Mastery Flight Training, Inc. 

Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


November 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


11/1/2007 Report




10/26 1903Z (1203 local):  Taking off from Camarillo, California, a Be36 “stalled and landed gear up.”  Two aboard were not hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: sky clear, visibility six miles in haze, with winds at eight knots.  N16SF (E-635) is a 1976 A36 recently (November 2006) registered to a corporation in Templeton, California.


(“Engine failure on takeoff” [as a result of local reports]; “Recent registration”—despite the witness reports that the airplane “stalled”, given the lack of injury it probably did not and this was a witness' mis-use of the term in an attempt to describe an engine failure)


10/27 1730Z (1030 local):  Two aboard a Be35 avoided injury when the Bonanza’s engine “lost power” at 1600 feet shortly after takeoff from San Carlos, California, and the pilot ditched the airplane in San Francisco Bay.  The airplane sank; damage is considered “substantial”.  News accounts differ as to whether the occupants were picked off the wing by rescue boats, or they swam to shore after the Bonanza sank.  Weather: 15,000 broken, visibility 10, with surface winds over 25 knots.  N505B (D-1528) is/was a 1949 A35 registered since 1998 to an individual in Show Low, Arizona.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”—There seems to have been a rash of failures of E-series engines in recent months.  Although it’s not known if this is a factor in this particular case, many E-engines have modified engine-driven fuel pumps. The FAA recently issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) NE-07-23R1 recommending inspection and possible replacement of Thompson TF-1900 fuel pumps installed on E-series engines (original on 1947 - 1956 Bonanzas). The SAIB affects TF-1900 fuel pumps returned to service by Thunderbird Aircraft Parts, Inc., Bethany, Oklahoma.  Thunderbird has for years been a very popular modifier of E-series fuel pumps and, although this SAIB is advisory only [not an Airworthiness Directive], it’s worth checking if you fly an airplane with an E-series engine.  Remember that the manual “wobble pump” is your line of defense in the case of an engine-driven pump failure in E-engines, and that an aftermarket, electric auxiliary pump for emergency use is available by STC.)


10/28 0310Z (2310 local 10/27/2007):  A Be76 landed gear up at Fort Pierce, Florida.  The two aboard were not hurt; damage is “unknown.”  Weather for the night flight was “clear and 10” with a three-knot wind.  N3865U (ME-406) is a 1981 Duchess registered since 2001 to a flight training corporation in Fort Pierce.


(“Gear up landing”—this was almost certainly a dual instruction mission gone bad.)


10/30 2350Z (1750 local):  Arriving at Michigan City, Indiana, a Be55 landed gear up.  The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is “minor”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with an eight-knot wind.  N919Y (TC-408) is a 1963 A55 registered since 1982 to a Chesterton, Indiana corporation.


(“Gear up landing”)



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


**10/7 G35 engine failure near Lexington, South Carolina.  Change “Engine failure on takeoff” to “Fuel exhaustion.”  From the NTSB Factual Report: “The fuel selector was positioned to the left main fuel tank. The pilot attempted to restart the engine utilizing the right main fuel tank and auxiliary fuel tanks; however, the engine did not restart. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a road. During the landing, the right wing struck a telephone pole and sustained substantial damage…. The pilot reported that he might have run the left fuel tank out of fuel. Examination of the left fuel tank by the FAA inspector revealed that it was empty. The FAA inspector also noted that the airplane had flown 2.16 hours, according to the tachometer, since its last fueling. The FAA inspector further stated that the left main fuel tank had a capacity of 22 gallons of fuel, and the engine consumed about 11 gallons per hour during cruise flight. The FAA inspector did not find any preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane.”  Time multiplied by fuel flow, plus fuel draw for return fuel in injected engines = fuel burned out of the tank.  Keep that number above the capacity of the tank.  In fact, add about five minutes’ engine run time as a buffer—as in this case, we often hear that the engine will not restart in time when a fuel tank is run completely dry.**


**10/7 fatal D55 impact into the ocean near St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Attempted visual flight into IMC, dark night over water”.



11/8/2007 Report




A reader related that, on or about 11/6 at an unspecified daylight time, a Be35’s engine-driven fuel pump failed at 300 feet AGL on departure from the center runway at Sanford, Florida.  The pilot reportedly felt he was unable to simultaneously control the airplane and pump the manual “wobble” pump to keep the engine operating, and instead turned back toward the airport and landed on a parallel runway in the direction opposite takeoff.  He was able to extend the landing gear before touchdown; after landing he was able to restart the engine with the wobble pump and taxi to maintenance.  The airplane’s E-series Continental engine was found to have suffered a failure of the Romec engine-driven fuel pump.  There were no injures or damage, and weather was VMC.  Lessons relayed from the pilot: (1) maintain aircraft control over all else; (2) turn back to the airport only if there’s no alternative ahead of you, and aim for the airport grounds but do not expect to land on the departure airport; (3) for airplanes without electric auxiliary fuel pumps, strongly consider adding one (under STC) for use in similar emergencies.  The airplane was not identified.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”)





10/31 1842Z (1442 local):  A Be24 landed gear up on runway 15 at Griffiss Airfield, Rome, New York.  The solo pilot has “unknown” injuries, and airplane damage is “unknown” as well.  Weather at KRME was “clear and 10” with surface winds from 190˚ at 12 gusting to 19 knots.  N6656A (MC-792) is a 1983 C24R registered since 2001 to an individual in Rome.


(“Gear up landing”—another in the correlation between high or gusty surface winds and gear up landings.  In addition to the distraction of the winds themselves, turning final into a strong wind results in visual cues that make it appear the airplane is descending normally with gear extended.  Reduced ground speed in the strong wind makes it appear the runway is approaching at the “normal” rate, even if speed is higher for a given pitch attitude with the gear up.  Also, the angle of descent gear up into a strong wind may approximate the angle of descent with gear down on a calm day.  Further, the techniques we’re taught for landing in a strong wind work against us in retractable landing gear airplanes.  Common technique is to land at reduced flap settings, at higher speeds, and with a little power through the flare.  Given that most RG airplanes have gear warning horns or lights that sound when gear is up and [1] flaps are set to full, [2] power is brought to idle, and/or [3] airspeed drops to a set value, the common wind-related landing techniques effectively disable the landing gear warning system.  “Correlation does not imply causation,” as Dr. Tony Kern says, and he’s right.  Strong winds alone do not cause gear-up landings.  Hearing a report of strong winds near the surface, however, should remind pilots of RG airplanes to follow strict landing gear discipline and to double-check “down and locked” indications on final approach, because in strong winds visual cues and gear warning systems will likely not protect you if you’re distracted and forget to extend the landing gear.)


11/3 1703Z (1003 local):  While landing at Mesa, Arizona’s Falcon Field, the nose gear of a Be35 collapsed.  The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is deemed “minor”.  Weather was “VFR” with 40 miles visibility and a seven-knot surface wind.  N9831R (D-6340) is a 1960 M35 recently (March 2007) registered to a co-ownership based in Mesa.


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


11/4 2110Z (1610 local):  A Be33 landed gear up at Teterboro, New Jersey.  Two aboard the Bonanza report no injury and damage is “minor”.  Weather was “unknown”.  N861DS (CE-512) is a 1974 F33A registered since 1994 to an individual in Carlisle, Massachusetts.


(“Gear up landing”—remember that in a gear up or gear collapse mishap, “minor” damage usually equates to $60,000 or more damage in Bonanza-class airplanes, and may render the pilot virtually uninsurable for up to five years).


11/5 1715Z (1115 local):  The pilot of a Be35 “reported engine failure and crashed one mile from the approach end of the runway,” at Fort Worth, Texas.  The lone person aboard has “serious” injuries and there was “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with winds to 16 knots.  According to the NTSB, “a Meacham controller…reported that the airplane was flying through Meacham's airspace when the pilot reported that he experienced a loss of engine power. The controller cleared the pilot to land at FTW. The controller observed the airplane approaching a short final with the landing gear still retracted. Before the controller could query the pilot about the landing gear, the pilot reported that he would not be able to land at the airport and maneuvered the airplane for an open field near the ramp of a major highway. The pilot was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.  The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector documented the damage to the airplane. The aircraft was a 1958 Beech J35 equipped with wingtip tanks. The aircraft came to rest approximately 870 yards from the approach end of Runway 16 at FTW. The engine was damaged and nearly separated from the aircraft. Both wingtip fuel tanks ruptured. Structural damage was noted to the wings and fuselage of the aircraft. Shoulder harnesses were not installed in the aircraft.” N7208B (D-5499) is a 1958 J35 registered since June 2006 to an individual in Fort Worth.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”—a local news report shows the airplane impacted under control in wings-level flight.  This probably saved the pilot, although shoulder harnesses may have prevented his serious injuries.)


11/6 0056Z (1656 local 11/5/2007):  A Be60 landed gear up at Concord, California, sparing the two aboard any injury and causing “minor” aircraft damage.  Weather was sky clear, visibility nine miles with a five-knot wind.  N408FA (P-434) is a 1977 B60 registered since July 2006 to an individual in Orinda, California.


(“Gear up landing”—in a twin with fairly unique, complex engines and a lot of airplane-specific parts that are becoming fairly rare, chances are this Duke suffered well above the $60,000 average damage from a landing gear-related mishap and may even be totaled because of repair costs relative to aircraft value).


11/6 1653Z (1153 local):  While taxiing at Opa Locka, Florida, a Be18 collided with a Cessna Caravan at a taxiway intersection.  The Twin Beech suffered “substantial” damage, but the three on board were not hurt.  Weather was 5500 broken, visibility 10 with a six-knot wind.  N18R (BA-312) is a 1957 E18S registered since April 2006 to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft”; “Substantial damage”—The Cessna also received “substantial” damage but no one aboard it was hurt).


11/6 2128Z (1628 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Merritt Island, Florida.  The solo pilot escaped injury; damage is “unknown” and weather “not reported”.  N7856L (D-8289) is a 1966 V35 registered since 2001 to a Dover, Delaware corporation.


(“Gear up landing”)


11/6 (time not reported):  A Be55 made a gear-up landing at dusk, at Crystal River, Florida.  The solo pilot was not hurt; aircraft damage is “unknown”.  Weather was ”clear and 10” with calm winds.  N4146Q (TC-1590) is a 1973 B55 registered since 2003 to a Wilmington, Delaware-based corporation.


(“Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure”—a CNN video of the landing suggests several things:


  1. The gear failed to extend for a known mechanical reason, giving time for the news crews and airport crash rescue forces to be in place for the landing.

  2. Electrical power was still available, as evidenced by the aircraft’s exterior lights including powerful landing lights.

  3. It appears the landing gear was fully retracted with the gear doors completely closed.  Did something in the gear system fail with the gear fully up [broken gear transmission sector gear? broken/jammed pushrods?].  Or was it a failure of the electric gear motor and the pilot did not or could not [for some reason] manually extend the landing gear?

  4. It also appears in the video that the pilot unlatched the forward cabin door prior to final approach, to facilitate a speedy exit after landing.

  5. The twilight touchdown makes very obvious the sparks generated and the fire hazard presented by a gear-up landing.

  6. The pilot did not turn off electrical equipment or shut down the fuel system [and engines] before impact to minimize the chances of post-touchdown fire.  He did turn off the electrical system (or at least the exterior lights) near the completion of his landing slide.

  7. It appears the pilot did not use flaps.  Although flaps reduce the landing speed, they may impact the surface and cause the airplane to pitch downward hard into the ground on touchdown.  Of course the boarding step extends below the flap line and may sometimes causes this pitch-down and a swerve to the right on touchdown also.


The pilot appears to have done a superlative job of smoothly landing the airplane without the landing gear.)



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


** 10/27 F35 engine failure and ditching into San Francisco Bay.  The airplane had flown about one hour since the latest annual inspection, and the engine had 50 to 60 hours since overhaul.**


** 11/5 J35 engine failure and off-airport landing near Fort Worth, Texas, cited above.**



11/15/2007 Report




A reader, the owner and pilot-in-command, reports:

11/7 1530Z (1030 local):  Shortly after taking off from Mountain Air Airport in western North Carolina, a turbocharged Be36’s engine lost power.  Mountain Air has a fairly short runway and is surrounded by challenging terrain.  The pilot therefore immediately chose two objectives: [1] get away from the rugged terrain and toward flatter land in the event the engine quit completely, and [2] hit “nearest airport” on the GPS and proceed toward the nearest airport away from rising terrain.  Mountain Air is at 4432 feet MSL; the B36TC was able to climb to 6500 feet and fly the short distance to Rutherfordton, North Carolina.  The pilot dialed 121.5 into his primary communications radio but was too busy to attempt to contact Air Traffic Control (ATC) or declare an emergency.  When on base turning to final the TSIO-520UB quit completely and the pilot glided to a successful landing on Rutherfordton’s runway.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage was limited to the engine.  Weather was VMC.  Inspection revealed a cylinder pushrod throughbolt had failed and the pushrod itself broke apart; there was a large hole in the crankcase and two impact dents on the upper cowling.  The engine had 687 total operating hours since new, but two cylinders had only 9.1 hours since being removed for low compression readings, refurbishment by the engine manufacturer and reinstallation on the engine.  N428LP (EA-693) is a 2002 B36TC registered since 2002 to a corporation in Middletown, Rhode Island. 


(“Engine failure-- pushrod failure in flight”—superb work by the pilot under very difficult circumstances.  He had a plan for partial engine failure, and executed the plan when needed.  He flew his pattern at Rutherfordton tightly enough that he could glide to the runway when the engine failed completely.  Ironically, the pilot was en route to FlightSafety International for a refresher on emergency procedures at the time of this incident.  Thanks, reader, for generously offering your comments for this week’s report.)





11/9 0244Z (1844 local 11/8/207):  The pilot of a Be36 “reported [an] engine problem and force landed short of the airport,” at Jean, Nevada.  Two aboard the Bonanza weren’t hurt; damage is “minor.”  Weather at nearby KLAS: “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N3672B (E-1707) is a 1980 A36 registered since 2004 to a Phoenix, Arizona corporation.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Night”)


11/10 1600Z (1000 local):  “While taxiing” after landing, the “nose gear [of a Be35] collapsed” at Bridgeport, Texas.  Two aboard avoided injury, while aircraft damage is “unknown.”  Weather: 400 scattered, 1300 scattered, visibility seven miles, with calm surface winds.  N9513Y (D-7012) is a 1962 P35 registered since 2005 to a co-ownership in Fort Worth, Texas.


(“Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure”--A witness reported the pilot heard a “popping noise” when retracting the gear at the beginning of the flight.  If I had to guess I’d bet a nose gear aft rod end failed and the “popping” was the sound of the lower transmission arm rubbing against the pushrod.  It’s generally considered worthwhile to preemptively replace all landing gear rod ends at 2000 hours in service regardless of apparent condition, to guard against this very common failure) 


11/10 2232Z (1732 local):  A Be58 “experienced electrical failure and on landing the gear collapsed, at West Lafayette, Indiana.  The solo pilot was unhurt despite “substantial” damage to the P-Baron.  Weather on landing was “clear”.  N25RL (TJ-232) is a 1979 58P registered since 2004 to a Dunlap, Illinois-based corporation.


(“Gear collapse--electrical failure”; “Substantial damage”— According to information relayed from the pilot, the P-Baron’s batteries were dead and the pilot arranged for an auxiliary power start.  Immediately following he launched into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).  The Baron’s two batteries were unable to remain charged because of their earlier depletion, however, and this interfered with the airplane’s electrical system to the point the pilot was faced with a total electrical failure.  On arrival at West Lafayette, he extended the landing gear with residual electrical power and asked the tower to confirm his gear was down.  Tower replied it indeed appeared to be down, but the gear retracted on touchdown. 


Three lessons:


[1] Fully functional batteries are a vital part of an operable aircraft electrical system.  As the 58P Pilots Operating Handbook [POH] states, batteries “protect the voltage regulators and associated electrical equipment from voltage transients (power fluctuations).”  Batteries that have fully discharged will likely not restore to a full charge, and although an auxiliary power start may get the engines running and even in some cases prompt alternator operation, this is far from the first known case where using a ‘start cart’ to jump an airplane with dead batteries has led to a total electrical failure later in flight.  The auxiliary start procedure is meant as an assist to starting weak batteries, not fully depleted ones.  It’s notable that the External Power checklist in the 58P is contained in the normal procedures Cold Weather Operation section—an auxiliary power start is designed as a means of helping start when the batteries may be slightly weakened by cold weather, not when they are dead altogether.  If batteries are completely flat remove them from the airplane and refresh them on a charger, carefully noting that they’ll accept and retain a charge.  Absolutely do not use the External Power Start checklist to crank up with dead batteries, then launch into night or IMC.


[2] We’ve mentioned this many, many times in the Weekly Accident Update, but obviously it bears repeating once again.  It is not mentioned in any of the Beech manuals or the POH.  To prevent internal damage to the landing gear transmission, the gear motor is connected to a dynamic brake that engages when a switch is closed near, but not at, the end of gear travel.  Full system voltage [in this case, 28 volts] drives the motor fast enough that, when the switch engages, the gear system has enough inertia to coast overcenter and into the downlocks.  When extending the gear on reduced voltage, such as on battery power alone [and especially if the battery is somewhat depleted], the gear may not be traveling fast enough to go fully into the downlocks after the dynamic brake is engaged.  Consequently, when extending the gear on less than full system voltage it is prudent to follow up this action by completing the Manual Landing Gear Extension procedure.  Only by manually cranking the gear the rest of the way down can you be certain it will not collapse after extending it on reduced voltage.


[3] Another point not contained in any manufacturer’s data, the last three things that happen in the gear extension sequence happen in this order:  [a] the switches engage that provide down-and-locked indications in the cockpit; [b] the inner gear doors complete their retraction into the underside of the wings; and [c] the landing gear completes its movement into the downlocks.  Asking the tower if your “gear looks like it’s down” does not tell the whole story.  It’s best to ask the tower controller to look at the underside of the wing with his/her binoculars and tell you whether the inner gear doors are fully retracted.  If they appear fully up the gear may indeed be fully down; but if the inner gear doors are drooping even a tiny bit, there’s a good chance the landing gear will collapse after landing.)


11/13 2000Z (1500 local):  A Be76 on a “training” mission “landed with the nose gear retracted,” at Fort Pierce, Florida.  Student and instructor report no injury, and airplane damage is “minor”.  Weather: 3300 scattered, 9000 broken, visibility 10 with calm winds.  N110SU (ME-81) is a 1978 Duchess registered to a Fort Pierce-based flight training corporation since 2005.


(“Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure”—a single “up” gear is indicative of a mechanical failure, usually a pushrod or rod end fracture.)




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


** 11/6 taxiway collision of an H18 and a Cessna Caravan at Opa Locka, Florida.**



11/22/2007 Report




11/14 2320Z (1520 local):  Eight miles from Calexico, California, a Be36’s IO-550 engine failed.  The pilot made a forced landing in a field and on rollout the nose gear collapsed.  Three aboard the Bonanza were unhurt, and damage is “minor”.  Weather: “VFR”.  N435M (E-2726) is a 1992 A36 recently (May 2007) registered to an individual in Sun Valley, California.


(“Engine Failure in Flight”; “Recent registration”)


11/16 1141Z (0541 local):  “While being towed for repositioning,” a Be36’s “braked [sic] caught fire,” at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  No one was hurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather was “not reported”.  N5981B (E-1776) is a 1980 A36 recently (September 2007) registered to a corporation in Mooresville, North Carolina.


(“Brake fire while being towed”; “Night”; “Recent registration”—apparently a brake hung up and the friction sparked the fire.)


11/18 2317Z (1717 local):  A Be36’s nose gear collapsed on the landing rollout at Brownsville, Texas.  The two aboard were not injured; damage is “minor”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a four-knot wind.  N6FB (E-1318) is a 1978 A36 registered since 2003 to a co-ownership based in Houston, Texas.


(“Gear collapse on landing”)


11/19 2100Z (1600 local):  Landing at Fort Pierce, Florida, a Be76’s “prop struck the runway,” causing “minor” damage. Pilot and instructor aboard the “training” flight were unhurt.  Weather was 2500 scattered, 15,000 broken 25,000 broken, with visibility at 10 miles with a nine-knot surface wind.  N6628Y (ME-219) is a 1979 Duchess registered since 2004 to a Fort Pierce-based training corporation).


(“Propeller strike on landing”; “Dual instruction”—possibly a simulated engine failure improperly controlled near the ground.  Three of these mishaps, all in Duchesses, have been reported so far this year)



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


** 11/8 A36 engine failure and off-airport, night landing at Jean, Nevada.  “The pilot reported that the engine sounded as if it had ‘lost a cylinder or valve,’ and it was ‘running weakly.’" **



11/29/2007 Report




A reader reports:  On or about 11/27, time and location not reported, the pilot of a recently purchased Be36 extended the landing gear.  He did not get “green light” indications and the red IN TRANSIT light remained illuminated.  As seen through wing-mounted mirrors the landing gear “appeared” down; the manual extension handcrank “would not turn”.  The pilot arranged for a tower fly-by and controllers reported the gear appeared to be down.  The landing gear collapsed during the landing roll.  Damage is “minor” and no one was hurt.  Weather conditions were not reported.  The aircraft is a 1978 A36, registration not reported.


(“Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure”; “Recent registration”—I suspect investigation will reveal a broken rod end and/or bent extension pushrod that jammed the gear near, but not quite at, the down-and-locked position.)





11/22 0008Z (1608 local 11/21/2007):  A Be55’s nose gear collapsed on landing at Carlsbad, California.  Pilot and instructor aboard the “training” flight were unhurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: sky clear, visibility six in haze, with a seven-knot wind.  N1831L (TC-1960) is a 1976 B55 registered since 2002 to a Woodbine, Kansas corporation.


(“Gear collapse on landing”; “Dual instruction”)


11/22 1823Z (1023 local):  A Be55 landed gear up at Santa Maria, California.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is “minor”.  Weather: clear, visibility nine miles, and calm surface winds.  N5493U (TE-424) is a 1967 C55 registered since 2005 to an individual in Panorama City, California.


(“Gear up landing”)


11/23 1830Z (1230 local):  During a “training” flight, a Be33 landed gear up at Hillsboro, Texas.  Weather: 9000 broken, visibility 10 miles with a six-knot surface wind.  N5844K (CD-923) is a 1965 C33 registered since 1987 to an individual in Arlington, Texas.


(“Gear up landing”; “Dual instruction”)


11/24 1826Z (1326 local):  Three aboard a Be76 avoided injury, and the Duchess suffered “substantial” damage, when the pilot landed gear up at Worcester, Massachusetts.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a four-knot wind.  N777AV (ME-20) is a 1978 Duchess registered since 1998 to an air training organization in Worcester.


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


11/27 2253Z (1653 local):  “On landing,” a Be35’s “gear collapsed” at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is “unknown”.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a 12 knot wind.  N7800Y (D-10072) is a 1978 V35B recently (January 2007) registered to a corporation based in Oklahoma City.


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




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


** There are no newly reported Beech piston aircraft accidents or incidents this week**




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


Total reported:  204 reports 


Operation in VMC:  135 reports   (66% of the total)    

Operation in IMC:     8 reports   (4% of the total)    

Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  61 reports    

Operation at night:  20 reports   (10% of the total)               


Fatal accidents:  23 reports   (11% of the total)    

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  12 reports  (6% of the total)  


“Substantial” damage:  59 reports   (29% of the total)    

Aircraft “destroyed”:     27 reports   (13% of the total)    


Recent registration (within previous 12 months):   46 reports   (23% 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   58 reports 

Be36 Bonanza   35 reports

Be55 Baron   26 reports      

Be58 Baron    23 reports

Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   17 reports 

Be76 Duchess   10 reports  

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  9 reports

Be24 Sierra  8 reports   

Be18 Twin Beech  6 reports

Be60 Duke  3 reports

Be17 Staggerwing  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 (88 reports; 43% of the total) 


Gear up landing

35 reports (two Be24s; five Be33s; thirteen Be35s; two Be36s; five Be55s; two Be58s; Be60;  four Be76s)


Gear collapse (landing)

34 reports (Be18; two Be24s; five Be33s; ten Be35s; three Be36s; seven Be55s; four Be58s; Be65; Be95)


Gear collapse on landing—known mechanical system failure

4 reports (Be18; Be35; Be36; Be95)


Gear collapse—takeoff

3 reports (Be36; two Be58s)


Gear collapse--electrical failure

3 reports (Be33; Be35; Be58)


Gear up landing—known mechanical system failure

3 reports (two Be55s; Be76)


Gear collapse during taxi

2 reports (Be35; Be36)


Gear up landing—electrical failure, handcrank inaccessible

1 report (Be36)


Gear collapse on landing—tow bar attached

1 report (Be58)


Gear up landing (electrical failure)

1 report (Be24)


Gear collapse--touch and go

1 report (Be55)


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



ENGINE FAILURE   (37 reports; 18% of the total) 


Engine failure in flight

12 reports (Be33; six Be35s; five Be36s)


Engine failure on takeoff

7 reports (five Be35s; Be36; Be55)


Fuel starvation

6 reports (four Be35s; Be36; Be50)


Pushrod failure in flight

2 reports (Be33; Be36)


Engine-driven fuel pump failure

2 reports (both Be35s)


Engine failure on approach/landing

1 reports (Be35)


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—jet fuel contamination

1 report (Be60)


Cylinder head separation in flight

1 report (Be33)


Partial power loss on takeoff for unknown reasons/high density altitude

1 report (Be33)


Engine failure on takeoff –fuel starvation

1 report (Be18)


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



IMPACT ON LANDING  (30 reports; 15% of the total) 


Loss of directional control on landing

8 reports (Be17; five Be23s; Be55; Be58)


Impact with obstacle on landing

4 reports (three Be35s; Be58)


Hard landing

3 reports (Be33; Be58; Be76)


Prop strike on landing

3 reports (all Be76s)


Landed long

2 reports (Be35; Be55)


Wingtip strike on landing—crosswind

1 report (Be36)


Loss of directional control on landing: wet/icy surface

1 report (Be58)


Departed runway while avoiding objects on runway

1 report (Be23)


Landed long/failed to go around

1 report (Be23)


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)



MISCELLANEOUS CAUSES  (16 reports; 8% of the total) 


Taxied into obstruction/pedestrian/other aircraft

5 reports (Be18; Be33; 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 engine start: hot start

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)


Blown tire on landing

1 report (Be58)


Bird strike

1 report (Be35)


Brake fire while being towed

1 report (Be36)



CAUSE UNKNOWN  (10 reports; 5% of the total)  



5 reports (Be23; four Be36s)



3 reports (Be36; Be55; Be58)



1 report (Be33)


Cruise/Unknown (mountainous terrain)

1 report (Be23)



1 report (Be77)



IMPACT WITH OBJECT DURING TAKEOFF   (8 reports; 4% of the total) 


Impact with obstacle following takeoff/unable to attain climb

4 reports (Be35; three Be36s)


Loss of directional control during takeoff

2 reports (Be35; Be58)


Impact with object/animal during takeoff

1 report (Be58)


Loss of control on takeoff—improperly set trim

1 report (Be35)



LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT   (6 reports; 3% 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)


Attempted visual flight into IMC, dark night over water

1 report (Be55)



STALL/SPIN   (4 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)


Stall on takeoff: short field, maximum weight, hot weather

1 report (Be24)



CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN   (4 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)


Descent below IFR approach minimum altitude

1 report (Be36)


Collision with obstacle—VMC

1 report (Be36)





In-flight vibration/flutter

1 report (Be35)


In-flight ruddervator separation

1 report (Be35)




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, Master CFI

Mastery Flight Training, Inc.

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