Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 3/12/2015 through 3/25/2015

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.  © 2015 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


New reports this week

3/11 1733Z (1233 local Wednesday afternoon): One passenger aboard a Be19 was "seriously" injured, while the pilot and a third occupant escaped injury, when oil pressure was lost and the Beech Sport's engine seized, near Osage Beach, Missouri.  The pilot ditched the airplane into the lake, and the airplane was destroyed.   Visual Meteorological Conditions prevailed.  

The pilot told a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that s everything appeared to be normal when he conducted his preflight inspection. There was 6 quarts of oil on the dipstick and the oil pressure was "in the green" during the engine run-up check. Shortly after takeoff, when the airplane had attained an altitude of about 2,800 feet, he noticed the oil pressure had dropped to zero. As he was turning back to the airport, the propeller stopped. He ditch in Lake Ozark. The occupants exited the airplane and were located on the beach.

The FAA inspector verified there was ample fuel on board and blue in color. The throttle linkage was connected. The engine had seized and could not be turned by hand. The inspector said he could not find the oil dipstick when the airplane was recovered from the lake. The pilot, however, was adamant that he had replaced the dipstick after checking the oil. The pilot also said he had changed the oil (7 quarts) two days before the accident.

N774TA (MB-825) was a 1976 B19 registered in Saint Charles, Missouri.

("Engine failure in flight/Catastrophic oil loss"; "Serious injuries"; "Aircraft destroyed".--I've flown over Lake of the Ozarks many times.  There are very few options besides ditching in the lake in the event a single engine fails in that area.)

3/14 1548Z (1048 local Saturday morning):  A Be36's landing gear collapsed during landing at Meacham Airport, Fort Worth, Texas.  Two aboard the "instructional" flight escaped injury despite "substantial" aircraft damage.  N8241N (EA-522) is/was a 1991 B36TC registered in Colleyville, Texas.

("Landing gear collapse during landing"; "Substantial damage"; "Dual instruction")

3/18 2130Z (1730 local Wednesday evening):  A Be58's "left main gear collapsed" during landing at East Hampton, New York.  The solo pilot was unhurt and airplane damage is "unknown".  N51FD (TH-1075) is/was a 1979 Baron 58 registered in Wilmington, Delaware.

("Landing gear collapse during landing")

3/21 1735Z (1235 local Saturday afternoon):  A Be23's landing gear collapsed during a hard landing at Moline, Illinois.  The two aboard were unhurt; airplane damage is "unknown".  N6012J (M-2100) is/was a 1978 C23 registered in Milan, Illinois.

("Hard landing")

3/23 1945Z (1545 local Monday afternoon):  A Be36 "lost power and crashed into the roof of a home, coming to rest in the back yard" at Inverness, Florida.  The pilot received "serious" injuries; no one was hurt in the house, which was occupied at the time.  The airplane has substantial damage.  N936B (E-3774) is/was a 2007 G36 registered in Gallatin, Tennessee.

("Engine failure in flight"; "Serious injuries"; "Substantial damage"--local news reports include photographs that show almost impossibly light amounts of damage to the aircraft and the impact site.)

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

3/11 B19 Sport engine failure and ditching in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, cited above.

2015 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2015:

Total reported:  23 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  4 reports 
Operation in IMC:    3 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  16 reports
Operation at night:  5 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  0 reports    

Most Serious Injury
Fatal accidents:  1 report  
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  5 reports 

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  4 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   4 reports

Other factors

FAA's 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      

Be36 Bonanza  7 reports   
Be35 Bonanza  5 reports 
Be58 Baron  4 reports  
Be55 Baron  2 reports
Be17 Staggerwing  1 report  
Be19 Sport  1 report
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom  1 report
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  1 report    
Be60 Duke  1 report

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps (11 reports)

Landing gear collapse during landing  
8 reports (Be35; three Be36s; Be55; two Be58s; Be60)

Gear up landing  
3 reports (two Be35s; Be55)

Impact during landing (5 reports)

Loss of directional control during landing  
3 reports (Be17; Be33; Be35)

Landed long/runway overrun  1 report (Be58)

Hard landing  1 report (Be23)

Engine failure (3 reports)
Engine failure immediately after takeoff--catastrophic cylinder separation 1 report (Be35)

Engine failure in flight  1 report (Be36)

Engine failure in flight/Catastrophic oil loss  1 report (Be19)

Impact during takeoff (1 report)

Loss of directional control/rejected takeoff  1 report (Be58)

Stall (1 report)
Stall during missed approach in IMC  1 report (Be36)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)  (1 report)
Controlled Flight into Terrain/Icing Conditions  1 report (Be36)

Crash/Unknown (1 report)
Crash/unknown: Night, mountainous terrain  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.  

Personal Aviation: Freedom.  Choices.  Responsibility.

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