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N5TV accident description

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Tail numberN5TV
Accident dateDecember 24, 2002
Aircraft typeBeech BE-58
LocationEgypt, AR
Near 35.861667 N, -90.968334 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On December 24, 2002, approximately 0954 central standard time, a Beech BE-58 twin-engine airplane, N5TV, collided with terrain during an uncontrolled descent near Egypt, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to Thomas Aviation, Inc., of Hardy, Arkansas, and operated by the registered owner/pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by the impact and the post accident fire. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed for the cross-country flight, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The personal flight departed Cherokee Village Airport (CVK) at Ash Flat, Arkansas, approximately 0921 with a planned destination of Jonesboro (JBR), Arkansas.

During interviews, conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), acquaintances reported that the purpose of the flight was to fly the airplane to JBR to have an alternator switch installed at Sharp Aviation.

Air traffic control data was reviewed by the NTSB IIC and all times converted to central standard time unless otherwise noted. At 0905, the pilot contacted the JBR AFSS, filed an IFR flight plan (N5TV, BE-58/G, true airspeed 170 knots, proposed time off 0930, altitude 5,000 feet msl, time en route 35 minutes, fuel on board 6 hours) from CVK to JBR, requested, and was briefed on the current weather (0853 weather facility observation) at JBR. The weather briefing reported wind 050 degrees at 15 knots, ceiling 700 overcast, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point 0 degree Celsius, and the altimeter reading 29.73 inches Mercury; remarks, pressure falling. The weather briefing included PIREP: over Newport (M19), Arkansas, at 0905, flight level 7,000 feet msl, a Mitsubishi MU-2 reported ceiling overcast 900 feet msl tops 5,000 feet msl with cirrus clouds above, icing 2,300 feet msl through 3,300 feet msl during climb out to the south. The weather briefer informed the pilot about the airmet for icing and turbulence.

At 0919:49 the pilot contacted JBR AFSS for the departure clearance, and the flight was cleared as filed, climb and maintain 5,000 feet msl, transponder squawk 5524, contact Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) frequency 127.4 Megahertz (MHz) upon departure from CVK. Clearance void 0935, time now 0921.

At 0928:03, radio and radar contact (3,100 feet climbing to 5,000 feet msl) were established with the airplane by Memphis ARTCC.

At 0930:30, the pilot reported airplane level at 5,000 feet msl.

At 0934:37, the pilot reported airplane icing at 4,800 feet msl, requested, and received a clearance to descend the airplane to 4,000 feet msl.

At 0938:40, the pilot requested to deviate for landing at Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (ARG).

At 0940:02, the pilot was cleared for the RNAV/GPS 36 approach at ARG, maintain 3,000 feet msl until the initial approach fix (IAF) waypoint GUBFO.

At 0941:43, the controller approved a frequency change for the pilot to contact the ARG common traffic airport advisory frequency (CTAF) 122.8 MHz.

A0941:46, the pilot reported changing to the airport advisory frequency. Subsequently, the pilot contacted CTAF and received the airport advisory. No distress calls or additional communications with the pilot were recorded.

Two witnesses, who heard the impact, exited their residence, observed the airplane, the post accident fire, and called 911. Local authorities responded to the accident site.


A review of the FAA records and copies of the pilot's logbooks by the NTSB IIC revealed that the pilot began flight training in November 1999. The pilot was issued his most recent FAA third-class medical certificate on December 17, 1999, without limitations. On April 28, 2000, the pilot was issued his private pilot certificate with the airplane single-engine land rating, following an initial disapproval on his practical examination on April 15, 2000. On November 17, 2000, the instrument rating was added to the private pilot certificate, following three disapproved instrument practical examinations conducted on November 3, 2000, November 10, 2000, and November 10, 2000, respectively. On August 25, 2001, the multiengine land rating, with the limitation VFR only, was added to the private pilot certificate, following two disapproved multiengine practical examinations conducted on August 11, 2001, and August 12, 2001, respectively. On February 2, 2002, the multiengine land limitation for VFR flight was removed from the pilot certificate. On August 6, 2002, the pilot was issued his commercial pilot certificate with the ratings and limitations of airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument. The FAA records indicated that all of the pilot's practical examinations were administered by FAA Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs).

As logged on November 18, 2002, the pilot had accumulated a total flight time of 1,027.4 hours (instrument flight time 151.3 hours of which 45.3 hours were in actual instrument conditions). His accumulated pilot-in-command flight time was 806.2 hours.

The pilot's first flight in N5TV was a dual instructional flight on June 10, 2001. As of November 17, 2002, the pilot had accumulated a flight time of 546.2 hours in the accident airplane, of which 107.9 hours were logged within the 90 days prior to the accident flight. The pilot had accumulated a flight time of 75.8 hours of instrument flight in N5TV, of which 38.6 hours were in actual instrument conditions (9.2 hours actual in the 90 days prior to the accident flight).

Interviews with immediate family members and acquaintances disclosed that the day before the accident, the pilot arrived at Memphis, Tennessee, on a commercial airline flight from Colorado. Subsequently, the pilot flew N5TV on a cross-country flight from Memphis, Tennessee, to Cherokee Village [Ash Flat, Arkansas]. Approximately 1900, the flight landed at CVK. Airport fueling records at CVK for December 23, 2002, indicated a purchase of 25.82 gallons (100LL aviation fuel) that evening.


The Beech BE-58 airplane (S/N TH-193) was manufactured in 1971. On January 18, 1972, the airplane was issued the FAA registration number of N5TV and a standard airworthiness certificate. Registration to the current owner was dated July 18, 2001. At the time of the accident, the airplane was configured to carry 5 passengers and one pilot.

The NTSB IIC reviewed the aircraft records, insurance records, maintenance work orders, and the available maintenance logbooks. Interviews with acquaintances disclosed that the latest maintenance logbooks should have been in the airplane; however, no evidence of the logbooks was found at the accident site. Acquaintances disclosed that the aircraft heater was inoperative, and the pilot would take a blanket to put around his legs during flight. Further, to their knowledge, the alcohol reservoir for the propeller anti-ice system had not been serviced.

On December 10, 2002, at the accumulated airframe time of 3,914.0 hours (Hobbs 2,841.1), both engines were serviced with Phillips XC 20W-50 oil. The right propeller governor (P/N 210662, S/N 1573451) was reinstalled after warranty repair. Both of the remanufactured factory engines had accumulated 276.4 hours since installed in the airframe.

In October 2002, the electrical charging system was checked and a broken wire repaired.

The last annual inspection was performed on April 05, 2002, at accumulated airframe time of 3,637.5 hours (Hobbs 2,564.7 hours). A Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-520-CB (factory remanufactured "0" time) engine was installed in each engine nacelle (left S/N 299465-R, right S/N 299466-R). Both engines had a McCauley propeller (overhauled) model D2AF34C30-NP/78FF-0 (left S/N 710536, right S/N 71300) installed. Both engines were equipped with General Aviation Modifications, Inc., (GAMI) fuel injectors (kit GAD13AA, serial number 9829) in accordance with STC # SE09217SC. Both engines had a Woodward governor (overhauled) model 210662 (left S/N 1573451K, right S/N 1040685C) installed. Both engines were equipped with a new Tanis (TAS100-12) pre-heater (left S/N 34124, right S/N 34125). Both engines had a vacuum pump (overhauled P/N 242CW, S/N 3745) installed. In April 2002, the Goodrich WX-500 storm scope was installed, interfaced to the Garmin GNS-430 for display, and proper operation was verified. The bulb in the left navigation light, the flight instrument dimmer transistor, and the instrument flood light transistor were replaced.

On February 27, 2002, a new cabin heater ignition unit P/N 11C30-1, S/N A01120023, was installed and operational check satisfactory. On February 18, 2002, the heater ignition unit was replaced and the replacement unit was found to have a defective coil. The ignition vibrator was removed from the new unit, and the original unit installed for temporary repair. The defective coil, sent for warranty replacement, was to be reinstalled in the airframe at the owner's request. In January 2002, the heater was inspected and heater thermostat was found set too high-tripping the overtemp[erature]. The thermostat was readjusted to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater fuse and heater fuel system was found satisfactory, and the system was to receive further troubleshooting at a later date.

During June through August 2001, the electrical system maintenance included the following items: The #2 voltage regulator, P/N 36-380096-1; S/N 80285517, and control fuse were removed and replaced. The altitude hold autopilot servo plug was cleaned, and the autopilot servo checked satisfactory. The left alternator out sensor, P/N 36-380000-3, the intercom audio panel system, and a wire for the #2 communication lamp was replaced. The AC/DC inverter was replaced, and the AC/DC inverter, rheostats, and transistors for the sub panel, glare shield, and flight instruments were replaced. The NAV coupler was reconnected, the switch for the navigation 1 and 2 was replaced, the wiring repaired, the bulbs replaced, and the HSI rewired to instrument dimmer buss, ADF, HSI, and post lights. Under the pilot's seat, the lighting power transistor sockets and intermittent wire/butt splice connection was repaired. Two broken wires behind the instrument panel were repaired. The static system, altimeter (P/N 5934P-1; S/N R3999), and automatic pressure altitude reporting system was tested to 20,000 feet msl and inspected as required by FAR 411, Part 43, Appendix E and F. The Garmin GMA-340 Audio Panel and a Garmin GNS-430 Com/Nav/GPS was installed. The GMA-340 was interfaced with the GNS-430, KX-175B, and the KR-85. The GNS-340 was interfaced with the GMA-340, the HSI, and the autopilot. The installed GPS was not approved for IFR operations. The unfeathering accumulators for both propellers were serviced. The standby compass was removed and replaced.

In August 2000, Micro AeroDynamics, Inc., vortex generators were installed on the wings and rudder in accordance with the installation instructions contained in STC SA5175NM.

In November 1998, the heater fuel line was reconnected. The system tested satisfactory for pressure and performance.

In July 1997, the heater was inspected and "found to be unsatisfactory (inoperative), heater fuel line was disconnected and power supply disabled and heater labeled inoperative. Anti-ice system placarded inoperative due to crackers in slinger tubes-to be replaced at next propeller removal.


An NTSB meteorologist derived the following information from his review of National Weather Service (NWS), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), Aviation Weather Center (AWC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Air Resources Laboratory (ARL), and the Geostationary Environmental Satellite-8 (GOES-8).

A Surface Analysis chart prepared by the NWS NCEP for 0900 December 24 indicated a low pressure center over southeastern Mississippi and a large ridge of high pressure over the Rocky Mountains. Station plots in Arkansas indicated overcast clouds and patchy restricted visibilities due to rain and mist. The NWS 850 millibar (about 5,000 feet) Analysis charts for 0600 and 1800 December 24 showed a low pressure center near the Arkansas-Tennessee-Mississippi border. Station plots indicated a nearly saturated atmosphere throughout the region.

At 0935, the Batesville Municipal Airport (BVX), Arkansas (field elevation 464 feet msl, located approximately 257 degrees at 34 nautical miles from the accident site) unaugmented Automated Weather Observing System-3 (ASOS-3) reported the wind from 320 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 1 1/2 miles, sky overcast 200 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point zero degree Celsius, and the altimeter setting 29.82 inches Mercury.

At 0955, the BVX ASOS-3 reported the wind from 320 degrees at 10 knots gusting 14 knots, visibility 2 miles, sky broken 200 feet overcast 1,000 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point zero degree Celsius, and the altimeter 29.82 inches Mercury.

At 0853, the Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JRB), Arkansas (field elevation 262 feet msl, located approximately 094 degrees at 16 nautical miles from the accident site) weather observation facility (ASOS) reported the wind from 050 degrees at 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky overcast 700 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point zero degree Celsius, and the altimeter setting 29.73 inches Mercury. The remarks: pressure falling rapidly.

At 0953, the weather observation facility at JBR reported the wind from 010 degrees at 10 knots gusting 18 knots, visibility 1 1/2 miles, light rain, mist, sky overcast 700 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point 1 degree Celsius, and the altimeter setting 29.75 inches Mercury. The remarks: rain began 0924, unknown precipitation began 0925 ended 0933, snow began 0945 ended 0950, ceiling 500 feet variable 1,000 feet.

At 0935, the weather observation facility at Walnut Ridge (ARG), Arkansas (located approximately 008 degrees at 17 nautical miles from the accident site) reported wind from 360 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 1 1/4 statute mile, sky overcast 80 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point minus 1 degree Celsius, and the altimeter setting 29.80 inches Mercury.

At 0955, the weather observation facility at ARG reported wind from 340 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 1 statute mile, sky broken 300 feet overcast 800 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius, dew point minus 1 degree Celsius, and the altimeter setting 29.80 inches Mercury.

A review of the PIREPS for Arkansas archived at the NCDC, Ashville, North, Carolina for the period from 0400 to 1200 December 24, 2002, revealed in part the following two PIREPS:

At 0838, a Beech BE-58, multiengine airplane, at 7,000 feet msl reported sky overcast 1,000 feet with top of overcast at 6,000 feet, temperature 10 degrees Celsius, wind from 221 degrees at 39 knots, light icing at 3,000 feet to 4,000 feet during climb to the south from Little Rock, Arkansas.

At 0905, a Mitsubishi MU2 multiengine airplane, at 7,000 feet msl reported sky overcast 900 feet with top of overcast 5,000 feet, light icing 2,300 feet to 3,300 feet during climb to the south from Newport (located about 228 degrees at 23 nautical miles from the accident site). According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the JBR Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) provided the Newport PIREP to the pilot of N5TV.

Using McIDAS, infrared (band 4) data along N5TV's proposed route revealed the cloud-top radiative temperatures in the vicinity of CVK for 0933 and 0948 were about -7 and -3 degrees Celsius, respectively. The cloud-top temperatures along N5TV's proposed route due south of ARG for 0933 and 0948 were between -13 and -8 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The Area Forecast (FA) synopsis in part: At 0400 warm front extended from southern Georgia to low over central Mississippi with cold front continuing across southeastern

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