Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 8/21/2014 through 8/27/2014

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


From unofficial sources

8/25 (time not reported):  An online news source states:

"An elderly passenger in a light plane tried to grab [a Be76's] controls before the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a paddock in central western NSW [New South Wales, Australia], the pilot has told police.

"The 23-year-old pilot had to restrain his 82-year-old passenger before landing the Beechcraft Duchess aircraft in a paddock off Titania Road in Oberon just before 3pm on Monday.

"Acting Inspector Gareth Smith said the elderly man had booked the flight from Bankstown [near Sydney] to Cowra for a business trip, but mid way through the flight started acting erratically.

"'The pilot said that he started grabbing the controls, turning off fuel lines, and turning buttons randomly on and off,'" Acting Inspector Gareth Smith said."

The pilot reportedly made a 'pan-pan' distress call and had to restrain the passenger shortly before making an emergency landing. 'A pan call means the pilot is in trouble and needs help, but is not in a life-threatening situation,' an aviation expert told [reporters]."

Other, unconfirmed reports are that the charter pilot broke his passenger's nose during the struggle, and that the pilot was briefing hospitalized for shock.  

Registration and serial number information for the Duchess is unknown.  It appears to have landed gear up in the paddock [field], suffering minor damage that still may be costly enough to total the airplane.  Weather was VMC.

("Attempted air piracy"--what else could I call it?)

New reports this week

8/22 1820Z (1120 local Friday morning):  A Be36 "went off the side of the runway" while landing at Harris Ranch Airport, Coalinga, California.  The four aboard report no injuries and aircraft damage is "minor".  N6496N (EA-314) is a 1982 B36TC registered in Blythe, California.

("Loss of directional control during landing")

8/23 1930Z (1530 local Saturday afternoon):  The solo pilot of a Be35 died, and the Bonanza was "destroyed," when the aircraft crashed "under unknown circumstances" near Laurel Hill, Florida.  N334DF (D-7606) was a 1964 S35 registered in Laurel Hill.

("Crash/Unknown"; "Fatal"; "Aircraft destroyed"--local television reports few details, other than the airplane's cabin burned after impact, and video shows the aircraft broke apart on impact.)

8/26 2300Z (1800 local Tuesday evening):  A Be36 "landed gear up [during] a forced landing" at West Houston Airport, Houston, Texas.  N8176M (E-2602) is a 1991 A36 registered in West Monroe, Louisiana.

("Engine failure on approach/landing"--the forced landing was the cause, the gear-up a consequence.)

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

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

2014 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2014:

Total reported:  86 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  42 reports 
Operation in IMC:    4 reports  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  40 reports
Operation at night:  9 reports 
Surface wind > 15 knots:  1 report     

Most Serious Injury
Fatal accidents:  10 reports  
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities):  4 reports 

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  19 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   12 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  23 reports
Be36 Bonanza  21 reports      
Be58 Baron  12 reports  
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  8 reports
Be55 Baron  8 reports
Be24 Sierra  4 reports
Be76 Duchess  4 reports
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom III  1 report
BE45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report
Be60 Duke  1 report
Be95 Travel Air  1 report
Baron (model unknown)  1 report

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps
(35 reports; 43% of the total))

Gear up landing  17 reports
(two Be24s; three Be33s; seven Be35s; two Be36s; two Be55s; Be76)

Gear collapse during landing  11 reports
(five Be35s; Be36; Be55; three Be58s; Be95)

Mechanical gear failure 5 reports
(Be36; three Be58s; Be76)

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

Tire failure on landing  1 report (Be58)

Engine failure (18 reports; 21% of the total)

Engine failure in flight  7 reports
(three Be33s; Be35; three Be36s)

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

Fuel exhaustion 3 reports
(Be24; two Be36s)

Fuel starvation 2 reports
(Be33; Be35)

Engine failure on takeoff 1 report (Be45)

Impact on landing (13 reports; 15% of the total)

Loss of directional control during landing  5 reports
(Be23; Be35; Be36; two Be55s)

Landed short  3 reports
(two Be35s; Be76)

Hard landing/airframe ice  1 report (Be58)

Landed short/airframe ice accumulation  1 report (Be60)

Runway overrun  1 report (Be58)

Runway overrun/wet runway surface  1 report (Be36)

Collision with animal during landing  1 report (Be36)

Miscellaneous (6 reports; 6% of the total)

Taxi into obstacle/parked aircraft  2 reports
(both Be36s)

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 (4 reports; 5% 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)

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)

Impact on takeoff (2 reports; 2% of the total)

Loss of directional control on takeoff  1 report (Be58)

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

Unknown (4 reports)

Crash/unknown  w reports  
(Be35; Baron model unknown)

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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