Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 

11/17/2016 through 11/30/2016

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.  © 2016 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


New reports this week

11/16 2345Z (1745 local Wednesday evening): During a night light at Greenville, Illinois, a Be33 landed gear up. The pilot and passenger were unhurt; airplane damage is “minor”. N8230Y (CE-1601) is/was a 1991 F33A registered in Illinois.

(“Gear up landing/gear extension system mechanical failure”; “Night”—a local news report states the pilot told news crews "he was flying with [a passenger] Wednesday. They left just before 4 PM and when it was time to land, the gear malfunctioned. [The pilot] said they tried to deploy the landing gear manually, but that didn’t work either. [The pilot]  contacted the airport to tell them about the situation and Greenville Fire Protection District personnel, ambulance personnel, and emergency helicopters were called to the scene. Fortunately, [The pilot]  was able to land the plane without incident.” 

This is indicative of a failure of a rod end, a gear pushrod, or the landing gear transmission (“gear box”). If one of these items fails the landing gear usually cannot be extended either normally or manually. There is a schedule of recommended overhaul or replacement of gear components in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook Section VIII: Handling, Servicing and Maintenance. Although some recommendations may be deferred beyond the listed overhaul/replacement schedule, at least under U.S. rules, history shows that it’s a false economy to defer landing gear-related components. Because of the cost of repairs, including engine teardown inspections and reassembly, and propeller replacement, and the typical insured value of Beech airplanes, even “minor” damage landing gear related mishaps frequently result in the airplane being “totaled”—even when photos make it clear the pilot did a superb job of controlling the airplane though the wheels-up landing.)

11/18 2240Z (1540 local Friday afternoon): A Be45 landed gear up at Gallup, New Mexico. The solo pilot was unhurt; damage is “minor”. N4985 (s/n 34-125) is/was a 1953 A45 (T-34A) registered in New Mexico.

(“Gear up landing”)

11/20 0145Z (1845Z local Saturday evening 11/19): During night taxi at Bozeman, Montana, a Be55 struck a taxi light and sign. The solo pilot avoided injury; the Baron suffered “minor” damage. N941D does not appear as a Baron on the FAA registry, and may be a data entry error on the FAA's preliminary incident report.

("Collision with object during taxi”; “Night”)

11/23 1934Z (1434 local Wednesday afternoon): A Be55 landed gear up at Rome, Georgia. The two “flight crew” aboard weren’t injured, and damage to the Baron is “unknown”. N7206R (TC-1822) is/was a 1974 95-B55 registered in Florida.

(“Gear up landing”)

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

There are no newly posted piston Beechcraft NTSB reports this week.

2016 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2015:

Total reported: 145 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  80 reports 
Operation in IMC:    1 report  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  42 reports
Operation at night:  13 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  1 report    

Most Serious Injury
Fatal accidents:  15 reports 
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  5 reports 

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  27 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   20 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      

Be35 Bonanza  33 reports   
Be36 Bonanza 22 reports  
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  19 reports   
Be58 Baron  15 reports  
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom III  14 reports      
Be55 Baron  11 reports
Be24 Sierra  5 reports  
Be18 Twin Beech  4 reports 
Be76 Duchess  4 reports
Be17 Staggering  3 reports  
Be45 (T-34) Mentor  3 reports
Be 19 Sport  2 reports        
Be60 Duke  2 reports
Be77  2 reports
Be95 Travel Air  2 reports

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps (60 reports: 41% of the total)

Gear up landing  
28 reports (five Be33s; ten Be35s; six Be36s; two Be45s; two Be55s; Be58; Be76; Be95)

Gear collapse during landing  
23 reports (two Be18s; Be24; Be33; eight Be35s; two Be36s; seven Be58s; two Be60s)

Gear collapse during takeoff  
2 reports (Be35; Be76)

Landing gear failed to extend/replacement tire interference with gear system 
2 reports (Be24; Be35)

Gear up landing/gear extension system mechanical failure  
2 reports (Be33; Be55)

Gear collapse during taxi  1 report (Be55)

Gear up landing/Attempted go-around after propeller strike/Stall  1 report (Be35)

Gear up landing or gear collapse/Total electrical failure  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure (27 reports: 19% of the total)

Total engine failure during cruise flight  
10 reports (four Be23s three Be33s; Be35; Be36; Be77)

Engine failure during approach/landing  
8 reports (Be19; two Be23s; two Be33s; two Be35s; Be55)

Engine failure immediately after takeoff  
6 reports (Be17; two Be24s; Be35; two Be36s) 

Partial power loss during cruise flight  1 report (Be35)  

Fuel exhaustion  1 report (Be36)

Fuel starvation  1 report (Be23)

Impact during landing (20 reports; 14% of the total)

Loss of directional control during landing  
9 reports (Be17; two Be18s; two Be23s; Be24; two Be33s; Be77) 

Landed long/runway overrun 
4 reports (Be23; Be35; Be36; Be58)

Landed short/collision with obstacles on approach/landing  
3 reports (Be23; Be35; Be36)

Hard landing  
2 reports (Be23; Be58)

Runway excursion during landing 1 report (Be36)

Wingtip collision with obstacle during landing  1 report (Be33)

Miscellaneous (16 reports;  11% of the total)

Forced landing/unknown  
3 reports (Be33; Be55; Be58)

3 reports (Be23; Be33; Be36)

Bird strike in cruise flight  
2 reports (Be33; Be36)

Bird strike shortly after takeoff  1 report (Be33)

Collision with powerlines  1 report (Be35)

Diverted in flight/Unknown  1 report (Be58)

Taxiway excursion  1 report (Be58)

Taxiway excursion/propeller strike  1 report (Be36)

Collision with object during taxi  
2 reports (Be35; Be55)

Cruise/unknown  1 report (Be55)

Impact during takeoff (11 reports; 8% of the total)

Loss of directional control during takeoff  
4 reports (Be17; Be23; Be65; Be76)

Rejected takeoff/runway overrun  
2 reports (Be36; Be58)

Runway overrun during attempted takeoff  1 report (Be45)

Loss of control shortly after takeoff/unknown  1 report (Be76)

Loss of control during attempted takeoff abort  1 report (Be36)

Takeoff/unknown  1 report (Be19)

Collision with animal during takeoff/gear collapse during landing  1 report (Be58)

Loss of Control in Flight (LOC-I)  (8 reports; 6% of the total)

Loss of control during go around/balked landing  
2 reports (both Be55s)

Loss of control in flight/stall/spin/multiengine training  
2 reports (Be55; Be95)

Inflight break-up/Catastrophic airframe failure   1 report (Be35)

Partial panel flight/Loss of control/Inflight breakup 1 report (Be35)

Loss of control during approach in VMC  1 report (Be36)

Loss of control in cruise flight  1 report (Be36)

Midair collision (2 reports)

Collision during visual maneuvering  1 report (Be35)

Collision on short final in VMC  1 report (Be33)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) (1 report)

Controlled Flight into Terrain/Mountains  1 report (Be23)

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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