Beech Weekly Accident Update

Piston Beechcraft Accidents 

3/16/2017 through 3/22/2017

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.  © 2017 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.  All Rights Reserved


New reports this week

3/10 1550Z (0850 local Friday morning): A Be76 landed gear up during landing at Red Bluff, California. The pilot and passenger were unhurt; the Duchess suffered “minor” damage. N117JA (ME-282) is/was a 1980 Duchess registered in Redding, California.

(“Gear up landing”—note that the costs to repair even “minor” gear up damage are usually enough to “total” an airplane in this class because of engine tear-down and propeller replacement. The registered owner is an international airline pilot training company, so it’s likely this was actually an instructional flight).

3/18 2350Z (1850 local Saturday evening): A Be36’s nose gear collapsed during landing at  Sherman, Texas. The solo pilot was unhurt and airplane damage is “minor”. N626CR (E-1367) is/was a 1978 A36 registered in Sherman.

(“Gear collapse during landing”—another instance when “minor” damage may have airframe-engine consequences).

3/21 0100Z (2000 local Monday evening 3/20/17): During a twilight landing at Thiboxaux, Louisiana, a Be36 struck a deer. The solo pilot was not hurt and airplane damage is “minor”.   N4271S (E-944) is a 1976 A36 registered in Jennings, Louisiana.

("Collision with animal on runway”)

3/22 0050Z (2050 local Tuesday evening): “During touch and go practice” at Islip, New York, a Be55’s nose gear collapsed. The pilot and four passengers were unhurt; airplane damage is “minor”. N62RF (TC-1927) is/was a B55 registered in Syosett, New York.

(“Gear collapse during touch-and-go”—another potentially airframe-engine event. Most instructors recommend against touch-and-go landings in retractable gear airplanes like the Baron. There is too much to be done in a very short period of time on the runway, and inadvertent gear retraction, failure to properly reset the trim and other mishap scenarios are common.)

New NTSB reports this week

Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update

3/3 Twin Beech crash during approach near Ketchikan, Alaska. From the NTSB preliminary report:

On March 3, 2017, about 0815 Alaska standard time, a Beechcraft G18S, N103AF, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with ocean waters about two miles southwest of Metlakatla, Alaska following a total loss of engine power in the right engine. The airline transport pilot and airline transport pilot certificated passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight when the accident occurred. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed. 

The flight departed the Klawock Airport (PAKW), Alaska, at 0734, destined for Ketchikan International Airport (PAKT), Ketchikan, Alaska. According to the pilot, the airplane was loaded with just under 1000 pounds of geoduck clams destined for Ketchikan. During an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to PAKT runway 11, the pilot performed the missed approach procedure at decision height due to no visual contact with the runway environment. The pilot stated that the right engine seized during the climb out about 2,000 feet MSL.
The pilot directed the passenger in the right front seat, to help navigate to Annette Island Airport and perform radio communications. The pilot stated that he attempted to feather the right engine by pulling the propeller control to the feather position, however the propeller would not feather. He stated that he was not able to maintain altitude, even at the designated single engine rate of climb airspeed of 120 knots and maximum power setting of 36.5 in Hg manifold pressure and 2300 RPM on the left engine. The passenger declared an emergency with Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and requested radar vectors for terrain clearance.
Anchorage ARTCC did not have radar coverage at the altitude at which the aircraft was operating. The airplane descended through the clouds on the west side of Annette Island about five miles north of Annette Island Airport. The airplane exited the clouds at an altitude of between 100 and 200 feet with about 1 mile of inflight visibility. When the airplane descended through 50 feet, the pilot initiated a forced water landing in Smuggler's Cove near the coastline. The passenger transmitted the ditching intentions on the ARTCC frequency. The right wing contacted the water first and the airplane yawed right. When the nose section contacted the water, it immediately separated from the airplane. Both occupants egressed through the left crew door and swam about 200 yards to shore. The pilot reported seeing fire on the surface of the water. The airplane then sank in about 14 fathoms (about 84ft) of water.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued an ALNOT (alert notice) at 0826. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau directed a response vessel from Coast Guard station Ketchikan and an MH-60 helicopter from Air Station Sitka. The Metlakatla fire department launched a rescue boat and was first to arrive on scene about 30 minutes after the accident. The two survivors were transported to Metlakatla medical clinic and treated for minor injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the waves were 6 feet high at Smuggler's Cove when they arrived. The closest weather reporting facility is Annette Island Airport (PANT), about three miles south of the accident site. At 0815, an aviation special weather report (SPECI) from PANT was reporting in part: wind 150 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 23 knots; sky condition, broken 600 feet, overcast 1,100 feet; visibility, 2 statute miles in light snow; temperature 2 degrees C; dewpoint -1 degrees C; altimeter, 29.46 in Hg. 

Change “Approach/unknown” to “Engine failure during missed approach in IMC” and add “IMC.” This sounds like great use of a rated passenger as a resource in a very hazardous, unusual and high-workload scenario for which there is little training and for which the pilot, who became the effective leader of an ad hoc crew, had to draw upon experience and training in various different scenarios and correlate their lessons into a survival plan that worked. Kudos to the first responders under difficult conditions as well.

2017 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2017:

Total reported: 38 reports

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

Operation in VMC:  14 reports 
Operation in IMC:    1 report  
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”:  21 reports
Operation at night: 5 reports    

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

Aircraft damage
“Substantial” damage:  9 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”:   6 reports

By Aircraft Type      

Be55 Baron  7 reports
Be35 Bonanza  6 reports     
Be36 Bonanza  5 reports 
Be58 Baron  4 reports  
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair  3 reports 
Be76 Duchess  3 reports 
Be17 Staggering  2 reports   
Be18 Twin Beech  2 reports  
Be23 Musketeer/Sundowner/Custom III  2 reports
Be 19 Sport  1 report 
Be45 (T-34) Mentor  1 report   
Be60 Duke  1 report  
Be95 Travel Air  1 report

(all subject to update per official findings):

Landing gear-related mishaps (19 reports) 

Gear collapse during landing  
6 reports (Be18; Be33; two Be35s; Be36; Be95)

Gear up landing  
5 reports (Be33; Be36; Be58; two Be76s)

Landing gear collapse during landing//known mechanical failure  
2 reports (both Be55)

Gear up landing or gear collapse/alternator/electrical failure  
2 reports (Be35; Be58) 

Gear up landing/known mechanical failure  
2 reports (Be55; Be76)

Gear collapse during taxi  1 report (Be55)

Gear collapse during touch-and-go  1 report (Be55)

Impact during landing (9 reports)

Landed short/Collision with obstacle on final approach  
2 reports (Be35; Be45)

Loss of directional control during landing/Snow/Ice 1 report (Be58)

Collision with animal on runway
2 reports (Be35; Be36)

Loss of control during landing  1 report (Be55)

Landed long/runway overrun  1 report (Be35)

Hard landing  1 report (Be19)

Landing/unknown  1 report (Be23)

Engine failure (5 reports)

Engine failure in flight  
2 reports (Be17; Be33)

Engine failure during takeoff/initial climb 1 report (Be36)

Engine failure immediately after takeoff/multiengine aircraft  1 report (Be55)

Engine failure during missed approach in IMC  1 report (Be18)

Impact during takeoff (2 reports)

Runway overrun/failure to climb during takeoff  1 report (Be36)

Takeoff/Unknown 1 report (Be23)

Unknown (3 reports)

2 reports (Be17; Be58)

Stall/Spin/Loss of Control In Flight (1 report)

Stall/spin/loss of control in flight during multiengine training  1 report (Be60)

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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