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N9920E accident description

Maine map... Maine list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Brewer, ME
44.796738°N, 68.761425°W
Tail number N9920E
Accident date 24 Jul 1996
Aircraft type Cessna 182P
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On July 24, 1996, at 1044 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N9920E, was destroyed when it struck the ground during an uncontrolled descent, while executing a missed approach at the Bangor International Airport (BGR), Bangor, Maine. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, about 0830. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot received his private pilot instrument rating on July 17, 1996, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He departed Fort Lauderdale on July 18, 1996, for an extended cross country, and arrived at Martha's Vineyard on July 21, 1996.

According to air traffic control records, the pilot obtained a telephone weather briefing from the Bridgeport Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), about 0700. He later filed an IFR flight plan from the Vineyard Haven Airport (MVY), Martha's Vineyard, to the Knox County Airport (RKD), Rockland, Maine, with the Burlington AFSS. The airplane then departed MVY and flew to RKD. After an uneventful flight to RKD, the pilot was cleared for the Localizer Runway 03 approach, about 10 miles from the final approach fix. The pilot reported the missed approach about 6 minutes later, and requested to go to Bangor, his alternate airport. The pilot was then provided radar vectors by air traffic controllers to BGR.

A BGR controller vectored N9920E to the BGR ILS Runway 33 final approach course, and cleared the airplane for the approach. About 2 minutes later the controller asked the pilot if he was established on the localizer course. The pilot responded that he was not, and after communications between the controller and the pilot, the controller stated, at 1432:24, "November two zero echo would you like vectors [to] continue for this approach, your over Totte [final approach fix] now, or would you like to, uh disregard November two zero echo, turn right heading zero seven zero...climb and maintain three thousand..."

The pilot was then provide radar vectors again for the ILS Runway 33 approach to BGR. At 1439:11, the controller provide the pilot a clearance for the approach, and the pilot acknowledged the instructions. At 1440:00, the controller stated, "November two zero echo, your paralleling the course, turn left heading two niner zero, join the localizer, ah cleared ILS Runway three three approach, two miles from Totte." The pilot acknowledged the instructions and a minute later the controller stated to the pilot that the airplane was on the localizer and a 1/2 mile from Totte. The approach controller also directed the pilot to change frequencies and contact the control tower. The pilot responded, at 1440:43, "Two zero echo is established on the locali."

The approach controller contacted the tower controller on a telephone line, at 1441:24, and asked what N9920E was doing. The tower controller replied that he was not talking to the airplane and the approach controller stated, "You should be, I sent him over about a mile ago." The approach controller then called the pilot on the approach control frequency, and the pilot responded, at 1441:34, "Ah, two zero echo, lets, uh do the miss again on this."

The approach controller then instructed the pilot to climb and maintain 3,000 feet, and fly a heading of 050 degrees, at 1441:38. The pilot responded, "Zero five zero, uh two zero echo." About a minute later, the controller restated to the pilot to climb to 3,000 feet, and the pilot responded, "passing one four, for three." That was the last transmission received from N9920E. Approximately 1 minute later, after reaching an altitude of 2,000 feet, the airplane disappeared from the controller's radar and the pilot did not respond to radio calls.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, approximately 44 degrees, 46 minutes north latitude, and 68 degrees, 43 minutes west longitude.


The pilot, Mr. Kim E. Beachler, held a Private Pilot Certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, and instrument airplane.

His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class Medical Certificate was issued on June 25, 1996.

Mr. Beachler's pilot log book revealed that he had an estimated 302 hours of total flying experience, of which about 65 hours were in make and model.

Mr. Beachler's log book also revealed he received his first flight instruction on January 8, 1994. He soloed on August 21, 1994, with a total of 64.3 hours of dual flight instruction received. On January 5, 1995, with a total of 86.4 hours of dual flight instruction received, and 22 hours of solo flight, he was signed off for solo takeoffs and landings at another airport. Mr. Beachler passed his private pilot flight test on March 3, 1995, with a total of 103.2 hours of dual flight instruction received, and 32.7 hours of solo flight.

In September 1995, Mr. Beachler began receiving instrument flight instruction in a Piper PA-28, and received Cessna 182 training in December 1995. He continued to receive instrument training in the PA-28, Cessna 182, and a ATC-610 simulator. He obtained his instrument rating on July 17, 1996, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The pilot's actual weather experience totaled 6/10 of an hour, which was acquired during 3 separate flights (2/10, 3/10, 1/10) with a certified flight instructor.


The certified voice tapes provided by the AFSS revealed that the weather briefing the pilot received on July 24, included the Rockland weather, which was reported to be 200 foot overcast, visibility 3 1/2 miles with fog.


The airplane wreckage was in a hilly wooded area, about 1 1/2 miles north of the final approach course, 6 miles southeast of the approach end of Runway 33. The wreckage was examined at the accident site on July 24 and 25, 1996. The examination revealed that all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene

The wreckage was surrounded by 20 to 40 foot high pine trees that were undamaged. The scatter path of the wreckage was in the general direction of 285 degrees. In the center of the scatter path was a crater about 6 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 2 feet deep. A ground impact scar extended from the crater on a magnetic direction of 105 degrees. At the end of the impact scar were pieces of green lens, similar to the green lens from the airplane's right wing navigation light. On the south side of the crater were ground imprints, similar to the size and shape of the main landing wheels.

The fuselage, wings, engine and propeller were separated from each other and destroyed. Both propeller blades were separated from the propeller hub. The blades were bent, and displayed chord wise twisting and scratches. The tips of both blades were separated, and the leading edges were nicked and dented. The flap actuator position indicated the flaps were retracted. A vacuum gyro, serial number XX552, was disassembled, and revealed rotational scratches on the inside of the housing and the drum.

Examination of the remainder of the wreckage produced no useful information due to impact damage.


An autopsy was performed on Mr. Kim Beachler, on July 25, 1996 by Dr. Edward David, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Augusta, Maine.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


A review of the certified transcript of communications between N9920E, and Bangor Approach Control, revealed that the transcript did not include the last transmission from the pilot. At 1442:23, the controller stated, "November two zero echo, climb and maintain three thousand." Within a few seconds, the pilot responded, "passing one four, for three."


The airplane wreckage was released on July 25, 1996, to Walter J. Liona, a representative of the owner's insurance company.

NTSB Probable Cause

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane, during a missed approach, after diverting to an alternate destination, while on his first solo flight in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

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