Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


December 2004 Reports


Official information from FAA and NTSB sources (unless otherwise noted).  Editorial comments (contained in parentheses), year-to-date summary and closing comments are those of the author.  All information is preliminary and subject to change.  Comments on preliminary topics are meant solely to enhance flying safety.  Please use these reports to help you more accurately evaluate the potential risks when you make your own decisions about how and when to fly.  Please accept my sincere personal condolences if anyone you know was in a mishap. I welcome your comments, suggestions and criticisms.  Fly safe, and have fun!


Copyright 2004 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved



12/03/04 Report




11/28 (time unknown):  A Be35 reportedly landed gear up at Santa Monica, California, in visual weather.  There is currently no additional information on this mishap. 


(“Gear up landing”)





10/19 2150Z (1650 local):  A rented Be55, on completing an IFR flight from Wichita, Kansas to Chesterfield, Missouri’s Spirit of St. Louis Airport, received “substantial” damage during a visual landing at destination.  The solo pilot was uninjured.  “The pilot stated that following an instrument landing system approach to runway 26L, he was distracted when he dropped his approach plates while the airplane was about 10 feet above the runway. The airplane nose wheel then impacted the runway, and the airplane bounced.”  Damage was reportedly limited to the nose wheel and tire.  N558B is a 1979 B55 registered since 2001 to a corporation in St. Paul, Missouri.


(“Hard landing”; “Substantial damage”)


10/24 1930Z (0430 local 10/25/04):  A Be23 was en route from Nagasaki, Japan to Fukuoka Airport, Japan, when its pilot “reported to air traffic control that the engine was sounding strange” and that “he would be returning to Nagasaki.  The pilot was unable to reach the airport and initiated a forced landing to Omura Bay.  The pilot was rescued by a pleasure boat in the vicinity.”  The lone pilot was not injured and the Beech suffered “substantial” damage.  Weather for the night flight was VMC.  JA3683 is a C23 registered to a flying club.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Night”)


11/7 1800Z (1300 local):  A Be58 landed gear up at a private airstrip at Port Pierce, Florida.  Two aboard the Baron escaped injury despite “substantial” damage.  Weather was “not reported.”  N4545M is a 1978 Model 58 registered since 1995 to a corporation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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


11/29 1320Z (0720 local):  A Be36 landed gear up at St. Joseph, Missouri, sparing the solo pilot injury and causing “minor” aircraft damage.  The IFR flight was departing St. Joseph with a planned destination of Olathe, Kansas, and took off into an 800 foot overcast ceiling, visibility four miles in light snow showers and drizzle, and an eight-knot wind.  The surface air temperature was one degree above freezing.  Total time from takeoff to landing was five minutes.  N85EC is a 1985 A36 registered since 2001 to a corporation in St. Joseph.


(“Gear up landing”; “IMC”—possible distracting ‘return’ scenarios include an airframe ice encounter, door open on takeoff, and engine trouble)


12/1 1600Z (0800 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Santa Paula, California.  The solo pilot reports “unknown” injuries; damage is “minor.”  Weather at KCMA:  “clear and 10” with a variable, five knot breeze.  N9553R is a 1959 K35 recently (October 2004) registered to an individual in Ventura, California.


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




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


**10/19 B55 hard landing at Chesterfield, Missouri, cited above. **


**10/24 C23 ditching into Omura Bay, Japan, cited above. **



12/09/04 Report




12/2 (time not reported):  A student pilot “lost control and ran into trees” during a local flight in a Be23 at El Dorado, Arkansas.  The solo student was not hurt although the Beech suffered “substantial” damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N1443L is a 1965 A23 recently (October 2004) registered to a corporation in El Dorado.


(“Loss of directional control/traffic pattern”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”)


12/5 1700Z (1200 local):  A Be23 “landed hard” at Windham Airport, Willimantic, Connecticut.  “Strong winds” contributed to the hard landing, which “broke off the right main gear.”  The pilot then executed a landing on the remaining gear legs.  The solo pilot was unhurt and damage is as yet “unknown.”  Weather was “not reported.”  N2139W is/was a 1974 C23 recently (May 2004) registered to an individual in Patterson, New York.


(“Hard landing”; “Recent registration”)


12/7 1602Z (1020 local):  The “right wing (of a Be34/T-34) broke off inflight and the aircraft crashed,” near Conroe, Texas.  Two aboard died and the Mentor was “destroyed.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with an eight-knot surface wind.  N141SW was an A45 (T-34A), serial G-13, registered since April 2003 to a corporation in Houston, Texas.


(“Inflight wing separation”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Dual instruction”—this airplane was being used in a commercial air combat simulation/unusual flight attitudes program a the time of the crash.  It is the same corporation that last year suffered a similar inflight break-up in a T-34 later found to be out of compliance with a mandatory wing repair Airworthiness Directive;  unconfirmed reports are that this year’s airplane was in compliance with Directives and that the failure occurred in another part of the wing just outboard of the fuselage.  From local press reports:  "A witness saw the wing come off the airplane and then saw it spiraling down to the ground," said Kenneth Hiebert with the Texas DPS. "They said it was flying east, over this area at about a thousand feet."  The right wing was discovered “a quarter of a mile” from the main wreckage.)



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


**11/7 Be58 gear up at Ft. Pierce, Florida.  Change weather from “Not reported” to “VMC.” **



12/16/04 Report




Update on the Conroe, Texas T-34 in-flight wing separation, which led to two fatalities on 12/7/04:  A change from the FAA’s preliminary report, it is now revealed that the left wing (not the right) departed the airframe in flight.  Further, from the Emergency Airworthiness Directive of 12/11/04, which grounds the entire T-34 fleet pending as-yet-unspecified inspections, “the left wing center section failed 4 inches inboard of the forward wing attach fitting.  In addition, FAA investigation revealed further visual evidence of fatigue (found in other locations)….”


(The potential ramifications of this tragic incident at this particular time are enormous, given that the FAA’s [admittedly very preliminary] assessment concerns the very area under AD review in the civil Bonanza and Bonanza-derivative airplanes.)





11/28 0617Z (1517 local time 11/27/04):  Two aboard a Be33 received “serious” injuries, and a third occupant of the Bonanza suffered “minor” injuries when the aircraft was “destroyed” after colliding with high-voltage power lines “during an attempted power-out forced landing,” at the conclusion of a flight to Yao Airport, Japan.  “According to the Aircraft and Railway Accident Investigation Commission of Japan, the pilot intended to land at Yao Airport, but the three ‘gear down’ lights did not illuminate, so he elected to make a low pass so that an individual on the ground could confirm the position of the landing gear. After making the low pass, the pilot attempted to initiate a climb, but the engine rpm did not accelerate, so he elected to execute an emergency landing on the shore of a nearby river. While on short-final to the spot he had chosen for the emergency landing, the aircraft struck the power lines and then impacted the terrain.”  Weather conditions were not reported.  JA3435 is an E33 registered to a private individual.


(“Engine failure on go-around/missed approach”; “Serious injuries”; “Aircraft destroyed”)


12/10 2015Z (1315 local):   During a dual instructional flight at Tooele, Utah, a Be76 “had been doing multiple touch and goes.  Upon takeoff (the) student by mistake retracted (the) nose gear.”  Student and instructor report no injury, and damage is “minor.”  Weather: VMC with a 10-knot surface wind.  N850JC is a 1979 Duchess registered since 2002 to a community college in Salt Lake City, Utah.


(“Gear collapse—inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground”; “Dual instruction” – touch and goes and a CFI on board seem to be common factors in gear collapse accidents.  See the LGRM record and contributing factors.)



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


**11/27 E33 engine failure in Japan, cited above. **



12/22/04 Report




Repeated with permission, a reader reports:

12/18 (time not reported): A Be35 landed gear up at Marshfield, Massachusetts.  According to local reports the pilot "allegedly put down the gear, but did not check for three green lights. (The gear motor) circuit breaker was popped" and the pilot "did not recognize what the gear warning horn was until it was too late." Damage appears to be limited, "except for engine and scraping around the nose gear doors and trailing edges of flaps."  The aircraft is a V35, registration not reported.


("Gear up landing")





12/18 2100Z (1600 local):  Completing a VFR cross-country flight from Cullman, Alabama, to Jasper, Alabama, a Be35 landed gear up at Jasper’s Walker County Airport.  The solo pilot reports no injury and aircraft damage is “minor.”  Weather at Jasper: “clear and 10” with a six-knot surface wind.  N3255C is a 1954 E35 registered since March 2003 to an individual in Jasper.


(“Gear up landing”)



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


**11/19 “serious injury” A36TC engine failure at Huntsville, Alabama.  Change “Engine failure on approach” to “Fuel starvation”; add “serious injuries” and “substantial damage.”**


**12/7 Double fatality T-34 in-flight break-up near Montgomery, Texas**



12/31/04 Report




12/10 2038Z (1438 local):  A Be36 was “destroyed…during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb near Pereira, Department of Risalda in the Republic of Colombia. Two passengers were fatally injured and the commercial pilot sustained minor injuries.  The airplane, serial number EA446, was owned and operated by the Club Aereo del Pacifico, in Cali, Colombia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the business flight for which a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight, which was intended for Manizales, Department of Caldas, was originating at the time of the accident.  Witnesses at the airport reported that the (B36TC’s) engine appeared to lose power immediately following the retraction of the landing gear. The pilot was able to maneuver the airplane around some obstructions prior to impacting trees and crashing into a river. According to local authorities, the 1985-model airplane, was exported to Colombia in late September 2004, and completed its first revenue flight on October 31, 2004. The 300-horsepower TSIO-520-UB Continental engine, serial number 527517, was reported to have accumulated a total of 60 hours since new.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”)  


12/22 1436Z (0836 local):  Departing Kansas City, Missouri, a Be58 “got airborne (and) retracted (the landing) gear” its “props slowed” and the Baron “glided to a gear-up landing.”  The solo pilot was uninjured and aircraft damage was “minor.”  Weather was “VFR, clear, 10 miles visibility.”  N6751C is a 1980 Model 58 registered since 1997 to an individual in Olathe, Kansas.


(“Engine failure on takeoff”—from this odd report perhaps fuel contamination or starvation on takeoff, if indeed this was a simultaneous dual engine failure)


12/22 2230Z (1430 local):  Landing at Everett, Washington, a Be58 “ran off the side of the runway, went through a fence and came to rest on (a) road.”  The pilot and two passengers report no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with calm winds.  N7858B is a 1978 58TC recently (May 2004) registered to an individual in Hood River, Oregon.


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


12/24 1224Z (0624 local):  The pilot of a Be36 “reported smoke in the cockpit, declared a mayday and landed gear up in a field (five) miles north of Rockwall, Texas.  Three aboard avoided injury and damage was “minor.”  Weather in the area was clear, visibility 13 miles, with a six-knot surface wind.  N25UP is a 1977 A36 registered since 1998 to an individual in Carrollton, Texas.


(“Electrical fire in flight”—or so this initial report suggests; “Night”)


12/25 1621Z (1021 local):  En route from Monitowoc, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois, the pilot of a Be35 “declared an emergency” and gliding to an landing crashed, killing the two on board and “destroying” the Bonanza.  Weather for the IFR flight was “VMC.”  N5631K was a 1964 S35 registered since early December 2003 to an individual in St. James City, Florida.


(“Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”—national print news reports the pilot “reported smoke in the cockpit” and the “engine was not running when [the airplane] struck some treetops, flipped and crashed” during an attempted landing.  The NTSB’s preliminary report [see link below] states the #4 piston failed catastrophically and knocked two holes in the engine crankcase.  The crash site is about 20 miles south of the flight’s point of origin)


12/28 0026Z (1806 local):  The solo pilot of a Be33 suffered “minor” injury when its engine failed in cruise flight eight miles north of Brownsville, Texas.  The flight was en route from Gladsville, Texas to Brownsville when it crashed; the Debonair has “substantial” damage.  Weather: “clear and 10” with a five-knot surface wind.  N860R was a 1960 35-33 registered since 2001 to an individual in Tyler, Texas.


(“Engine failure in flight”; “Substantial damage”; “Night”—local print media report: “He was flying his two-seat aircraft to either Brownsville or Harlingen from an undisclosed location when he crashed shortly after 6 p.m., said Texas State Trooper Jose Lucio. The pilot crashed three miles east of Los Fresnos and two miles south of Highway 100.  The Los Fresnos Fire Department responded to the scene but there were no fires to extinguish, Lucio said.  ‘The pilot is OK. He had minor injuries. That’s all I can say,’ Lucio said. ‘He was the only one there. … He’ll live.’”)


12/29 2312Z (1712 local):  A Be36 “experienced a complete engine failure 15 miles SE of Kier (Louisiana).”  The pilot began a diversion to Kier and “landed (0.5) miles SE of Kier in a field” after reporting “a partial loss of engine power.”  The four aboard were not hurt and the aircraft has “minor” damage.  “In a written statement, the pilot reported that while in cruise flight at 12,000 feet mean sea level (msl), he began to smell smoke and noticed the engine began to surge. After requesting a lower altitude, the air traffic controller advised him of the nearest airport. During the descent, at an altitude of approximately 9,000 feet msl, ‘the engine lost oil pressure’ and the pilot shut the engine down using the mixture control. The ‘engine continued to turn over’ as he heard ‘several loud explosions and observed fireballs at the propeller hub’ before the propeller stopped turning.”  Post-landing “examination of the Continental IO-550-B engine by the pilot revealed that there was a hole in the crankcase near the number two cylinder.”  Weather: 8000 scattered, visibility 10 miles with a four-knot wind.  N920GL is a 1993 A36 recently (July 2004) registered to an individual in Fredericksburg, Texas.


(“Engine failure in flight—piston/cylinder failure”; “Recent registration”)




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


**12/10 double-fatality B36TC engine failure on takeoff near Pereira, Columbia, cited above**


**12/25 double-fatality S35 catastrophic engine failure at Howards Grove, Wisconsin, cited above.**


**12/28 Model 33 engine failure in cruise near Brownsville, Texas, cited above.”**


**12/29 A36 engine failure in flight near Kier, Louisiana, cited above.**



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