Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


May 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


5/5/05 Report




The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has published an article about the 4/27/2002 fatal engine failure of a Beech Sundowner near Oak Shores, California.  Valve failure occurred during cruise flight; the engine had 2079 hours and, perhaps more significantly, 27 calendar years since new.  There was no record of any 400-hour valve and valve guide inspections as recommended by a Lycoming mandatory service bulletin. 





4/27 2353Z (1953 local):  On departure from Wilmington, North Carolina, a Be58 “hit a deer, returned and landed safely.”  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt; damage and weather are “unknown.”  N159SM shows on the FAA database as a “reserved” N-number as of August 2004.


(“Impact with object/animal during takeoff”—possibly a “recent registration” but that is not confirmed, so it is not recorded as such in the Summary)


5/2 1126Z (0726 local):  A Be58 landed gear up at Florence, South Carolina.  Damage is “unknown” and the lone pilot was not injured.  Weather for the IFR arrival was 100 broken, visibility ¼ mile in fog.  N458K (TH-452) is a 1974 Model 58 registered since 2002 to a corporation in Florence.


(“Gear up landing”; “IMC”—landing gear discipline for an instrument approach, including cross-check of anticipated vs. actual values of vertical speed, airspeed, pitch attitude and power required, should have prevented this mishap.  Below-minimums weather may have been a distracting factor)


5/2 1754Z (1354 local):  After completing the short flight from Delaware, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio’s Port Columbus Airport, a Be17 “veered off (runway 28L) onto (a) taxiway and broke a taxiway light.”  The Staggerwing’s solo pilot wasn’t hurt and aircraft damage is “unknown.”  Weather at KCMH was 6000 broken, visibility 10 miles, with surface winds form 270 degrees at 13 knots, with a wind check of 240 at 12 when the flight was cleared to land.  N17WS appears on the FAA database as an Alaskan-based Stinson 108, so the FAA preliminary report likely contains the incorrect N-number.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”)



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


**1/22 double-fatality A36 collision with wires on approach to Brownwood, Texas.  Add “Night.”**


**3/30 A36 loss of directional control on takeoff at Farmington, New Mexico**


**4/2 D50C engine failure on takeoff at Montague, California.  The associated engine’s main fuel tank was found to be empty as a result of a leak that was known to the pilot prior to preflight.  The pilot reportedly thought the remaining fuel level was just below ½ , but the design of the fuel system does not allow visual confirmation at that level.  Change “Engine failure on takeoff” to “Fuel starvation” **


**4/15 J35 fuel starvation at Bartlesville, Oklahoma**



NEW NTSB FACTUAL and “PROBABLE CAUSE” REPORTS (for 2005).  Unless stated otherwise, these are updates to previously cited NTSB preliminary reports.


***1/20 double-fatality J35 engine failure on downwind at Abernathy, Texas.  The fuel selector was found in the "auxiliary" fuel tanks position.  Change “Engine failure on approach/landing” to “Fuel starvation.”***


***3/8 Beech Skipper engine failure in flight near Austin, Texas.  “Removal of the number four cylinder revealed portions of a shop cloth under the number four journal.  The oil screen was removed and was observed covered with a material consistent with the shop cloth found in the crankcase.”  Change “Engine failure in Flight” to “Engine failure: Improper Maintenance”***


***3/15 A36 loss of directional control on takeoff during dual instruction at Farmington, New Mexico.***



5/12/05 Report




RE: the 5/2/2005 Baron 58 landing mishap at Florence, South Carolina.  A reader in the Florence area reports that the accident was in fact a “hard landing with substantial damage to the airframe (that included) the landing gear being torn off.”  The reader confirms the “very foggy” weather.  Change “Gear up landing” to “Hard landing—gear collapse” and add “substantial damage.” 


(Thanks, reader, for setting the record straight.  Although the original FAA posting on this mishap is incorrect, it did prompt discussion on at least two internet sites on gear extension and verification techniques in various scenarios.  This is, I believe, the true value of studying mishap reports)


RE:  the 5/2 Staggerwing landing mishap at Columbus, Ohio.  I reader reports the correct aircraft registration as N17SW (serial number 4850), a D17S re-registered in 1955 and registered since 1993 to a corporation in Columbus, Ohio.  Thanks, reader.





5/6 1645Z (1245 local):  During a local flight at Crystal River, Florida, the two occupants of a Be95 were not hurt, and the Travel Air received “minor” damage, when “during (an) aborted takeoff (the airplane) had prop strikes.”  Weather: 2400 scattered, visibility 10 miles, with a variable, six-knot wind.  N7924M (TD-664) is a 1966 D95A registered since 2001 to a corporation in Tavares, Florida.


(“Propeller strike during aborted takeoff”—this sounds possibly like a dual instruction, simulated engine failure during the takeoff roll scenario).


5/7 1601Z (0901 local):  A Be23’s engine lost power 400 feet above ground level, on departure from Tucson, Arizona.  The pilot “force landed in the dirt alongside the runway,” escaping injury despite incurring “substantial” damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N2388Q (M-469) is a 1963 Model 23 recently (October 2004) registered to an individual in Tucson.


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



5/8 1320Z (0920 local):  A Be55 “went off the side of the runway” on landing, receiving “minor” damage at Kingston, New York.  The two aboard the flight from Rochester, New York, were not hurt.  Weather at Kingston was “not reported.”  C-GDUX (TC-2399) is a 1981 B55 recently (May 31, 2004) registered to an individual in Stouffville, Ontario Canada.


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




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


**The are no newly posted piston Beech NTSB reports this week**



5/19/05 Report




5/11 1530Z (1030 local):  A Be58, completing a short hop from Alton/St. Louis Airport, Illinois to St. Louis Regional Airport, Cahokia, Illinois, ended the flight by landing gear up at Cahokia.  Two aboard were not hurt and damage is deemed “minor.”  Weather was clear, visibility five miles in haze, with calm winds.  The flight had been “cleared for the option” on this last landing.  N4324V (TH-2014) is a 2001 Baron registered since 2001 to a corporation in St. Louis, Missouri.


(“Gear up landing”—this sounds very much like a dual instructional flight)


5/12 2301Z (1701 local):  A Be55 “crashed under unknown circumstances” and became the subject of a loss aircraft search, while on a flight from Page, Arizona to Salt Lake City, Utah.  The wreckage was later found 20 miles southeast of Elko, Nevada.  Two aboard died in the crash, and the Baron was “destroyed.”  Weather is “unknown.”  N8771R (TC-1793) was a 1974 B55 registered since 1999 to a corporation in Los Altos Hills, California.


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


5/12 2356Z (1656 local):  A Be35 “made a forced landing in a field due to a loss of engine power,” at San Diego, California.  The solo pilot received no injuries, according to the report, despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a six-knot wind.  N709D (D-2981) is a C35 registered since 2002 to an individual in Aguanga Park, California.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”—the pilot of the mishap aircraft reports: “The engine was overhauled May 5th, 2004 by the best E225 shop around. It has been running strong every hour since then [120+ hrs] until today.  I departed for the trip home after work at about 4:40. I climbed to 1700 MSL and remained there until I could climb higher and avoid the Class B.  When I pulled the nose up and applied power, the engine immediately went to idle  RPM. I maneuvered the throttle in and out and could only get a small reaction. The RPM ranged from 1050 to 1200. I switched tanks three times and applied throttle. Nothing worked. I was loosing altitude fast. I called SoCal [Approach] and gave them my position as I searched for a place to try to set down and save the airplane as well as keep from injuring anyone on the ground.  The options were a road, a golf course, or a farm field. I opted for the field [I didn't want to be one of those pilots who risks other peoples’ lives by landing on roads in an effort to save the airplane]. I only had time for one turn, which put me on a westerly heading alongside the field. At the west end was a line of trees. As I turned "base" I put the gear out [not sure I should have done that now]. I carried extra speed to ensure I could pull up over the trees if I got too low.  I barely cleared the trees and was sure I could sit down gently and stop in the middle of the field. Didn't work out that way though.  I had too much energy and floated for a long time. I tried to make a slow left arc to give myself more ground before reaching the fence. I was too low to bank very much without digging the wingtip into the ground. I was sure THAT would kill me.  So I braced myself and headed straight for the fence. At the last second I pulled up hard to try [unsuccessfully] to hop over the fence.  I hit hard and was thrown into the panel [I was wearing the seatbelt, but found myself wishing I had installed shoulder harnesses]. Then I hit another fence [one on each side of the road]. Finally I came to rest with the nose buried in the muck at about a 40 degree angle. I shut off all the electronics and fuel and climbed out.  The airplane is a complete loss.”  Congratulations, reader, on a job well done, and thanks for letting us all benefit form your experience, including a reminder of the value of shoulder harnesses, should any of us face a similar situation).


5/14 2115Z (1415 local):  A Be23 suffered a “hard landing” and its “nose gear collapsed,” on landing at San Martin, California.  “Substantial” aircraft damage resulted although the solo pilot was not hurt.  Weather was “sky clear,” visibility 20 miles, with a 10-knot wind.  N1982L (M-1839)  is a 1976 C23 registered since 2002 to an individual in Claremont, California.


(“Hard landing/Gear collapse—fixed gear airplane”; “Substantial damage”)


5/15 1745Z (1245 local):  The pilot of a Be35 “did not activate the landing gear” before touching down at Seminole, Oklahoma.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt; damage is “unknown.”  Weather was “clear and 10” with a seven-knot breeze.  N2186D (D-3533) is a 1953 D35 registered since 2001 to a co-ownership in Prague, Oklahoma.


(“Gear up landing”)


5/15 1843Z (1143 local):  After an in-flight “electrical failure” en route from Van Nuys, California, to Mesa, Arizona, the pilot of a Be35 landed at Mesa only to have the Bonanza’s nose gear collapse during the landing roll.  The lone pilot was not injured; damage is “minor.”  Weather was “few clouds” at 20,000 feet, visibility 40 miles with an eight-knot wind.  N6019E (D-5980) is a 1959 K35 registered since an unreported date to a co-ownership in Rifle, Colorado.


(“Gear collapse--electrical failure”—once again, any time the landing gear is extended on anything less than full alternator or generator voltage, it pays to back the extension up by performing the Landing Gear Manual Extension checklist procedure.  Less-than-full electrical power may not extend the gear completely into the downlocks, even if it does result in normal “down and locked” cockpit indications.)


5/17 1755Z (1155 local):  A Be36 “made a hard landing and the gear collapsed,” at West Chicago, Illinois.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather was sky clear, visibility 10 miles with a 12-knot surface wind.  N80RC (E-943) is a 1976 A36 registered since early May 2004 to a corporation in St. Charles, Illinois.


(“Hard landing—Gear collapse”)


5/17 2106Z (1506 local):  A Be55’s landing gear retracted when touching down at Midland, Texas.  One aboard the Baron avoided injury; the airplane has “minor” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a nine-knot wind.  N6037W (TC-2238) is a 1979 B55 registered since 1980 to a corporation in Midland.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)




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


**5/7 Be23 engine failure on takeoff at Tucson, Arizona.  “The last maintenance performed on the airplane was an oil change. The accident flight was the first flight since the maintenance was performed.”  The pilot reported “minor” injuries. “**




NEW NTSB FACTUAL and “PROBABLE CAUSE” REPORTS (for 2005).  Unless stated otherwise, these are updates to previously cited NTSB preliminary reports.


***4/17 A36 engine oil loss and off-airport landing at Brownwood, Texas.  “Examination revealed that the spin-on oil filter was over torqued, and that the O-ring seal at the base of the oil filter was broken. Additionally, the metal oil filter adapter housing was cracked, so that engine oil could be pumped through the crack and overboard. A review of the engine logbook revealed that the engine oil and filter had been changed the day prior to the accident date.”   Change “Engine failure in flight—catastrophic oil loss” to “Engine failure in flight— improper maintenance, catastrophic oil loss”.***



5/26/05 Report




5/20 1501Z (1101 local):  During a local area flight, a Be23 “struck a runway sign” while landing at Atlanta Peachtree-Dekalb Airport, Chamblee, Georgia.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather at KPDK was 3400 scattered, visibility 10 miles, with an 11-knot wind.  N67011 (M-2228) is a 1980 C23 registered since 1988 to a corporation in Atlanta.


(“Impact with obstacle during normal landing”)


5/20 1800Z (1300 local):  A Be24’s “gear folded” on landing at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, causing “substantial” damage but sparing the solo pilot from injury.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a 15-knot surface wind.  The flight was arriving from an IFR flight originating at South St. Paul, Minnesota.  N9207S (MC-376) is a 1975 B24R registered since 1991 to an individual in Sheboygan.


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


5/23 1752Z (1352 local):  Completing a flight from Gainsville, Georgia to Dahlonega, Georgia, a Be36 “stalled and made a forced landing on a road short of the airport.”  The solo pilot reports no injury, and damage is “unknown.”  Weather: “few clouds” at 4800 feet, visibility eight miles, with a surface wind at 16 gusting to 20 knots.  N17836 (E-1041) is a 1977 A36 recently (July 2004) registered to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Stall on final approach”; “Recent registration”—I wonder if this was really an aerodynamic stall, given the reported lack of pilot injury).


5/24 0129Z (2000 local 5/23/05):  A Be58’s landing gear collapsed on touchdown at Gulfport, Mississippi.  There was no pilot injury; damage and weather conditions are “unknown.”  N6654Y (TH-1061) is a 1979 Baron 58 registered since 1998 to an individual in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


(“Gear collapse 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 newly posted Beech piston NTSB reports this week**



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