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N2133B accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.182778°N, 103.603056°W
Nearest city Tucumcari, NM
35.171723°N, 103.724966°W
6.9 miles away
Tail number N2133B
Accident date 31 Aug 2007
Aircraft type Beech 35-B33
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 31, 2007, at 1252 mountain daylight time, a Beech 35-B33 single-engine airplane, N2133B, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb from the Tucumcari Municipal Airport (TCC), Tucumcari, New Mexico. The private pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Yuma RG Flyers, L.L.C., Yuma, Arizona, and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who interviewed the pilot, the pilot departed Yuma, Arizona, earlier that day and landed at TCC approximately 1200 to refuel. Prior to departure, the airplane's fuel tanks were topped off with fuel, the pilot "thought he adjusted his mixture control," and the airplane departed runway 21. The pilot reported that during the takeoff, he noticed no problems. During the gear retraction, the engine started to "act up." The pilot stated that the "act up" was not a sputtering or unusual noise, but that "the engine wasn't making the power that [I] expected." The pilot adjusted the mixture control to different lean and rich positions, with no change to engine power noted. The pilot then attempted a forced landing to a nearby interstate highway; however due to vehicle traffic, the pilot executed a forced landing to a field. Subsequently, the airplane touched down in a field with the landing gear retracted.

The calculated density altitude at the time of the accident was approximately 6,800 feet, and the winds were reported as calm.

A FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, examined the airplane. Examination of the airplane revealed the right side of the fuselage was crushed upward and aft, and the right wing was bent. The propeller assembly and crankshaft propeller flange were separated from the crankshaft. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harness restraints.

A review of the aircraft maintenance records revealed that at the time of the accident, the Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-470-N engine had accumulated 250.0 hour since major overhaul. During the engine overhaul, the following components were installed "new": starter drive, fuel system, magnetos, sparkplugs, wire harnesses, and oil cooler.

On January 31, 2008, at the facilities of Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, the NTSB investigator-in-charge and a representative from TCM, Mobile, Alabama, examined the airframe and engine. Examination of the engine revealed mechanical continuity throughout the engine when the crankshaft was manually rotated. Continuity was established for the airframe and engine fuel system. The magnetos and wire harnesses were functionally tested and no anomalies were noted. Continuity was established from the cockpit to the throttle assembly, propeller governor, and mixture control. No anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal engine operation prior to impact.

Several attempts by the NTSB investigator-in-charge to obtain a completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) from the pilot were unsuccessful.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to properly set the mixture prior to departing in high density altitude conditions, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power, and degraded climb capability.

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