Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 9/3/2020 – 9/16/2020 

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 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.  ©2020 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

THE WEEKLY ACCIDENT UPDATE IS AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCT OF

MASTERY FLIGHT TRAINING, INC.


From unoffical sources

Reader Richard Davis sent me this note:

On 9/4/20 at 1311 local [time Friday afternoon], at 2700 feet at 175 mph. I was by myself returning from practicing approaches  near KBED [Bedford] on way to Beverly [Massachusetts]. Plane took a thud but flew fine. I was on autopilot arcing around Boston's Class Bravo Airspace. Thankfully it missed [the] prop and my windshield. I did not see it coming, only a quick black blur. Do not know what kind of bird. Possibly a crow. I will not be flying for awhile. In 4000 hours I have never seen a bird leave a dent or even a mark.

N815BF (TC-1659) is a 1974 B55 registerd in Concord, New Hampshire.

(“Bird strike in cruise flight”—and potentially “substantial” damage to the wing leading edge, which in photos sent by the pilot appears to be completely dented back against the wing’s forward spar, in a dent two to three feet wide).


New reports this week

9/3 2129Z (1619 local Thursday afternoon): A Be36 “landed on a closed runway and clipped the ‘X’ at the approach end of the runway and sheared [the Bonanza’s] right [landing] gear off,” at New Orleans, Louisiana. The two aboard escaped injury; airplane damage is “unknown”. N4467A (E-212) is a 1970 A36 registered in Montgomery, Alabama.

(“Collision with object/attempted landing on closed runway”—a NOTAM for KNEW shows the runway was closed beginning August 31 and continuing through the end of September.)

9/4 1830Z (1130 local Friday morning): A pilot and passenger aboard a Be35 perished, and the Bonanza was “destroyed”, when it crashed under unknown circumstances at Three Rivers, California. N818S (D-9109) was a 1970 V35B registered in Visalia, California.

(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”—the flight was being conducted under Visual Flight Rules. Local reports suggest the actual conditions may have been IMC in heavy smoke from forest fires).

9/7 1747Z (1247 local Monday afternoon): While “enroute,” a Be35 “lost power, struck a tree and crashed in a field” at Canyon Lake, Texas. Two aboard suffered “serious” injuries; the airplane has “substantial” damage. N4636D (D-4801) is a 1956 G35 registered in Fort Stockton, Texas.

(“Fuel starvation”; “Serious injuries”; “Substantial damage”—according to an industry website:

The pilot reported to a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector that while enroute to the Canyon Lake Airport (34TS) the engine lost all power a few minutes after he switched the fuel selector to the left main fuel tank. The pilot attempted a forced landing to a clearing but struck trees on the edge of the clearing and the airplane impacted the ground. The airplane incurred substantial damage to its fuselage and both wings. )

9/11 0730Z (0230Z local): During a middle-of-the-night flight, the solo pilot of a Be36 died when the Bonanza “crashed under unknown circumstances” at Jackson, Tennessee. The airplane was “destroyed”. N74HS (E-2659) was a 1991 A36 registered in Bartlett, Tennessee.

(“Crash/unknown”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”; “Night”—a local news report states the airplane impacted about a mile from the Jackson airport. 

“He was having problems, either mechanical or medical,” said Tom Mapes, public information office with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson had turned the runway lights on McKellar-Sipes in preparation for landing. The plane crashed in a wooded area in the community of Huntersville around 2:30 a.m., Mapes said.

The plane was a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Jackson, the pilot, was the only person onboard. He took off from Dixon Municipal Airport in Dickson, Tennessee, and was headed to Charles W. Baker Airport in Millington.)

9/13 1718Z (1018 local Sunday morning): A Be55’s pilot reports that his landing gear collapsed during arrival at Sedona, Arizona. The pilot and passenger were unhurt; airplane damage is “minor”. N55ZZ (TE-133) is a 1966 C55 registered in Mesa, Arizona.

(“Gear collapse during landing”)


New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

8/16 V35B loss of directional control during takeoff at White Owl, South Dakota. From the NTSB:

The pilot reported that he was taking off from a private dry grass airstrip. The takeoff run was slightly uphill and into a slight wind. As the airplane accelerated, the pilot had "increasing trouble keeping the airplane from going left." The airplane then departed the airstrip to the left. He continued thinking the airplane was going to lift off. The airplane traversed a small ditch and became airborne. The airplane didn't climb or descend and continued to turn left toward a row of hay bales. The left main landing gear struck the top of the hay bales, which turned the airplane sideways, and the airplane impacted the ground and skidded to a stop. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe and engine that would have precluded normal operation. 

Add “substantial damage”.

8/27 double-fatality A36 crash during attempted takeoff from Redding, California. From the NTSB:

A witness, who was a rated pilot, located on O85, reported that the airplane was departing from runway 33, when it appeared to have "rotated too soon." The witness stated that the airplane became airborne briefly and immediately settled onto the runway before it became airborne a second time. The airplane subsequently touched down slightly beyond the departure end of the runway, crossed a road, and impacted trees, where a post impact fire ensued. 

The pilot was attempting to take off from a private airfield with a runway length of approximately 2400 feet. Conditions at the time of departure from the nearby, 497 foot MSL Redding airport were 3200 VMC with a surface temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 15C, pressure 29.97 inches of mercury and calm winds. Computed density altitude was 1362 feet. Available runways at Redding are over 5000 and 7000 feet long. 

The flight was planned nonstop to Puyallup, Washington—396 nautical miles straight-line distance. Airplane loading and takeoff performance are routinely part of NTSB investigators’ focus. Further, this airplane was modified with an aftermarket turbocharing system that (1) adds nearly 70 pounds of turbocharging hardware forward of the firewall, the added weight itself reducing takeoff performance; and (2) may provide less power than a comparable, normally aspirated engine during a near-sea-level takeoff, because of exhaust back pressure exacerbated by the turbocharger; increased induction air temperature coming from the turbo, which in this installation always provides boost to about 34 inches of manifold pressure; and obstruction in the induction manfild from the system’s intercooler, which depedning on the system may not be effective in reducing combustion temperatures at takeoff airspeeds. 

Reader Scott “Gunny” Perdue highlights these and other LESSONS from this tragedy in his recent Flywire YouTube channel post.

9/7 “serious injuries” G35 fuel starvation at Canyon Lake, Texas, cited above.


2020 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2020:

Total reported: 102 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC: 54 reports 
Operation in IMC:    1 report  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  47 reports
Operation at night: 7 reports    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  3 reports 
Fatal accidents:  11 reports

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  22 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   14 reports

 

BEECH AERO CLUB Series:  18 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  8 reports
Be76 Duchess 6 reports 
Be24 Custom III/Sierra  3 reports 
Be77 Skipper 1 report

Be19 Sport.

Total reported 2020:  18 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  10 reports 
Operation in IMC:    0 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  8 reports
Operation at night: 1 report    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  1 report 
Fatal accidents:  0 reports

Aircraft damage

“Substantial” damage:  7 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   1 report

 

PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE 

(all subject to update per official findings):

FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS   1 reports 

Engine failure in flight  1 report

Engine failure in flight/known mechanical cause/cylinder separation  1 report (Be24)


OTHER EVENTS    15 reports

Impact during landing  3 reports

Loss of directional control during landing 
2 reports (both Be23s) 

Landed short   1 report (Be23)

Loss of control during go-around/simulated single-engine flight  1 report (Be76)


Engine failure  3 reports

Engine failure during/immediately after takeoff   1 report (Be23)

Engine failure in flight   1 report (Be23)

Engine failure in flight/throttle linkage failure   1 report (Be23)


Landing gear related mishaps  4 reports

Gear up landing  
3 reports (two Be24s; Be76)

Gear collapse during landing   1 report (Be76)


Impact during takeoff  2 report

Loss of directional control during takeoff   1 report (Be76)

Loss of directional control during takeoff/simulated engine failure 1 report (Be76)

Failure to attain climb/density altitude/Forced landing   1 report (Be23)


Miscellaneous  2 reports 

Brake failure/taxiway excursion   1 report (Be23)

Collision with object during taxi   1 report (Be76)


Unknown  1 report 

Collision with terrain/unknown   1 report (Be77)

 

BONANZA/BARON Series:   80 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be35 Bonanza  28 reports 
Be36  25 reports 
Be33 Debonair/Bonanza  12 reports
Be55 Baron  8 reports
Be58 Baron  5 reports 
Be95 Travel Air 2 reports

Be56 Turbo Baron

Total reported 2020:  80 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  40 reports 
Operation in IMC:    1 report  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  39 reports
Operation at night: 6 reports    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  2 reports
Fatal accidents:  11 reports

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  13 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   13 reports

 

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

FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS    12 reports

Engine failure  3 reports

Power loss during takeoff/pilot failed to abort takeoff  1 report (Be33)

Engine failure in flight—fuel loss in flight  1 report (Be33)

Fuel starvation   1 report (Be35)


Impact during takeoff/initial climb  1 report 

Failed to reject takeoff/failed to attain climb/runway overrun 1 report (Be36)


Midair collision  1 report 

Midair collision in cruise flight. 1 report (Be95)


Loss of control inflight

Loss of control in flight/Attempted visual flight into known IMC   1 report (Be33)


Unknown causes  4 reports

Crash/unknown  
4 reports (two Be35s; two Be36s)

Traffic pattern/unknown   1 report (Be33)

Takeoff/unknown   1 report (Be36)


OTHER EVENTS    63 reports

Landing gear-related mishaps  31 reports

Gear up landing 
15 reports (four Be33s; seven Be35s; two Be36s; Be55; Be58)

Gear collapse during landing  
12 reports (three Be33s; five Be35s; Be36; three Be55s)

Partial gear extension—mechanical failure
2 reports (Be36; Be95)

Gear collapse during landing/tow bar attached/nose gear damage 1 report (Be58)

Gear up landing/electrical failure in flight  1 report (Be36)

Gear up landing/electrical failure, gear crank inaccessible 1 report (Be36)


Engine failure  14 reports

Engine failure in flight   
6 reports (three Be35s; three Be36s)

Fuel starvation  
2 reports (both Be35s)

Engine failure during/immediately after takeoff  
2 reports (both Be36s)

Engine failure in flight/known mechanical cause/cylinder separation  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure in flight/suspected valve failure   1 report (Be35)

Engine failure on final approach  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure in flight/known mechanical cause/suspected crankshaft failure  1 report (Be35)


Impact during landing  10 reports

Landed long/runway overrun  
4 reports (two Be35s; two Be36s)

Hard landing  
2 reports (Be36; Be58)

Loss of directional control during landing   1 report (Be55)

Collision with object during landing   1 report (Be36)

Blown tire during landing/runway excursion   1 repot (Be33)

Collision with object/attempted landing on closed runway   1 report (Be36)


Impact during takeoff  3 reports

Loss of directional control during takeoff  
2 reports (Be35; Be36)

Loss of directional control during takeoff/door open during takeoff   1 report (Be55)


Miscellaneous/Unknown  8 reports

Bird strike on final approach 
2 reports (both Be36s)

Collision with object during taxi  
2 reports (Be55; Be58)

Electrical fire/precautionary gear up landing   1 report (Be33)

Electrical system failur ein flight/off-airport landing   1 report (Be35)

Blown tire during landing   1 report (Be58)

Bird strike in cruise flight   1 report (Be55)


MISCELLANEOUS Models:  5 reports 

Be50 Twin Bonanza   2 reports
Be60 Duke  2 reports
Be45 Mentor/T-34  1 report 

Be17 Staggerwing
Be18 Twin Beech/Expeditor/Kansan
Be65 Queen Air

 

Total reported 2020: 5 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  3 reports
Operation in IMC:    0 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  2 reports
Operation at night: 0 reports    

Most Serious Injury

“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  1 report 
Fatal accidents:  0 reports

Aircraft damage

“Substantial” damage:  1 report
Aircraft “destroyed”:   0 reports

 

PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE 

(all subject to update per official findings):

FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS   1 report

Engine failure 1 report

Fuel exhaustion—dual engine failure in flight   1 report (Be60)


OTHER EVENTS   4 reports

Engine failure  2 reports

Engine failure in flight  1 report (Be45)

Engine failure on final approach  1 report (Be50)


Landing gear related mishaps

Gear collapse during landing   1 report (Be60)


Miscellaneous

Bird strike   1 report (Be50)

 

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.  

 

Pursue Mastery of Flight

©2009-2020 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All rights reserved.