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N350JL accident description

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Tail numberN350JL
Accident dateDecember 04, 2003
Aircraft typeBeech S35
LocationHarrison, AR
Near 36.249166 N, -93.154722 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 4, 2003, approximately 1006 central standard time, a Beech S35 single-engine airplane, N350JL, registered to and operated by a private individual, was destroyed upon impact with terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering on final approach to runway 36 at the Boone County Airport (HRO), near Harrison, Arkansas. The instrument rated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country flight. The personal flight departed Adams Field Airport (LIT), Little Rock, Arkansas, approximately 0912, and was destined for HRO.

Prior to departing Little Rock, the pilot made two separate telephone calls to the Jonesboro Automated Flight Service Station (JBR AFSS), Jonesboro, Arkansas, and obtained weather information for the planned 103-nautical mile flight. The first phone call was made at 0019, and the second telephone call at 0706. About one hour and 20 minutes after the second call, the pilot filed an IFR flight plan from Adams Field Airport, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Boone County Airport, Harrison, Arkansas.

A review of the air traffic control data revealed the following information:

At 0910, the pilot was cleared for takeoff from Little Rock, and was instructed to climb to 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Fifteen minutes later, he was instructed to contact Memphis Air Route Traffic Center (MEM ARTCC).

At 0956, the pilot was cleared for the ILS RWY 36 approach to the Boone County Airport.

At 1006, the pilot reported to approach control that he was on a 1/4-mile final for runway 36. There were no further communications with the pilot, and no distress calls were received.

Numerous witnesses observed and heard the airplane. A witness, who was an airport employee and was monitoring the Unicom frequency about 1000, said the pilot reported that he was over Bakky (initial approach fix for ILS RWY 36 approach) and wanted to know if there was other aircraft in the area. A few moments later, the pilot reported that he was a "little high on the approach" and was going to make a downwind entry for runway 36.

The witness first observed the airplane when it was midfield of the runway at an approximate altitude of 300 to 400 feet above the ground (agl). The airplane then made a left crosswind turn, followed by another left turn and entered a narrow downwind leg for runway 36. While on the downwind leg, the airplane appeared to get "lower and slower than usual." As the airplane crossed over buildings located southwest of the runway, it turned left onto the base leg, and made a steep bank as it turned onto final approach; however, the pilot overshot the runway. The witness observed the airplane up until it turned onto a northerly heading, and turned his attention away to assist a customer. Approximately 2-3 minutes later, the witness heard someone transmit over the Unicom frequency,"350JL are you on the ground yet?" There was no response. The individual asked a second time, and again, there was no response. The witness and another airport employee checked the taxiway and ramp to see if the airplane had landed but, did not see it. So, they drove to the approach end of runway 36, and saw the airplane had crashed short of the runway.

A second witness observed the airplane as it flew south at a "real low" altitude. It then, banked "real sharp" toward the east, and again towards the north. The witness said the nose of the airplane then "shot" up in the air and "pivoted," before it headed straight down toward the ground.

A third witness, who was standing outside of a building located on the west side of the airport, said she heard an airplane approaching from the north. The sound of the airplane got louder and louder, so she looked up and saw as it flew overhead at an altitude about 40 to 50 feet agl. The wheels of the airplane barely missed the roof of the building and a group of trees. After crossing over the trees, the airplane started a left turn toward the runway.

A fourth witness was in his truck headed west, and was about 1/8 to 1/4-mile from the accident site when he first observed the airplane. He said the airplane was traveling north to south approximately 50-60 feet agl when it made a "hard" left turn. The airplane then made a "hard twisting movement" and the nose of the airplane pointed down toward the ground, before it disappeared from his view behind some buildings. The witness called 911, and drove to the crash site.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on January 23, 2003. At that time, he reported a total of 6,000 flight hours.

The pilot's logbook was not made available for review, and his familiarity with the approach or the airport could not be established.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Records indicate that the airplane was bought by the pilot/owner on January 30, 2002.

Examination of the aircraft logbooks revealed that an annual inspection of the airplane was completed September 26, 2003, at a total aircraft time of 1,665.59 hours.

Records indicate that the airplane was topped-off with 18 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel on November 22, 2003.

The 1964-Beech S35 airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses for any of the occupants.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather observation facility at Boone County Airport (HRO), at 0953, reported the wind from 300 degrees at 07 knots, 4 statute mile visibility, ceiling broken, overcast skies at 700 feet, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.18 inches of Mercury. The temperature was 35 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dew point was 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

Runway 36 was a 6,161-foot long by 150-foot wide asphalt runway, which was equipped with high intensity runway lights.

The ILS RWY 36 approach included a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway indicator lights.

On December 5, 2003, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed a flight inspection of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) RWY 36 approach system, and nondirectional beacon. The facility operation was found to be satisfactory.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the site on December 5-6, 2003. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airplane came to rest upright in a 15-foot-deep drainage ditch on a magnetic heading of 100 degrees, approximately 1/4-mile southeast of the runway and about 400 feet east of the extended centerline. There was no post-impact fire.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 36 degrees, 15 minutes north latitude and 093 degrees, 9 minutes west longitude.

The cockpit area was crushed. Both the left and right wings exhibited leading edge impact damage, and remained attached to the airframe. The tail section remained relatively intact, and the control surfaces exhibited some impact damage.

Examination of the flap actuator revealed the flaps were extended 12-degrees. The speed brakes and landing gear were found in the extended position. Flight control continuity was established for all flight control surfaces to the forward cabin area.

The engine exhibited impact damage, and was partially separated from the airframe. The engine was manually rotated, and compression and valve train continuity were established for each cylinder. During the compression check, spark was produced to each ignition lead. The turbocharger rotated freely. The spark plugs were removed and appeared dark gray in color.

The 3-blade propeller was separated from the engine with part of the propeller hub remaining attached to the engine. The first blade exhibited leading edge damage, with chordwise scratches and gouges. The tip was bent, and there was trailing edge damage. The second blade exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratching. About 6 inches of the tip was missing. The third blade exhibited leading edge damage, chordwise scratches and the tip of the blade was bent aft.

Both wing fuel cells and tip tanks were breached. The fuel selector valve was found in the right position, and the fuel lines to the valve were severed.

Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on December 5, 2003, by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the Arkansas Crime Laboratory at Little Rock, Arkansas. The cause of death was determined to be the result of multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. No anomalies were reported.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was released to the owner's representative on February 5, 2004.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.