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N39BA accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 33.718611°N, 93.655278°W
Nearest city Hope, AR
33.667062°N, 93.591566°W
5.1 miles away
Tail number N39BA
Accident date 08 May 2008
Aircraft type Commander AC-680
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 8, 2008, at 1019 central daylight time, an Aero Commander AT-680E, N39BA, a twin-engine airplane, sustained substantial damage after a loss of control while attempting to land on Runway 16 at Hope Municipal Airport (M18), Hope Arkansas. The private pilot and the passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. No flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Carlisle Municipal Airport (4M3), Carlisle, Arkansas, about 0900, and was destined for Terrell Municipal Airport (TRL),Terrell, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot said that while en route to Terrell, Texas, he made an unscheduled stop at Hope, Arkansas, to "check fuel." The wind was from the west at 15 knots and favored Runway 22, but it was closed and he elected to land on Runway 16. As the pilot approached Runway 16, the airplane started to drift to the left and he added right rudder and increased power on both engines. The pilot said the right engine was slow to increase RPM (about 4-5 seconds) and as a result of this and the right rudder input, the airplane was "pulled" to the right of the runway. He said, "Landing speed was 85...[there] was not enough time to make a correction before [the] plane hit [the] ground."

Two witnesses, who were working a security detail at the airport, both saw the airplane as it attempted to land. They said the airplane "sounded bad" and it was "weaving back and forth" as it approached the runway with its right wing low. The airplane landed, then bounced several times before it came to a complete stop. One of the witnesses said the airplane was never fully lined up with the runway.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspectors performed an on-scene examination of the airplane. According to an inspector, the airplane came to rest in a field adjacent to the right side of Runway 16. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and tail cone. The right main and nose landing gear were damaged, and all three propeller blades on the right engine were bent aft at the tips. The airplane was equipped with three fuel tanks in each wing; one inboard of the engine nacelle, and two outboard of the engine nacelle. The right wing's two outboard tanks had been disabled and only the right inboard tank was being utilized at the time of the accident. It appeared to be less than a quarter full. Approximately two cups of what appeared to be a mixture of brown sludgy debris, water, and blue fuel were drained from the main fuel strainer in the fuselage. It was also noted that several avionics were not installed in the instrument panel and a large amount of duct tape was placed over a panel on the nose cone near the pilot's side windshield.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land only. His last FAA third class medical was issued on February 5, 2008. The pilot reported a total of 1,000 hours, of which 986 hours were in single-engine airplanes and 14 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. All 14 hours were in the same make-model as the accident airplane and were logged as pilot-in-command. The pilot logged two of those hours in the 90 days preceding the accident. He also reported that he did not have a current Biennial Flight Review, as required by Federal Aviation Regulations. When asked how this accident could have been prevented, the pilot said, "Runway 22 had been open I would not had crosswind landing."

Weather at Texarkana Regional Airport-Webb Field (TXK), Texarkana, Arkansas, about 23 miles southwest of Hope, Arkansas, at 1104, was reported as wind from 260 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 2,300 feet, scattered clouds at 2,800 feet, overcast clouds at 3,600 feet, temperature 70 degrees, dew point 60 degrees, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.74 inches of Mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the twin-engine airplane while landing. Contributing to the accident were the crosswind and partial loss of power on the right engine.

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