Piston Beech Accidents 2/27/2014 through 3/5/2014
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 on preliminary topics 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. © 2013 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All Rights Reserved
THE WEEKLY ACCIDENT UPDATE IS AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCT OF MASTERY FLIGHT TRAINING, INC.
New reports this week
2/28 1909Z (1409 local Friday afternoon): A Be36 "force-landed in a field" six miles from Defiance, Missouri. The two aboard the Bonanza report no injury, and airplane damage is "unknown." N8101J (E-2744) is a 1992 A36 registered in Chesterfield, Missouri.
("Engine failure in flight"--local news shows the pilot appears to have landed the airplane without damage two miles from the intended destination airport. The Flightaware track shows a roughly 3.5 hour flight from Cleveland, Ohio, making fuel starvation or exhaustion at least a subject of investigation. Unconfirmed rumors are that the airplane was "repaired" and flew out of the cornfield later that day, also suggesting a fuel-related mishap. It's amazing how many fuel-related forced landings happen witihn a very few miles of the planned destination.)
3/1 1716Z (1216 local Saturday noon): The solo pilot of a Be33 died, and the Bonanza was "destroyed," when it impacted wooded terrain 15 miles from Clarksburg, West Virginia. N7203E (CE-1041) was a 1984 F33A registered in Fairmont, West Virginia.
("Crash/unknown"; "Fatal": "Aircraft destroyed"--a news report states: "the airplane ran into trees around 1400 ft. just below a ridge line and the aircraft wreckage rolled down the mountain about 600 or 700 feet.... [An FAA source] said the NTSB investigator described the crash as a 'high energy impact' with 'highly fragmented wreckage'." Hopefully investigation will reveal some details.)
3/1 1800Z (1200 local Saturday noon): Two aboard a Be60 escaped injury when the Duke landed short of the runway at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas. Aircraft damage is "unknown". Weather was low IFR with freezing rain and sleet. N691SZ (P-498) is/was a 1982 B60 registered in Wichita.
("Landed short/airframe ice accumulation"; "Substantial damage" [more momentarily]; "IMC"--local news reports "wintry weather caused a small twin-engine airplane en route to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport from Dallas to land 700 feet short of the runway.... Because of slight icing on the plane and visibility issues, the pilot of the Beechcraft Duke 'didn’t have the air speed he needed, so he ended up landing' before reaching the pavement," according to an airport spokesperson.
The icy weather in Wichita was no surprise. I had been scheduled to instruct a Baron pilot in Wichita that day, but we canceled the day before because of the forecast for freezing rain and fog. I was about five miles from Mid-Continent at the time of the crash, and freezing fog and heavy sleet was pelting the area--sleet being an indicator of freezing rain a few hundred feet above the surface, conditions outside the flight envelope of even ice-certificated airplanes. I subsequently say the accident airplane on the ramp at KICT. Both engines appeared to be canted downward from impact forces, the gear had collapsed and there was damage to the airplane's wings and nose. I highly suspect the Duke will be totaled but fortunately there were no serious injuries.)
3/2 0008Z (1908 local 3/1/14, Saturday evening): A Be76 "landed with the nose gear retracted" at Saint Augustine, Florida. The two aboard theDuchess were unhurt, and damage is "unknown". N6706Z (ME-300) is/was a 1975 Model 76 registered in Wilmington, Delaware.
("Mechanical gear failure"; "Night"--assuming the report is correct and this was not a much-more-common gear collapse during landing. chances are good given the location, the airplane type and the number of persons on board, this was a training flight.)
New NTSB reports this
Events previously reported in the Weekly Accident Update
2/16 triple-fatality 35-33 Debonair crash immediately after takeoff at Telluride, Colorado. "According to preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane started its takeoff roll at 1125:15. The last location of the airplane was recorded at 1126:27, just off of the departure end of runway 27, at an altitude of 9,000 feet [70 feet below field elevation]. The pilots never established contact with air traffic control and an Alert Notification for a missing airplane was issued. Search and Rescue volunteers located the wreckage later that evening. There were no known witnesses to the accident." Change "Weather not reported" to "IMC".
2/22 triple-fatality B55 stall during an attempted go-around at LaGrange, Georgia. "One witness, who observed the accident airplane on final approach for landing, stated that the airplane was 'sort of hot and landing long.' About 2,000 feet past the [5500-foot] runway threshold, the airplane was still airborne, 'bobbling' and 'searching for the ground.' He heard the engines accelerate suddenly to full power as the airplane pitched up into a steep climb, banked left, and rolled inverted. The turn continued until the airplane struck the ground in an 80- to 90-degree nose-down attitude. The witness added, 'The airplane never touched down, he was in a flare, and he floated a long way, because his speed was excessive.' Change "Weather not reported" to "VMC".
2014 SUMMARY: Reported Beechcraft piston mishaps, 2014:
Total reported: 20 reports
Note: FAA preliminary reports no longer report weather conditions
Operation in VMC: 7 reports
Operation in IMC: 4 reports
Weather “unknown” or “not reported”: 9 reports
Operation at night: 3 reports
Surface wind > 15 knots: 0 reports
Fatal accidents: 4 reports
“Serious” injury accidents (not involving fatalities): 1 report
“Substantial” damage: 6 reports
Aircraft “destroyed”: 4 reports
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
Be36 Bonanza 5 reports
Be35 Bonanza 4 reports
Be33 Bonanza/Debonair 3 reports
Be55 Baron 3 reports
Be24 Sierra 1 report
BE45 (T-34) Mentor 1 report
Be58 Baron 1 report
Be60 Duke 1 report
Be76 Duchess 1 report
PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION OF CAUSE
(all subject to update per NTSB findings):
Landing gear-related mishaps (8 reports)
Gear up landing
4 reports (Be24; Be33; Be35; Be36)
Gear collapse during landing
2 reports (both Be35s)
Gear collapse: Damage from tow bar not removed before flight
1 report (Be36)
Mechanical fear failure
1 report (Be76)
Impact on landing (4 reports)
1 report (Be35)
Hard landing/airframe ice
1 report (Be58)
Landed short/airframe ice accumulation
1 report (Be60)
Loss of directional control on landing
1 report (Be55)
Miscellaneous (3 reports)
Taxi into obstacle/parked aircraft
1 report (Be36)
Electrical fire on the ground
1 report (Be55)
Pilot death by natural causes
1 report (Be36)
Engine failure (2 reports)
Engine failure in flight
2 reports (Be36; Be45)
Stall (1 report)
Stall during go-around/balked landing
1 report (Be55)
Unknown (2 reports)
1 report (Be33)
1 report (Be33)
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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