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N58325 accident description

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Tail numberN58325
Accident dateFebruary 20, 1994
Aircraft typeBeech A36
LocationGrain Valley, MO
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On February 20, 1994, at 1045 central standard time, a Beech A36, N58325, impacted terrain while maneuvering after the second VOR approach to Runway 23 at Grain Valley, Missouri. The aircraft was destroyed when it impacted terrain 1/2 mile northwest of the approach end of Runway 09 at Grain Valley. The instrument rated private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. One passenger received serious injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed for the flight, and an instrument flight plan was filed. The personal flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91, and originated from Hannibal, Missouri at 0914.

The airplane owner stated he arranged the flight as a favor to a friend. The friend was going to be in the East Kansas City area investigating a job opportunity, and wanted his wife and four children flown out to join him. The airplane owner stated since he would be on vacation the day of the proposed trip, he arranged for a non-instrument rated pilot/friend to make the flight, with a back-up instrument rated pilot available in case of inclement weather. The airplane owner stated "[the non-instrument rated pilot] called weather early AM...to find out it was IFR conditions...called [the instrument rated pilot] to tell him...helped board everyone." The airplane departed its home base of Hannibal at 0914.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) records indicate the flight was routine until it reached the East Kansas City area. The pilot contacted Kansas City Approach Control at 1018. The Approach Controller issued weather information for the nearest reporting station, and instructed the pilot to expect the VOR approach to Runway 23 at the destination airport.

At 1021, the pilot received and acknowledged the approach clearance for the VOR approach. At 1024 the pilot contacted the Approach Controller, and stated "...I'm having a little bit of trouble here...I need to get back up top." The Approach Controller asked if the pilot wanted to attempt a second approach, and the pilot responded "...Yea, I need to go out for another approach... ." The Controller issued radar vectors back to the final approach course.

The pilot received clearance for the second VOR approach at 1034. At 1036 the Approach Controller stated: "Bonanza three two five, radar service terminated, change to advisory frequency approved, report cancelling IFR this frequency airborne, or on the ground 124.25, I do have traffic to follow." The pilot acknowledged the transmission. At 1042 the pilot stated "Kansas City...this is five eight three two five at the airport, have the airport in sight." The Approach Controller responded: "Bonanza five eight three two five, you say you are on the ground now and cancelling IFR?" There was no response from the accident airplane.

Witnesses reported they observed the airplane as it overflew the airport on a westerly heading. They stated the airplane was right at the base of the clouds (estimated 400-500 feet above the ground) and everything seemed normal until the airplane was about 1/2 mile northwest of the airport. The witnesses reported at that point the wings suddenly rocked side to side, the airplane pitched nose up briefly, the dropped to the ground. One witness described the airplane "...coming down in a wobbly motion...." The airplane impacted terrain in a sloping pasture. Witness statements, Air Traffic Controller statements, and radar track printouts are appended.

CREW INFORMATION

The pilot held a Private Pilot Certificate with airplane single engine land privileges, issued October 19, 1981. He also held an instrument rating, issued December 1, 1992, and an unrestricted Third Class Medical Certificate, issued September 8, 1993.

Examination of the pilot's flight logbook revealed the pilot had about 513 hours total flight time, accrued since his first instructional flight on August 7, 1980. He had logged 66.9 hours of actual instrument flight time, and 33.1 hours of simulated instrument flight time. The most recent logged instrument approach occurred on June 20, 1993, although there were numerous "Actual IFR" entries since that date. There was a note after the December 17, 1993 entry which stated "10 ILS, 6 VOR, 8 NDB." The most recent entry in the logbook was dated January 30, 1994, and included .7 hours flight time, all in actual instrument conditions, with no instrument approach indicated. Records indicate the pilot had 5.1 hours actual instrument time and 3 instrument approaches in the accident airplane.

The pilot's logbook indicated he had received dual instruction in high performance airplane operations, with a logbook endorsement dated January 29, 1993. Records indicate the pilot had 70.5 hours in complex single engine airplanes, including 9.6 hours in the accident make and model airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane had an original airworthiness date of October 12, 1973, and was delivered to its original owner in Guatemala in April, 1974. The airplane returned to the United States in June, 1985, and was sold to the current registered owner in May, 1988. Maintenance records for the 1974-1985 time frame were not available.

Current aircraft maintenance logbooks indicated the most recent inspection was an Annual Inspection, dated November 18, 1993, at an airframe total time of 3,446 hours, an engine total time of 412 hours, and a propeller total time of 2,473 hours. The airframe total time at the time of the accident was 3,496 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Kansas City Downtown Airport (MKC) observed weather at 1045 was: measured 800 foot overcast, 3 1/2 miles visibility in fog, temperature 35 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 32 degrees F, winds out of 350 degrees at 6 knots. The MKC 1145 weather observation reported 600 foot overcast ceilings, 3 miles visibility in fog, temperature 36 degrees F, dew point 33 degrees F, and winds out of 030 degrees at 10 knots. MKC is located 30 nautical miles (NM) northwest of the accident site.

The Kansas City International Airport (MCI) observed weather at 1125 was: measured 300 foot overcast, with 2 1/2 miles visibility in light drizzle and fog, and winds out of 020 degrees at 7 knots. MCI is located 58 NM northwest of the accident site. The East Kansas City Airport does not have official weather reporting capabilities, but the airport manager estimated they had a 500 foot ceiling, 2 miles visibility in fog, and shifting winds at the time of the accident. Weather information is appended.

COMMUNICATIONS

The pilot was in radio contact with Kansas City International Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) Satellite Radar North (SRN) during his two instrument approaches to the East Kansas City Airport. Examination of the transcript of radio communications revealed the pilot was cleared for the first approach at 1021. The pilot contacted SRN at 1024, and stated "...I'm having a little bit of trouble here...I need to get back up top." At 1026, the SRN controller asked "Bonanza three two five...do you want to go back out for another approach?" The piloted responded in the affirmative, and received radar vectors for the second approach. At 1034 the pilot received an approach clearance for the second approach. At 1042 the pilot stated "...five eight three two five at the airport, have the airport in sight." The SRN controller asked the pilot if he was cancelling IFR, but got no response. A copy of the Air Traffic Control transcript is appended.

According to East Kansas City Airport officials, the pilot was in radio contact with them about 10 minutes before the accident. The airport clerk stated "The pilot called...asking about field conditions, I told him the ceiling was about 400-500 feet and the visibility was about 3 miles...." There were no further known communications with the accident airplane.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The East Kansas City Airport is an uncontrolled airport located in Grain Valley, Missouri, southeast of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The airport is attended from 0800 to sunset, and utilizes CTAF/UNICOM frequency 122.8 for local (advisory) communications. Kansas City Approach/Departure Control services are available on 119.0 MHz. The East Kansas City Airport has published VOR and RNAV instrument approaches. Copies of published airport information and the instrument approach plate (VOR 23) are appended.

WRECKAGE/IMPACT INFORMATION

Witnesses reported the airplane overflew the airport on a westerly heading. They stated everything seemed normal until the airplane suddenly rocked side to side, nosed up and then pitched down into the ground. The airplane impacted terrain in a pasture about 1/2 mile northwest of the airport. The wreckage path continued down a gradual slope, through a barbed wire fence line, to the point where the airplane came to rest, about 25 feet northeast of a stock pond. The wreckage path was 142 feet long, and was aligned on a southwesterly heading. A wreckage diagram and photographs are appended. Postaccident investigation revealed the landing gear was in the down and locked position, and wing trailing edge flaps were set to 15 degrees (approach configuration). The landing gear selector handle in the cockpit was in the gear up position, and moved freely. Cowl flaps were closed. The elevator trim tab was in the three degree nose up position. The throw-over yoke was separated. Examination revealed it was positioned on the left side at impact.

Flight control continuity was established throughout the airplane. Both wings were deformed where the main landing gear was forced up through the upper wing surface. The left wing exhibited leading edge crush. Strands of the barbed wire fence were wrapped around the right wing. The wing, horizontal stabilizer, and lower vertical stabilizer leading edges contained mud/dirt deposits.

The engine was broken from its mounts. Engine continuity was established from the broken crankshaft to the accessory gear box. The crankshaft was broken behind the propeller flange, and the propeller assembly was separated from the engine. The propeller assembly was located (intact) beneath the left side empennage. The three propeller blades were bent and twisted. There was evidence of fuel throughout the fuel system. There was no evidence of contaminants in fuel filters, screens or fuel samples examined.

MEDICAL/PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsy examination of the pilot revealed no evidence of preexisting disease. The autopsy (#94 ME 122) was conducted on February 20, 1994, by Dr. Brij M. Mitruka, M.D., Ph.D., assisted by Cameron Schenk, at the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office, 2301 Holmes, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.

Toxicological examination of the pilot revealed no evidence of preexisting anomaly. The toxicological report is appended.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

Postaccident investigation revealed the all the airplane occupants wore lap belts at the time of impact. Shoulder harnesses available to the two front seat occupants were located in the stowed position. Information contained in the autopsy reports indicates the front seat occupants died as a result of multiple head and chest injuries incurred in the airplane accident. The rear facing occupant in the seat behind the pilot received the least critical injuries (broken legs).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was released to the owner's representative upon completion of the on scene investigation, February 21, 1994.

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