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N5667K accident description

Massachusetts map... Massachusetts list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Chatham, MA
41.666779°N, 69.966126°W
Tail number N5667K
Accident date 27 Nov 1997
Aircraft type Beech BE-S35
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On November 27, 1997, about 1140 Eastern Standard Time, a Beech BE-S35, N5667K, was destroyed when it collided with trees following an aborted landing at the Chatham Municipal Airport (CQX), Chatham, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. Two passengers and a dog received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed the Martin State Airport, Baltimore, Maryland, about 1000. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot reported visual contact with CQX to the Cape terminal radar approach control. He then cancelled his IFR clearance and entered the left downwind to Runway 24. According to the passengers, the airplane landed on Runway 24. The wind "affected the airplane," and the pilot aborted the landing. The initial climb was normal, and the engine produced maximum power. Then, an "unknown force slam[med] the left wing down," and the airplane rolled approximately 90 degrees. The airplane descended toward a pond and impacted trees. One of the passengers heard the stall warning horn after the upset, but said she did not feel a stall; it was "more of a violent down draft forcing the left wing down." Several witnesses reported observing the airplane at the departure end of Runway 24 in a climb, just above the trees, when it banked 90 degrees left and descended into the trees. The witnesses also reported hearing the engine, and stated that it sounded loud. One witness stated that there was "extremely gusty wind[s]."

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 41 degrees, 42 minutes north latitude, and 69 degrees, 59 minutes west longitude.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. According to his most recent logbook, he had an approximate total flight experience of 2,400 hours, of which 1,400 were in the accident airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration Second Class Medical Certificate was issued in June, 1996, with no limitations.


The wreckage was examined at the accident site on November 28th and 29th. The airplane came to rest on a 340 degree magnetic heading, 117 feet beyond the first tree scar. Wreckage was scattered along a measured debris path of 160 degrees magnetic. Tree scars were measured at a descending angle of approximately 75 degrees.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the ruddervator control surfaces to the control column for pitch and yaw control. Aileron control continuity was established from the left aileron to the control column. The right aileron bell crank was separated, but control continuity was confirmed from the bell crank to the control column. The ruddervator pitch trim actuator indicated that the airplane was trimmed to the limit stops for a nose down condition; however, the trim cable was separated in the cockpit area in-between a compressed area of structure.

Both flap actuators indicated that the flaps were up, and the flap positions corresponded. The landing gear actuator and cockpit control positions both indicated that the landing gear was down. The nose gear and right main landing gear were separated. The annunciator light panel was located, and none of the auto pilot light bulb filaments were stretched. However, the flight director filament was stretched.

The fuel selector valve was selected to the right main fuel tank. Continuity was confirmed from the right fuel tank to the engine through the fuel selector valve, and fuel was observed in both tanks. The propeller, cylinders and pistons were removed. The engine was then rotated with the propeller flange by hand, and rotated freely. When the engine was rotated, all connecting rods moved freely. One propeller blade was bent rearward and the remaining two blades were bent forward. Both magnetos were removed and produced spark when rotated by hand.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on November 28, 1997, by Dr. James Weiner, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medical Examiner Office, Pocasset, Massachusetts. The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for drugs and alcohol for the pilot.


Prior to departure, the pilot obtained three preflight weather briefings from the Altoona, Pennsylvania Flight Service Station. The pilot was advised of moderate to severe turbulence below 8,000 feet, low level wind shear conditions, strong updrafts and downdrafts, and sustained surface winds of 30-45 knots throughout New England. He was provided the current weather conditions at CQX. Although a forecast was not available for CQX, he was also provided a forecast for the Barnstable Municipal Airport, Hyannis, Massachusetts. That forecast was valid through midnight, and reported winds from 300 degrees at 25-45 knots.

At 1152, the Automated Surface Observation System at CQX reported: winds from 290 degrees at 17 knots, gusting to 33 knots, with a peak gust of 42 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; few clouds at 3,600 feet, a broken layer at 4,300 feet, and an overcast layer at 6,000 feet; temperature 42 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 24 degrees; altimeter 29.44 inches of Hg.


According to a Beechcraft Bonanza 35 Pilot's Operating Handbook, the maximum demonstrated crosswind component was 17 knots. According to the wind component chart, a 33 knot wind, 50 degrees to the right of the airplane, yielded an approximate crosswind component of 25 knots. A 42 knot wind, 50 degrees to the right, yielded an approximate crosswind component of 32 knots.


The wreckage was released to the airport operator on November 29, 1997.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during initial climb which resulted in an inadvertent stall and subsequent impact into trees. Related factors were high wind and turbulence.

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