Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


June 2007 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!


©2007 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


6/7/2007 Report




5/28 0118Z (1818 local 5/27/2007):  A Be35’s landing gear collapsed on landing at Eugene, Oregon.  The three aboard were not hurt; damage is “unknown” and weather conditions “not reported.”  N353B (D-4971) is a 1957 H35 registered since 2002 to a Veneta, Oregon-based corporation.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


5/29 1813Z (1113 local):  Landing at Roseburg, Oregon, a Be35’s nose gear collapsed.  Three aboard report no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “VFR”.  N4EL (D-6267) is a 1959-produced M35 registered since 2003 to an individual in Port Orchard, Washington.


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


5/30 1945Z (1445 local):  The solo pilot of a Be58 was not hurt when the Baron landed gear up at Port Lavaca, Texas.  Damage was “unknown” and weather “not reported”.  N584MB (TK-151) is a 1984 58TC recently (February 2007) registered to a corporation in Port O’Connor, Texas.


(“Gear up landing”; “Recent registration”)


6/1 0115Z (2015 local 5/31/2007):  Two aboard a Be17 were not hurt, and damage was “minor”, when the Staggerwing “after landing, veered off the runway and went into a ditch,” at Greenville, Mississippi.  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N49301 (s/n 250) is a 1938 F17D registered since 1997 to an individual in Irving, Texas.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”)




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


**5/17 triple-fatality A55 loss of control during a single-engine approach in IMC at Dunkirk, New York.**



6/14/2007 Report




6/8 1402Z (0902 local):  Four aboard a Be36 suffered “unknown” injuries when the Bonanza crashed “under unknown circumstances” in a field two miles from the Gallatin, Tennessee airport.  The Bonanza, inbound from Knoxville, Tennessee, has “substantial” damage.  A special weather observation taken at nearby Nashville seven minutes after the crash reports 2500 broken, 3000 broken 3500 overcast, with visibility at 10 miles and surface winds running at six knots.  N729P (E-3469) is a 2002 A36 recently (January 2007) registered to a corporation in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

(“Engine failure in flight” [on basis of reports]; “Serious injuries” [also on the basis of reports]; “Recent registration”--“A local television news station on 6/11/2007 interviewed two of the survivors, and said “only miles from the Sumner County airport, the plane’s engine failed…you just knew something was going on because you just didn’t have that full momentum and power.”  The pilot “tried restarting the engine…to no avail” and “finally said in the headphones…guys’ we’re going to have to land….  The descent took moments…and they did land—hard and painful.  It [was] like somebody hitting you over and over….everyone was alive, but injured.  [The pilot and one passenger] are still hospitalized…[and the two passengers interviewed] backs are braced….” A second news report quotes a witness as saying “it was remarkable they survived because the plane ‘hit so hard’”.  The report includes pictures from the scene that show significant upward crumpling of the fuselage ahead of the wing, a possible slight twisting of the tail, and despite obvious tracks in the open field from the emergency response vehicles, little to no evidence of ground scarring leading to the airplane itself—all suggesting a flat, vertical impact such as from a spin.  A video linked from that news report’s initial shot of the crash shows the Bonanza’s right wing may have deflected upward somewhat but it’s not clear, and the airplane’s landing gear was at least partially extended on impact.  The flaps appear to have been up.  Airspeed control is paramount when making an off-airport landing.  Landing under control, even if you hit an obstacle, provides a much greater chance of survival and lessening of injuries than almost any other off-airport scenario.  Reducing speed to the lowest safe value for touchdown, which would include using full flaps, is normally recommended for off-airport landings and is included in the A36’s Landing Without Power checklist.)

6/9 2139Z (1439 local):  A Be17 “nosed over on landing” at Camarillo, California.  The solo pilot reports no injury and aircraft damage is “minor”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with surface winds at 10 knots.  N4417S (s/n 6918) is a 1944 D17S registered since 2005 to a co-ownership based in Woodland Hills, California.


(“Nosed over on landing”—possibly overly aggressive use of brakes on this classic Staggerwing)


6/10 1730Z (1330 local):  Arriving at Blairsville, Georgia, a Be55’s “nosewheel touched short of the runway” and the Baron “veered and hit a mound.”  The solo pilot reports no injury but the Baron was “destroyed”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a four-knot wind.  N731SK (TC-515) was a 1963 B55 registered since 1999 to an individual in Plantation, Florida.


(“Landed short”; “Aircraft destroyed”—the runway at Blairsville is 5000 feet long.  Unless landing on an extremely short runway [when compared to the airplane’s requirements under landing conditions] normal procedure is to aim for a touchdown zone 500 to 1000 feet past the runway threshold, in part to provide a cushion against undershooting your landing target.)



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 Beech NTSB preliminary or factual reports this week.**



6/21/2007 Report




6/18 (time not reported):  A reader reports a Be45 (T-34) lost engine power in cruise “somewhere in the Carolinas” and force-landed in a residential area, with no injury to the solo pilot or persons on the ground.  There was also not reported damage to property on the ground; the T-34 is “probably repairable”.  Weather conditions were not reported; the airplane’s registration and serial number are unreported as well.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”—on the basis of the reader’s account.  I've not been able to find any press reports...does any reader have more information?)


6/20 (time not reported):  A reader reports his turbocharged Be58 was en route over central Missouri when its pilot noticed exhaust coming out of the rear top of one engine nacelle.  Digital engine temperature indications failed on that engine, and its manifold pressure dropped to ambient although there were no tactile indications of power loss.  The pilot shut down the engine and made a precautionary landing at Columbia, Missouri.  Investigation revealed that the exhaust stack had separated in flight.  Exhaust gases burned through the engine temperature probe wiring harness and the manifold pressure line [hence the loss of indicated manifold pressure].  The propeller control cable may have been damaged also, but there appears not to be any damage to the firewall or internal structure of the nacelle.  No one was hurt.  N39WC (TK-89) is a 1978 58TC registered since 1999 to a corporation in Clare, Michigan.


(“Exhaust system failure in flight”—and a wise decision to shut down and land before catastrophic damage to the firewall and/or forward wing spar occurred, which has resulted from engine fires in Barons before.  Uncommanded loss of manifold pressure in turbocharged engines may be the result of a benign turbo malfunction or a leaking indicating system, but it can also be the first sign of a dangerous exhaust leak, a catastrophic oil leak, or internal failure of turbo components that can quickly lead to a fire and/or total engine failure—and there’s no way to tell from the pilot’s seat.  Therefore, in multiengine turbocharged airplanes, uncommanded loss of manifold pressure [except expected losses above critical altitude] is grounds for a rapid engine shutdown and propeller feathering.  In a turbocharged single-engine airplane [including turbonormalization], uncommanded loss of manifold pressure should be met with a power reduction and immediate landing at the nearest suitable airport for investigation…or perhaps even an off-airport landing if the nearest airport is more than a few minutes away.  As a preventive measure check the security of cold exhaust stacks as part of your preflight inspection, and reject an airplane with a loose exhaust.)





6/17 2054Z (1454 local):  “After departure,” a Be24 “crashed on airport property” at Tonopah, Nevada.  The pilot has “minor” injuries, while a second person on board suffered “serious” injury.  Aircraft damage was “substantial”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with winds from 270˚ at 22 gusting to 27 knots.  Surface temperature was 31˚C with a dew point of 14˚C.  N6511R (MC-280) is a 1975 B24R recently (November 2006) registered to a co-ownership based in Cedar City, Utah.


(“Takeoff/Unknown”; “Serious injuries”; Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”--the Tonopah airport [KTPH) is at 5426 MSL.  Density altitude was near 9000 feet.  Maximum takeoff power Beech Sierra would be less than 75% of the 200 horsepower available at sea level on a standard day, reducing performance significantly and providing reduced margin for error.  Anything less or more than “maximum horsepower” fuel flow, obtained at about 80˚F rich of peak exhaust gas temperature, would reduce margins even more.  The strong and gusty crosswind is a potential contributing factor also.  Further, the wide spread between temperature and dew point often correlates to localized air flows causing heavy turbulence.  For all these reasons it’s generally taught to avoid flight in mountainous and desert areas during the hottest part of the day or when surface winds are strong, instead waiting for better conditions to maximum available aircraft performance.)


6/16 (time not reported):  Following a night departure eastbound from Albuquerque, New Mexico, a Be58 impacted mountainous terrain.  The solo pilot died; the Baron was “destroyed”.  Weather was “VFR”.  N6705R is identified in the FAA database as a 1966 Cessna T210, although news reports identify it as a 1980 Model 58 Baron.


(“Controlled flight into terrain/night mountainous terrain”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—local news reports the pilot, having stopped for fuel on a trip from California to Mississippi, “was about 500 feet from clearing the cliff it hit.”  Terrain rises rapidly just east of the Albuquerque area, and the Sandia Mountains are dark and indistinct compared to the bright lights of the city at their bases.  Departing an unfamiliar area at night?  Take time with a sectional chart to plot a specific route with minimum safe altitudes and climb rates, with an escape route in case you don’t meet any of your climb targets.  Better yet, even if flying VFR, review and fly an instrument departure route and altitudes to be sure you safely cross unseen obstacles in the dark.)



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


**An NTSB Factual Report update on the 4/6/2007 in-flight engine failure of a D50E Twin Bonanza updates the preliminary report.  The pilot “reported that when he switched the fuel tanks to auxiliary positions he must have accidentally place the left fuel selector in the cross feed position,” resulting in dual engine failure from fuel starvation when the selected tank, feeding both engines, ran dry.  Change “Fuel exhaustion” to “Fuel starvation”—and always confirm fuel selector position after switching tanks.**



6/28/2007 Report




Regarding the 6/17 “serious injuries” crash of a B24R on takeoff at Tonopah, Nevada:  The pilot, a WAU reader, generously offers his experience for the purpose of pilot education:


“Today you gave a brief report on a B24R that crashed on takeoff. I am the pilot of that aircraft - N6511R.  I filed a VFR flight plan from Tonopah, Nevada to Cedar City, Utah via DUATS but had not yet activated it.  On 17 June, 2007, the aircraft was loaded 3 pounds under the maximum gross weight. Preflight checks showed the engine, propeller, magnetos and flight controls to be operating normally. Doors were verified as closed. Trim was set in the white band marked on the trim indicator. I selected one notch (15 degrees) of flaps for the takeoff.  As you mentioned in your report, the ASOS reported gusting winds to be from the northwest. I heard a temperature of 21 degrees on the ASOS, not 31 degrees as reported to you [taken from the FAA preliminary report—tt]. Nevertheless, that gives a very high density altitude of about 8,000 feet.  At approximately 2100 UTC (1400 PDT) I took off on runway 33 at the Tonopah, Nevada airport. I rotated at 80 knots. Throughout the short flight, the engine was producing full power. No abnormalities were apparent until I was about 30 feet above the ground and climbing at about 100 mph. At that point, I was at least half-way down the runway and initiated retraction of the landing gear. The landing gear retracted at slightly different rates which caused momentary but noticeable yaw (typical for this aircraft). Simultaneously with the landing-gear-caused yaw, the left (pilot's) door popped open about 3-4" and I felt a loss of lift. The stall warning horn did not sound. The aircraft rolled to a right bank of about 30 degrees and pitched down about 20 degrees. I tried to correct the un-commanded roll and pitch, but the aircraft struck the ground in a 20-degree nose-down attitude about 100-200 feet right of the runway approximately even with the runway's end. The wreckage was only about 50 feet from the initial point of impact, so the airplane and our bodies absorbed most of the kinetic energy on that impact.


“At the moment of impact, the engine was still producing full power and the flaps were still set at one notch. I was able to exit the aircraft after cutting my seatbelt and shoulder belt. My wife was unable to exit the aircraft because her legs were wedged between the rudder [pedals] and her seat. She had to be removed by rescue workers who dismantled part of the aircraft to free her legs.  Although there was the smell of fuel fumes, there was no post-crash fire.  Of course, I have gone over this accident in my mind a thousand times. All I can come up with is that I was unable to cope with a combination of factors which included high density altitude, high gross weight, wind shear, disruption of airflow over the wing and tail due to the open door, the distraction of the open door, and insufficient altitude to recover from the un-commanded pitch and roll.


“My wife's injuries included a compound fracture of the right tibula and fibula (lower leg bones) and fractured/dislocated bones in the left foot, and a fractured sternum where the yoke hit her. My injuries were limited to bruises and a 12-stitch laceration on the left hand. We were very lucky to have survived.  The airplane was destroyed. Feel free to use my comments in your reports to other pilots.”



Change “Takeoff/Unknown“ to “Loss of control—door open on takeoff” and “Substantial damage” to “Aircraft destroyed”.  Thanks, reader, for providing some valuable lessons in addition to those I included last week, including: (1) when presented with distractions, fly the airplane; (2) keep a survival knife within reach in case you need to cut yourself out of locked-up seat belts and shoulder harnesses that may pin you fully upright in the seat after impact; and (3) install a fire extinguisher in an approved, hardened bracket in case a passenger is trapped in the wreckage and you need to halt a fire.  I wish you and your wife a speedy recovery and a quick return to the air.






6/20 0000Z (1800 local 6/19/2007):  A Be36 “on departure, stalled, hit the runway and the gear collapsed,” at Hudson, Colorado.  Two aboard the aircraft were not hurt; damage is “unknown”.  Weather was “not reported”.  N6929B (EA-414) is a 1984 B36TC registered since 2000 to a corporation in Evergreen, Colorado.


(“Stall on takeoff”) 


6/20 1007Z (0607 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Deland, Florida.  The solo pilot was not hurt; damage is “substantial”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with an eight-knot wind. N2927V (D-311) is/was a 1947 Model 35 registered since 2005 to a co-ownership in Deland.


(“Gear up landing”; “Substantial damage” [based on a local reader’s description].  The reader reports: “The pilot told the police he got distracted by skydivers descending under canopy and a jump aircraft that landed on the runway before him.  I doubt the aircraft is economically repairable unless the task was done as a labor of love by the owner himself.”  Interrupted traffic patterns commonly correlate with gear-up landings.  See my article "Patterns of Risk" in the July 2007 issue of Aviation Safety.)


6/22 1917Z (1417 local):  The lone occupant of a Be36 died, and the airplane incurred “substantial” damage, when the Bonanza “crashed under unknown circumstances” 10 miles from Stanton, Minnesota.  Weather was 1500 broken, 2000 broken, visibility four miles with calm surface winds.  N3671S (EA-95) is a 1980 A36TC recently (February 2007) registered to an individual in Prior Lake, Minnesota.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—a local news report identifies the pilot and includes a picture of the crash scene, but otherwise provides no clues as to what may have happened.  The most recent flight log for this airplane was many months old but the N-number is not blocked, suggesting the pilot flew exclusively VFR.)


6/22 1930Z (1430 local):  Three aboard a Be36 died, and the Bonanza was “destroyed”, after the pilot “reported a fire” before crashing near Cullman, Alabama.  Weather was “VFR”.  N18491 (E-1152) was a 1977 A36 registered since 1990 to an individual in Hamilton, Alabama.


(“Fire/explosion in flight”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—local news reports the Bonanza was apparently involved in giving rides to the public during an air show: “The National Transportation Safety Board is looking [for] spectators who took a flight on the small plane that crashed in Shelby County Saturday killing two people and an 11-yr old boy. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza F-33 [sic] crashed on takeoff south of the airport during the Wings and Wheels Air Show. FOX6 News…spoke with Tia and Doug Miller who say they took a ride on the plane with their 5-yr old son Garret prior to the plane crash.”)




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


**6/17 B24R loss of control at Tonopah, Nevada, cited above.**


**6/19 T-34A engine failure in flight at Maxton, North Carolina.  The airplane has now been identified.  N55192 (G-749) is a 1955 T-34A registered since early 2006 to an individual in Polson, Montana.  Add “substantial damage” and change “Weather not reported” to “VMC”.**




SUMMARY: Reported Raytheon/Beechcraft piston mishaps, year-to-date 2007:


Total reported:  87 reports 


Operation in VMC:  56 reports   (64% of the total)    

Operation in IMC:     6 reports   (7% of the total)    

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  25 reports    

Operation at night:  10 reports   (11% of the total)               


Fatal accidents:  17 reports   (20% of the total)    

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  4 reports  (5% of the total)  


“Substantial” damage:  21 reports   (24% of the total)    

Aircraft “destroyed”:     20 reports   (23% of the total)    


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   22 reports   (25% of the 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   22 reports 

Be55 Baron   15 reports      

Be58 Baron    14 reports

Be36 Bonanza   12 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   6 reports 

Be24 Sierra  5 reports   

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  3 reports

Be17 Staggerwing  2 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech  2 reports

Be95 Travel Air   2 reports

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be65 Queen Air  1 report 

Be76 Duchess    1 report  




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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS (33 reports; 38% of the total)) 


Gear collapse (landing)

16 reports (two Be24s; two Be33s; three Be35s; two Be36s; four Be55s; Be58; Be65; Be95)


Gear up landing

12 reports (two Be33s; four Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; Be58; Be76)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

2 reports (Be18; Be95)


Gear collapse on landing—tow bar attached

1 report (Be58)


Gear up landing (electrical failure)

1 report (Be24)


Gear collapse during taxi

1 report (Be35)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (15 reports; 17% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

3 reports (Be17; Be55; Be58)


Impact with obstacle on landing

2 reports (Be35; Be58)


Wingtip strike on landing—crosswind

1 report (Be36)


Loss of directional control on landing: wet/icy surface

1 report (Be58)


Hard landing

1 report (Be58)


Departed runway while avoiding objects on runway

1 report (Be23)


Landed long/failed to go around

1 report (Be23)


Landed short—probable wind shear

1 report (Be33)


Impact with obstacle—off airport landing

1 report (Be35)


Impact with animal while landing

1 report (Be35)


Nosed over on landing

1 report (Be17)


Landed short

1 report (Be55)



ENGINE FAILURE   (12 reports; 14% of the total) 


Fuel starvation

4 reports (three Be35s; Be50)


Engine failure in flight

3 reports (two Be36s; Be45)


Engine failure on takeoff

2 reports (Be35; Be55)


Engine-driven fuel pump failure

1 report (Be35)


Pushrod tube failure in flight

1 report (Be33)


Exhaust system failure in flight

1 report (Be58)


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



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (8 reports; 9% of the total) 


Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft

2 reports (both Be55)


In-flight collision with trees and terrain while maneuvering

1 report (Be58)


Struck by starting/taxiing aircraft

1 report (Be35)


In-flight electrical fire

1 report (Be58)


Fire/explosion on engine start

1 report (Be55)


In-flight break-up: low-altitude maneuvering

1 report (Be58)


Mid-air collision

1 report (Be35)


Fire/explosion in flight

1 report (Be36)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (6 reports; 7% of the total)  



3 reports (Be36; Be55; Be58)



2 reports (Be24; Be36)


Cruise/Unknown (mountainous terrain)

1 report (Be23)



LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT   (4 reports; 5% of the total) 


Loss of control—airframe ice; in-flight break-up

1 report (Be36)


Loss of control-- missed approach/icing conditions

1 report (Be18)


Loss of control—single engine approach in IMC

1 report (Be55)


Loss of control—door open in flight

1 report (Be24)





In-flight vibration/flutter

1 report (Be35)


In-flight ruddervator separation

1 report (Be35)



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (2 reports; 2% of the total) 


Impact with obstacle following takeoff/unable to attain climb

1 report (Be35)


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

1 report (Be58)



CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN   (2 reports; 2% of the total)


Descent below minimum altitude on approach—night IMC

1 report (Be36)


Controlled flight into terrain/night mountainous terrain

1 report (Be58)



STALL/SPIN   (2 reports; 2% of the total)


Stall/Spin on takeoff

1 report (Be55)


Stall on takeoff

1 report (Be36)



Thomas P. Turner, MCFI

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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