Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 11/14/2014 through 11/19/2014

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.  © 2014 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


New reports this week

11/11 (Tuesday time note reported):  After the forward cabin door opened in cruise flight, a Be33 landed gear up at Effingham, Illinois.  From the NTSB's Probable Cause (final) report: 

The pilot reported that 30 minutes after departure at 6,000 feet mean sea level, the airplane's door opened in flight. He stated that the temperature dropped, papers went flying about the cabin, and the noise was 'overwhelming.' The passenger tried to hold the door shut, but could not secured it. The pilot diverted to a nearby airport for landing. The pilot stated that he "simply forgot to put the gear down." The airplane touched down and skidded on its belly resulting in substantial damage to the airplane's stringers, formers, and main spar carry through. The pilot reported that there was no malfunction or system failure of the airplane before the accident.

N718CD (CD-718) is/was a 1963 35-B33 registered in Springfield, Illinois.

("Gear up landing/Door open in flight"--a classic distraction scenario that, if practiced only once during a pilot's initial checkout when transitioning to the airplane, would likely have been a non-event.  The tragedy is that an airplane of this vintage is most frequently totaled after a gear up or gear collapse mishap.)

11/15 2106Z (1606 local Saturday afternoon):  A Be33 "crashed into a wooded area near Clinton, Connecticut.  The one person aboard had "minor" injuries, the airplane "substantial" damage. N4548S (CE-601) is/was a 1975 F33A registered in Wilmington, Delaware.

("Fuel exhaustion"--on the basis of insurance industry reports.  Seeing the airplane inverted in trees with the vertical stabilizer and perhaps one horizontal stabilizer torn off, I can only guess that the airplane will not be repaired; "Substantial damage")

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

11/11 B33 Debonair gear up landing at Effingham, Illinois, cited above. 

2014 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2014:

Total reported:  115 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  51 reports 
Operation in IMC:    7 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  56 reports
Operation at night:  11 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  2 reports    

Most Serious Injury
Fatal accidents:  14 reports  
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  4 reports 

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  25 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   15 reports 

Other factors

FAA's new aircraft triennial registration rule means it is impossible to tell whether an airplane registration was because of a change in ownership or simply compliance with the new regulation.  Consequently we will no longer track the number of mishaps that occur in the first year of registered ownership.  Over 16 years of the Weekly Accident Update has shown that, consistently, about 20% of all piston Beechcraft accidents happen in the first year of ownership.    

FAA preliminary reports no longer identify the purpose of the flight involved in mishap.  Consequently the number and percentage of Beech mishaps that occur during dual instruction will become less and less accurate over time. Since the late 1990s the percentage of Beech mishaps that take place during dual flight instruction has remained very consistently about 10%.

By Aircraft Type     

Be35 Bonanza  33 reports
Be36 Bonanza  26 reports      
Be58 Baron  15 reports  
Be55 Baron  12 reports
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  11 reports  
Be76 Duchess  5 reports
Be24 Sierra  4 reports 
Be95 Travel Air  3 reports
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom III  1 report
BE45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report
Be60 Duke  1 report
Baron (model unknown)  1 report

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps
(47 reports; 41% of the total)

Gear up landing  21 reports
(two Be24s; four Be33s; eight Be35s; three Be36s; three Be55s; Be76)

Gear collapse during landing  16 reports
(six Be35s; Be36; two Be55s; four Be58s; Be76; two Be95s)

Mechanical gear failure 6 reports
(Be35; Be36; three Be58s; Be76)

Gear collapse: Damage from tow bar not removed before flight 1 report (Be36)

Gear collapse following alternator failure  1 report (Be36)

Tire failure on landing  1 report (Be58)

Gear up landing/Door open in flight   1 report (Be33)

Engine failure (23 reports; 20% of the total)

Engine failure in flight  11 reports
(three Be33s; four Be35s; four Be36s)

Engine failure on approach/landing 5 reports
(Be35; three Be36s; Be55)

Fuel exhaustion 4 reports
(Be24; Be33; two Be36s)

Fuel starvation 2 reports
(Be33; Be35)

Engine failure on takeoff 1 report (Be45)

Impact during landing (17 reports; 15% of the total)

Loss of directional control during landing  7 reports
(Be23; three Be35s; Be36; two Be55s)

Landed short  4 reports
(three Be35s; Be76)

Runway overrun  2 reports 
(Be55; Be58)

Hard landing/airframe ice  1 report (Be58)

Landed short/airframe ice accumulation  1 report (Be60)

Runway overrun/wet runway surface  1 report (Be36)

Collision with animal during landing  1 report (Be36)

Miscellaneous (9 reports; 8% of the total)

Taxied into obstacle/parked aircraft  3 reports
(two Be36s; Be55)

Taxiway excursion  2 reports
(Be35; Be36)

Electrical fire on the ground  1 report (Be55)

Electrical fire in flight  1 report (Be58)

Pilot death by natural causes  1 report (Be36)

Bird strike  1 report (Be58)

Attempted air piracy  1 report (Be76)

Stall (5 reports; 4% of the total)

Stall during go-around/balked landing  2 reports
(Be36; Be55)

Stall during landing: Door open in flight  1 report (Be35)

Stall during takeoff   1 report (Be36)

Stall/spin during multiengine instruction  1 report (Be95)

Impact during takeoff (3 reports; 2% of the total)

Loss of directional control on takeoff  2 reports 
(both Be58s)

Failure to lift off/runway overrun on takeoff   1 report (Be36)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)  (2 reports;  2% of the total)

CFIT  1 report (Be33)

Controlled Flight into Terrain: Descent into Water at Night  1 report (Be35)

Loss of control in flight (1 report)

Loss of control: Attempted visual flight in marginal VFR at night  1 report Be58

Tail vibration/ruddervator flutter (1 report)

Tail vibration/ruddervator flutter in turbulence  1 report (Be35)

Unknown (4 reports)

Crash/unknown  1 report  (Baron model unknown)

Crash/unknown--heavy precipitation and low surface visibility  1 report (Be36)

Takeoff/unknown  1 report (Be33)

Approach/unknown  1 report (Be24)

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.  

Personal Aviation: Freedom.  Choices.  Responsibility.

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