Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 

10/10/2019 through 10/16/2019

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.  © 2019 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


New reports this week

9/25 1215Z (0715 local Wednesday morning): During an attempted takeoff at Lubbock, Texas, a Be36 “struck [its] left wing on [the] ground due to unusual takeoff pitch.” The solo pilot escaped injury despite “substantial” damage to the airplane. N5836B (EA-558) is/was a 1994 B36TC registered in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.

(“Loss of control immediately after liftoff/unknown”; “Substantial damage”—this cryptically worded FAA preliminary report suggests these possible scenarios:

1. The [reasonably] well known characteristic of the long-wing B36TC, that if forced into the air at too slow a speed, or a traditional soft-field takeoff is attempted, it can lift off into ground effect at a speed at which it does not have the control authority to overcome its own left-turning tendencies. B36TCs have been known to drift and/or roll to the left in this scenario, with results similar to those reported in this case.

2. An overly aggressive pitch up into a stall at liftoff.

3. A mis-set pitch trim during takeoff that causes the airplane to do (2) above. A B36TC, if trimmed normally during landing, will end up with the pitch trim set at 19 to 21 units UP or higher depending on the distribution of its load during the previous landing. This is much higher than the 3 to 6 units UP that the POH calls out as the takeoff trim setting. If the pilot did not re-trim the airplane after the previous landing it can pitch up aggressively into a stall at liftoff. This is a characteristic of all turbocharged and turbonormalized Bonanzas, and even G36s and very late-model A36s that all tend to be very nose-heavy airplanes.  In the 1990s I was deposed as a witness in the case of a turbo Bonanza that crashed following this very scenario.)

10/9 2033Z (1533 local Wednesday afternoon): A Be19 “caught fire at 400 feet [AGL] which forced an off-airport landing,” at Sommerville, Tennessee. The solo pilot was not injured despite the Beech Sport being destroyed by fire. N2177W (MB-694) was a 1974 B19 registered in Kenton, Tennessee.

(“Engine fire in flight”; “Airplane destroyed”—local news appears to confirm the engine is what was on fire, and what appears to be a great job by the pilot of getting the burning airplane on the ground and evacuating the aircraft.)

10/14 2036Z (1636 local Monday afternoon): A Be36 “landed and [its] gear collapsed,” at Douglas, Georgia. The solo pilot escaped injury and the airplane has “unknown” damage. N8047R (E-2709) is a 1998 A36 registered in Douglas.

(“Gear collapse during landing”)

10/14 2059Z (1559 local Monday afternoon):  A Be35 “lost electrical [power] and on landing the gear collapsed,” at Bentonville, Arkansas. The solo pilot was unhurt and airplane damage is “unknown”. N1110C (D-5117) is a 1957 H35 registered in Alpine, Texas.

("Gear collapse—electrical failure in flight, incomplete extension”—a not-terribly-uncommon occurence. Gear extension requires full system voltage (14- or 28 volts, as appropriate). If operating even on a fully charged battery, which would be 12- or 24 volts, respectively, the gear motor runs slower and the landing gear may not travel fully down when the limit switches cut off the motor at the normal point in its extension. Any landing gear extension on anything less than full system voltage should be followed by the actions of the Manual Landing Gear Extension checklist, to confirm the gear is in fact completely down. Although this requirement is not mentioned in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, it is well known and taught among experts in the type including the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program online course).

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

9/10 A23 instructional power loss at Panama City, Florida. From the NTSB:

The student pilot reported that he and his flight instructor were performing airport traffic pattern work, go-arounds and touch and go landings to runway 16. After a normal go-around due to excessive crosswinds, they initiated a no-flap landing for the next attempt. As the pilot became established on short final, he reported that the approach was normal, but when he attempted to arrest his descent by increasing engine power, the engine did not respond. He pulled the power lever out (towards idle) and the instructor told him to immediately "push it back in to add power." After several unsuccessful attempts to increase engine power, the instructor took control of the airplane and attempted to land. The propeller was wind milling during short final then completely stopped just before landing in the grass short of runway 16; the airplane then bounced onto the runway, hitting one of the approach lights, before rolling a short distance down the runway and coming to a stop.

The maintenance service provider's mechanic stated that during recovery of the airplane and inspection, they discovered foreign object debris with the consistency of dirt blocking the fuel vent line. 

Change “Landed short” to “Engine failure on approach/landing/possible fuel vent blockage”. Add “substantial damage”.

2019 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2019:

Total reported: 135 reports

Environment: (Note: FAA preliminary reports no longer report weather conditions)

Operation in VMC:  90 reports 
Operation in IMC:    8 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  37 reports
Operation at night: 4 reports    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  4 reports 
Fatal accidents:  24 reports

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  29 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   33 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be35 Bonanza  38 reports
Be36 Bonanza  33 reports
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  15 reports  
Be55 Baron  14 reports  
Be58 Baron  8 reports
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  6 reports 
Be60 Duke  4 reports  
Be76 Duchess  4 reports
Be19 Sport  3 reports 
Be65 Queen Air  3 reports 
Be24 Sierra  2 reports
Be50 Twin Bonanza  2 reports  
Be45 Mentor  1 report
Be95 Travel Air  1 report
Bonanza (model unknown)  1 report


(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps (44 reports)

Gear collapse during landing  
20 reports: (Be24; three Be33s; five Be35s; seven Be36s; two Be55s; Be65; Be76) 

Gear up landing
17 reports (two Be33s; seven Be35s; three Be36s; Be45; two Be55s; Be76; Bonanza model unknown) 

Gear collapse—incomplete extension  
4 reports: (Be35; Be36; Be58; Be76)

Gear collapse—electrical failure in flight, incomplete extension  
2 reports (both Be35)

Gear collapse during taxi  1 report (Be35)

Gear collapse during takeoff. 1 report (Be55)

Engine failure (38 reports)

Engine failure in flight  
16 reports (Be23; two Be33s; four Be35s; eight Be36s; Be60)

Fuel starvation  
5 reports (Be23; Be35; two Be36s; Be55)

Engine failure during takeoff  
5 reports (two Be19s; Be35; two Be36s)

Cylinder separation in flight  
3 reports (two Be33s; Be35)

Engine fire in flight  
3 reports (Be19; Be36; Be60)

Fuel exhaustion  1 report (Be55)

Engine failure during return to airport/door open after takeoff  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure during approach/landing  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure shortly after takeoff/stall  1 report (Be50)

Dual engine failure in flight/suspected fuel contamination  1 report (Be50)

Engine failure on approach/landing/possible fuel vent blockage. 1 report (Be23)

Miscellaneous  (14 reports)(

Taxied into object/other aircraft  
6 reports (Be23; Be33; Be35; two Be58s; Be60)

Bird strike  
2 reports (Be35; Be95)

Attempted hand-propping/unoccupied start/ground collision  1 report (Be35)0

Extreme turbulence encounter  1 report (Be58)

Struck animal on runway during landing  1 report (Be58)

Wing explosion during takeoff  1 report (Be65)

Engine fire during taxi  1 report (Be55)

Midair collision/short final  1 report (Be35)

Stuck throttle  1 report (Be33)

Impact during landing (13 reports) 

Loss of directional control during landing  
6 reports (Be23; Be35; Be33; three Be36s)

Hard landing  
4 reports (Be33; Be35; two Be55s)

Landed short  1 report (Be65)

Blown tire on landing  1 report (Be58)

Aircraft porpoised on landing/propeller strike  1 report (Be36)

Loss of control in flight (LOC-I) (9 reports)

Loss of control immediately after liftoff/unknown 
2 reports (Be36; Be60)

Loss of control in flight/Initial departure in IMC  1 report (Be36)

Loss of directional control in flight/Attempted visual flight into IMC  1 report (Be36)

Stall during low-altitude maneuvering  1 report (Be65)

Loss of control/Instrument approach  1 report (Be58)

Loss of control during go-around  1 report (Be76)

Loss of control/door open in flight. 1 report (Be24)

Loss of control/base to final turn. 1 report (Be33)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (2 reports)

Controlled Flight into Terrain: Visual flight in mountains  1 report (Be55)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)/Buzzing. 1 report (Be33)

Unknown (14 reports)

8 reports (three Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; Be58)

3 reports (Be33; two Be35s)

2 reports (Be23; Be35)

Precautionary landing/unknown  1 report (Be36)

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.  

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