Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N4288B accident description

Go to the Florida map...
Go to the Florida list...

Tail numberN4288B
Accident dateJuly 24, 1995
Aircraft typeBeech 35F
LocationMt Dora, FL
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 24, 1995, at 0750 eastern daylight time, a Beech 35F, N4288B, was substantially damaged following a collision with water during takeoff near Mt. Dora, Florida. Both the private pilot and his passenger were fatally injured in the accident. The aircraft was being operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight. The flight departed the Mid-Florida Airport in Eustis, Florida, and was destined for Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Witnesses reported that the pilot had flown the aircraft from Port Saint Lucie, Florida, into the private field on the morning of the accident. After arrival, the pilot reportedly stated that the aircraft speed was higher than normal on the early morning trip, and that the aircraft was requiring a large input of forward (nose down) trim during the trip in order to maintain level flight as a result of an aft center of gravity loading from the camping gear in the rear of the aircraft. The witnesses reported that the two occupants of the aircraft hurriedly placed the passengers baggage in the rear seat and rear baggage compartment, and were departing the private sod airfield. They were reportedly planning on camping out while in Oshkosh, and loaded the aircraft with approximately 266 pounds of baggage and camping gear for the trip.

Witnesses reported that the aircraft departed runway 18 at the Mid Florida Airport. The takeoff roll was reported to be approximately 2000 feet in length. After takeoff, the aircraft turned to the right, and a power reduction was heard. The aircraft then appeared to begin a shallow turn to the left. The left bank continued to increase, and the aircraft nose dropped to a near vertical attitude. The aircraft impacted the water about 3/4 mile off the departure end of runway 18. At the time of the impact, the aircraft heading was about 360 degrees. The witnesses reported that the engine sounded normal, and was apparently running at the time of impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, Gary E. Blake, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, and glider aero tow ratings. He held a third class medical certificate issued on November 28, 1994, with no restrictions.

The pilot's log book showed that he had recorded a total of 212 hours of flight time, of which 48 hours were in the Beech 35F make and model of aircraft.

Additional pilot information may be obtained on page 4 of this report under section titled First Pilot Information.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Beech 35F is a four place, low wing, retractable tricycle landing gear airplane.

The Beechcraft Bonanza F35 Pilot's Operating Handbook, Section VI, pages 6-16, and 6-18 lists the maximum takeoff weight at 2,750 pounds, and the maximum aft center of gravity limits for that weight at 85.1 inches aft of datum.(See Copy of Beechcraft Bonanza F35 Pilot's Operating Handbook Pages 6-16, and 6-18, Attached to This Report.)

Section VI, pages 3 and 4, show the weighing instructions for the aircraft. The Basic Empty Weight of the airplane is to be calculated including unusable fuel, full operating fluids, and oil.(See Copy of Beechcraft Bonanza F35 Pilot's Operating Handbook Pages 6-3, and 6-4, Attached to This Report.)

Examination of the aircraft log books showed that the owner, Gary Blake, on March 3, 1995, calculated a new Basic Empty Weight for the aircraft. The new calculations did not include the unusable fuel, as required by the Handbook.(See Copy of Weight Calculations made by Mr. Blake on March 3, 1995, Attached to This Report.)

Calculations of the weight of the aircraft, at the time of the accident takeoff, showed that the aircraft weight was 7.5 pounds over the maximum takeoff weight at 2,757.5 pounds, and the center of gravity was 0.3 inches aft fo the rear limit at 85.4 inches aft of datum. (See Weight and Balance Calculations for N4288B Attached to This Report.)

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident.

Additional meteorological information may be obtained in this report under section titled Weather Information beginning on page 3 of this report.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted Lake Loch Leven, in Mt. Dora, Florida, approximately one mile south of the Mid Florida Airport. The wreckage was located submerged in the lake approximately 15 feet below the surface of the lake. The Lake County Sheriffs Office, assisted by salvage crews, floated the wreckage to the surface of the lake for recovery, and examination.

The left wing, with its aileron and flap intact, remained attached to the fuselage. The flap was in the retracted position. The leading edge of the wing, from the wing root to a point six feet from the root, was crushed aft to the forward wing spar. The outboard wing section was twisted aft and under the inboard section, beginning at a point six feet from the wing root. The left main landing gear remained attached to the wing structure, and was in the up and locked position. Aileron control continuity was established from the aileron through its bellcrank, and into the fuselage section of the aircraft.

The right wing, with its aileron and flap intact, remained attached to the fuselage. The flap was in the retracted position. The entire leading edge of the wing was buckled down and aft. The lower wing skin was peeled back, from the forward spar to the rear spar, revealing most of the internal wing rib structure. The right main landing gear remained attached to the wing structure, and was in the up and locked position.

The aircraft fuselage was found broken into three sections; the nose landing gear, with a portion of the wheel well attached; the aircraft instrument panel, with some surrounding fuselage structure; and a section from the forward wing spar carry through, aft to the fuselage bulkhead station 151.00. The fuel selector valve and wobble fuel pump were attached to the forward side of the forward wing spar. The wobble fuel pump was exercised, and fuel, with the smell and blue color of 100 octane low lead flowed through the pump. The ruddervator trim wheel indicated a nose down trim of 3.5 degrees.

The empennage was found separated from the fuselage at station 151.00, connected only by the ruddervator cables. The right horizontal stabilizer, with its ruddervator were separated from the tail at its fuselage attach points. The left horizontal stabilizer, with its ruddervator remained attached to the empennage. Control continuity was established for the left ruddervator and its trim tab, through the tail.

Examination of the aircraft engine revealed that there was continuity of the engine drive train. Both the left and right magnetos rotated freely, and sparked through all distributor towers. There was no evidence of hard particle passage through the oil pump.

Examination of the aircraft propeller revealed that the spinner was crushed aft around the blades. The blades were on the stops for flat pitch.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of Mr. Blake was performed by Dr. Janet R. Pillow of the Florida Fifth District Medical Examiners Office in Leesburg, Florida on July 25, 1995. The medical examiner listed the cause of Mr. Blakes death as a result of injuries sustained the airplane accident.

A toxicological examination of Mr. Blake was performed by the Department of Defense Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC. The report of the examination was negative for the use of drugs or ethanol.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Guy Blake, the owners father, on July 26, 1995.

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