Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 7/16/2015 through 7/29/2015

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

7/19 1430Z (1030 local Sunday morning): A Be33’s landing gear collapsed during landing at Wilmington, North Carolina.  The solo pilot was unhurt; airplane damage is “unknown”.  N829T (CD-821) is/was a 1964 35-C33 registered in Wilmington.

(“Landing gear collapse during landing”)

7/25 1445Z (0945 local Saturday morning):  Two aboard a Be36 were unhurt, and the airplane incurred “minor” damage, after the Bonanza’s engine failed immediately after takeoff at Wappingers Falls, New York.  N6677D (E-1581) is/was a 1979 A36 registered in Stuart, Florida.

(“Engine failure immediately after takeoff”--According to an online report, "The pilot and his wife were about 300 feet in the air, traveling more than 80 mph, when they realized something was wrong with the plane.  And even though pilot...and his wife...had just taken off from the Dutchess County Airport, they knew they weren't going to be able to circle back around to land on an airport runway.

"The Florida couple, the only two people in the plane, hadn't expected trouble that morning. They had never been to Dutchess and just stopped at the 'real friendly' airport to refuel.... They were heading to Burlington, Vermont from Pennsylvania.

"When he started the plane, [the pilot] 'ran the engine up as you do with your aircraft before you take off, to make sure everything's working”…. 'On departure, there's a vibration...a lot of times, your wheels are spinning so fast, you hit your toe breaks to stop them and the vibration stops.’  Not this time.

"The vibration ' I raised the gear up,” [the pilot] said. 'I realized we weren't climbing' into the air 'very much. I pulled the power completely off to try and land.’  The plane was 'going to hit those towers in front of us,' so [the pilot] 'veered off to the left…'" But that put their plane in the path of some wires.

"'We had to pull up to get over the wires and then land in just that little skinny place,' said [the pilot], who has more than 40 years of pilot experience. 'We train for things like this and it took everything we had to get through this.'

"'He was just telling me, 'it seems like there's something wrong,'” [the passenger] said. 'The next thing you know, he made the radio call: We're going down.' When the plane crashed, 'we bounced on the ground, we turned. We must have hit a rock.’”

Photos in the news report show this to be a textbook case of landing “Wings level, Under control, at the Slowest Safe speed.  The pilot cites training for his success, almost certainly assured by the use of shoulder harnesses.  The vibration the pilot cites might have prompted an aborted takeoff before ever getting into the air, but that’s a hard call to make from the facts presented.  In all, this is an excellent job by a pilot presented with the classic engine failure immediately after takeoff.  Well done!)W

7/25 1740Z (1240 local Saturday afternoon):  A Be45’s nose gear collapsed during landing, at Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  The solo pilot was unhurt; airplane damage was “minor”.  N19DE (G-715) is/was a 1961 A45 (T-34) registered in Madison, Wisconsin.

(“Landing gear collapse during landing”)

7/25 2027Z (1527 local Saturday afternoon):  A Be35’s nose gear collapsed during landing, at Ingleside, Texas.  The solo pilot was unhurt; airplane damage is “minor”.  N99CC (D-6790) is/was a 1961 N35 registered in Carrolton, Virginia.

(“Gear collapse during landing”)

7/26 2006Z (1506 local Sunday afternoon):  The pilot of a Be35 died, and a second person aboard suffered “unknown” injuries, during an attempted forced landing near Colbert, Oklahoma.  The airplane incurred “substantial” damage.  N252G (D-10266) was a 1979 V35B registered in Fort Worth, Texas.

(“Engine failure in flight”; “Fatal”; “Substantial damage”—local news reports the pilot "reported losing engine power” before it “went down in a wooded area.”)

7/27 0030Z (1730 local Sunday evening 7/26/15):  The solo pilot of a Be35 died, with “unknown” airplane damage, when the Bonanza “crashed 1/4 mile short of the runway” at Riverside, California.  N988RH (D-4131) was a 1955 F35 registered in Claremont, California.

(“Engine failure in flight; “Fatal”—according to an online news report, the Bonanza “crashed and caught fire in the back yard” of a home.  "The pilot radioed the airport shortly before the crash to report he had lost engine power and was going to make an emergency landing but added: 'I don't think I'm going to make it….' The plane narrowly missed two houses and landed upside down. It caught fire but the flames were quickly doused. Nobody on the ground was hurt….")

7/27 2224Z (1724 local Monday evening):  Four aboard a Be35 perished, and the Bonanza was “destroyed”, when the aircraft “crashed onto a field and caught fire” near Amery, Wisconsin.  N9CB (D-6231) was a 1959 M35 registered in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

(“Loss of control/stall/spin from cruise flight”; “Fatal”; “Airplane destroyed”—a local news report states witnesses saw the airplane “twirling on its way down” before it hit the ground “nose first” and then “burst into flames.”  A photo in the news report shows the airplane appears to have impacted wings level and upright, with little apparent forward motion. That all appears to describe a spin, perhaps a flat spin that might result from stalling in uncoordinated flight with a loaded center of gravity near [or perhaps beyond] the after CG limit.  Four adults aboard a typical M35 would be toward the aft end of its CG envelope, especially if the fuel load was fairly low.  

The report quotes local law enforcement as stating the airplane was “local”, probably meaning based near the crash site, and that it had departed from an airport within 50 miles of the crash site.  Unconfirmed reports are that the Bonanza had departed Oshkosh.)

7/28 0110Z (2010 local Monday evening 7/27/15): A Be36 struck a deer during a landing at dusk, at Atoka, Oklahoma.  The two aboard were not injured; airplane damage is “unknown”.  N6181U (E-1970) is a 1980 A36 registered in Atoka.

("Collision with wildlife during landing”) 

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

7/11 double-fatality A35 attempted visual flight into IMC and collision with mountainous terrain near Mazama, Washington.  This is the crash survived by a 16-year-old girl who walked out of the mountains for two days before finding aid.

2015 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2015:

Total reported:  97 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  35 reports 
Operation in IMC:    9 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  53 reports
Operation at night:  9 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  1 report    

Most Serious Injury
Fatal accidents:  12 reports 
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  10 reports 

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  17 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   16 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  26 reports
Be36 Bonanza  24 reports        
Be58 Baron  11 reports  
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  9 reports  
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom  7 reports   
Be55 Baron  7 reports   
Be17 Staggerwing  4 reports  
Be24 Sierra  2 reports  
Be45 (T-34) Mentor  2 reports 
Be18 Twin Beech  1 report 
Be19 Sport  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 (42 reports; 43% of the total year-to-date)

Landing gear collapse during landing  
25 reports (four Be33s; six Be35s; seven Be36s; Be45; two Be55s; four Be58s; Be60)

Gear up landing  
15 reports (two Be24s; Be33; five Be35s; Be36; Be45; two Be55s; two Be58s; 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)

Engine failure (19 reports; 20% of the total year-to-date)

Engine failure in flight  
8 reports (three Be23s; three Be35s; two Be36s)

Engine failure immediately after takeoff  
4 reports (Be33; two Be35s; Be36)

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

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

Cylinder bottom end/hole in crankcase  1 report (Be36)

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

Engine failure during takeoff/failure to abort  1 report (Be36)

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

Fuel exhaustion  1 report (Be36)

Impact during landing (14 reports; 14% of the total year-to-date)

Loss of directional control during landing  
9 reports (Be17; Be18; Be23; two Be33s; Be35; Be36; Be50; Be55)

Landed long/runway overrun  
2 reports (both Be58s)

Landed short/impacted obstacles  1 report (Be23)

Hard landing  1 report (Be23)

Loss of directional control during landing/blown tire  1 report (Be58)

Miscellaneous (6 reports; 6% of the total year-to-date)

Collision during taxi  2 reports (Both Be17s)

Bird strike  1 report (Be35)

Collision with wildlife during landing  1 report (Be36)

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

Cabin fire in flight  1 report (Be35)

Crash/Unknown (5 reports; 5% of the total year-to-date)

Takeoff/Unknown  1 report (Be36)

Forced landing/unknown  1 report (Be58)

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

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

Approach/Unknown--IMC  1 report (Be55)

Stall (5 reports; 5% of the total year-to-date)

Stall during missed approach in IMC  1 report (Be36)

Stall/mush on takeoff  1 report (Be35)

Stall/spin immediately after takeoff/Uphill/Short Field/Obstacles at end of runway  1 report (Be36)

Loss of control/stall/spin from cruise flight  1 report (Be35)

Stall/spin turning base to final  1 report (Be36)

Impact during takeoff (3 reports; 3% of the total year-to-date)

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

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

Landed short  1 report (Be36)

Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)  (2 reports)

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

CFIT/Attempted visual flight in IMC/mountainous terrain  1 report (Be35)

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.  

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