Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke in Big Spring

Date & Time: Jan 29, 2020 at 1710 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N50JR
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Abilene – Midland
MSN:
P-303
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
25000
Captain / Total hours on type:
7.00
Circumstances:
The pilot was conducting a cross-country flight at a cruise altitude of 10,500 ft mean sea level when the left engine lost all power. He secured the engine and elected to continue to his destination. Shortly thereafter, the right engine lost all power. After selecting an airport for a forced landing, he overflew the runway and entered the pattern. The pilot stated that on short final, after extending the landing gear, "the plane quit flying and the airspeed went to nothing." The airplane landed 200 to 300 yards short of the runway threshold, resulting in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. During a postaccident examination, only tablespoons of fuel were drained from the left tank. Due to the position of the airplane, the right tank could not be drained; however, when power was applied to the airplane, both fuel quantity gauges indicated empty fuel tanks. Neither fuel tank was breached during the accident, and there was no discoloration present on either of the wings or engine nacelles to indicate a fuel leak; therefore, the loss of engine power is consistent with fuel exhaustion.
Probable cause:
A total loss of engine power in both engines due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted in a landing short of the runway.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft 60 Duke in Loveland: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 15, 2019 at 1248 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N60RK
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Broomfield – Loveland
MSN:
P-79
YOM:
1969
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
7000
Captain / Total hours on type:
100.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3119
Circumstances:
The commercial pilot was relocating the multiengine airplane following the completion of an extensive avionics upgrade, which also included the installation of new fuel flow transducers. As the pilot neared the destination airport, he reported over the common traffic advisory frequency that he had "an engine out [and] smoke in the cockpit." Witnesses observed and airport surveillance video showed fire emanating from the airplane's right wing. As the airplane turned towards the runway, it entered a rightrolling descent and impacted the ground near the airport's perimeter fence. The right propeller was found feathered. Examination of the right engine revealed evidence of a fire aft of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel pump was discolored by the fire. The fire sleeves on both the fuel pump inlet and outlet hoses were burned away. The fuel outlet hose from the fuel pump to the flow transducer was found loose. The reason the hose was loose was not determined. It is likely that pressurized fuel sprayed from the fuel pump outlet hose and was ignited by the hot turbocharger, which resulted in the inflight fire.
Probable cause:
A loss of control due to an inflight right engine fire due to the loose fuel hose between the engine-driven fuel pump and the flow transducer.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft A60 Duke in Santa Rosa: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 5, 2019 at 1600 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N102SN
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Arlington - Santa Fe
MSN:
P-217
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
4100
Circumstances:
The pilot was performing a personal cross-country flight. While en route to the intended destination, the pilot contacted air traffic control to report that the airplane was having a fuel pump issue and requested to divert to the nearest airport. The pilot stated that the request was only precautionary and did not declare an emergency during the flight; he provided no further information about the fuel pump. As the airplane approached the diversion airport, witnesses observed the airplane flying low and rolling to the left just before impacting terrain, after which a postcrash fire ensued. An examination of the airframe revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A postaccident examination and review of recorded data indicated that the left engine was secured and in the feather position, and that the right engine was operating at a high RPM setting. The left engine-driven fuel pump was found fractured. Further examination of the fuel pump revealed fatigue failure of the pressure relief valve. The fatigue failure initiated in upward bending on one side of the valve disk and progressed around both sides of the valve stem. As the cracks grew, the stem separated from the disk on one side and began to tilt in relation to the disk and the valve guide due to the non-symmetric support, which caused the lower end of the stem to rub against the valve guide, creating wear marks. The increasing stem tilt would have impinged against the valve guide, and the valve might have begun to stick in the closed position. If the valve were stuck in the closed position, it would not be able to open, and the outlet fuel pressure could rise above the set point pressure. Because the pump was driven by the engine, there would not be a way for the pilot to shut it off, disconnect it, or bypass it. Instead, the fuel pressure would continue to rise until the valve were to unstick. Thus, the pilot was likely experiencing variable fuel pressure as the valve became stuck and unstuck. Examination of the spring seat and the diaphragm plate, which were in contact with each other in the fuel pump assembly, revealed wear marks on the surface of each component, with one mark on the diaphragm plate and two wear marks on the spring seat. The two wear marks on the spring seat were distinct features separated by material with no wear indications in between. The only way that these wear marks could have occurred were if the spring seat was separated from the diaphragm plate and reinstalled in a different orientation. Thus, it is likely that the pilot had encountered a fuel pump problem before the accident flight and that someone tried to troubleshoot the problem. The last radar data point indicated that the airplane was traveling at a groundspeed of about 98 knots, and had passed north of the airport, traveling to the southwest. The minimum control speed for the airplane with single-engine operation was 88 knots. However, it is likely that if the pilot initiated a left turn back toward the airport, that the right engine torque and the 14 knot wind with gusts to 24 knots would have necessitated a higher speed. Because appropriate control inputs and airspeed were not maintained, the airplane rolled in the direction of the feathered engine (due to the left fuel pump problem), resulting in a loss of control. The pilot's toxicology report was positive for cetirizine, sumatriptan, gabapentin, topiramate, and duloxetine. All of these drugs act in the central nervous system and can be impairing alone or in combination. Although this investigation could not determine the reason(s) for the pilot's use of these drugs, they are commonly used to treat chronic pain syndromes or seizures. It is likely that the pilot was experiencing some impairment because of multiple impairing medications and was unable to successfully respond to the in-flight urgent situation and safely land the airplane.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of airplane control due to his failure to maintain appropriate control inputs and airspeed after shutting down an engine because of a progressive failure of the pressure relief valve in the fuel pump, which resulted in variable fuel pressure in the engine. Contributing to the loss of control was the pilot's use of multiple impairing medications.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke in Fullerton: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 18, 2019 at 1951 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N65MY
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Fullerton - Heber City
MSN:
P-314
YOM:
1975
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
380
Captain / Total hours on type:
87.00
Aircraft flight hours:
5419
Circumstances:
The pilot began the takeoff roll in visual meteorological conditions. The airplane was airborne about 1,300 ft down the runway, which was about 75% of the normal ground roll distance for the airplane’s weight and the takeoff environment. About 2 seconds after rotation, the airplane rolled left. Three seconds later, the airplane had reached an altitude of about 80 ft above ground level and was in a 90° left bank. The nose then dropped as the airplane rolled inverted and struck the ground in a right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. The airplane was destroyed. Postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies with the airframe or engines that would have precluded normal operation. The landing gear, flap, and trim positions were appropriate for takeoff and flight control continuity was confirmed. The symmetry of damage between both propeller assemblies indicated that both engines were producing equal and high amounts of power at impact. The autopsy revealed no natural disease was present that could pose a significant hazard to flight safety. Review of surveillance video footage from before the accident revealed that the elevator was in the almost full nose-up (or trailing edge up) position during the taxi and the beginning of the takeoff roll. Surveillance footage also showed that the pilot did not perform a preflight inspection of the airplane or control check before the accident flight. According to the pilot’s friend who was also in the hangar, as the accident pilot was pushing the airplane back into his hangar on the night before the accident, he manipulated and locked the elevator in the trailing edge up position to clear an obstacle in the hangar. However, no evidence of an installed elevator control lock was found in the cabin after the accident. The loss of control during takeoff was likely due to the pilot’s use of an unapproved elevator control lock device. Despite video evidence of the elevator locked in the trailing edge up position before the accident, an examination revealed no evidence of an installed control lock in the cabin. Therefore, during the night before the accident, the pilot likely placed an unapproved object between the elevator balance weight and the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer to lock the elevator in the trailing edge up position. The loss of control was also due to the pilot’s failure to correctly position the elevator before takeoff. The pilot’s friend at the hangar also reported that the pilot was running about one hour late; the night before, he was trying to troubleshoot an electrical issue in the airplane that caused a circuit breaker to keep tripping, which may have become a distraction to the pilot. The pilot had the opportunity to detect his error in not freeing the elevator both before boarding the airplane and again while in the airplane, either via a control check or detecting an anomalous aft position of the yoke. The pilot directed his attention to the arrival of a motorbike in the hangar alley shortly after he pulled the airplane out of the hangar, which likely distracted the pilot and further delayed his departure. He did not conduct a preflight inspection of the airplane or control check before the accident flight, due either to distraction or time pressure.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s use of an unapproved elevator control lock device, and his failure to remove that device and correctly position the elevator before flight, which resulted in a loss of control during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was his failure to perform a preflight inspection and control check, likely in part because of distractions before boarding and his late departure time.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft 60 Duke in Destin: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2018 at 1030 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N1876L
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Toledo - Destin
MSN:
P-386
YOM:
1976
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2427
Captain / Total hours on type:
100.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4167
Circumstances:
The commercial pilot and three passengers departed on a cross-country flight in a twin-engine airplane. As the flight neared the destination airport, the pilot canceled his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance. The approach controller transferred the flight to the tower controller, and the pilot reported to the tower controller that the airplane was about 2 miles from the airport. However, the approach controller contacted the tower controller to report that the airplane was 200 ft over a nearby joint military airport at the time. GPS data revealed that, when pilot reported that the airplane was 2 miles from the destination airport, the airplane's actual location was about 10 miles from the destination airport and 2 miles from the joint military airport. The airplane impacted a remote wooded area about 8 miles northwest of the destination airport. At the time of the accident, thunderstorm cells were in the area. A review of the weather information revealed that the pilot's view of the airport was likely obscured because the airplane was in an area of light precipitation, restricting the pilot's visibility. A review of airport information noted that the IFR approach course for the destination airport passes over the joint military airport. The Federal Aviation Administration chart supplement for the destination airport noted the airport's proximity to the other airport. However, it is likely that the pilot mistook the other airport for the destination airport due to reduced visibility because of weather. The accident circumstances were consistent with controlled flight into terrain. The ethanol detected in the pilot's blood specimens but not in his urine specimens was consistent with postmortem bacteria production. The carbon monoxide and cyanide detected in the pilot's blood specimens were consistent with inhalation after the postimpact fire.
Probable cause:
The pilot's controlled flight into terrain after misidentifying the destination airport during a period of restricted visibility due to weather.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke near Ferris

Date & Time: Mar 1, 2018 at 1100 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N77MM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Addison – Mexia
MSN:
P-587
YOM:
1982
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6400
Captain / Total hours on type:
2200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2210
Circumstances:
The pilot in the multi-engine, retractable landing gear airplane reported that, during an instrument flight rules cross-country flight, about 5,000 ft above mean sea level, the left engine surged several times and he performed an emergency engine shutdown. Shortly afterward, the right engine lost power. During the emergency descent, the airplane struck treetops, and landed hard in a field with the landing gear retracted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the engine mounts, and the lower fuselage. The pilot reported that he had requested 200 gallons of fuel from his home airport fixed base operator, but they did not fuel the airplane. The pilot did not check the fuel quantity during his preflight inspection. According to the Federal Aviation Administration Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 2, page 2-7, pilots must always positively confirm the fuel quantity by visually inspecting the fuel level in each tank. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper preflight inspection of the fuel level, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to lower the landing gear before the emergency landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke in Duette: 2 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 2017 at 1330 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N39AG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sarasota - Sarasota
MSN:
P-425
YOM:
1977
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
1120
Captain / Total hours on type:
200.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
20900
Copilot / Total hours on type:
165
Aircraft flight hours:
3271
Circumstances:
The private pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, and the flight instructor were conducting an instructional flight in the multi-engine airplane to meet insurance requirements. Radar data for the accident flight, which occurred on the second day of 2 days of training, showed the airplane maneuvering between 1,000 ft and 1,200 ft above ground level (agl) just before the accident. The witness descriptions of the accident were consistent with the airplane transitioning from slow flight into a stall that developed into a spin from which the pilots were unable to recover before the airplane impacted terrain. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preexisting mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. After the first day of training, the pilot told friends and fellow pilots that the instructor provided non-standard training that included stall practice that required emergency recoveries at low airspeed and low altitude. The instructor used techniques that were not in keeping with established flight training standards and were not what would be expected from an individual with his extensive background in general aviation flight instruction. Most critically, the instructor used two techniques that introduced unnecessary risk: increasing power before reducing the angle of attack during a stall recovery and introducing asymmetric power while recovering from a stall in a multi-engine airplane; both techniques are dangerous errors because they can lead to an airplane entering a spin. At one point during the first day of training, the airplane entered a full stall and spun before control was regained at very low altitude. The procedures performed contradicted standard practice and Federal Aviation Administration guidance; yet, despite the pilot's experience in multi-engine airplanes and in the accident airplane make and model, he chose to continue the second day of training with the instructor instead of seeking a replacement to complete the insurance check out. The spin encountered on the accident flight likely resulted from the stall recovery errors advocated by the instructor and practiced on the prior day's flight. Unlike the previous flight, the accident flight did not have sufficient altitude for recovery because of the low altitude it was operating at, which was below the safe altitude required for stall training (one which allows recovery no lower than 3,000 ft agl).
Probable cause:
The pilots' decision to perform flight training maneuvers at low airspeed at an altitude that was insufficient for stall recovery. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's inappropriate use of non-standard stall recovery techniques.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke in Loma Plata

Date & Time: Sep 1, 2016 at 1655 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZP-BID
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
P-326
YOM:
1975
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was completing a flight to Asunción, carrying one passenger and one pilot. En route, the pilot encountered an unexpected situation and was forced to attempt an emergency landing. Upon landing on a dirt road, the aircraft lost its undercarriage and slid for few dozen metres before coming to rest with its right wing torn off. Both occupants were injured and the aircraft was destroyed.

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke in Bogotá: 9 killed

Date & Time: Oct 18, 2015 at 1619 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HK-3917G
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Bogotá - Bogotá
MSN:
P-410
YOM:
1977
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Captain / Total flying hours:
4916
Aircraft flight hours:
1788
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft departed Bogotá-El Dorado on a short flight to Bogotá-Guaymaral Airport, carrying three passengers and one pilot. Three minutes after takeoff from runway 13L, while climbing to a height of 200 feet in VFR conditions, the airplane entered a left turn then descended into the ground and crashed into several houses located in the district of Engativá, near the airport, bursting into flames. The aircraft as well as several houses and vehicles were destroyed. All four occupants as well as five people on the ground were killed. Thirteen others were injured, seven seriously.
Probable cause:
The pilot lost control of the airplane following a loss of power on the left engine during initial climb. Investigations were unable to determine the exact cause of this loss of power. The aircraft's speed dropped to 107 knots and the pilot likely did not have time to identify the problem. Operation from a high density altitude airport contributed to the accident.
Final Report: