Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


August 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


8/3/2007 Report




A reader reports: On or about July 10, 2007, an “experienced pilot” in a Be35 with a “non-flying pilot” in the right seat “pitched up abruptly [on takeoff] due to failure to re-set [the] trim prior to take-off.  After pitching up the plane started a roll to the left.  The pilot froze at the controls.  The far more experienced pilot in the right seat managed to gain some control of the plane by reaching over to the single yoke and applying full down force and full right aileron.  This resulted in an uncontrolled landing on the adjacent apron at an angle to the runway with one wing down which impacted the asphalt.  The plane crossed the apron into a grassy area and then into a small drainage ditch.  The nose gear was severed and the propeller was seriously damaged.  The nose bowl also received serious impact damage.  Quote from the right seat pilot who is working on his ATP and CFI:  ‘I will not fly in the right seat of a Bonanza again with the rudder pedals retracted.  I could have saved the plane if I had enough ruddervator authority which the pedals would have given me.’  The right seat pilot owns a Bonanza and has approx. 1500 hours Bonanza flight time.”  Weather conditions were not reported and there were no reported injuries.  The accident airplane is/was a 1949 A35, registration and serial number not reported.  It was “not [a] recent registration.” 


(“Loss of control on takeoff—improperly set trim”; “Substantial damage”—First lesson: ensure trim is properly set for takeoff.  Use a checklist, a flow check or mnemonic as a final Takeoff re-check.  Although it’s not the case in many airplanes, the Bonanza and its derivatives have a wide range of pitch trim settings and it does have enough trim authority to present a very nasty surprise if mis-trimmed for takeoff.  In fact, I once had to provide testimony in a case where improperly set trim led to a fatal accident, as could easily have been the case in this event.  The required Before Takeoff check of electric pitch trim, if installed, can easily result in a radically mis-set trim unless you perform the full checklist and re-set it after the test.  The same goes for autopilot preflight tests.  Second lesson: Train to a level of competence in possible attitudes.  The pilot reportedly “froze at the controls.”  Familiarity with stall recognition and unusual attitudes might prevent this.  Third lesson: If you’re a pilot in the right seat, be prepared for anything.  This includes making certain all available controls are active.  It’s a pain to un-stow copilot side rudder pedals once you’re in the seat, but as the nonflying pilot learned in this case your very survival may depend on it.  Thanks, reader, for your report.)





6/18 (time not reported):  A Be23 lost control and departed the runway at Plainville, Connecticut.  The pilot was not hurt and damage appears to be “substantial.”  “Examination of [the] runway…revealed a 6 foot length tire thread skid (nose wheel) was present on the runway at the initial touchdown point approximately 9 feet to the left of the centerline. The tire tread skid extended beyond the initial point of initial contact in a faint tire scuff extending in a right arc approximately to 300 to 400 feet in length before exiting the right edge of the runway onto the grass. Another tire tread scuff (left main tire) was located adjacent to the nose tire tread scuff. Both tire scuffs ran parallel to each other on pavement until the aircraft reached the right-hand edge of the runway. The aircraft departed runway 02 at the mid-point section, as made evident by nose and main tire tread marks disrupting gravel, grass, and a broken runway identification lamp.”  The NTSB report continues: “Examination of the airplane by the FAA revealed structural damage to both wings, flaps, landing gear, lower fuselage, engine mount, nacelle and lower firewall. Both main landing gear were detached at the mid-point section of each strut, and then collapsed. The nose gear had shifted aft to the firewall, the nose wheel and tire assembly was still intact. The engine received sudden stoppage.”  Wheels and brakes were able to turn freely when investigated. The airplane’s previous owner warned the accident pilot that the airplane “pull[ed] to the left” on landings, and that “"Nose wheel landings probably rank pretty high on the Sundowner "stupid pilot tricks" list.”   The “National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's improper use of rudder and brakes on landing roll out resulting in a loss of directional control, and collapse of the main landing gear.”  N67248 (M-2392) is a 1983 C23 recently (April 2007) registered to a co-ownership in Burlington, Connecticut.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—The Musketeer/Sundowner airplanes are usually fairly nose-heavy, and as the previous owner had noted frequently are the subject of directional control mishap reports resulting from nose-first touchdowns.  Any “pull” or other control difficulty on takeoff or landing should be fully investigated and repaired as needed before it contributes to a loss of aircraft control.  It is highly unusual, but first posting of this report is the final “probable cause” report.)


7/21 1525Z (1025 local):  The pilot of a Be36 died, and four others aboard the B36TC suffered “serious” injuries, when the Bonanza “was destroyed on impact with terrain following an encounter with adverse weather” at Tlajomulco de Zuniga, State of Jalisco, in the Republic of Mexico.  Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed.  I have been unable to determine the year or serial number for XB-JCJ.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “IMC”—as a foreign mishap we may not learn more unless a reader has additional information.)


7/25 2214Z (1514 local):  During a touch and go, one of a Be76’s propellers struck the runway at Concord, California.  The two aboard report no injury; damage is “unknown” and weather conditions “not reported”.  N99UC (ME-211) is a 1979 Duchess registered since 2000 to an individual in San Carlos, California.


(“Propeller strike on landing”—possibly an instructional mishap [clues: touch and go plus two aboard].  Wind event?  Loss of control during a simulated engine failure?  Gear mishap?)


7/26 1605Z (1005 local):  A Be58 landed gear up at Gaylord, Michigan.  The three aboard avoided injury; damage is “unknown” and weather “VFR”.  The aircraft registration in the FAA preliminary report was not correct and the serial number is currently unknown.


(“Gear up landing”)


7/26 1720Z (1220 local):  A Be36 “crashed under unknown circumstances on departure from Sturtevant, Wisconsin.  The solo pilot reports no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damages.  Weather conditions are also “unknown”.  N613KP (E-1757) is a 1979 A36 recently (November 2006) registered to a corporation based in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.


(“Takeoff/Unknown”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”) 


7/26 2238Z (1838 local):  A Be60 “encountered severe drafts, and after landing [the pilot] discovered wing damage,” at Ormond Beach, Florida.  The three aboard were not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather in the area was “not reported.”  N724RK (P-583) is a 1981 B60 Duke registered since April 2006 to an individual in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.


(“Turbulence encounter (cruise flight)”; “Substantial damage”—Assuming the pilot may have had some clue to the possibility of turbulence [Airmets, Sigmets, presence of cumulus clouds] it may have been wise to slow to the appropriate turbulent air penetration speed.  This speed (sometimes called VB) is designed to permit the wing to momentarily stall when encountering an essentially “moderate” or greater gust, thereby unloading the wing to prevent overstress.  At faster speeds the wing may absorb more stress than it is designed for.  VB is not always published, but it can be approximated by reducing the published VA speed by two knots for every 100 pounds below maximum takeoff weight [which is the weight at which VA is certified].  Wing modifications, if present [such as vortex generators, winglets or tip tanks] may cause VB to be even lower than otherwise calculated.  It’s best to remain well below published VA when in or anticipating moderate or greater turbulence.)


7/26 2300Z (1800 local):  A Be23 crashed six miles north of the Somerset, Kentucky airport “under unknown circumstances”.  The solo pilot died; the extent of damage is “unknown”.  Weather at Somerset was clear, visibility 10 miles, with surface winds at three knots.  N2354J (M-312) is/was a 1963 Model 23 recently (February 2007) registered to an individual in Morristown, Tennessee).


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”—a local news report says the plane appeared to have gone down almost nose first” but provides no further clues to the circumstances of the crash.  Another media source says the local coroner said a pilot health condition may have led to the crash, although it also said the airplane had been involved in “several emergency landings because of engine failure, the latest just four years ago.”  The only prior NTSB record for this aircraft involves an incident involving ice in the fuel in 1972).


7/27 1700Z (1300 local):  A Be23, “on landing, went off the runway, through a fence and into a field,” at Georgetown, Ohio.  The solo pilot was not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather: 13,000 scattered, 23,000 broken, visibility five with a nine-knot surface wind.  N2306L (M-127) is a 1962 Model 23 registered since 2002 to an individual in Georgetown.


(“Loss of directional control on landing”; “Substantial damage”)


7/28 1744Z (1044 local):  “On final,” a Be35 “stalled and crashed short of the runway” at Redlands, California.  The solo pilot reports “minor” injuries; aircraft damage is “substantial”.  Weather at Redlands: “VFR”.  N8973A (D-2727) is a 1951 C35 registered since 1984 to an individual in Rialto, California.


(“Stall on final approach”; “Substantial damage”)


8/1 0025Z (1925 local):  On takeoff at Angleton, Texas, the nose gear of a Be58 collapsed, causing “minor” damage and sparing the four aboard from injury.  Weather was “few clouds” at 9500 feet, visibility 10 with an eight knot surface wind and thunderstorms in the vicinity.  N58FW (TH-1407) is a 1984 Baron 58 recently (December 2006) registered to a corporation in New Castle, Delaware.


(“Gear collapse on takeoff”; “Recent registration”—Most likely the cause relates to landing gear maintenance.  There seems to be a high incidence of pushrod or rod end failures after about 2000 hours in service.  Although it’s not required, consensus is building that rods should be removed and inspected at no more than 2000 hours in service, and rod ends replaced at that time.  Bushings, shims, and any other rigging adjustments should be carefully inspected and replaced as necessary at this time as well.  Consider it fairly cheap insurance to avoid a $40,000 - $60,000 or more gear collapse.)


8/1 0045Z (1745 local 7/31/2007):  A Be33 landed gear up at Arlington, Washington.  The two aboard were unhurt and damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 13-knot wind.  N474T (CD-298) is a 1961 A33 recently (June 2007) registered to a corporation in Arlington.


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


8/1 0350Z (2350 local 7/31/2007):  During a midnight landing a Bridgeport, Connecticut, a Be55 landed gear up.  Two aboard the Baron avoided injury; damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a five-knot wind.  N295W (TE-653) is a 1968 D55 registered since 2005 to an individual in Sherman, Connecticut.


(“Gear up landing”; “Night”)


8/1 1744Z (1044 local):  A Be24 landed gear up at Sierra Vista, Arizona.  The Sierra’s lone occupant was not hurt and aircraft damage is “minor”.  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N6952R (MC-317) is a 1975 B24R recently (April 2007) registered to an individual in Sierra vista.


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


8/1 1952Z (1452 local):  A Be60, “on aborted takeoff, landed in a field” at Bismarck, North Dakota.  The solo pilot was not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with winds at 13 gusting to 18 knots, and surface temperatures at 27˚C.  N529R (P-529) is a 1980 B60 Duke registered since 2003 to a corporation in Bismarck.


(“Power loss on initial climb”; “Substantial damage”—local news reports the pilot “realized he did not have enough power at the end of the runway,” but he did not call it an engine failure.  He elected to abort initial climb into a wheat field.  Video in the news report shows impact was controlled and the airframe remained essentially intact.  The pilot speculates it was hot engine exhaust that ignited a fire that burned a large portion of the wheat field before emergency crews could extinguish it.  Check engine power indications [manifold pressure, rpm, EGTs, TIT as appropriate, and fuel flows] against expectations well before reaching liftoff speed, and abort immediately if your power targets are not met.)



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


**6/17 C23 loss of directional control, cited above..**


**7/14 Be58 incident at Chino, California.  Originally reported as “minor damage under unknown circumstances” in the FAA preliminary report, I speculated in the WAU “whether this was perhaps a gear up or gear collapse mishap.”  Now the NTSB preliminary report states the Baron “experienced a landing gear collapse while on the departure roll.”  The solo pilot, a CFI, “reported that as the airplane was accelerating down the runway for departure, he recognized the odor of burring electrical wire. As the airplane approached rotation speed, the odor became stronger and the landing gear suddenly collapsed.”   Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Gear collapse on takeoff” and “Minor damage” to “Substantial damage”.**


**7/19 C-45H crash on takeoff at Longmont, Colorado.  “The instructor pilot told the FAA inspector that he had simulated a right engine failure and the right propeller was feathered. Shortly thereafter, the left engine began running rough so they decided to bring the right engine back on-line. Shortly thereafter, both engines began running rough to the point that further flight could not be maintained.”  Witnesses report the Twin Beech “was observed at low level about 200 feet and descending. It made a turn to the west, leveled off, then descended sharply. The engines appeared to be "stopped." The airplane flew between two large trees, clipping the left tree. The airplane then hit a wooden power pole and impacted into a field about 25 feet beyond the tree. Upon impact with the ground, the left engine caught fire.”  Change “Impact with obstacle following high density altitude takeoff” to “Engine failure on takeoff—dual engine failure”.**


**7/21 fatal B36TC crash in Mexico, cited above.**



8/9/2007 Report




Regarding the 1/14/2007 F35 off-airport landing near Sedona, Arizona: The pilot reports the E-225 engine’s Thompson fuel pump failed and workload picking a landing spot from 1500 ft AGL cruise flight prevented him from using the hand-operated wobble pump to restore power.  He has posted a full account of his experience at www.fivestarharmony.comChange “Force landed due to unspecified mechanical problem” to “Fuel pump failure” and “Damage unknown” to “Minor damage”.


Regarding the 7/21 V35B engine failure near Rockford, Illinois: Sources in contact with NTSB investigators report they are looking at the possibility that advancing the throttle to maintain formation position while cruising lean of peak EGT (LOP) may have instigated engine roughness, and that further troubleshooting may not have returned the engine to a rich-enough mixture setting to fully restore power before the pilot had to set his Bonanza down in a cornfield.  This is consistent with pilot-reported indications of a rough-running engine followed by total engine failure, and total time from roughness to landing at under three minutes.  Although the NTSB has not yet published even a preliminary report on this mishap, and the information cited above is second-hand and not at all conclusive, it does serve as a reminder that operations that may require a large throttle increase in a distracting or high-workload environment may lead to a significant power loss if the throttle advance was made from well LOP and the pilot did not (or did not have time to) advance the mixture before opening the throttle.  We’ve seen this speculated previously by pilots as a possible cause of engine failure in at least one Bonanza and one Cirrus when leveling at MDA in a nonprecision approach, and reported by the pilot of an F33A at the bottom of a long descent at wide-open throttle (WOT), where increased atmospheric pressure in descent naturally leans the mixture further.  Whether or not it turns out to be a factor in this specific engine failure, it serves as a reminder to pilots in operations that require long descents (with naturally aspirated engines) or large throttle movements in a high-workload environment (MDA level-off, missed approach and/or specialized skills such as formation flight) to consider returning the engine to rich of peak (ROP) mixtures before beginning those operations to prevent excessively-lean engine roughness or failure when increasing throttle.





8/4 1545Z (1045 local):  An unidentified Be35’s landed collapsed on the landing roll at Janesville, Wisconsin.  Three aboard were not hurt; damage was “minor”.  Weather was 15,000 overcast, visibility 10 miles with a four-knot surface wind.  Registration and serial number for the Bonanza are unknown.


(“Gear collapse on landing”) 


8/5 0400Z (2200 local 8/4/2007):  A Be36 landed gear up at the end of a night “VFR” flight to Jean, Nevada. Three aboard the Bonanza were not hurt despite “substantial” damage.  N9ET (E-85) is a 1968 Model 36 registered since 1989 to an individual in Beatty, Nevada.


(“Gear up landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”)


8/5 1425Z (0925 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “reported engine failure and force-landed on a road,” near Topeka, Kansas.  The solo pilot was not hurt and there is no reported damage.  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N123SN (E-3601) is a 2005 A36 registered since 2005 to a corporation based in Stockton, Kansas.


(“Engine failure in flight”)


8/5 1930Z (1230 local):  A Be76 “sustained a prop strike after landing,” at South Lake Tahoe, California.  No one was hurt; damage is “minor.”  Weather conditions were “unknown.”  N6011Q (ME-100) is a 1978 Duchess recently (January 2007) registered to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Prop strike on landing”; “Recent registration”)




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


**7/12 Baron 58 landing gear collapse on rollout at Northway, Alaska.  “The pilot reported that after an uneventful touchdown on the gravel-covered runway, the right main landing gear collapsed, followed by the left main landing gear, and finally the nose landing gear. The pilot reported that there were known problems with the landing gear prior to the accident…. The Northway Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Service Station (FSS) specialist on duty at the time of the accident reported that the landing gear on the accident airplane appeared to be extended during the final landing approach.”  The record shows conclusively that you should not attempt flight with a known landing gear problem, especially if that flight includes rough-field operations in remote areas.  Don’t let your plans for a big trip cloud your judgment about deferred aircraft maintenance.**



8/16/2007 Report




8/8 2145Z (1745 local):  A Be77 “went down in a field while attempting to land,” at Bloomington, Indiana.  The solo pilot has “minor” injuries; aircraft damage is “unknown.”  Weather conditions were not reported.  N1837Y (WA-309) is/was a 1982 Skipper recently (“pending”) registered to an individual in Martinsville, Indiana.


(“Landing/Unknown”; “Recent registration”)


8/10 2215Z (1715 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Slaton, Texas.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 13-knot wind.  N1240A (D-9028) is a 1969 V35A registered since 2004 in a partnership based in New Home, Texas.


(“Gear up landing”)


8/11 1730Z (1330 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Lawrenceville, Georgia.  The pilot and two passengers were unhurt; damage is “unknown”.  Weather: 6000 scattered, visibility seven miles, with surface winds at four knots.  N515B (D-1539) is a 1948 A35, “sale reported” with registration “in question.”


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




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


**7/21 V35B off-airport landing near Rockford, Illinois.  Although the information is still preliminary, the report is consistent with the investigators’ comments about mixture control cited in the Update on this incident in last week’s report.  Indications might also be indicative of some kind of throttle disconnect or an obstruction in the induction system.  Add “substantial” aircraft damage.**


**7/26 A36 impact on the airport at Sturtevant, Wisconsin.  Change “Takeoff/Unknown” to “Landed long—tailwind landing” and “Weather unknown” to “VMC.”.  The pilot “stated that when he attempted the first approach to runway 08, he ‘felt a little fast so went around and set up for short field approach.’ On the second approach the airplane landed ‘on or shortly after the numbers’ and the pilot reported that the braking was ‘inadequate.’ The airplane overran the end of the runway and subsequently impacted a dirt pile. A witness reported that the pilot ‘landed with a tailwind’ and that the ‘wind sock [was] fully extended.’ Wind conditions reported at various airports surrounding the accident site were from 250 to 260 degrees true at 7 to 9 knots. An examination of the braking system after the accident revealed no anomalies and all serviceable components were within operational limits.”  Original reports were that the pilot was flying solo, but the NTSB preliminary states there were five about the A36.  None were injured.  The Pilots Operating Handbook applicable to this aircraft shows landing distance with a 9-knot tailwind would increase as much as 40% over a still-air landing under the same conditions, and roughly 60% over a landing into that same 9-knot wind.  A common student pilot mistake I saw when I did a lot of primary flight training is to read the wind sock “backward”, i.e., mistakenly assume the sock points into the wind and not away from it.  Conversely, if a wind tetrahedron was the primary wind indicator and the pilot was not used to interpreting it, the fact it does point into the wind may have been confusing.  Also, according to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), wind tetrahedrons are often anchored to indicate the preferred zero-wind runway and not free to spin about in the wind.  Here’s a review of airport wind indicators.**


**7/27 Be23 loss of directional control on landing in a gusty wind, at Georgetown, Ohio.The pilot indicated that a gust of wind from the west blew the airplane off of the right side of the [65-foot wide] runway and through a fence. The airplane subsequently came to rest in a field. The pilot's accident report indicated that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane. Winds reported at a nearby airport were 220 degrees true at 11 knots.”  Georgetown’s runway is aligned 17/35 but the report does not indicate the runway the pilot was using.**



8/23/2007 Report




UPDATE on the 7/21 V35B engine failure en route from Rockford, Illinois to Oshkosh:  The pilot writes, excerpted here with permission, that "[the NTSB’s stated] theory of full throttle advance during a lean condition may [indeed] have caused the power loss."  He states "there was no oil leak" despite rumors of such that circulated at Oshkosh, and "[t]he engine 'stumbled' during a full throttle advance" from a cruise mixture setting at reduced throttle for formation station-keeping.  It then quit altogether when he “failed to richen the mixture or use the boost pump. 


“I am not sure though that I was in fact LOP at the time of the initial partial power,” he writes, “although the continued degradation of power during descent would seem to indicate that.”  Post-accident engine runs on a test stand showed no anomalies and "the engine ran excellent"; it is being torn down for further analysis and engine monitor data will be downloaded and reviewed.  Quite generously, the pilot offers a number of lessons learned to prevent similar occurrences in the future, the most important being "partial power is a trap that invites denial."  He will detail his experience and lessons in an upcoming issue of ABS Magazine and perhaps other industry publications."  The pilot’s initial write-up of the event includes insights into dealing with power failures, choice of mixture settings for various types of operations, selecting an emergency landing site and whether and when to extend landing gear prior to an off-airport landing. 


(One of the sagest bits of advice I’ve ever heard about dealing with emergencies came from John Deakin during the live session of Advanced Pilot Seminars I attended.  John’s advice was, when faced with a high workload situation or an engine anomaly, to “park the engine” at a power and mixture setting you know should permit it to run smoothly.  John defined the “parked” condition as being well rich of peak EGT—not optimal for economy or arguably for engine longevity, but such a condition that allows close to maximum available power and permits directing your attention to troubleshooting and basic airmanship.  When you think about it, that’s precisely what we teach pilots of multiengine airplanes to do at the first sign of engine trouble: advance Mixtures, Props and Throttles to full forward, then methodically identify and deal with the failed engine.  Perhaps we should drill that into single-engine pilots as well…if you suspect any engine trouble, put everything forward for close to maximum available power, and then evaluate the result.  Thanks, reader, for letting us learn from your experience, and promising to let us learn much more in your future article).





8/15 0138Z (1938Z 8/14/2007):  A Be35 “lost power and landed in a field, 40 miles from Rawlins, Wyoming.”  The solo pilot reports no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage. Weather conditions were “not reported”.  N1584L (D-9864) is a 1976 V35B registered since 2005 to an individual in San Jose, California.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”)


8/16 0200Z (2000 local 8/15/2007):  A Be55 “experienced a landing gear malfunction” on landing at Heber City, Utah.  Two aboard were not hurt; damage is “unknown” and weather conditions were “not reported”.  N7947R (TE-705) is a 1969 D55 registered since 1997 to a co-ownership based in Elk Grove, California.


(“Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure”—Given that this is not NTSB reportable, we may not learn the circumstances of this malfunction.  Readers?)


8/16 2255Z (1755 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Alexandria, Minnesota. The solo pilot wasn’t injured; damage is “substantial”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind. N7159N (D-8814) is a 1968 V35A recently (February 2007) registered to a corporation in Roseville, Minnesota.


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


8/18 1436Z (1036 local):  On takeoff, a Be36 was unable to attain climb and struck a fence beyond the departure end of the runway, at Clearwater, Florida.  One person was hospitalized with “non-life-threatening injuries” and two others on board were treated for “minor” injuries at the scene.  Aircraft damage was “substantial”.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a five knot wind; temperature was 29˚C.  N6750C (EA-393) is a 1984 B36TC recently (May 2007) registered to a corporation in Clearwater.


(“Impact with obstacle following takeoff/unable to attain climb”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—Local news reports the Bonanza “had just lifted into the air at Clearwater Airpark…when it teetered, came back to the ground, slid across the runway and landed on its belly….”  The B36TC is notoriously nose-heavy, and if full of fuel with three aboard it is often forward of c.g. limits unless the third person is in the rearmost seat and/or the pilot has made an effort to otherwise balance the load.  This characteristic runs counter to the rest of the Bonanza world—where the rule is to put the weight as far forward as possible—and is often overlooked when a pilot moves into the unique turbocharged variant of the Model 36.  Forward c.g.s require greater elevator force to “unstuck” the nose at liftoff.  More force requires more air flow, in turn requiring a longer takeoff roll.  The B36TC’s long wing, however, invites a liftoff into ground effect at speed that cannot sustain flight just a few feet higher.  This attribute has been cited as a possible contributor to several B36TC mishaps, especially on hotter days such as this event.  Even if moving between externally similar models of airplane, check the weight and balance characteristics of each individual airplane you fly.  Don’t consider experience in one variant or an aircraft model to be completely transferable to another [this goes for instructor pilots providing training, too].  Especially on hot days, achieve full takeoff speed before allowing the airplane to lift off.  And in retractable gear airplanes, be certain to attain and maintain a positive rate of climb before retracting the landing gear.)


8/19 1820Z (1120 local):  “While taxiing to park, [the] left wingtip [of a Be36] struck a fence” at San Carlos, California.  No one was hurt; damage is “unknown” and weather “not reported.”  N9JF (E-362) is a 1972 A36 registered since 2004 to an individual in Las Vegas, Nevada.


(“Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft”)


8/20 2025Z (1625 local):  A Be35 “lost power on departure” and “landed gear up,” at Block Island, Rhode Island.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a six-knot wind.  N6247V (D-8614) is a 1967 V35A registered since 1982 to a corporation in Lagrangeville, New York.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”—the gear up was a symptom of the incident, not the cause.)



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 Beechcraft NTSB reports this week.**



8/30/2007 Report




8/17 (time not reported):  News sources report a Be36 disappeared during a night flight from Accra, Ghana, while attempting to deliver the Bonanza to a new owner in South Africa via a refueling stop in Windhoek, Namibia.  The 15,000-hour, Wichita, Kansas-based ferry pilot and the 1997 A36 Bonanza made last contact about an hour after departing Accra.  No other information is available as of this writing.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Night”—hopefully with details to be revealed later)


8/21 (time not reported):  Local sources report that when departing Westchester County Airport, White Plains, New York, a Be33’s engine began to vibrate at about 1000 feet AGL.  The pilot radioed the tower and returned for an otherwise uneventful landing.  On investigation the #4 cylinder head was found to have separated from the barrel, snapping the fuel injection line in two in the process.  The 1200-hour engine has about 250 hours/three years since replacement of all six cylinders with a nickel-plated aftermarket variety.  The anonymous airplane is a 1991 F33A.


(“Cylinder head separation in flight”—‘AAA’: Airspeed, Altitude and pilot Attitude can turn even a catastrophic engine failure into a mishap non-event.  This one will never make it to the mishap reports because the pilot had enough altitude and remaining power to skillfully return to the airport.  It’s important to know, however, how many of this type of non-accident engine events actually happen.  If you know of an unreported engine failure, report it to  [anonymously if you wish] so we can get a truer picture of what’s really going on in the fleet.)





8/22 1616Z (1216 local):  The pilot of a Be58, while “on the taxiway ramp” at Chamblee, Georgia, reported the Baron was on fire.  Two aboard escaped without injury and damage is deemed “minor”.  Weather was “VFR”.  N658Y (TH-2154) is a 2006 G58 recently (September 2006) registered to a corporation in Concord, North Carolina.


(“Fire during taxi”; “Recent registration”)


8/22 2145Z (1745 local):  “After departure” from Niceville, Florida, a Be24 “crashed off the runway.”  The pilot has “unknown” injuries; three passengers were “seriously” hurt.  The Sierra has “substantial” damage.  Weather was “VMC”.  N1802N (MC-758) is a 1981 C24R registered five days earlier to an individual in Miramar Beach, Florida.


(“Takeoff/Unknown”; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”)


8/26 1950Z (1250 local):  “On departure roll, [the] left main tire [of a Be76] blew, [the] aircraft veered and the nose gear collapsed,” at Coalinga, California.  Two aboard the Duchess were not hurt, and aircraft damage is “minor”.  Weather was “not reported”.  N2013Q (ME-77) is a 1978 Duchess registered since 2002 to a corporation in Malibu, California.


(“Blown tire on takeoff”—this could be the result of any number of scenarios, but the first possibility that comes to mind is a simulated engine failure on takeoff during an instructional flight, and overly aggressive braking leading to the blown tire).


8/27 1812Z (1412 local):  A Be76 at Pompano Beach, Florida, experienced a gear collapse during the landing roll.  Two aboard the “training” flight report no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 10-knot wind.  N61265 (ME-135) is a 1979 Duchess registered since 2000 to a corporation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Substantial damage”; “Dual instruction”—possibly another training scenario gone bad, including a possible touch-and-go or something related to a simulated engine problem.  Or it could be a mechanical failure as a result of heavy instructional use typical of the type.  Historically about 10% of all reported piston Beech mishaps take place during dual flight instruction.  Students and instructors need to be aware of the added risk of nonstandard activities, and intentionally increasing difficulty and risk levels to facilitate training.  Instructors must remain vigilant and aware their primary function is assuring a safe flight, with imparting learning an extremely important but subordinate function).



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


**8/18 B36TC inability to climb after takeoff at Clearwater, Florida.  Pilot testimony appears to echo the FLYING LESSONS comments of last week, which discussed lifting off in a B36TC into ground effect at an airspeed below which full control authority is available: “The owner of the accident airplane said that he both observed the takeoff, and later spoke with the pilot while he was in the hospital, and the pilot told him that the takeoff roll had been uneventful, however, after rotating, and when about 50 feet in the air, the flight controls became mushy, and he did not have any elevator or rudder control.”  This increasingly common report among B36TCs, perhaps as a consequence of the airplane’s long wing, seems most prevalent at high runway temperatures.  Add “serious injuries”.**



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


Total reported:  138 reports 


Operation in VMC:  84 reports   (61% of the total)    

Operation in IMC:     7 reports   (5% of the total)    

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  47 reports    

Operation at night:  13 reports   (9% of the total)    


Fatal accidents:  18 reports   (13% of the total)    

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  7 reports  (5% of the total)  


“Substantial” damage:  40 reports   (29% of the total)    

Aircraft “destroyed”:     22 reports   (16% of the total)    


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   37 reports   (27% 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   37 reports 

Be36 Bonanza   21 reports

Be58 Baron    20 reports

Be55 Baron   17 reports      

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   10 reports 

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  7 reports

Be24 Sierra  7 reports   

Be76 Duchess    6 reports  

Be18 Twin Beech  3 reports

Be17 Staggerwing  2 reports  

Be60 Duke  2 reports

Be95 Travel Air   2 reports

Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report

Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report

Be65 Queen Air  1 report 

Be77 Skipper   1 report




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


LANDING GEAR-RELATED MISHAPS (57 reports; 41% of the total) 


Gear up landing

25 reports (Be24; three Be33s; eleven Be35s; three Be36s; three Be55s; two Be58s; two Be76s)


Gear collapse (landing)

23 reports (two Be24s; four Be33s; four Be35s; two Be36s; four Be55s; four Be58s; Be65; Be76; Be95)


Gear collapse—takeoff

3 reports (Be36; two Be58s)


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 up landing—known mechanical system failure

1 report (Be55)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (23 reports; 17% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

6 reports (Be17; three Be23s; Be55; Be58)


Impact with obstacle on landing

3 reports (two Be35s; Be58)


Prop strike on landing

2 reports (both Be76s)


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 long—tailwind landing

1 report (Be36)


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   (21 reports; 15% of the total) 


Engine failure in flight

6 reports (three Be35s; three Be36s)


Fuel starvation

4 reports (three Be35s; Be50)


Engine failure on takeoff

3 reports (two Be35s; Be55)


Engine-driven fuel pump failure

2 reports (both Be35s)


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)


Engine failure on takeoff--dual engine failure

1 report (Be18)


Power loss on initial climb

1 report (Be60)


Cylinder head separation in flight

1 report (Be33)


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



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (10 reports; 7% of the total) 


Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft

3 reports (Be36; two Be55s)


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)


Fire during taxi

1 report (Be58)


In-flight break-up: low-altitude maneuvering

1 report (Be58)


Mid-air collision

1 report (Be35)


Turbulence encounter (cruise flight)

1 report (Be60)


Blown tire on takeoff

1 report (Be76)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (10 reports; 7% of the total)  



5 reports (Be23; four Be36s)



3 reports (Be36; Be55; Be58)


Cruise/Unknown (mountainous terrain)

1 report (Be23)



1 report (Be77)



1 report (Be24)



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



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (4 reports; 3% of the total) 


Impact with obstacle following takeoff/unable to attain climb

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

1 report (Be58)


Loss of control on takeoff—improperly set trim

1 report (Be35)



STALL/SPIN   (3 reports; 2% of the total)


Stall/Spin on takeoff

1 report (Be55)


Stall on takeoff

1 report (Be36)


Stall on final approach

1 report (Be35)





In-flight vibration/flutter

1 report (Be35)


In-flight ruddervator separation

1 report (Be35)



CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN   (2 reports; 1% of the total)


Descent below minimum altitude on approach—night IMC

1 report (Be36)


Controlled flight into terrain/night mountainous terrain

1 report (Be58)




Thomas P. Turner, MCFI

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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