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N60093 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city St Petersburg, FL
27.801300°N, 82.801700°W

Tail number N60093
Accident date 25 Jul 1993
Aircraft type Beech C23
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 24, 1993, at about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Beech C-23, N60093, registered to William L. Bechtold, Sr., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while maneuvering to land at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. The airplane was destroyed. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. One passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Venice Municipal Airport about 1 hour 10 minutes before the accident.

Review of communications on July 25, 1993, for the time period 1618 UTC (1218 EDT) to 1639 UTC (1239 EDT) between St. Petersburg Local Control (LC), St. Petersburg Ground Control (GC), N60093 (093), and Sky Watch One (SW1), revealed that N60093 contacted St. Petersburg Tower (LC) at 1223:10 inbound for landing. The following is an extract of the communication between N60093, Sky Watch One, and the appropriate controller:

1623:17 LC Beechcraft zero-niner-three Saint Peter Tower enter right base Runway niner wind zero-seven-zero at eight altimeter three-zero-one-four

1623:24 093 Three-zero-one-four say runway again please

1623:26 LC Enter right base Runway niner

1623:28 093 Right base ah Runway niner roger

1628:23 LC Bonanza zero-niner-three Runway niner cleared to land

1628:27 093 Runway niner cleared to land UNINTELLIGIBLE) zero-nine-three roger

1630:03 093 UNINTELLIGIBLE) zero-nine-three am I on Runway nine

1630:13 093 Tower zero-nine-three I'm gonna take goin' around I'm over the wrong runway

1630:22 LC Bonanza zero-niner-three say again

1630:26 UNK Ground you just had a plane go down

1630:29 LC Bonanza zero-niner-three Saint Pete Tower are you overhead the field

1630:33 GC Calling ground say again

1630:35 SW1 Skywatch One you just had a plane went down on ah short final there right off just the south side the field 1630:46 GC Roger do you know his position

1630:47 SW1 Ah looks like he went down right ah just ah ah its gonna be just south of the ah old Page maintenance hanger

1630:58 GC Roger is he in the grass

1631:00 SW1 I couldn't tell I just saw him he looked like he sp stalled it and spun it in

Review of the Discrete Area Radar Tracking system, National Track Analysis Program (NTAP), indicates that N60093 was flying towards St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport to the north at 2,500 feet agl when initial radio contact was established with St. Petersburg Local Control. N60093 began an en route descent and turned to the east, and then turned back to a northerly heading. At 1628:23, N60093 was cleared to land. The airplane was heading 355 degrees, groundspeed 106, and altitude was 600 feet. The NTAP indicates the airplane turned to the right to the east, back to the north, and back to the northeast. The groundspeed decreased from 101 to 85, and the airplane descended through 100 feet. The last reliable radar return was at 1629:50. The last known radio communication with N60093 was at 1630:13, when the pilot informed the tower that he was going around.

A witness who was located near the approach end of runway 04 stated, the airplane was flying northeast over a tree line at about 175 feet agl when the airplane was observed to make a left climbing turn. The witness stated the climb was steep and he could see the top of the airplane during the climbing left turn. Suddenly, the airplane turned sharply to the right and the nose dropped down rapidly. The right wing hit the top of a fence and the nose of the airplane hit the ground. The airplane bounced and turned 180 degrees before coming to a complete stop. Another witness who was eastbound on Ulmerton Road and State Road 688 with his girlfriend at about 1230, observed the airplane on final approach for runway 04. The altitude and airspeed was described as unusually low, estimated at about 100 feet agl and 60 knots. The airplane made a shallow coordinated turn to the north with the flaps down at about 10 to 20 degrees. The witness informed his girlfriend that the airplane must be in trouble, because of the airplane's altitude and airspeed and that there was no place for the airplane to land on the northerly heading. The airplane continued to descend and disappeared from view.


Review of the pilot's logbook revealed no recorded entries that the pilot had landed at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport before the accident. Information pertaining to the pilot-in-command is contained in the First Pilot Information section.


Information pertaining to the airplane is contained in the Aircraft Information section.


Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. For additional information, see Weather Information.


Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with a fence in a left wing low, nose-down attitude, continued forward, collided with the terrain, bounced, rotated around the vertical axis to the right, and came to rest on a heading of 120 degrees magnetic. The engine was displaced aft and to the right. Torsional twisting and "S" bending was present on one propeller blade. The remaining propeller blade was bent forward. The left wing was bent aft about 20 degrees, and the left wing tip was separated at the outboard end of the aileron. The right wing was bent forward about 20 degrees. The leading edge of the right wing was pushed upward from the mid span of the wing to the wing tip. The left and right fuel tanks were ruptured. The right main landing gear was separated inward at the knee joint hinge. The forward cabin area was destroyed aft to the cabin entry doors. The empennage was bent to the left, and the fuselage was wrinkled top and bottom from the baggage compartment aft.

Examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence to indicate a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction.


Postmortem examination of the pilot, William L. Bechtold Sr., was conducted by Dr. Robert D. Davis, Associate Medical Examiner, District 6, Largo, Florida, on July 26, 1993. The cause of death was multiple blunt force truncal injuries. Postmortem toxicology studies of specimens from the pilot were performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for neutral, acidic, and basic drugs.


The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the Beechcraft Sundowner 180, Section 5, Performance, states at a weight of 2,450 pounds, with a flap deflection of 35 degrees, with a 30-degree angle of bank, the airplane will stall at 55 KIAS. With a 45-degree angle of bank, the airplane will stall at 61 KIAS. With a 60-degree angle of bank, the airplane will stall at 72 KIAS. The airplane will stall with the flaps up with a 30-degree angle of bank at 67 KIAS. With a 45-degree angle of bank, the airplane will stall at 74 KIAS. With a 60 degree angle of bank, the airplane will stall at 88 KIAS. The maximum altitude loss during a normal stall recovery is about 100 feet.


The airplane wreckage was released to Mr. Michael C. Morgan, Airport Fire Chief, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport on July 27, 1993.

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.