Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


June 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



6/1/06 Report




Readers write:


5/24 (time not reported):  A Be35’s nose gear collapsed on application of electrical power, at Denver, Colorado’s Centennial Airport.  The pilot was not hurt and damage is deemed “minor.”  Weather was not reported.  One propeller blade was bent, requiring an engine tear-down and inspection under Teledyne Continental Motors guidelines for a “prop strike”.  According to the reader, the Bonanza’s pilot was intending to fly when the gear partially retracted after turning on the battery master switch but before engine start.  The landing gear switch was reportedly found in the “down” position.  The mishap airplane is an S35, registration and serial number unknown.


(“Gear collapse on the ground—engine not running”—As we’ve discussed before, it takes very little travel of the main landing gear strut to move the squat switch to the “in-flight” position.  Reports in some cases are that filling shock struts on V-tail Bonanzas to A36 or Baron specification may prevent the squat switch from engaging even with full airplane weight on the ground.  So never depend on the squat switch to prevent an inadvertent gear retraction.  It may be that in this case there was a failure of the cockpit landing gear switch; that a weak gear motor did not fully extend the landing gear on the previous landing; low nose gear downlock tension could not resist some force that led to the collapse; and/or that the cockpit landing gear switch was not in the “down” position when electrical power was applied.  Also, there appears to be a strong correlation between prop strikes and later crankshaft failures, leading to the teardown inspection recommendation following any prop strike. Thanks, reader, for prompting us to review gear safety on the ground).


5/30 (time not reported):  A Be55, departing Casa Grande, Arizona, stuck a roughly three-pound bird approximately 2000 feet above ground level.  The Baron’s windshield shattered outward and the pilot, who sustained minor damage to one eye, was able to bring the airplane in for a landing without further damage.  Weather conditions were not reported, nor was the Baron’s serial number or registration although the airplane had reportedly been only recently purchased.


(“Bird strike”; “Recent registration”—thanks, reader, for your report)





5/27 2248Z (1848 local):  Completing an IFR trip from Nashville, Tennessee, a Be36 ran off the end of the runway during an attempted landing at Brevard, North Carolina.  Two aboard the Bonanza have “minor” injuries, and the airplane “substantial” damage.  Weather at departure was “clear and 10” with wind from 350 degrees at 10 knots, and a surface temperature of 27˚C.  N414AS (EA-523) is a 1991 B36TC registered since 2002 to a corporation in Wilmington, Delaware.


(“Landed long”; “Substantial damage”—The Transylvania County airport is at 2210 feet MSL with a single runway oriented 9/27 that is 2905 feet long by 50 feet high.  Computed landing distance under these conditions and assuming 250 pounds below maximum gross weight reveals a 50-foot obstacle clearance requirement of about 2100 feet.  Density altitude and crosswinds may have been factors in the runway overrun).



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


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



6/8/06 Report




Readers write:


RE: last week’s report:  5/30 (time not reported):  A Be55, departing Casa Grande, Arizona, stuck a roughly three-pound bird approximately 2000 feet above ground level.  The Baron’s windshield shattered outward and the pilot, who sustained minor damage to one eye, was able to bring the airplane in for a landing without further damage. 


(“Bird strike”; “Recent registration”—thanks, reader, for your report)


The pilot in this incident reports:  “I was the guy in the Baron that hit the bird in Casa Grande.  I wrote up what happened. It occurred around 9:35 am local on May 26th.  Let me know if you need any further info.  The tail number is N123AK.  I haven't edited the [account] yet and am going to wait till next week when it won't be such a strain on my right eye.” 


Another reader, a friend of the pilot, sent along this account: “I spoke with [the pilot] yesterday and all I can tell you is that he did a fantastic job keeping his cool and getting his ‘open cockpit’ Baron back on the ground.  [He] is a long time Baron owner - he has had a D55, a 58, and his latest - this 1973 B55.  [He] had just purchased the airplane in Florida and was bringing it home to California when the incident occurred.


The windshield completely shattered when the bird - a 3 lb. red-tail hawk - struck, leaving only small pieces of Plexiglas around the frame.  The glareshield was sucked out - the bird hits [sic] [the pilot] in the face, injuring one eye, tearing off his bifocals and the carcass ends up on the hat shelf.  With the injury, [the pilot] can't see out of the one eye at all, and what he sees on the panel is completely fuzzy without his glasses.  [He] told me he slowed the airplane to what he thought was about 120 kts and turned back to CGZ.  He engaged the Century III [autopilot] and leaned over to the radio stack and when he had his good eye within a few inches of the panel could make out the digits to call up 121.5 and select ‘direct to’ CGZ on the GNS430.  He told me someone called back on 121.5 but it was impossible to hear account of the noise.  [The pilot] could make out the purple course line on the GNS430 and followed it back to the airport - the course set him up for a near perfect base entry.  The flaps and gear go out and he lands uneventfully.  He taxied up to the terminal, shut things down, and walked into the terminal with his bloody and swollen face and asked the guys in the FBO to call him an ambulance.


“He spent one night in the hospital – [another] friend…flew out to stay with him and bring him home the following day.  The doctors say that his eye will be fine, given some time.  [The pilot] told me he really wants to go to BPPP now - I told him he's nuts - he should be teaching BPPP!” 


In my later conversations with the pilot it appears this Baron had a standard-thickness windshield.  We speculate that the windshield flexed inward and cracked, but failed as it flexed outward, which is why sharp sharps of Plexiglass did not enter the cabin. N123AK (TC-1543) is a 1973 B55.  Fantastic job!  Thanks to the pilot and the other reader for providing this vivid account.



RE: this report from the 3/15/2006 Weekly Accident Update:  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”)


A reader, a mechanic at the airport where this occurred (but who says he does not maintain the airplane), reports the pilot contacted him by radio reporting that the landing gear would not extend and that the manual extension handcrank would not move “in either direction.”  The landing gear motor circuit breaker would pop every time the pilot attempted to electrically extend the gear, which was “stuck [in the] up [position].”  The pilot eventually made a gear-up landing when his in-flight extension attempts failed.  The mechanic reports that the Bonanza’s gear system dynamic brake was incorrectly rigged and the landing gear drove fully upward; he speculates that the pilot may have been able to manually extend the gear by turning the manual handcrank “with both hands”, but that it might have taken setting the autopilot and climbing into the back seats of the Bonanza to have enough leverage to do so.  Change “Gear up landing” to “Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure”.  Thanks, reader, for this report. 





6/1 0920 local:  A Be36 crashed on final approach at Nguiu, Northern Territory, Australia. The solo pilot was killed and the plane was “destroyed.”  Local news reports  state the Bonanza crashed “just seconds away from landing on the Tiwi Islands….” The “single engine Beechcraft A36 dropped from the sky about 9am yesterday. It is believed [the pilot] was flying himself to Nguiu to visit clients. He was the only person on board the plane. Officer-in-charge of Nguiu police, Sergeant Rod Godden, said it took police three hours to get to the scene because of the difficult terrain.  ‘We had a plane flying overhead to give us a general direction and a police vessel went up a creek in the vicinity of the crash site,’ he said.  ‘Some other members walked through the mangroves and across a couple of creeks to get there.'’  Sgt Godden said it appeared the aircraft had clipped some trees before ploughing into the ground.  Police did not detect any aviation fuel at the crash site but could not speculate on the cause of the accident….  Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators were due to arrive from Canberra and Perth…and will visit the site to sift through the wreckage searching for clues as to what caused the crash.”).  VH-JDJ (E-1448) was a 1979 A36 registered since April 2005 to a corporation based in Buddina, Queensland.  The Bonanza was apparently imported into Australia in 1987.


(“Fuel exhaustion’ [subject to later review when ATSB information is available]; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—thanks, several readers, who forwarded news accounts).

6/6 0030Z (1930 local):  “On departure” from Ennis, Montana, a Be36 “lost power and landed gear up in a field.”  The two aboard escaped injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a four-knot wind.  N24BF (E-1736) is a 1980 A36 registered since 1999 to an individual in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”—contrast this with the C23 engine failure on takeoff at Bishop, Texas, reported in the 5/25/2006 WAU).


6/6 2210Z (1610 local):  A Be36 landed gear up at Mesa, Arizona.  The solo pilot was not harmed and damage is “minor.”  Weather: “not reported”.  N112WE (EA-251) is a 1981 A36TC recently (February 2006) registered to a corporation based in Mesa.


(“Gear up landing”)



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


**6/1 fatal A36 crash on approach at Nguiu, NT, cited above.**



6/15/06 Report




6/7 2205Z (1505 local):  A Be35, on an “attempt to land after reporting [an] engine problem on takeoff, crashed into a residence” in Reno, Nevada.  Two aboard the Bonanza died in the crash, although there were no injuries to persons in the house.  The airplane was “destroyed”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with surface gusting to 25 knots.  N5455D (D-4956) was a 1957 H35 recently (February 2006) registered to an individual in Laguna Beach, California.


(“Engine failure on takeoff””; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”—local press accounts quote “several” witnesses as saying the Bonanza’s “wings were wagging back and forth” prior to impact, possibly indicating a stall during the landing attempt.)


6/8 2305Z (1905 local):  A Be36, en route from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Detroit, “crashed after reporting engine problems”, near Gregory, Michigan.  The solo pilot was killed and the airplane sustained “substantial” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with surface winds at nine gusting to 14 knots.  N65EL (EA-535) is a 1992 B36TC registered since 1997 to a corporation in Leawood, Kansas.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—it’s possible given the local account that this B36TC may have a newer owner and the FAA’s on-line registry has not yet been updated.)


6/11 0105Z (2005 local 6/10/2006):  A Be24 landed gear up at Olive Branch, Mississippi.  The solo pilot reports no injuries and aircraft damage is “minor.”  Weather was “clear and 10” with a five-knot wind.  N9306S (MC-336) is a 1975 B24R registered since 2002 to a corporation in Memphis, Tennessee.


(“Gear up landing”)


6/11 2130Z (1730 local):  A Be23’s “engine failed” and the pilot “force landed in a field” at Delton, Michigan.  Four aboard all avoided injury; airplane damage is “unknown.”  Weather in the area was “few clouds” at 5500, 7000 scattered, visibility 10 miles with a seven-knot surface wind.  N8866M (M-604) is a 1964 A23 registered since 1998 to a co-ownership based in Lansing, Michigan.


(“Engine failure in flight”—local press accounts say the Bonanza had just completed an annual inspection and was en route to its home field when the engine failed)



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


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



6/22/06 Report




5/28 2140Z (1740 local):  A Be23 “sustained substantial damage during a hard landing” at Troy, Michigan.  There are no reported injuries and “visual meteorological conditions prevailed.”  N8776M (M-561) is a 1964 A23 registered since April 2005 to an individual in Yorktown, Virginia.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”)


6/14 1527Z (1147 local):  Two aboard a Be36 died, and the Bonanza was “destroyed”, when it “struck power lines and crashed into a wooded area” while approaching a private airstrip “six miles from Bundoran,” near Charlottesville, Virginia.  Weather was 500 broken, 800 broken, visibility two miles in drizzle with calm winds and a one-degree temperature/dew point spread.  N202EN (EA-594) was a 1996 B36TC registered since 2002 to an individual in West Hartford, Connecticut.  


(“Impact with obstacle/terrain during attempted visual approach in IMC”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “IMC”--the Bonanza was on an IFR flight from Nashua, New Hampshire to the private strip, which does not have an instrument approach.  A New Hampshire news account, although mis-identifying the airplane as a Baron, provides more details on the victims and photos of the crash scene.) 


6/16 1914Z (1514 local):  Beginning a planned flight to Augusta, Maine from South Portland, Maine, a Be24 “nosed down” then “impacted the runway and slid off into the grass” at South Portland.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather was “few clouds” at 10,000, visibility 10 with surface winds at 13 knots.  N6978R (MC-324) is a 1974 B24R registered since 2004 to a corporation based in Augusta.


(“Gear collapse on takeoff”—or so I interpret this report unless readers have more information)


6/17 1432Z (0932 local):  A Be36’s landing gear collapsed during rollout, at Tomball, Texas.  Two aboard the flight, departing and recovering at Houston, Texas, report no injury; aircraft damage is “minor”.  Weather at Tomball: 2000 broken, visibility eight miles, with a ten-knot wind.  N33MN (E-2113) is a 1984 A36 recently registered (three days before the mishap) to a Spring, Texas corporation.


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


6/19 0012Z (2012 local 6/11/2006):  Completing a flight from Columbus, Georgia, to Chamblee, Georgia’s Peachtree-Dekalb Airport, a Be58’s gear collapsed during the landing roll.  The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is “minor”.  Weather: “VFR”.  N74WN is a reserved/unassigned N-number, suggesting this may be a recent registration but leaving us without serial number or ownership information.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)



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


**5/18 35-33 loss of directional control during a gusty-wind landing at Greenville, Mississippi.  Add “Substantial damage” (not specifically stated in the report, but as a result of the damage description).**


**5/28 A23 hard landing at Troy, Michigan, cited above**


**6/5 A36 engine failure on takeoff at Ennis, Montana.  A total of four aboard the Bonanza escaped injury when the pilot landed in a field ahead instead of an attempt to return to the airport.  “The pilot reported that the airplane had recently been retrofitted with a new engine. The originally installed Continental IO-520 was replaced with a Continental IO-550. The airplane had accumulated approximately 30 hours since the conversion.”**


**6/7 double-fatality H35 engine failure on takeoff, and impact with a house at Reno, Nevada.  This was an instructional flight with the owner, a student pilot, receiving “dual” for a cross-country flight to Corona, California.  “According to the student's wife, this was his first cross-country flight.  Witness report “the [Bonanza’s] wings were observed rocking back and forth. The airplane then rolled to the left, nosed down, and impacted the house.”  There is no obvious cause of the engine failure; uncontaminated fuel was available in all tanks.  Change “Engine failure on takeoff” to “Engine failure in flight”—the power loss occurred about four miles from the airport and the flight was attempting to return when it crashed.**


**6/8 fatal B36TC engine failure near Gregory, Michigan.  “The airplane was being flown on its first flight after an annual inspection. A cylinder was replaced, a turbocharger leak was fixed, and the right fuel bladder was removed and reinstalled during the annual inspection. The fuel in the airplane's fuel tanks were reported to have been checked by observing samples collected from the fuel sumps prior to the flight. The airplane battery was low and external power was used to start the engine for the flight.”  The pilot told ATC “he had an emergency, had lost engine power, had switched fuel tanks, and needed the closest airfield. The pilot was given a heading of 360 degrees to Carriage Lane Airport, near Gregory, Michigan. While en route to the airfield, the pilot was asked if his engine was completely out and if he was gliding into the airport. The pilot reported that was correct. About 1910, the air traffic controller pointed out another closer airport. The closer airport was 69G. No further response was received from the airplane…. The airplane came to rest upright on about 170 degree magnetic heading near a creek about 2,000 feet from the approach end of runway 36 at 69G.”  A reader confirms last week’s reported suspicion that the airplane had recently been purchased but the FAA registry has not yet been updated.    Change “Substantial damage” to “Aircraft destroyed” and add “Recent registration.” **



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


Total reported:  98 reports 


Operation in VMC:  60 reports     (61% of total) 

Operation in IMC:   9 reports     (9% of total) 

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  29 reports     (30% of total)

Operation at night:  7 reports     (7% of total)          


Fatal accidents:  20 reports     (20% of total)

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  2 reports   (2% of the total)      


“Substantial” damage:   28 reports     (29% of total) 

Aircraft “destroyed”:   15 reports     (15% of total) 


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   24 reports     (24% of total) 


(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  18 reports

Be36 Bonanza   17 reports 

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   13 reports 

Be58 Baron   12 reports 

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  10 reports 

Be55 Baron    9 reports      

Be24 Sierra  8 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech  4 reports 

Be60 Duke   4 reports

Be95 Travel Air  2 reports 

Be56 Baron  1 report 

Be76 Duchess   1 report 




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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS  (38 reports; 39% of total)


Gear collapse (landing)

15 reports (Be18; two Be24s; three Be35; four Be36s; two Be55s; three Be58s)


Gear up landing

14 reports (Be18; two Be24s; three Be33s; three Be35s; two Be36s; Be55; Be58; Be95)


Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure

3 reports (two Be33s; Be60)


Gear collapse during taxi/on ramp

2 reports (both Be58s)


Gear collapse (touch and go)

1 report (Be55)


Gear collapse—takeoff

1 report (Be24)


Gear collapse—known inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground

1 report (Be55)


Gear collapse on the ground—engine not running

1 report (Be35)



ENGINE FAILURE  (15 reports; 15% of total)


Engine failure in flight

6 reports (Be23; Be33; two Be35s; Be36; Be58)


Engine failure on takeoff

2 reports (both Be36s)


Fuel starvation

2 reports (Be23; Be35)


Fuel exhaustion

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure on takeoff—loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be33)


Engine failure on takeoff—engine maintenance test flight

1 report (Be23)


Engine failure in flight—loss of oil pressure

1 report (Be36)


Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure

1 report (Be36)



IMPACT-RELATED FAILURE ON LANDING  (12 reports; 12% of total)


Loss of directional control on landing

5 reports (two Be23s; Be24; Be33; Be58)


Hard landing

5 reports (three Be23s; two Be36s)


Landed long

2 reports (Be35; Be36)



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (9 reports; 9% of total) 


Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft

4 reports (two Be35s; Be60; Be95)


Bird strike

2 reports (Be33; Be55)


Smoke in cabin in flight/possible electrical fire

1 report (Be58)


Blown tire on landing

1 report (Be58)


Window separation in flight

1 report (Be58)



CAUSE UNKNOWN   (8 reports; 8% of total)



4 reports (Be18; two Be35s; Be58)



4 reports (two Be23s; Be24; Be35)




IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (5 reports; 5% of total)


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

2 reports (Be55; Be60)


Runway excursion—low visibility takeoff

1 report (Be33)


Failure to climb—contamination with snow/frost

1 report (Be35)


Loss of control during takeoff

1 report (Be18)




CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN  (5 reports; 5% of total)


Attempted visual flight in IMC—mountainous terrain

2 reports (Be23; Be33)


Controlled flight into terrain—cruise flight/mountainous terrain

2 reports (Be35; Be55)


Impact with obstacle/terrain during attempted visual approach in IMC

1 report (Be36)




LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT  (4 reports; 4% of total) 


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)


Loss of control--In-flight break-up

1 report (Be24)



STALL/SPIN  (3 reports; 3% of total)   


Stall during circling maneuver in low IMC

1 report (Be55)


Stall or spiral during go-around/missed approach

1 report (Be76)


Stall/Spin on takeoff

1 report (Be60)



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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