Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  Beech Weekly Accident Update archives


December 2005 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 2005 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


12/8/05 Report




Regarding this report from last week: 11/26 2335Z (1735 local):  Landing at dusk at Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a Be35 “crashed under unknown circumstances.”  The pilot and two passengers, inbound from Clinton, Oklahoma, report no injury despite “substantial” aircraft damage.


A knowledgeable reader in the area reports that damage includes grinding of the edges of the inner gear doors.  This means the gear was in transit at the time of impact, and often indicates an inadvertent pilot retraction of the gear during rollout.  Change “Landing/Unknown” to “Gear collapse—known inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground.”





12/1 (time not reported):  From several news sources:  “Coast Guard crews off the coast of Nantucket are attempting to locate any sign of a Beechcraft Baron 55 flown by (a) prominent New York (p)hilanthropist…. According to the FAA, (the) plane disappeared from radar late Thursday afternoon as it was on final approach to land.  (The pilot) had spoken with air traffic controllers at Cape Cod's Otis AFB shortly before his plane disappeared, according to the New York Times.  The Baron disappeared as it flew at an altitude of 200 feet, according to the last radar images of the aircraft, and was just over two miles from the runway.  Light rain and clouds were observed in the area at 5 pm by the airport's ATIS, with winds up to 20 miles per hour….  (The pilot) was returning home after dropping his son off at New Jersey's Teterboro airport, according to his wife…. It's a trip (he) has flown many times before.”  Weather was variously reported at 400 to 600 overcast with visibilities from 1 ¼ to 3 ½ miles, and the disappearance reportedly happened after dark.  The impact area is offshore.  Airplane information is not available.


(“Approach/unknown”; “(presumed) Fatal”; “(presumed) “Aircraft destroyed”; “IMC”; “Night”—standing by for more information, and more lessons learned, from this incident.





12/1 2320Z (1620 local):  A Be55’s nose gear collapsed on landing at El Paso, Texas.  The solo pilot was not hurt and damage is “minor.”  Weather: “few clouds” at 25,000 feet, visibility 1 miles with a six-knot surface wind.  N1748W (TE-887) is a 1972 E55 recently (December 2004) registered to a corporation in Salem, Oregon.


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




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


**There are no new piston Beechcraft NTSB reports posted this week**



12/15/05 Report




12/10 2300Z (1600 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at Bountiful, Utah.  The solo pilot reports no injury and the severity of damage is “unknown.”  Weather: 20,000 broken, visibility 10 with a five-knot wind.  N647Q (D-5322) is a 1957 H35 registered since 1992 to a co-ownership in Alpine, Wyoming.


(“Gear up landing”)


12/12 1929Z (1129 local):  Two died, and the Be23 in which they flew was “destroyed,” when it “crashed under unknown circumstances…just south of (the flight’s destination) Mammoth Lakes, California.  Weather conditions were not reported.  N3590R (M-782) was a 1965 A23 recently (March 2005) registered to an individual in Highland, California.


(“Engine failure in flight [on the basis of media reports, obviously subject to change]”; “Fatal”; “Aircraft destroyed”; “Recent registration”—local media reports: “Witnesses reported that the engine sputtered and the plane spun in. The weather was excellent at the time.”)




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


**12/1 fatal B55 night IMC descent into the ocean just short of the runway at Nantucket, Massachusetts.    N64PW (TC-2054) was a 1977 B55 registered since 2002 to a corporation in New York, New York.**



12/22/05 Report




12/21 (time not reported):  News media report a Be23 crashed near Windham Airport in eastern Connecticut.  The solo pilot received “minor” injuries, but had to be “pulled from the wreckage by a state trooper.”  News photos of the Musketeer on the ground on its side, with one wing under the wreckage, suggests “substantial” aircraft damage.  The pilot “was headed into Windham when he sent out a Mayday call because he could not make it to the airport. State police say (he) reported engine trouble.”  Troopers “noticed fuel was leaking from the plane,” presumably ruling out fuel exhaustion.  No other information on the 1969 B23 Musketeer is currently available.


(“Engine failure in flight” [subject, as always, to future revision], “Substantial damage”)





12/19 1345Z (0645 local):  During a night departure from Fallon, Nevada, a Be36 “lost control and exited the runway into a brush area,” at Dixie Valley Airport.  All three aboard the Bonanza were unhurt  despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N3199H (E-2891) is a 1994 A36 recently (January 2005) registered to an individual in Fallon.


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



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


**There are no newly posted piston Beech NTSB reports this week**



12/29/05 Report



A reader reports:  12/25 1835Z (1335 local):  A Be35 landed gear up at the completion of a maintenance test flight, at Springfield, Vermont.  The solo pilot was testing operation of newly installed flaps and in his distraction forgot to lower the landing gear.  He was not hurt and damage appears to be "minor."  Weather conditions were VMC.  N54MC (D-8897) is a 1969 V35A registered to an individual in Springfield.  The reader, pilot of the flight, continues: "(I took off) with full flaps from Rwy 05, to simulate a go around at this configuration, and when clear of (the) runway retracted the landing gear, looking at yaw effect. (I) level(ed) off at 2000', at 100KTs,
(then) made a 180 turn to land on Rwy 23.  At this power setting of 16" MP, It was impossible for the gear warning Horn to Sound!  This is a perfect Gear Up Landing scenario!”


("Gear up landing"--be especially careful and methodical when unusual circumstances interrupt your normal routines.  Complete any test flying items at altitude before returning for a distraction-free landing.  Thanks, reader, for letting us learn from your experience.  The Beech gear warning horn is designed to sound when the throttle is pulled out to or beyond the position that should result in about 12 inches of manifold pressure at sea level, if the gear is not down. This can be adjusted.  Later-model airplanes with the flashing GEAR UP annunciator light have that light wired through the same switch.  Common landing situations that may call for increased throttle and therefore prevent gear horn/annunciator operation include landing in strong or gusty winds, using power to “cushion” touchdown, landing “hot” for any reason, aiming for a precise landing spot or landing “long” [think about aiming for the ‘dot’ at Oshkosh], level-off at Minimum Descent Altitude in a non-precision approach, and the circling portion of a circling approach.  The warning system only works if you reduce throttle to idle long enough before landing to hear and respond to the horn)





RE: last week’s “unofficial sources” report of a Be23 engine failure at Windham, Connecticut.  The FAA’s preliminary report is now posted, confirming the “rough running engine” report. Add “serious injuries” and change “substantial damage” to “aircraft destroyed.”  Weather was “few clouds” at 9500, visibility eight miles with calm winds.  N7631R (M-1252) was a 1969 B23 registered since 2001 to an individual in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. 





12/21 2100Z (1500 local):  Two aboard a Be36 avoided injury, and only “minor” damage occurred, when during “touch and goes” the Bonanza “hit (its) prop tips and inner gear doors” at Alexandria, Minnesota.  Weather: sky clear, visibility seven miles, with a four-knot wind.  N4524S (E-727) is a 1975 A36 registered since 1986 to a corporation in Alexandria.


(“Gear collapse—known inadvertent pilot activation of gear on ground”—the gear has to be in transit for the inner gear doors to be exposes and damaged, making virtually certain that this was an incorrect pilot movement of the gear switch during the artificial and unnecessary rush of a touch-and-go landing.)  


12/22 1854Z (1054 local):  A Be33, on final approach to Laverne, California, descended into a Cessna 172 that was also on final approach.  Neither the solo pilot of the Bonanza nor the two aboard the Skyhawk report injury; the Beech damage report is “none” although the Cessna has “substantial” damage.  Weather at Laverne: 20,000 broken, visibility 15 with a variable, four knot wind.  N3084N (CE-1246) is a 1988 F33A recently (May 2005) registered to a co-ownership in Santa Barbara, California.


(“Midair collision”; “Recent registration”—a classic low wing vs. high wing collision near the surface.  Watch carefully for traffic ahead of you on the approach, fly standard-size patterns to be more easily seen, and use radio calls effectively.  I’d be surprised if we don’t get a revised damage report for the Beechcraft.)


12/22 2330Z (1530 local):  A Be36, inbound on the ILS following an IFR flight from Santa Barbara, California, “crashed into hilly terrain” at Livermore, California.  The two aboard perished; the Bonanza suffered “substantial” damage.  Weather was IMC, 600 overcast with visibility three miles in mist, and calm winds.  N5942S (E-17) is a 1968 Model 36 registered since 1984 to a partnership based at Santa Barbara.


(“Descent below IFR approach minimum altitude”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”; “IMC”)


12/24 2037Z (1537 local):  A Be23 “made a forced landing on a dirt road due to fuel exhaustion,” at Bostwick, Florida.  The two aboard the VFR flight from Pinehurst, North Carolina to Palatka, Florida, were not hurt; aircraft damage is “substantial.”  Weather: 4000 broken, 10,000 broken, visibility seven miles with a six knot surface wind.  N7657R (M-1261) is a 1969 B23 recently (July 2005) registered to a Lewes, Delaware corporation.


(“Fuel exhaustion”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”)



12/31/05 Report




12/27 1917Z (1417 local):  A Be58 landed gear up at Greenville, South Carolina.  Two aboard the Baron avoided injury; damage is “unknown” and weather “not reported.”  N333TQ (TH-507) is a 1974 Baron 58 registered since 2001 to a corporation in Asheville, North Carolina.


(“Gear up landing”)


12/29 2130Z (1530 local):  A Be23, landing at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, “ran off the end of Rwy 34” causing no injury to the two aboard despite “substantial” aircraft damage.  Weather was “clear and 10” with a surface wind of six knots from 110 degrees.  N2251L (M-1896) is a 1976 C23 recently (September 2005) registered to a co-ownership in Warren, Arkansas.


(“Landed long”; “Substantial damage”; “Recent registration”—as a general rule, each five knots of additional airspeed on final approach will increase landing distance about 10%.  Eureka Springs’ Runway 16-34 is 1900 foot long, at 1571 MSL with no obstructions.  The combination of landing with a tailwind and the short runway available was almost certainly a factor)


12/29 2310Z (1810 local):  A Be35 had a prop strike during a night landing at Columbus, Georgia.  The solo pilot wasn’t hurt; damage is “minor” and weather conditions “not reported.”  N3326C (D-3992) is a 1954 E35 registered since 1986 to an individual in Columbus.


(“Propeller strike on landing”; “Night”) 


12/30 0319Z (1919 local 12/29/05):  A Be35’s flight from Whiteman Air Park, Los Angeles, California to Oxnard, California, ended with a night gear up landing at Oxnard.  The two aboard were nit hurt, although aircraft damage is “substantial.”  Weather: “clear and 10” with a three-knot wind.  N9642Y (D-7062) is a 1962 P35 recently (March 2005) registered to a co-ownership based in Moorpark, California.


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


12/31 1650Z (0850 local):  Departing from Valley Center, California, three aboard a Be35 perished, and the Bonanza was “destroyed,” when it crashed onto a road “shortly after takeoff.”  Weather conditions were “not reported.”  N7944R (D-8961) was a 1969 V35A registered since 2004 to a Wilmington, Delaware corporation.


(“Crash/Unknown”; “Fatal”—local media reports the airplane burned after impact, and was part of a group of airplanes on the way to a party.  “Witnesses reported that the plane began to spin and crashed into a hilly area near the runway. Investigators were examining the debris but had not determined a cause for the crash.”) 




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


**12/21 Beech 23 “serious injury” engine failure at Windham, Connecticut.**


**12/22 F33A midair collision with a C172 on short final at Laverne, California.  The Bonanza was indeed not damaged.  “According to the Beech pilot, the air traffic controller cleared him to land on runway 26R. He accidentally set up for landing on runway 26L. While on short final, he felt his airplane hit something and immediately heard the controller instruct him to go around. The pilot went around and set up for an uneventful landing. He later learned that he impacted a Cessna that was on short final for runway 26L. The Cessna continued with an uneventful landing. The Beech was not damaged, but the Cessna's left wing was bent up about 30 degrees.”** 


**12/23 double-fatality Beech 36 descent below ILS glideslope at Livermore, California.  After being cleared for the approach and handoff to the non-radar tower 10 miles out, the airplane impacted hilly terrain eight miles from the airport.** 



2005 Addendum 1


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


**12/31 triple-fatality V35A crash at Valley Center, California.  Change "Crash/Unknown" to "Engine failure on takeoff," change "Weather Unknown" to "VMC".  The airplane's engine apparently failed at about 800 feet, and then spun in.  (Was it an attempt to return to the airport?)**



2005 Addendum 2




A reader reports:


6/10/05 (time not reported):  The engine of a Be33 failed when the #5 cylinder connecting rod "made an exit through the top of the crankcase" during a biennial Flight Review, at YTAL, in the control zone of Canberra, Australia.  The engine failure began as a partial power loss at 1500 feet; the pilot completed a turn toward the airport before the engine quit completely and landed safely on the reciprocal runway.  There were no injuries and damage is limited to the IO-470K, which had approximately 600 hours since overhaul.  VH-DHL (CD-116) is a 1960 35-33 registered to an  individual.


("Engine failure on takeoff/initial climb"; "Dual instruction"--the pilot permits me to repeat his remarks: "Start and warm-up [were]  normal [and] temperatures and pressures [were] all correct. Engine checks (magneto) correct; prop cycled correctly.  Clearance [was] given from YSCB Tower to take off (I was operating from YTAL which is within the Canberra control zone).  Takeoff [was] OK [with a rate of] climb 1200 fpm.  At 1500 ft AGL the revolutions started to reduce for no apparent reason.  Temps and pressures were still OK.  I commenced a right-hand turn to return to YTAL.  As I was completing the turn I extended the landing gear.  Almost immediately there was a loud bang from under the cowl, oil on the windscreen and the prop stopped rotating. I turned off all electrical systems (I wonder what Canberra Tower thought when the transponder signal disappeared?)  The glide approach, flapless, and landing were without further drama and I was surprised at how well the aircraft handled under the circumstances [with the propeller stopped].  After landing an inspection of the aircraft showed a [connecting] rod intact (except for the big end cap) in the front of the cowl air intake (left) and a large hole in the top center of the crank case between cylinders 5 and 6.  The piston appeared to be broken across the gudgeon pin in No. 5 cylinder and the bottom edges of the cylinder had been peened out by the action of the flailing [connecting] rod.  Total time on the airframe was approximately 4850 hours.  The engine has more than 600 hours [since] TBO.  The aircraft...has been in Australia since being sold new in 1960."  Thank, reader, for letting us learn from your firsthand report.)




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


**12/19 A36 loss of control and runway excursion during a night takeoff at Fallon, Nevada.  Change "Weather unknown" to "VMC."  The pilot was attempting takeoff form a runway contaminated with "three inches of snow."**


**12/24 Be23 fuel exhaustion and landing on a road near Palaka, Florida.**




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