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N5999C accident description

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Tail numberN5999C
Accident dateSeptember 02, 1995
Aircraft typeBeech C35
LocationOmaha, NE
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 2, 1995, at 1157 central daylight time, a Beech C35, N5999C, operated by a commercial, instrument rated pilot, was destroyed on impact with the terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 32R (4,060' x 75' dry/concrete) at Omaha, Nebraska. The pilot sustained fatal injuries while the three passengers received serious injuries. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The flight was originating with the intended destination of Wagner, South Dakota.

The accident airplane arrived at Omaha, Nebraska, the day prior to the accident with the pilot and one passenger. The airplane remained overnight and departed on the accident flight with the pilot and three passengers.

When the flight was given the takeoff clearance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), the pilot was cautioned of a loss of "one zero knots airspeed, short final runway 32L, by a King Air approximately one five minutes ago." He was advised of the wind, " . . .zero three zero at one seven." The airplane used runway 32R for takeoff.

During the initial climb, the pilot transmitted on the tower frequency, "Omaha tower, Bonanza five triple nine charlie's in trouble. Can't make (unintelligible)." This transmission was followed by a landing instructions from the ATCT. The pilot then responded, "The only way I can turn is left."

The Local Controller in the ATCT stated that he observed the accident airplane to be approximately 50-75 feet above ground level at the departure end of runway 32R. He said that he then observed the airplane to begin "an up and down motion without gaining altitude." He said that the pilot made a transmission stating the flight was in trouble and he instructed the pilot to make right traffic for runway 32R, if possible. He said that he observed the airplane to turn left and received another radio transmission from the airplane which he could not understand. He then cleared the airplane to land on any runway, as possible. He observed the airplane to go below his line of sight, heading "south," but did not see the impact.

The Ground Controller in the ATCT stated that he observed the accident airplane in a left turn "at very low altitude." It continued in the left turn and "went down north of the cargo ramp."

The passenger who had been seated in the right front seat during the accident, told FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) inspectors that she did not recall many details of the accident, but was able to recall that the engine was running and she was not aware of any mechanical problem with the airplane prior to the accident.

A witness (a private pilot) was situated to the west of the impact site. During a face to face interview he stated that when he became aware of the accident airplane it was already in a turn to the left. He said that the engine was developing power and he initially thought the airplane was attempting to land on runway 14R. He said he realized that the airplane was turning from downwind and that it appeared to him that the airplane "overshot" final. He then observed the airplane to increase its left bank to a nearly vertical, left wing down attitude. Almost immediately the airplane descended toward the ground and disappeared behind a building leaving his line of sight. He said that he did not see the ground impact, but did hear it. This witness also completed a written statement which is attached to this report.

Another eye witnesses made a written statement. He stated he observed the airplane being serviced with 21.0 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel which topped off the main tanks. He then went to fly with a student. He stated that the winds were 170 degrees at 15 knots with gusts to 19 knots when his student boarded the training airplane; however, by the time they started the airplane the winds had changed to 030 degrees at 15 knots. He and the student watched as the accident airplane started its takeoff roll on runway 32R. He said that the airplane lifted off at mid-field and climbed to 100 to 150 feet. He observed the airplane to nose up at the end of runway 32R and bank left about 45 to 60 degrees. He then lost visual contact with the airplane.

An airport diagram with the approximate flight path of the airplane is attached to this report. The diagram was prepared by the FAA Omaha (NE) ATCT.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

The pilot born April 10, 1934, was the holder of a commercial certificate with instrument privileges for single engine land. He had a third class medical certificate issued August 28, 1995. On his application for the medical examination, he stated a total pilot time of 960 hours with 22 hours in the preceding six months. His most recent biennial flight review was unknown.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Beech C35, N5999C, serial number D-3065. No logbooks for the accident airplane were located. Date of the most recent inspection is unknown as are the total hours accumulated on the airframe and engine. At the time of the accident the tachometer in the airplane read 1999.53 hours.

COMMUNICATIONS

A transcript of radio communications between the accident airplane and the Omaha (NE) ATCT is attached as an addendum to this report.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage path was 115 feet long on a 150 degree heading established from the initial impact marks on the ground. The initial impact ground scar exhibited a 25 foot long scrape mark on a 150 degree heading which was consistent with the shape of the left wingtip. The left position light (red) lens was located along the scrape mark. A four and one-half foot long by one foot deep slash mark was located at the end of the pervious scrape mark which was consistent with the size and shape of the propeller blade. Beyond the slash mark there was a three and one-half foot wide by three foot long, by one foot deep impact crater. Fragments identified as being from the nose landing gear and the nose landing gear doors were in the proximity of the impact crater. The main wreckage came to rest on a 250 degree heading with the airframe resting on both extended main landing gear, and the tailcone.

The forward portion of the fuselage had upward and aft crushing of the floor from the front of the airplane aft to the spar. The left wing main spar was broken and the structure exhibited upward and aft crushing. No apparent spar breaks were evident in the right wing. Both right and left stabilizer spars were broken at the root where they attached to the fuselage.

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to their respective control surfaces. Both wing flap actuators were examined and found to be in a position consistent with a retracted flap condition. The elevator trim location was in a neutral position.

The fuel selector valve and handle were in the right tank position. The wobble pump handle was in the stowed position. With the selector valve selected to the right main tank position, a blue colored fluid with an odor similar to 100LL aviation fuel was drained from the main strainer bowl. With the selector valve selected to the left main tank position a faint blue colored fluid with an odor similar to automotive fuel drained from the main strainer bowl. The corresponding liquids were drained from the left and right main fuel tanks. With the selector valve handle in the off position, no fuel drained from the main strainer bowl. The main strainer was examined and found to contain no contamination. A 20 gallon auxiliary baggage compartment fuel tank was installed in the airplane, but was found empty with no identified leaks. No water was found anywhere in the fuel system.

The engine and propeller assembly were separated from the airframe and came to rest facing the firewall. Both propeller blades remained attached to the hub and had forward bending and spanwise twisting with leading edge polishing on the cambered side. The engine driven fuel pump had broken away from the engine. The accessory drive gears rotated when the propeller was rotated. The carburetor was attached to the engine and no contaminants were found in the inlet screen. The engine control linkages were broken during the impact.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Douglas County (NE) Morgue, on September 3, 1995. No preexistent medical conditions were found during the post mortem examination which would have contributed to incapacitation or impairment of the pilot.

A toxicological examination of specimens from the pilot were examined and were negative for those drugs screened.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The contents of the baggage compartment were weighed and found to total 113 pounds. A statement of the weights of these items is attached to this report. The pilot's weight from his most recent medical examination on August 28, 1995, was 144 pounds. The passenger's weights were supplied by hospital and were as follows: Right front seat passenger, 135 pounds; left rear seat passenger, 140 pounds; right rear seat passenger, 195 pounds. A witness stated that the main fuel tanks were full. The airplane records indicate that this equates to 204 pounds. A manual found in the accident airplane indicated the basic empty weight of the airplane to be 1868.5 pounds with a moment of 147,256.49 inch pounds. The airplane had a gross weight limit of 2700 pounds and an aft center of gravity limit of 84.7 inches. A "Pilot's Operating Handbook," and "Airplane Flight Manual" was found in the wreckage. The manual indicated the need for a placard on the inner side of the baggage compartment door to read: "Baggage Compartment; Load in Accordance with Loading Chart in Airplane Flight Manual; Maximum Capacity - 270 Pounds." And another placard in full view on inside of cabin door and on inside of baggage compartment door: "Warning; This airplane is easily loaded beyond aft CG limits. Weight and CG must be within limits for each flight; Refer to pilots operating handbook." Both placards were displayed as specified.

Parties to the investigation were the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Raytheon Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas.

The wreckage was released to the Director of Aviation, Eppley Field, Omaha, Nebraska, on September 4, 1995. The airplane wreckage was stored in a hangar at the accident airport.

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