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N9740L accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Hobart, OK
35.029501°N, 99.093132°W

Tail number N9740L
Accident date 07 Nov 1998
Aircraft type Beech B19
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On November 7, 1998, approximately 1915 central standard time, a Beech B19 airplane, N9740L, owned and operated by private individuals, was destroyed after impacting the ground while maneuvering near Hobart, Oklahoma. The non-instrument rated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Dark night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated from Cordell, Oklahoma, approximately fifteen minutes prior to the accident, and was destined for the Hobart Municipal Airport, Hobart, Oklahoma.

A pilot rated witness, located 2 1/2 miles west of the accident site, reported that he "heard a single engine aircraft approaching from the west in an easterly direction. Looking up I saw the aircraft flying directly overhead with its navigation lights visible, approximately 400 to 500 feet in altitude." The aircraft turned to the north, and the witness made a comment to his wife that he "hoped it didn't hit the radio tower," which is about a mile north of their house. "A few moments later I heard the plane coming back. He [airplane] circled almost the same pattern in an easterly direction and flew off to the east." The witness stated that the weather conditions were "IMC and foggy" and that the "airplane seemed to be looking for the airport." The witness's wife reported that as the airplane came toward the house the second time, "it came very low out of the clouds," and she saw the aircraft's "wing-tip lights shining." The airplane "ascended back into the fog with an easterly to northeasterly heading. We remained outside and listened until we could no longer hear it."

Another witness reported that he was "driving east on the Hospital road north of Hobart when I saw a plane go down at a steep rate of descent and then pulled up and disappeared into the clouds. A few minutes later I saw an explosion and flames just over the hill."

The airport manager of the Hobart Municipal Airport stated that the airport beacon was on and that someone had activated the pilot controlled runway lights prior to the accident.


The flight logbook of the 51-year-old pilot was not located, therefore, instrument flight time and total flight time could not be determined. The date of his last biennial flight review also could not be determined. According to FAA records, the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on May 21, 1982. According to the pilot's most recent aviation medical certificate application, dated March 2, 1989, he had accumulated a total of 1,000 civilian flight hours, of which 2 hours were in the previous six months, and he had accumulated 200 military flight hours.


Examination of the airplane's maintenance records by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) revealed that the 1972 model Beech B19 Sport's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 23, 1998, at an airframe and engine total time of 1,386.27 hours. Review of the maintenance records revealed no evidence of any uncorrected maintenance discrepancies.


The following conditions were reported by the Hobart Municipal Airport's Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS):

At 1753, wind from 180 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 600 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, and altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury.

At 1802, wind from 190 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling broken at 600 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, and altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury.

At 1812, wind from 190 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling broken at 400 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, and altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury.

At 1853, wind from 190 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 8 miles, ceiling overcast at 200 feet, temperature 11 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, and altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury.

At 1909, wind from 160 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 1 3/4 miles in mist, ceiling overcast at 200 feet, temperature 10 degrees C, dew point 10 degrees C, and altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

No record was found of any preflight weather briefing obtained by the pilot. For further weather information, see the NTSB Meteorological Factual Report.


The Hobart Municipal Airport (HBR) is located 3 miles southeast of the city of Hobart, at an elevation of 1564 feet msl. The airport has three runways, 12/30, 17/35, and 03/21. There is a rotating beacon west of the north/south taxiway, and runway 03/21 has pilot controlled runway lights.


The accident site was located using a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver at 35 degrees 02.22 minutes north latitude and 99 degrees 03.27 minutes west longitude. The accident site was about 2.65 statute miles north of the approach end of HBR's runway 17.

The aircraft came to rest upright on a measured magnetic heading of 230 degrees, 220 feet from the initial ground scar. The airplane's tail section was displaced 55 degrees to the left. The nose and main landing gear were separated from the airplane and found north of the wreckage distribution path. The wreckage distribution path showed evidence of fire starting from the second ground scar. Control continuity was established from the control surfaces to the cockpit for the stabilator, rudder, and ailerons. The center-section of the fuselage and inboard sections of both wings were destroyed by the fire.

The engine, a 150-horsepower Lycoming O-320-E2G, remained attached to the engine mount. The propeller separated from the crankshaft, and both blades remained attached to the hub. One propeller blade exhibited several nicks in the outboard four inches of the leading edge, with chordwise scratches on the face of the blade. The other blade had the outboard 2 inches of its tip separated. This blade was twisted toward low pitch and was bent aft at mid-span. The engine's rocker box covers were removed, and the crankshaft was rotated manually. There was thumb compression on all four cylinders, valve action was noted, and crankshaft continuity was confirmed to the accessory gears. The right and left magnetos were removed from the engine, and they both produced spark at the posts when the shafts were rotated by hand. The vacuum pump was removed and disassembled, and no anomalies were found.


The Office of the Medical Examiner at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed an autopsy of the pilot. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory were negative for carbon monoxide and cyanide. According to Dr. Salazar, FAA, Southwest Regional Flight Surgeon, the 21 (mg/dl, mg/hg) ethanol detected in blood might be the result of postmortem ethanol production. Levels of 1.182 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Norfluoxetine (metabolite of prozac) in liver and 0.055 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Norfluoxetine in blood were detected.


No evidence of pre-impact fire was found during the investigation.


The airplane was released to a representative of the owner on November 8, 1998.

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