborne enough to come back down and contact the left wing in the dirt. Damage to left wingtip and aileron and outer rib of the wing. Will be flying again next week.”  The pilot in this commercial program quite likely has most or all of his/her flight time in the A36, and should have been familiar with its characteristics.  This is the second of this sort of mishap we’ve seen in the last few weeks.  A LESSON FOR US ALL may be that the Bonanza has a limit to control authority at minimum controllable airspeed in ground effect.  Soft field takeoffs should therefore be attempted only in relatively calm winds, and especially avoided if a strong wind is coming from the left.  “Soft field” takeoff should be aborted at the first sign of loss of directional control during the takeoff roll.  If training requirements or actual surface conditions require a “soft field” takeoff technique, departure should be delayed until winds are more favorable.  Thanks, reader, for letting us all learn from your experience.)


4/2 1842Z (1042 local):  A Be50’s pilot suffered “minor” injuries, and the Twin Bonanza “substantial” damage, when the airplane “lost power, clipped a metal hangar and came to rest in the dirt,” at Montague, California.  Weather was “clear and 10” with winds variable from 090 to 160 degrees at seven gusting to 16 knots.  N50G is a 1960 D50C (DH-256) registered since 1991 to an individual in Phoenix, Oregon.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”)


4/3 1640Z (1240 local):  A Be35’s gear collapsed on landing at Ocala, Florida.  The solo pilot was not hurt; damage is “unknown.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind.  N4431W is a 1974 V35B (D-9606) recently (March 2005) registered to a corporation in Ocala.


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


4/3 2051Z (1451 local):  Landing at Fort Collins, Colorado, the solo pilot of a Be55 died when the Baron “crashed into a commercial building.”  The airplane was “destroyed.”  Weather data is “unknown.”  N3FJ was a 1972 E55 (TE-879) registered since 1995 to a corporation in Ft. Collins.


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


4/4 2012Z (1312 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “declared an emergency” after suffering “minor” injury when he “encountered an up and down draft” and “hit his head” during a flight from Santa Ana, California to Brawley, California.  The pilot returned to Santa Ana without further incident and with no damage to the Bonanza.  Weather is “unknown” except for the turbulent conditions.  N3697A (E-193) is a 1972 A36 registered since 2001 to a corporation in Dana Point, California.


(“Turbulence encounter—hit head on headliner”)




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


**3/18 Twin Beech gear collapse on landing at Panama City, Florida.  Heavy braking and a possible brake fire before the strut gave way.  The C-45H (N321SK, AF-856) was retrofitted with Garret turboprops and was in “moderate reverse thrust” at the time of gear collapse.  Add “substantial damage”.**


**3/30 A36 loss of control on takeoff in strong winds at Farmington, New Mexico, cited above.**






***3/25 A23A fatal loss of control after takeoff at Ottengruner Heide, Germany, cited above.  This mishap was not previously reported by the FAA or in an NTSB preliminary report, and is being investigated under the jurisdiction of German aviation authorities.***



4/21/05 Report




The FAA preliminary report on the Be36 that “struck the prop and damaged the wings” while landing at Sedona, Arizona 3/19/2005 (previously a “From Unofficial Sources” report on the Weekly Accident Update) is now posted.  Cause remains “Loss of control on landing” and weather is still “not reported.”  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is deemed “minor.”  N197R (E-520) is a 1974 A36 registered since 2003 to an individual in Phoenix, Arizona.






4/10 2030Z (1630 local):  A Be36 landed at Lagrange, Georgia, and the pilot “retracted the gear” during the rollout.  Four aboard the Bonanza were not hurt and damage is as yet “unknown.”  Weather, too, is “unknown.”  N64793 (E-2057) is a 1982 A36 registered since 2000 to an individual in Champaign, Illinois.


(“Gear collapse—inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground”—we’ve seen this many, many times…do not reconfigure the airplane until clear of the runway and preferably at a complete stop, when there is no hurry to identify the proper control switch and the weight is firmly on the landing gear, engaging the squat switch[es].)


4/13 0006Z (2006 local 4/12/05):  En route from Tampa, Florida, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the lone pilot of a Be36 died and the airplane was “destroyed” when it crashed “under unknown circumstances.”  Weather for the night flight was “VFR”.  N448T (E-3602), with only 25 hours total time since new (TTSN), was a 2005 A36 very recently (April 5, 2005) registered to an individual in Lighthouse Point, Florida.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Night”; “Recent registration”—local press reports that the low-time pilot had recently purchased the airplane and had taken it to the factory-authorized shop at Tampa for unspecified work.  The airplane impacted, essentially disintegrating into a crater, and burned.  Initial speculation includes engine failure and the possibility of dark-night pilot disorientation over the open territory of south-central Florida.)   


4/13 1340Z (1040 local):  A Be18’s landing gear collapsed on arrival at Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.  The two aboard report no injury; damage and weather conditions are “unknown.”  N749T (BA-55) is a 1955 E-18S registered since 2000 to a corporation in Carolina, Puerto Rico.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


4/15 1710Z (1210 local):  “On (a) test flight” at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, a Be35’s “engine quit just after departure” and the “pilot landed (the) aircraft in a field.  After landing (the) pilot noticed (the) fuel selector switch was in the OFF position.”  The pilot “suffered minor injuries” and the airplane “substantial” damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a nine-knot wind.  N8396D (D-5510) is a 1958 J35 registered since 1988 to an individual in Bartlesville.


(“Fuel starvation”; “Substantial damage”—checklist procedures, including verification of fuel tank selection, are critical on every flight but even more so on after-maintenance tests.  As an aside, if an airplane is being flown by a mechanic/shop employee most aircraft insurance policies are in effect only if the pilot meets the Open Pilot Warranty for the policy OR if the shop is an FAA Certified Repair Station.  Double-check the Approved Pilots page of your policy or call your agent or broker if you have questions, and verify the FAA status of your shop and qualifications of any shop pilot that may operate your aircraft before permitting a mechanic-flown test flight).


4/16 2355Z (1755 local):  Departing Plant City, Florida for Rock Hill, South Carolina, the pilot of a Be36 “noted a reduction in…climb performance at takeoff power” and the Bonanza had a “collision with terrain shortly after takeoff.”  The ATP pilot and five passengers were not injured; aircraft damage is “substantial.”  “Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.”  N33CF (E-2495) is a 1989 A36 recently (June 2004) registered to a corporation in Wilmington, Delaware.


(“Impact with obstacle following takeoff/unable to attain climb”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—Saturday afternoon at this airport very near the Sun-N-Fun fly-in was warm and windy; six aboard a Be36 may have been overloaded and/or aft loaded, or certainly at least more heavily and aft-loaded than most A36 pilots normally experience.  This and the weather conditions may have contributed to reduced climb performance.)


4/17 2010Z (1510 local):  A Be36 “lost oil pressure during climbout” from Brownwood, Texas.  “The engine seized” while the pilot was “returning to Brownwood Regional Airport” and the pilot landed in a field four miles east of the airport.  The three aboard were not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a five-knot wind. N4311S (E-684) is a 1975 A36 registered since 2003 to a corporation in Brownwood.


(“Engine failure in flight—catastrophic oil loss”; “Substantial damage”)


4/18 1903Z (1503 local):  A Be23’s engine quit “in straight and level flight” shortly after takeoff during a local flight at Macon, Georgia.  The pilot “attempted two (engine) restarts with no effect and made an emergency landing in a field” five miles from the airport.  The solo pilot was not hurt and there was no damage as a result of the off-airport landing.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a four-knot wind.  N16FC (M-2069) is a 1978 C23 registered since 2003 to a corporation in Macon.


(“Engine failure in flight”—and what sounds like good piloting skill getting it down safely)


4/18 2223Z (1723 local):  The pilot of a Be35, en route from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Tupelo, Mississippi, reported to Tupelo Tower that “he would not be able to make it” to the runway and “crashed ½ mile short.”  Later investigation revealed the Bonanza “ran out of gas.”  The lone pilot has “minor” injuries, the airplane “unknown” damage.  Weather at KTUP: 7500 scattered, 10 miles visibility and a seven-knot surface wind.  N6645G (D-10271) is/was a 1979 V35B registered since 2002 to an individual in Tupelo.


(“Fuel exhaustion”)


4/19 0123Z (1823 local 4/18/05):  The pilot of a Be33 “reported smoke in the cockpit, followed by loss of engine power and oil on the windshield,” while five miles east of Paso Robles, California en route to Reid-Hillview Airport, also in California’s Bay Area.  The aircraft was “vectored to (Paso Robles) but landed one mile short of the airport in a vineyard.”  The two aboard suffered “serious” injuries and the airplane “substantial” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 12-knot surface wind.  N299X (CE-37) is a 1966 C33A registered since 1996 to and individual in San Jose, California.


(“Engine failure in flight—catastrophic oil loss”; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”)




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


**4/3 fatal E55 attempted single-engine go-around at Fort Collins, Colorado.  Change “Landing/Unknown” to “Loss of control—attempted single-engine go-around”** 


**4/13 fatal A36 crash near South Bay, Florida, cited above.**


**4/16 A36 collision with terrain following takeoff at Plant City, Florida, cited above.**



4/28/05 Report




4/14 (time not reported):  A reader reports that a Be24, its pilot having exhausted all means of attempting to lower one of the main landing gear legs (including the manual extension process and g-loading the gear), retracted the other main and nose gear and landed gear up at Republic Field, Farmington, New York.  No one was hurt and damage appears to be “minor.”  Weather is “unknown.”  N5138M (MC-579) is a 1978 C24R registered since 1988 to an individual in Cazenovia, New York.


(“Landing gear: known mechanical malfunction”—thanks, reader, for your report)






4/20 2003Z (1603 local):  A Be36 was en route IFR from Cuyahoga County Airport, Cleveland, Ohio, to Providence, Rhode Island when its pilot radioed Center it had an engine failure and declared an emergency.  Attempting to land at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Southbury, Connecticut, the Bonanza “struck power lines and dropped to (the) ground.  The airplane incurred “substantial” damage in a post accident fire.  According to local press reports the pilot, alone on the airplane, was taken to the hospital with facial injuries deemed “minor” by the NTSB.  The A36TC’s engine, which had been “overhauled 15 (flight) hours before the accident,” and which the pilot “closely monitored” in flight with no indicated anomalies, was found to have “three holes in the engine case.”   Weather at KOXC was “few clouds” at 4600 feet, visibility 10 miles in haze, with surface winds at 10 gusting to 18 knots.  N3810X (EA-186) was a 1980 A36TC registered since 1997 to a corporation in Willoughby, Ohio.


(“Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure”; “Substantial damage”)




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


**4/17 A36 catastrophic oil loss and engine failure at Brownwood, Texas**


**4/18 V35B fuel exhaustion a half mile short of the runway at Tupelo, Mississippi.  Add “serious” injuries and “substantial” damage.**


**4/19 double-serious injuries C33A catastrophic oil loss  and engine failure in flight, with a landing in a vineyard near Paso Robles, California.**


**4/20 A36TC catastrophic engine failure at Oxford, Connecticut, cited above.**




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