Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 5/14/2015 through 5/20/2015

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

5/3 1113Z (1013 local Sunday morning):  Two aboard a Be55 died, and the Baron was "destroyed," when it impacted terrain during an instrument approach in IMC at Dundee, Scotland.  "At 1120, an automated weather reporting facility at EGPN reported, wind from 90 degrees at 22 knots, visibility 5,000 meters with moderate rain, ceiling broken at 900 feet, broken at 1,600 feet, temperature 7° Celsius (C), dew point 6° C, and 996 millibar. G-RICK (TC-1472) was a 1972 B55. 

("Approach/Unknown"; "Fatal"; "Aircraft destroyed"; "IMC")

5/16 1624Z (1224 local Saturday noon): A Be36 landed gear up at Atlanta, Georgia's Fulton County Airport.  The solo pilot reports no injury, and airplane damage is "unknown".  N8285M (E-2815) is/was a 1993 A36 registered in Jackson, Mississippi.

("Gear up landing"--another in the epidemic)

5/17 2147Z (1547 local Sunday afternoon):  A Be33 landed gear up at Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The solo pilot was unhurt and airplane damage is "unknown".  N851R (CD-220) is/was a 1960 35-33 Debonair registered in Albuquerque.

("Gear up landing"--and yet one more)

5/18 1638Z (1238 local Monday afternoon):  Two aboard a Be55 died, and the Baron was "destroyed", when the Baron crashed "under unknown circumstances."  An airplane overdue notice was issued and the Baron was later found on a low mountain top near Saltville, Virginia.  N5816S (TC-941) was a 1965 B55 registered in Wilmington, Delaware.

("Crash/unknown--Flight in area of thunderstorms"; "Fatal"; "Aircraft destroyed"--local news and FlightAware tracks indicate the airplane was in cruise flight at 9000 feet and actively attempting to avoid thunderstorms when it plunged nearly vertically to earth.)   

5/19 2311Z (2011 local Tuesday evening): A Be24 landed gear up at Isla Grande Airport, Puerto Rico.  The two aboard avoided injury; airplane damage is "minor".  N781Y (MC-544) is/was a 1977 C24R registered in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

("Gear up landing"--almost always the end of a Sierra, because of parts availability, the cost of engine inspection and propeller repairs, and the average value of these airplanes.)

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

5/3 fatal B55 impact with terrain during an IMC approach at Dundee, Scotland, noted above.

2015 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2015:

Total reported:  51 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  16 reports 
Operation in IMC:    5 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  30 reports
Operation at night:  8 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  1 report    

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

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  9 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   7 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  12 reports  
Be36 Bonanza  12 reports    
Be55 Baron  6 reports 
Be58 Baron  5 reports  
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom  4 reports  
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  4 reports 
Be17 Staggerwing  2 reports 
Be19 Sport  1 report  
Be24 Sierra  1 report
Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report   
Be50 Twin Bonanza  1 report
Be60 Duke  1 report
Be95 Travel Air  1 report

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps (22 reports)

Landing gear collapse during landing  
11 reports (two Be35s; four Be36s; Be55; three Be58s; Be60)

Gear up landing  
9 reports (Be24; Be33; two Be35s; Be36; Be45; two Be55s; Be95)

Gear up landing/mechanical gear failure  1 report (Be17)

Gear up landing/electrical failure/failure to complete the manual extension procedure  1 report (Be36)

Impact during landing (9 reports)

Loss of directional control during landing  
6 reports (Be17; Be23; Be33; Be35; Be50; Be55)

Landed long/runway overrun  1 report (Be58)

Hard landing  1 report (Be23)

Landed short/impacted obstacles  1 report (Be35)

Engine failure (9 reports)

Engine failure in flight  
2 reports (Be23; Be36)

Engine failure immediately after takeoff  
2 reports (Be33; Be35)

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

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

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

Partial power loss in cruise with subsequent total engine failure  1 report (Be36)

Fuel exhaustion  1 report (Be36)

Crash/Unknown (3 reports)
Crash/unknown: Night, mountainous terrain  1 report (Be36)

Crash/unknown--Flight in area of thunderstorms  1 report (Be55)

Approach/Unknown--IMC  1 report (Be55)

Impact during takeoff (2 reports)

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

Loss of directional control/possible mechanical cause  1 report (Be23)

Stall (2 reports)
Stall during missed approach in IMC  1 report (Be36)

Stall/mush on takeoff  1 report (Be35)

Miscellaneous (2 reports)
Bird strike  1 report (Be35)

Collision with a parked aircraft while taxiing   1 report (Be33)

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

Tail vibration/control flutter (1 report)
Tail vibration/control flutter during high-speed descent  1 report (Be35)

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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