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N6638C accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Dravosburg, PA
40.350625°N, 79.886160°W

Tail number N6638C
Accident date 15 Mar 1999
Aircraft type Beech BE-76
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On March 15, 1999, about 1237 Eastern Standard Time, a Beech BE-76, N6638C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while on approach to the Allegheny County Airport, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries, two passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal cross country flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from the Clayton County-Tara Field, Hampton, Georgia, about 0800.

After completing the departure and en route phases of the flight, the pilot executed the VOR Runway 5 approach at Allegheny. The tower controller at Allegheny reported the accident airplane insight. He then advised the pilot of the current conditions, and cleared him to land on runway 31. The pilot acknowledged the controller, and then requested runway 28. No further radio transmissions were received from the pilot. When the controller looked for the airplane, after the pilot's last transmission, he could no longer see it.

Witnesses near the accident site stated that they did not hear any engine noise emanating from the airplane. The initial impact point was near the top of a 60 foot tall tree. Telephone and power lines, located to the south, were struck prior to ground impact. The airplane came to rest on a residential street, about 1 1/2 miles from the runway.

The accident happened during the hours of daylight. The wreckage was located 40 degrees, 20.71 minutes north latitude, 79 degrees, 53.59 minutes west longitude, and about 1,050 feet ground elevation.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi engine land, airplane single engine land rating, and instrument airplane. His last third class medical certificate was on December 14, 1998. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed as of March 12, 1999, he had logged a total of 591 hours of flight experience with 156 in multi engine airplanes. His logbook showed an entry for a biennial flight review during March 1999, in the accident airplane.


The wreckage was examined at the accident site on March 16, 1999. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The airplane came to rest upright, on an approximate magnetic heading of 300 degrees. The outboard portion of the left wing was located in a tree, about 80 feet north of the main wreckage. Debris from the airplane and limbs from the tree were scattered to the south/southwest. The nose landing gear was found 96 feet southwest of the wreckage, inside a house surrounded by broken glass, 10 feet from a broken window. Tree limbs, telephone lines, and power lines were found underneath the wreckage. Rescue personnel had cut open the top of the fuselage to extract the victims. The inboard portion of the left wing, which included the engine, was detached from the fuselage and angled up about 30 degrees. The remainder of the wreckage laid flat on the street, and displayed upward crushing.

After documenting the cockpit, the wreckage was cut into three pieces, the empennage, the left wing, and the fuselage with the right wing attached. The wreckage was transported to the Rostraver Airport, Monongahela, Pennsylvania, where the examination was completed on March 17, 1999.

Both engines exhibited valve train continuity, and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. Both crankshafts were rotated and spark was obtained from the magnetos. No fuel was found in the fuel lines on the right engine, and a few drops were drained from the left engine. The right propeller blades displayed no leading edge damage, no chord-wise scratching, and one blade was bent aft about mid-span. The left propeller blades displayed little leading edge damage, little chord-wise scratching, and one blade was also bent aft about mid-span. Flight control continuity was traced throughout the airframe, the landing gear was extended, and the flaps were found in the up position.


An autopsy was preformed on the pilot and passenger on March 16, 1999, at the Medical Examiners Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A toxicological test was performed on the pilot by the Federal Aviation Administrations Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


A copy of the last fuel receipt was obtained from the fixed base operator at Allegheny. It indicated that 65.6 gallons of 100 low lead aviation gasoline was used to "top-off" N6638C, on March 14, 1999. A piece paper found inside the wreckage indicated the route of flight, with a total distance of 494 miles. The flight plan was activated after departure, and the flight was flown at 9,000 feet msl. The forecasted winds for 9,000 feet indicated winds from the north about 40 knots, and a temperature of minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The cabin heater switch was found in the "ON" position.

According to weight and balance calculations, the airplane's gross weight at take off was approximately 4,337 pounds, with a center of gravity of about 113.2 inches. The Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) stated that the maximum gross weight at takeoff was 3,900 pounds with a center of gravity between 110.6 inches and 117.5 inches.

The Endurance Chart in the POH showed that at 9,000 feet pressure altitude on a standard day, fuel endurance would be approximately 4 hours and 25 minutes with 2,500 engine rpm.

According to the POH, the airplane had 100 gallons of usable fuel. In addition, the POH stated, "Fuel consumption of the heater is approximately 2/3 gallons per hour and should be considered during flight planning."

In a written statement, a flight instructor that had flown the accident airplane, after the accident pilot had completed a previous flight, stated that the fuel tanks looked dry, so she ordered fuel. The fuel truck arrived, and then serviced the airplane with more than 98 gallons of fuel. The instructor advised the owner, and the owner responded by saying he had talked with the accident pilot on "numerous" occasions about bring the airplane back with less then "legal fuel reserves."

The wreckage was released to a representative of the insurance company on March 17, 1999.

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