Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


July 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


7/5/2007 Report




Regarding the 6/19 T-34A engine failure in flight at Maxton, North Carolina: A reader reports that engine monitor data downloaded from the accident airplane confirms the Mentor’s engine likely failed as a result of fuel starvation while the airplane was in a steep slip to landing with approximately “five gallons” of fuel in the selected fuel tank.  Data shows the engine began developing power just before impact when the pilot exited the extended slip, but at that point the airplane was too close to the ground to recover.  Change “Engine failure in flight” to “Fuel starvation—fuel unporting in extended slip”.  Despite “substantial damage”, the reader reports the owner will rebuild this award-winning T-34.  Assuming the T-34’s fuel system is similar to Bonanzas of the same vintage, the Pilots Operating Handbook limits slips to 20 seconds with unbaffled fuel tanks (T-34 owners, feel free to correct this).  In all cases, the “uphill” fuel tank should be selected to avoid unporting when maneuvering in a steep slip, and slips should not be attempted with low fuel levels in any selected tank.  Thanks, reader, for the update.





6/22 (time not reported):  A reader reports a Be35 landed gear up at Santa Teresa, New Mexico.  The flaps (which were down), propeller, gear doors and several fuselage and wing skins were damaged [meeting the FAA’s definition of “minor” damage, and not reportable under NTSB 830].  The airplane “might be considered totaled.”  The pilot, a renter and reportedly low time in the Bonanza, was not hurt and weather conditions were not reported.  N7917M (D-8230) is/was a 1966 V35 registered since 2005 to a corporation in Santa Teresa.  Thanks, reader, for your report.


(“Gear up landing”—another “unreported” case where “minor” damage from pilot forgetfulness results in the loss of another airplane) 





6/11 1245Z (0845 local):  A Be35 was maneuvering at 1500 feet above a lake near Cross Junction, Virginia, when its engine “sputtered.”  The pilot went to full throttle and the engine “came back”; the pilot ten switched fuel tanks and everything “seemed okay.”  Shortly afterward the engine “sputtered” again and, despite two attempts at a restart, the engine did not relight.  The pilot then “performed a forced landing in the lake, and was able to egress the airplane prior to it sinking.”  When recovered from the lake 50 gallons of fuel was drained from the two main tanks; tip tanks were empty but the modification was of the design that tip tank fuel is transferred to the mains, not feeding the engine directly.  “The airplane was last refueled 4 months prior to the accident flight, and he had flown it twice since the last refueling. The most recent flight prior to the accident flight was 2 months prior.”  The pilot was not hurt; damage is “substantial” and “visual meteorological conditions prevailed.”  N615T (D-5788) is/was a 1958 K35 recently (November 2006) registered to an individual in Cross Junction.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage” [although being submerged, the airplane is probably “totaled”]; "Recent registration"—fuel contamination or fuel line seal failure may have resulted from the long storage period between the most recent refueling and the accident flight.)  


6/27 1230Z (0530 local):  The “nose and main [landing] gear” of a Be58 collapsed during the landing roll, at Hanford, California.  The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is “minor” and weather conditions “not reported.”  N62847 (TH-1357) is a 1982 Baron 58 recently (January 2007) registered to a Las Vegas, Nevada-based corporation.


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


7/1 2011Z (1811 local):  “While landing,” a Be35 “hit a runway light” at Key West, Florida.  The lone pilot wasn’t hurt; the Bonanza has no reported damage, and weather was “unknown”.  N9041C (D-10096) is a 1977 V35B, “registration pending”.


(“Impact with obstacle on landing”; “Recent registration”)



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


**6/11 K35 engine failure and ditching in a lake near Cross Junction, Virginia, cited above.**


**6/20 B36TC stall on takeoff during a high density altitude takeoff at Hudson, Colorado.**


**6/22 fatal A36TC impact into terrain near Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  A witness “saw the accident airplane descending through a cloud layer that was about 400 - 500 feet above the ground. He reported that the airplane was in about a 50-degree nose down attitude. He reported that he heard the airplane's engine producing ‘cruise power’ and there were no indications of an engine malfunction such as sputtering.”  Change “Crash/unknown” to “Loss of control—attempted visual flight into IMC”  A knowledgeable reader reports that the accident pilot was attempting to fly VFR above a cloud deck; apparently conditions worsened and the pilot was not able to remain clear of clouds, subsequently losing control of the aircraft.**



7/12/2007 Report




Regarding the 6/20 B36TC stall on takeoff during a high density altitude takeoff at Hudson, Colorado:  The NTSB has revised its Factual report to more accurately reflect computed takeoff performance and the actual damage record.  A colleague points out that the current issue of AOPA Pilot includes an article in which Barry Schiff notes ASOS temperatures are measured in the shade, and that temperature over an asphalt runway, in the sun, might be 40 degrees hotter than the ASOS.  If correct this adjustment would add approximately 2500 feet to the density altitude computed with an ASOS-reported surface temperature, with a corresponding reduction in aircraft performance.  When computing takeoff performance for a high density altitude airport, include a substantial performance margin to account for runway environment temperatures that are likely much higher than reports would indicate.





7/9 1630Z (1130 local):  During a “training” flight, a Be76 landed gear up at the Maple Lake, Minnesota airport.  Student and instructor were unhurt; damage is “minor”.  Weather was “VFR”.  N6703L (ME-288) is a 1979 Duchess registered since 1990 to an Annandale, Minnesota-based corporation.


(“Gear up landing”; “Dual instruction”—although most FAA preliminary reports no longer identify the purpose of a flight, when such notation was standard the record showed roughly 10% of all piston Beech mishaps occur during dual instruction.  Further, there is a high correlation between gear up landings and dual flight instruction.  The instructional process, by its nature, is repetitive and introduces distractions to the student pilot.  Multiengine instruction often includes simulated engine failures that end in forgotten landing gear extension because of student fixation on the engine-out procedure [one step of which is to retract the landing gear]. At all times instructors must remember their primary job on board the airplane is safety of flight, to include gear extension and verification, with instruction itself coming in as an important but lower priority.  Students, regardless of the instructor’s experience relative to your own, remember that you share a responsibility for safety and operation yourself.  Don’t let instructional hazards lead to an unpleasant end to your lesson.)



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


**6/22 A36 crash at Cullman, Alabama.  Initial FAA and local news reportswere that the Bonanza pilot reported a fire on board before crashing, and that three aboard (including an 11-year-old) died.  The NTSB preliminary records instead that two were aboard, and they suffered “serious” injuries; the report specifically states there was no evidence of a fire.  In fact, the report reads as if the pilot stalled or lost control while attempting a go-around after touching down with the landing gear retracted, or after the pilot was departing in a low pass over the runway and the propeller made contact with the pavement.  The Bonanza was participating in a local air show at the time, and sometimes let the élan of an airshow drive them to make low passes in place of normal technique.  Hopefully future NTSB reports will clear up the contradictory reports on this incident.  Change “Fire/explosion in flight” to “Crash/Unknown”, “Fatal” to “Serious injuries”, and “Aircraft destroyed” to “Substantial damage”. 



7/19/2007 Report




7/12 1550Z (1050 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Middlesboro, Kentucky.  The solo pilot suffered “minor” injuries, the airplane “minor” damage.  Weather conditions were “unknown”.  N22PK (D-8647) is a 1967 V35A registered since 1987 to an individual in Kingsport, Tennessee.


(“Gear up landing”—an internet news report quotes the pilot as saying he “was distracted by another plane taking off and simply forgot to lower the landing gear.”  Distraction, often from another airplane behaving unexpectedly in the traffic pattern, is commonly mentioned in reports of gear up landings.  See or hear another airplane?  Double-check your landing gear position.)


7/12 1846Z (0946 local):  A Be58’s landing gear collapsed on arrival at Northway, Alaska.  No one was hurt despite “substantial” aircraft damage. Weather data were not reported.  N820GW (TH-13) is a 1970 Baron 58 registered since 1984 to a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based corporation.


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


7/14 1619Z (0919 local):  The pilot of a Be58 “reported minor damage under unknown circumstances” at Chino, California.  The solo pilot was not hurt.  Weather at Chino was 25,000 broken, visibility 10 with a four-knot surface wind.  N141DH (TH-1065) is a 1979 Baron 58 registered since 1996 to a corporation in Wilmington, Delaware.


(“Crash/Unknown”—I wonder whether this was perhaps a gear up or gear collapse mishap.)


7/15 2330Z (1830 local):  A Be33’s landing gear collapsed on landing at Clarence E. Page Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The lone pilot was not hurt and aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “few clouds” at 7500, visibility 10 miles with a four-knot wind.  N8833M (CD-737) is a 1964 B33 registered since 2005 to an individual in Yukon, Oklahoma.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)



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 Beech piston NTSB reports this week.**



7/26/2007 Report





A reader reports: On or about 7/15/07, specific time and location not reported, the nose gear of a Be36 collapsed during takeoff, resulting in “substantial’ damage.  The pilot was not injured.  According to the report, the pilot said that upon turning on the battery in the hangar the landing gear warning horn sounded.  The pilot shut off electrical power and got a mechanic to look at the airplane.  Powering back up the pilot repots seeing “three green” landing gear lights illuminate and the warning horn did not sound.  The mechanic suggested the landing gear selector switch might be faulty and recommended against flight before it was investigated.  The pilot, however, elected to defer the check and on a third application of battery power the gear warning horn sounded during initial taxi but later extinguished.  The nose wheel folded passing through about 65 knots on takeoff; the right main gear then collapsed and the aircraft departed the runway.  Later investigation showed the plastic “wheel” portion of the gear selector was threaded too far on the switch arm, so that the arm was pulled outward when the “wheel” contacted the panel.  This permitted any bumping of the switch to move it to the retracted position without pulling the switch out past the detent.


(“Gear collapse on takeoff”; “Substantial damage”—any abnormal landing gear indications should be checked by a mechanic while the airplane is on jacks.  Even if indications cease momentarily, the underlying reasons may lead to a gear collapse).





7/17 2025Z (1525 local):  During a “training” flight, the nose gear of a Be33 collapsed on landing at Laurel, Montana.  The student and instructor were not hurt and damage was “minor”.  Weather was “VFR”.  N7927R (CJ-20) is a 1969 E33C registered since 2002 to a college training program in Billings, Montana.


(“Gear collapse on landing”—There is a identifiable correlation between dual instruction and landing gear-related mishaps (LGRMs).  Instruction by its nature introduces distractions to the pilot, making gear omissions more likely.  Instruction flights are more likely to include touch-and-go landings, another strong correlative factor for LGRMs.  Further, some students alter their normal habit patterns when flying with an instructor.  See the note about instructional mishaps in the SUMMARY notes, below, and the LGRM section of


7/18 1907Z (1407 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Salina, Kansas.  Two aboard were not hurt; damage is “minor”.  Weather was 5500 scattered, visibility 10 miles with surface winds from 140 degrees at 12 gusting to 17 knots.  N5168C (D-2468) is a 1950 B35 registered since 2002 to an individual in Garner, Iowa.


(“Gear up landing”—another correlation between strong or gusty surface winds and gear-up landings).


7/19 1513Z (0913 local):  Two aboard a Be18 have “unknown” injuries, and the Twin Beech was “destroyed” by fire, after it “clipped trees with [the] wings and landing gear, hit a pole [and] into a field” near Erie, Colorado.  Weather was 1400 scattered, 2600 broken 3200 overcast, visibility 10 with a three-knot surface wind.  Ambient air temperature was 22˚C.  N9562Z (AF-12) was a 1951 C-45H registered since 2005 to a corporation in Midland, Texas.


(“Impact with obstacle following high density altitude takeoff”; “Aircraft destroyed”—local media reports the pilot may have had of an engine problem prior to impact.  Photos of the crash show extensive fire damage). 


7/19 2302Z (1902 local):  A Be36 landed gear up at Fletcher, North Carolina.  The solo pilot was not hurt; the extent of damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N4370W (E-559) is a 1974 A36 registered since 2004 to a corporation in Davidson, North Carolina.


(“Gear up landing”)


7/21 1728Z (1228 local):  The pilot of a Be35 “made an emergency landing in a field due to engine problems” near Rockford, Illinois.  The pilot reports “minor” injuries and a passenger was unhurt.  The airplane suffered “minor” damage.  Weather was “few clouds” at 4000, 25,000 scattered, visibility 10 miles with an eight-knot surface wind.  N313W (D-10363) is a 1981 V35B registered since May 2006 to an individual in Woodland Hills, California.


(“Engine failure in flight”— Reader reports [I was unable to speak with the pilot, who completed the planned trip to Oshkosh by surface transportation] say the pilot credits shoulder harnesses with preventing very serious head injuries.  Shoulder harness installation should be at the very top of an airplane owner’s priority list if the airplane does not already have them installed.  All aircraft occupants should wear shoulder harnesses at all times—the pilot reportedly said there were less than three minutes between engine failure and touchdown, a busy period leaving little time for attaching shoulder harnesses if they were not already being worn.  Corn in the field was almost nine feet high, and thinking it was shorter, the pilot flared high.  On rolling out the landing gear collapsed but the airplane is repairable).


7/23 0000Z (1800 local 7/22/2007):  “On landing,” a Be35 “ran off the end of the runway” at Johnson Creek Airport, Yellow Pine, Idaho.  The solo pilot reports no injury; damage is “unknown.”  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N6056Y (D-10242) is/was a 1979 V35B registered since 1999 to an individual in Danville, California.


(“Landed long”)


7/23 1630Z (1030 local):  A Be23 was “destroyed” when, on landing, the pilot lost control and the aircraft “went off the side of the runway, came to rest in [a] field, caught fire and burned,” at Taylor, Arizona.  The pilot, alone in the airplane, was not hurt.  Weather was “not reported.”  N6005X (M-2126) was a 1978 C23 recently (November 2006) registered to an individual in Snowflake, Arizona.


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


7/23 2218Z (1718 local):  Landing at Nashville, Tennessee, a Be58 “veered off the runway into the grass” and its landing gear collapsed.  The two aboard were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was 6500 broken, 7500 overcast, visibility 10 with winds at 10 knots.  N93DF (TH-61) is a 1970 58 Baron registered since 1999 to a corporation in Orlando, Florida.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”—remember that “minor” damage involving a gear collapse in a twin-engine airplane typically results in $60,000+ in repair cost, according to the insurance industry).



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 Beech piston NTSB reports this week.**




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


Total reported:  104 reports 


Operation in VMC:  65 reports   (63% of the total)    

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

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  33 reports    

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


Fatal accidents:  16 reports   (15% of the total)    

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


“Substantial” damage:  25 reports   (24% of the total)    

Aircraft “destroyed”:     21 reports   (20% of the total)    


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   26 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   29 reports 

Be58 Baron    17 reports

Be55 Baron   15 reports      

Be36 Bonanza   14 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   8 reports 

Be24 Sierra  5 reports   

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  4 reports

Be18 Twin Beech  3 reports

Be17 Staggerwing  2 reports  

Be76 Duchess    2 reports  

Be95 Travel Air   2 reports

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be65 Queen Air  1 report 




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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS (44 reports; 42% of the total)


Gear collapse (landing)

21 reports (two Be24s; four Be33s; three Be35s; two Be36s; four Be55s; four Be58s; Be65; Be95)


Gear up landing

17 reports (two Be33s; eight Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; Be58; two Be76s)


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)


Gear collapse—takeoff

1 report (Be36)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (18 reports; 17% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

4 reports (Be17; Be 23; Be55; Be58)


Impact with obstacle on landing

3 reports (two Be35s; 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 long

1 report (Be35)


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   (14 reports; 13% of the total) 


Fuel starvation

4 reports (three Be35s; Be50)


Engine failure in flight

4 reports (two Be35s; two Be36s)


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)


Fuel starvation—fuel unporting in extended slip

1 report (Be45)



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



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (7 reports; 7% 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)



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



3 reports (Be36; Be55; Be58)



2 reports (both Be36s)


Cruise/Unknown (mountainous terrain)

1 report (Be23)



LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT   (5 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)


Attempted visual flight in IMC

1 report (Be36)





In-flight vibration/flutter

1 report (Be35)


In-flight ruddervator separation

1 report (Be35)



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (3 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)


Impact with obstacle following high density altitude takeoff

1 report (Be18)



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)



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, MCFI

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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