Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 7/15/2021 – 7/21/2021 

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.  ©2021 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

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New reports this week

7/15 1930Z (1530 local Thursday afternoon): A Be24 landed gear up at Augusta, Maine. The two aboard weren’t hurt; airplane damage is “minor”. N66293 (MC-674) is a 1979 C24R registered in Augusta.

(“Gear up landing”)

7/16 1720Z (1020 local Friday morning):  The pilot and two passengers in a Be33 perished, and the Bonanza suffered “substantial” damage, after the airplane “crashed under unknown circumstances in a vineyard” and erupted into a “post-crash fire” at Angwin, California. N112TW (D-9523) was a 1973 V35B registered in Murrieta, California.

(“Go-around/Collision with obstacles/terrain”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”—local news reports the victims were a young couple and their one-year-old son. Photos in the report show the airplane completely destroyed by fire. Apparently knowledgeable witnesses who commented on the news post state that both adults in the airplane were licensed pilots, but that one had much more experience than the other. A second commenter wrote:

I heard N112TW (a male voice) notify the Angwin Unicom that he was approaching from the South to enter the pattern for runway 16. The first thing I noticed that was unusual was that he called using "Parrett Unicom" instead of the ordinary "Angwin Traffic" or just "Angwin" for his transmission. The second notable thing I noticed is that he entered the downwind leg at around mid-field and called "One One Two Tango Whisky is high approach on downwind for left traffic one six Parrett Unicom." I looked on flightradar24, and he was at 5,000' or so, and most traffic is around 2,700 or 2,800' on the downwind leg. He then fairly quickly called "One one two Tango Whiskey is left base one six Parret Unicom." In my mind, I was wondering how a Bonanza was going to shed the altitude and still slow enough for him to land. The last transmission I heard was "One one two Tango Whisky is short final one six Parrett Unicom." I noticed the third and most unusual item was his high descent angle and speed he was carrying as he passed our house towards the runway. My initial thought was with that much speed (maybe 40-50% faster than the average plane passing by,) he would fly over the field, go around and try the approach again. 

To my surprise, he attempted the landing and bounced much higher than I've ever seen, maybe ten or more feet, then started porpoising. The third contact with the runway was the steepest and hardest that I could see, and I thought he might have struck the prop. That was just past the North end windsock from my perspective. Some mid-field trees obscured my view for about a second, and when I saw him again, he was flying but very low. It seemed like he firewalled the throttle but was not gaining any altitude. I saw him barely clear the planes and trees on the far end of the runway and was very low as he crossed the vineyard to the South. I then saw him dip the left-wing, apparently trying a last-ditch effort to avoid contact with a pine tree, but was unsuccessful. The wing appeared to impact the tree (I can now see the impact scar on that tree with binoculars,) then almost like it was in slow motion, the plane spun inverted to the left, nose down, and I could see the top of the canopy and wings as it disappeared from my sight behind the hill. Within a couple of seconds, the black smoke came rushing upwards. From my perspective, I didn't hear any sound of the impact, possibly because it was over the hill from me. My phone shows that I called 911 at 8:40 am to report the crash, then drove to the airport, then the crash site to see if I could assist any potential survivors, regardless of how unlikely that might be. Once at the site, I could immediately tell that there was no chance of survival for any plane occupants. I hope I am not leaving out any critical details, and I wish you the best in your investigation."

7/17 1425Z (1025 local Saturday morning): A Be35 landed gear up at St. Augustine, Florida. The Bonanza’s two occupants weren’t hurt; airplane damage is “unknown”. N961SF (D-7541) is a 1964 S35 registered in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida. 

(“Gear up landing”)

7/18 1455Z (0855 local Sunday morning): Two aboard a Be33 escaped injury, and damage to the Bonanza is “unknown”, when it “experienced engine failure after takeoff and landed in a field” at Longmont, Colorado. N18AR (CD-959) is a 1965 C33 registered in Davenport, Iowa.

(“Engine failure immediately after takeoff”—a news account states:

The plane, piloted by a 69-year-old man with a 62-year-old female passenger onboard, crash-landed in a field just west of the airport's runway, the sheriff’s office said. Officials said both occupants were able to get out of the aircraft on their own and were transported to a local area hospital for evaluation with minor injuries.

It appears the pilot did a good job of identifying the failure and maintaining control through contact with the ground).

7/18 1815Z (1415 local Sunday afternoon): A Be58 “landed and [its] gear collapsed” at Macon, Georgia. The solo pilot was not hurt and airplane damage is “unknown”. N40JB (TH-338) is a 1973 Baron 58 registerd in Macon.

(“Gear collapse during landing”)

7/19 1500Z (1100 local Monday morning): A Be77 “struck a metal railing during taxi” at Charleston, West Virginia. The pilot, alone in the Skipper, was not hurt. Airplane damage is “minor”. N3729B (WA-140) is a 1980 Skipper registerd in Charleston. 

(“Taxi into obstacle”)



New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

7/2 35-33 double fatality VFR-into-IMC loss of control near Ada, Oklahoma. From the report:

...about 0225 central daylight time, a Beech 35-33 airplane, N302Z, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Roff, Oklahoma. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Radar data indicated that the airplane conducted three flights the evening of the accident. The first flight departed the Ada Regional Airport (ADH), Ada, Oklahoma, at 2015; the airplane climbed to 3,000 ft and slowly descended until it arrived at the Ardmore Municipal Airport (ADM), Ardmore, Oklahoma, about 2035. The second flight departed ADM at about 2200 and flew toward ADH, but the airplane made several circles southwest of the airport and then returned to ADM. It landed about 2253.

A few hours later, at 0211, the airplane departed ADM a second time, en route to ADH. The airplane’s altitude varied between 1,000 and 2,000 ft; at one point the airplane climbed to 3,000 ft before it descended back down. Its ground speed fluctuated between 80 and 160 mph; however, most of the flight was around 100 mph. Shortly before the flight track ended, the airplane track indicated a left turn. The airplane’s ground speed decreased from 93 mph to 74 mph before it increased again. The last radar data point was about 0.20 miles northwest of the accident site; the airplane remained in a left turn at 102 mph.

The airplane impacted trees on a remote ranch about 12 nautical miles southwest of ADH. The airplane was destroyed from impacting the trees and terrain. There were no witnesses to the accident. However, the ranch owner heard a loud noise and went outside. He did not observe anything abnormal but noted the weather conditions were “very foggy and misty, with low visibility.”

(Change “Crash/Unknown” to “Loss of control in flight/Attempted visual flight in IMC/night”)


7/3 G36 double-fatality Controlled Flight Into Terrain at Aspen, Colorado. From the report:

According to preliminary information, the airplane landed at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) about 1353 to stop for fuel and lunch. The pilots then requested an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan to the Des Moines International Airport (DSM), Des Moines, Iowa. The ground controller issued a clearance that included the LINDZ Nine Departure Procedure, to climb and maintain 16,000 ft, and to expect 17,000 ft, 10 minutes after departure. The pilot responded that they could not accept 16,000 ft, which was required for the departure procedure, and would instead depart using visual flight rules. The controller queried the pilot if they were going to fly down the valley before proceeding eastbound or northeast through the ridge. The pilot responded that they would make that decision after they took off, “once we see what’s going on.” The pilot advised that they would make a right turn takeoff and requested to climb over the airport.

After departure, the flight was cleared to climb over the Aspen airport and the pilot informed the controller that they would depart to the south-southeast. The tower controller acknowledged and advised that they would let them know when the flight was high enough to proceed. When passing through 10,100 ft, the pilots informed the tower that they would depart to the east, stating “we’re above it.” When the flight was 5 miles east of the airport, the tower controller informed them that they were leaving ASE airspace and approved a frequency change. The pilot asked the tower controller to recommend a frequency, however the tower controller did not respond. The flight continued to the east and southeast.

Radar data showed the airplane as it approached a semi-circular mountain ridgeline with tops over 13,000 ft. Data indicated that the airplane was at 11,500 ft as it approached the ridgeline and then the airplane subsequently dropped off radar.

The airplane was located near a meadow in a wooded area at an elevation of about 11,000 ft. A post impact fire ensued. A detailed examination will be conducted once the airplane is recovered from the accident site.

(If I had to guess I’d think the pilots didn’t have supplemental oxygen on board and was surprised that the Minimum Enroute Altitudes in that area are well above the height where supplemental oxygen must ne used. Climbing to just over 10,000 feet before turning toward higher terrain, and then level at 11,500 straight into a 13,000-foot ridge, suggests a lack of planning and/or situational awareness…with tragic results.)


2021 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2021:

Total reported: 85 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC: 49 reports 
Operation in IMC:    2 reports 
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  33 reports
Operation at night: 6 reports    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  4 reports 
Fatal accidents:  11 reports

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  17 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   12 reports

 

BEECH AERO CLUB Series: 15 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner  7 reports
Be24 Custom III/Sierra  4 reports 
Be19 Sport   2 reports 
Be76 Duchess 
   2 reports. 


Total reported 2021:  15 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  11 reports 
Operation in IMC:    0 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  4 reports
Operation at night: 1 report    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  1 report 
Fatal accidents:  3 reports

Aircraft damage

“Substantial” damage:  6 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   1 report

 

PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE 

(all subject to update per official findings):

FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS   4 reports 

Impact during takeoff   2 reports

Takeoff/Unknown   1 report (Be23)

Loss of control during takeoff/strong surface wind/takeoff  1 report (Be23)


Engine failure  2 reports

Engine failure in flight   1 report (Be24)

Engine failure/loss of control in flight   1 report (Be23)


OTHER EVENTS    11 reports

Landing gear-related mishaps

Gear up landing  
3 reports (Be24; two Be76s)

Landing gear mechanical failure during landing   1 report (Be24)


Impact during landing

Hard landing   
3 reports (two Be23s; Be24)


Engine failure 

Engine failure in flight   1 report (Be23)


Impact during takeoff

Loss of control/stall immediately after takeoff/strong winds  1 report (Be19)

Failure to climb/collision with obstacles during takeoff   1 report (Be23)


Miscellaneous

Taxi into obstacle   1 report (Be77)



BONANZA/BARON Series:   66 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be35 Bonanza   26 reports 
Be36 Bonanza   19 reports 
Be55 Baron   9 reports  
Be33 Debonair/Bonanza   7 reports  
Be58 Baron   4 reports
Be95 Travel Air 
  2 reports      

Be56 Turbo Baron


Total reported 2021:  66 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  38 reports 
Operation in IMC:    2 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  26 reports
Operation at night: 4 reports    

Most Serious Injury
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  3 reports
Fatal accidents:  8 reports

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  9 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   11 reports

 

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

FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS    10 reports

Engine failure   5 reports

Engine failure immediately after takeoff/unsuccessful attempt to return to airport   1 report (Be36)

Engine failure in flight   1 report (Be35)

Engine failure in cruise/catastrophic oil loss  1 report (Be36) 

Engine failure during descent   1 report (Be36)

Engine failure during approach/landing   1 report (Be36)


Impact during/immediately after takeoff  2 reports  

Takeoff/unknown   1 report (Be58)

Loss of control/simulated engine failure after takeoff during instructional flight  1 report (Be35)


Impact during approach/landing/go-around  2 reports

Loss of control during missed approach in night IMC   1 report (Be33)

Go-around/Collision with obstacles/terrain   1 report (Be35)



Loss of Control in Flight (LOC-I)  1 report

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


Miscellaneous   1 reports

Controlled flight into terrain   1 report (Be36)



OTHER EVENTS    54 reports

Landing gear-related mishaps   26 reports

Gear up landing  
12 reports (three Be33s; five Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s) 

Gear collapse during landing   
11 reports (four Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; two Be58s; Be95)

Mechanical landing gear failure   1 report (Be55)

Landed with gear partial extended/electrical failure in flight   1 report (Be35)

Gear up landing after electrical failure   1 report (Be55)

Gear collapse during takeoff   1 report (Be35)


Engine failure  8 reports

Engine failure just after takeoff  
3 reports (Be33; two Be36s)

Engine failure in flight   1 report (Be36)

Partial power loss during takeoff/failure to abort   1 report (Be35)

Oil leak/engine fire in flight   1 report (Be35)

Catastrophic engine failure in flight   1 report (Be36)

Engine fire in flight   1 report (Be35)


Impact during approach/landing   7 reports

Hard landing   
2 reports (both Be35)

Loss of directional control during landing  
2 reports (Be35; Be55)

Landed short   1 report (Be35)

Landed long   1 report (Be35)

Collision with object during landing  1 report (Be36)


Impact during/immediately after takeoff   reports  

Runway excursion/loss of control during aborted takeoff  
2 reports (both Be36s)

Loss of directional control during takeoff/contaminated runway   1 report (Be35)

Failure to climb/collision with obstacles during takeoff   1 report (Be36)

Runway overrun/unknown   1 report (Be36)


Miscellaneous causes/Other   6 reports

Taxi into obstacle  
5 reports (two Be35s; Be55; Be58; Be95)

Takeoff with tow bar attached   1 report (Be55)

Bird strike   1 report (Be36)

Struck by taxiing airplane whie unoccupied on the ramp   1 report (Be35)


MISCELLANEOUS Models:  4 reports 

Be18 Twin Beech/Expeditor/Kansan   2 reports
Be17 Staggerwing   1 report
Be65 Queen Air   1 report

Be45 Mentor/T-34
Be50 Twin Bonanza   
Be60 Duke      

 

Total reported 2021: 4 reports

Environment: 

Operation in VMC:  3 report
Operation in IMC:    0 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  1 report
Operation at night: 0 reports    

Most Serious Injury

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

Aircraft damage

“Substantial” damage:  2 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   0 reports

 

PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE 

(all subject to update per official findings):


FATAL and SERIOUS INJURY EVENTS   0 reports


OTHER EVENTS   4 reports

Impact during takeoff

Loss of control/noseover during takeoff   1 report (Be17)


Impact on landing   

Loss of directional control during landing   1 report (Be18)

Gear collapse during landing/mechanical failure in flight   1 report (Be18)


Miscellaneous

Wing explosion on start-up   1 report (Be65)

 

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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