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N963T accident description

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Tail numberN963T
Accident dateAugust 27, 1996
Aircraft typeBeech 35-33
LocationBrownsburg, IN
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 27, 1996, at 1920 central daylight time (cdt) a Beech 35-33, N963T, piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed during a collision with the ground while making a witness observed steep bank about 100 feet above the ground. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed a restricted landing area near Brownsburg, Indiana, at 1900 cdt.

The wife of the pilot said he "...made several passes down the runway... ." A short time before the accident the airplane was flying "...across the corn field at approximately 40 feet... ." Eyewitnesses reported seeing the airplane flying low in the local area. One witness said, "The plane seemed kind of low and had to break a [little to the] left to miss a 2-story house." According to another witness, she was driving east on Indiana State Highway 136 when she first saw N963T. She said it had flown just above the trees while heading west. This witness said the airplane descended below the trees next to the highway and then turned toward the north. The airplane climbed over the trees and made a low pass at the restricted landing area's runway.

The second witness said she stopped her car to watch the airplane with her daughter because they thought it was a crop duster. She said she saw the airplane make a steep turn like a crop duster. She said the airplane headed south about 20 to 30 feet above the corn field. The airplane climbed a small amount as it approached the interstate highway. She said the airplane began a steep left banked turn. The wings were 90 degrees to the ground during this turn, according to the witness. The witness said the airplane yawed to the left and descend straight into the ground. A drawing showing the approximate flight path of N963T is appended to this report. This drawing is based upon the witness observations.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot's logbook showed he had been flying N963T since November 16, 1986. The logbook does not show hourly flight times for most of the entries. Logbook entry gaps were observed between November 28, 1986 and May 1991. The gaps continue between June 1991 and December 10, 1991. On this date two flights of unknown length were shown in the logbook. The logbook showed flight between January 17, and July 7, 1992. The next logbook entries are for December 5, 12, 25, 26, and 31, 1992. His logbook showed the satisfactorily completed biennial flight review on December 31, 1992. There were no other logbook entries showing recency of experience other than biennial flight review endorsements in the back of the logbook. These dates were November 19, 1988, December 5, 1990, December 31, 1992, and June 15, 1995.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Maintenance records for N963T were not found at the pilot's home or hangar. His wife said she did not know where they were. Evidence of these records was not found during the on-scene investigation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Trees west of Hunter Road were about 50 feet high. N963T's wreckage was located about 35 feet northeast of its collision point on Hunter Road. N963T was positioned at the bottom of a swale located between Interstate Highway 74 and Hunter Road. The airplane was heading about 260 degrees magnetic. Site layouts are appended to this report showing the ground collision point and location of the wreckage. The fuselage forward of the vertical stabilizer and inboard wing sections had been consumed by fire. The left wing's leading edge was crushed aft from its inboard section to the wing tip.

Elevator control cable continuity was established between the elevator control horn and the push rod tube fitting. The push rod tube had been consumed in the fire. Elevator trim tab cable continuity was established between the surfaces and cockpit area. The separated cable ends in the cockpit area were broomed and melted. Rudder control cable continuity was established between the rudder horn and rudder pedal attach points. The rudder pedals had been consumed in the fire. The rudder/aileron inter-connect cable assembly was complete. Aileron control cable continuity was established between the separated bellcrank ends and the sprocket chain ends. The sprocket had been consumed in the fire.

N963T's engine was rotated 90 degrees and had magneto drive gear rotation. Rocker arm movement was observed on number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 cylinders. The 6th cylinder rocker arms did not move due to damage to this cylinder. It was bent aft about 2 to 5 degrees, had 4 cracks through the head, and the intake and exhaust valves were loose in the head. The magnetos were disassembled and had melted interior components. Both propeller blades had leading edge nicks and chordwise scarring. One had separated from the hub. One blade was bent aft about 70 degrees. The portion bent aft had spanwise twisting. The second blade, still attached to the hub, was bent fore and aft along its span. About 6 inches of its tip had separated. The missing piece was found. The surfaces of the separated blade pieces had a grainy appearance.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy on the pilot was conducted by Dr. Michael A. Clark at the Indiana University School of Medicine on August 28, 1996. The toxicology examination was conducted at the same school of medicine and was negative for ethanol and basic drugs. The exception was for an unspecified amount of pseudoephedrine and trimethoprim in the urine sample.

The forensic toxicology examination was conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute. Their toxicology report showed an unspecified amount of pseudophedrine and phenylpropanolamine was detected in liver fluid. No other drugs were specified.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to Mr. Alan W. Hartman, a representative of A.G. Plumley, Incorporated, Merrillville, Indiana, on August 28, 1996.

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