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N111YR accident description

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Crash location 26.589444°N, 80.083056°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Lantana, FL
26.586736°N, 80.051986°W
1.9 miles away

Tail number N111YR
Accident date 06 May 2009
Aircraft type Beech K35
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On May 6, 2009, about 1130 eastern daylight time, a Beech K35, N111YR, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after it experienced a loss of engine power during the initial climb from the Palm Beach County Airport (LNA), Lantana, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot and the passenger/owner of the airplane were killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses at LNA, the airplane was based at the airport. The airplane departed from runway 15, a 3,421-foot-long, asphalt runway. The airplane reached an altitude of 75 to 100 feet above the ground, when the engine "sputtered" or "coughed" and then "quit." The airplane entered a right descending turn back toward the airport with the landing gear in the extended position and the propeller "wind-milling." The airplane struck two parked, unoccupied airplanes, before impacting the ground, and colliding with a tractor-trailer container.

The airplane came to rest on a heading about 360 degrees, about 100 feet from the initial contact with the parked airplanes, and about 80 feet from the initial ground contact. The ground scar was oriented on approximately a 280-degree heading. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The aft 11 feet of the airplane structure was separated and remained attached via cables. The remainder of the airframe was located underneath the trailer. The engine separated at the firewall and was located about 75 feet, on a 300-degree heading from the main wreckage. The engine throttle, propeller and mixture controls in the cockpit were observed in the full-forward position. The right wing tip and a majority of the right aileron were separated from the right wing. The inboard 12 inches of the right aileron remained attached. The right flap was observed in the retracted position, and contained crushing damage to its spar. The left wing remained attached; however, the majority of the structure inboard of the aileron, aft of the main spar was compromised.

The airplane was equipped with a "v-tail" configuration which utilized an elevator-rudder combination (ruddervator) flight control. The right side of the empennage was intact, the left side exhibited significant impact damage. The left ruddervator bellcrank assembly was fractured. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the left ruddervator control to the bellcrank, and from the bellcrank to the forward cockpit area. Flight control continuity was also confirmed from the right ruddervator control to the forward cockpit area and from both ailerons to the control yoke.

The airplane was equipped with a "throw-over" control yoke, which was found locked, in the left pilot position.

The propeller remained attached to the engine. One blade was straight and exhibited minor damage. The other blade was bent about mid-span and contained scratches consistent with it sliding along the ground.

Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any catastrophic engine malfunctions. The fuel pump, fuel servo and both magnetos remained attached to the engine. The engine was rotated by hand using the propeller. Rocker arm movement was observed and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. In addition, spark was observed on all magneto leads. The top spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and exhibited gray deposits. The fuel manifold contained fuel and was absent of contamination. A lighted borescope examination of all cylinders did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The engine was retained for further examination.

The airplane was equipped with an interconnected main and auxiliary fuel tank in each wing. The fuel selector in the cockpit was observed in the left main fuel tank position. Prior to the flight, the airplane's main fuel tanks were "topped-off" with 12.7 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline. The left wing fuel tanks were compromised during the accident; however, a fuel sample was obtained from the left inboard fuel drain and it was absent of visible contamination. Both fuel tanks on the right wing were intact and fuel was visible at the top of their respective refueling ports. Fuel samples taken from the right wing fuel tanks were also absent of contamination.

Preliminary review of maintenance records revealed that at the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 2.5 hours since the engine was disassembled for "extensive engine repair" on December 5, 2008. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on April 1, 2009. Witnesses reported that they believed the airplane was flown sometime during the week prior to the accident.

The pilot reported 2,458 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate, which was dated on day of the accident.

The owner/passenger held a private pilot certificate. He reported 2,268 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was issued on July 26, 2005.

A weather observation taken at 1134, at the Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), located about 5 miles north of the accident site, reported, wind from 120 degrees at 13 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; scattered clouds at 3,200 feet, temperature 28 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 19 degrees C; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

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