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N269JG accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 36.154167°N, 94.056944°W
Nearest city Springdale, AR
36.186744°N, 94.128814°W
4.6 miles away
Tail number N269JG
Accident date 01 Nov 2013
Aircraft type Beech C90
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On November 1, 2013, at 1742 central daylight time, a Beech C90, N269JG, impacted terrain 3.25 miles southeast of the Springdale Municipal Airport (ASG), Springdale, Arkansas. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to J&G Aviation, LLC, and operated by the pilot, both of Camden, Arkansas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Pine Bluff (PBF), Arkansas, about 1650, and was destined for Bentonville (VBT), Arkansas, but was diverting to Springdale (ASG), Arkansas.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents, the pilot contacted Little Rock, Arkansas, approach control at 1651 and advised that he was en route from PBF to VBT, and requested flight following services. Radar contact was established when the airplane was 10 miles northwest of PBF at 10,000 feet and climbing to 16,500 feet. At 1702, the pilot was handed off to Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), Hot Springs sector. At 1721, the pilot reported he was descending from 16,500 feet. At 1727, the pilot contacted Fort Smith (FSM) Air Traffic Control Tower, Razorback Approach, and advised he was passing 11,800 feet for 6,500 feet. He was then given traffic advisories. At 1740, the pilot said he wanted to change his destination from VBT to Fayetteville (FYV), Arkansas. When the FSM controller asked the reason for the change, the pilot replied he was low on fuel. He then requested the distance to FYV, and the controller told him it was 9 miles away. At 1741, the pilot said he needed to go to a closer airport. The controller advised that ASG was at his 12 o'clock position and 4 miles away. The pilot said he had ASG in sight and was familiar with the airport. The controller issued the pilot the ASG tower frequency. The pilot contacted ASG tower and reported he was low on fuel. The ASG controller issued the pilot the wind conditions and altimeter setting and cleared him to land on runway 36. Approximately 30 seconds later, the pilot advised ASG that he was not going to make the airport. The ASG controller attempted to get the aircraft's position. No further transmissions were received. At 1743, ASG advised FSM that the airplane was down.

Six written witness statements were collected by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. One witness reported hearing the engine(s) sputtering. Another witness said the engine noise was loud but "did not sound right." He observed one wing turn perpendicular to the ground before the airplane disappeared from sight. Three witnesses reported seeing the airplane pull up abruptly and fall from about 300 feet to the ground in a right wing-low, nose-low attitude. In his report, the sheriff's deputy stated that he interviewed two of five witnesses. They told him that the pilot was "trying to find a clear and empty place to land," and noticed that control was lost at times as the airplane would "tilt" to the right and left. They said the pilot "was trying to land smoothly and was being successful until about 300 feet from the ground when the plane suddenly went straight down."


The 72-year-old private pilot held airplane single and multi-engine land and instrument ratings dated March 8, 2010. He also held a third class airman medical certificate, dated June 4, 2013, with the restriction, "Must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision." When the pilot applied for that medical certificate, he estimated his total flight time to be 3,367 hours, of which 53 hours were acquired within the last six months. The pilot's logbook was never located, so it could not be ascertained as to how much flight time he had logged in turboprop airplanes or in the Beech C90 King Air.


N269JG (serial number LJ-949), a model C90, was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1981. It had been equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-35 (upgraded from PT6A-21) turboprop engines, serial numbers PCE-25558 (left), and PCE-25501 (right), each rated at 750 horsepower, driving two Hartzell 4-blade, all-metal, constant speed, full-feathering, reversible propellers. The propeller model numbers were HC-D4N-3C, with D9290K blades. The serial numbers were FY 2319 (left), and FY 2320 (right).

An FAA aviation safety inspector examined the aircraft maintenance records at the pilot's office in Camden, Arkansas, on November 12, 2013. He reported that Airframe and Engine Phase 3 and 4 Inspections were accomplished on March 15, 2013, at a Hobbs meter time of 826.2 hours. At that time, airframe total time was 11,395.9 hours. Airframe Phase 1 and 2 Inspections were accomplished on March 14, 2012, at a Hobbs meter time of 738.9 hours. At that time, airframe total time was 11,308.6 hours. The following times were recorded during the Phase 3 and 4 inspections:


Time since new, 5,801.3

Time since overhaul, 2,453.6

Time since hot section inspection, 874.5

Total cycles since new, 6,613

Overhaul date, 07/21/2000

Cycles since overhaul, 2,800

Cycles since hot section inspection, 875

Engine time at overhaul, 3,454.5

Cycle time at overhaul, 3,930


Time since new, 5,722.9

Time since overhaul, 2,268.4

Time since hot section inspection, 847.5

Total cycles since new, 6,311

Overhaul date, 12/06/03

Cycles since overhaul, 2,381

Cycles since hot section inspection, 875

Engine time at overhaul, 3,347.7

Cycle time at overhaul, 3,812

On October 9, 2013, the pilot flew to PBF where the altimeter, encoding and static systems, and transponder calibration checks were accomplished by Tomlinson Avionics, and the airplane was recertified for IFR (instrument flight rules) flight. A Garmin GNS 430W (WAAS-certified GPS, 2280-channel capacity comm, and 200-channel ILS/VOR with localizer and glideslope), Avidyne TAS610 (traffic advisory system), Bendix DA-144A (weather radar) antenna, and a PC-250 (inverter) were removed and shipped to their respective manufacturers for repairs. The PC-250 inverter was non-repairable, and an overhauled unit was returned. On November 1, 2013, these items were reinstalled and functionally tested satisfactory.


The following weather was recorded by the ASG Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at 1748:

Wind, 310 degrees at 7 knots, gusting to 14 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, few clouds at 6,500 feet; temperature, 16 degrees Celsius (C.); dew point, 5 degrees C.; altimeter setting, 29.90 inches of mercury.


The airplane was located in a large open pasture that sloped downward from west to east. It was aligned on a magnetic heading of 030 degrees. South of the point of impact, power lines crossed the field from west to east. They were about 35 to 40 feet off the ground and 311 feet from the point of impact. The on-scene examination revealed no ground scars, only impact ground gouges, consistent with a right wing-low, nose-low attitude as reported by witnesses. The nose and cockpit area were crushed inward.

There were ground imprints, the same length as the wings. At the end of the left imprint were red lens fragments. At the end of the right imprint were green lens fragments. These ground imprints were immediately forward of both wings, consistent with the airplane rebounding slightly. The right wing was destroyed. The left wing was partially separated at midspan, and the wing tip was separated from the wing. The leading edge was crushed aft to the spar, and the wing was twisted up and aft. The right wing was bent aft and upward along its span, and the leading edge was crushed inward along the lower side. Minimal fuel (approximately one quart) was observed in each nacelle tank. There was no evidence of fuel spillage on the ground, and no fuel stains were observed on the undersides of the wing panels, wing trailing edges, or engine nacelles. There was no smell of fuel at the site.

Both engines and nacelles were partially separated from the wings. Both propeller assemblies remained attached to the engines and were partially buried in the earth. There were no ground scars leading up to the airplane, and there was no evidence of rotation at impact. Control continuity was established from the flight controls to the center of the airplane. Measurements of the elevator and rudder trim were indicative of a neutral position, and aileron trim was in a slight left wing down position. The landing gear and flaps were retracted. Propeller signatures indicate the propellers were not feathered and bore little or no rotational signatures.

The airplane was configured with two cockpit seats and four cabin seats arranged in club seating. The lavatory and baggage compartment were configured for additional seating. The cockpit seats were separated from the floor attachments and the seat bases were buckled. Both cockpit seatbelts and shoulder harnesses bore evidence of being fastened at impact.

Examination of the cockpit revealed both power, condition, and fuel shutoff levers were full forward. There was a witness mark on the airspeed indicator at 78 knots. The airplane's power off stall speed (flaps retracted) was between 78 and 89 knots (minimum weight versus maximum gross weight, respectively).


The Arkansas State Medical Examiners report stated the pilot's cause of death to be "multiple traumatic injuries." FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute toxicology report indicated no carbon monoxide or ethanol were detected. However, verapamil (an antiarrhythmic drug used in the treatment of hypertension, angina, and arrhythmias) and norverapamil (a metabolite of verapamil) were detected.


The annunciator panel and fuel totalizer were removed from the airplane and sent to NTSB's Vehicle Recorder (RE-40) and Materials Laboratory (RE-30) Divisions for examination. According to the Vehicle Recorder Specialist's report, application of electrical power to the fuel totalizer revealed:

FUEL USED: 260 gallons

FUEL REMAINING: 123 gallons.

According to the Materials Laboratory Specialist's report, magnification of the annunciator panel light bulbs revealed that the following annunciator lights were illuminated at impact:









The fuel management panel, located on the left sidewall, had been cut away by first responders in order to extricate the pilot. Although intact, the panel had been damaged by impact. Examination of the panel revealed the left and right boost pumps were ON, the left and right fuel transfer switches were OFF, the fuel crossfeed switch was in the AUTO position, and all the fuel system circuit breakers were OPEN. There was a yellow arc on the fuel gauges, denoting minimum fuel that must be in each wing tank before takeoff. The range is from 0 to 265 pounds or 0 to about 41 gallons in each wing (6.7 pounds per gallon).

In retracing the airplane's travels, FlightAware's Activity Log captured its movements from July 26, 2013, to September 28, 2013, when activity ceased. A Faith Aviation spokesman at Camden (CDH) said the pilot topped off the airplane with fuel and flew to Cozumel, Mexico, in early October. On the return flight to CDH, he stopped for fuel in New Orleans. It is unknown how much fuel he purchased in Cozumel or New Orleans.

An effort was made to trace the airplane's movements in an attempt to explain the discrepancy between the fuel gauges and the fuel totalizer. On October 9, 2013, the pilot gave instructions to the Faith Aviation, the fixed base operator (FBO) at CDH, to put 25 gallons of fuel in each wing tank. When asked if he had a receipt for this transaction, the FBO replied that he did not. The pilot then flew from CDH to PBF, a distance of 65 nm. According to Beech Aircraft, the fuel required for this flight (assuming a cruising altitude of 10,000 feet) would be about 210 pounds, or about 30 gallons. Grider Aviation and Pine Bluff Aviation, both FBOs at PBF, were contacted. It was learned that Tomlinson Avionics had replaced the airplane's inverter, and the airplane was placed in Tomlinson's hangar, where it remained until the pilot departed on November 1. Before departure, the pilot purchased a new battery but did not purchase fuel. It was reported that the pilot rarely topped off the airplane with fuel, but would add only enough fuel as necessary to make the trip. The distance between PBF and VBT is about 172 miles. According to Beech Aircraft, the estimated fuel needed for this flight (assuming a cruising altitude of 17,000 feet) would be about 460 pounds, or 70 gallons.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of power to both engines due to fuel exhaustion. Also causal were the pilot’s reliance on the fuel totalizer rather than the fuel quantity gauges to determine the fuel on board and his improper fuel planning.

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