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N20239 accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Brinnon, WA
47.679259°N, 122.898214°W

Tail number N20239
Accident date 20 Jun 1995
Aircraft type Beech A36
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On June 20, 1995, approximately 1715 Pacific daylight time, a Beech A36, N20239, collided with mountainous terrain located four miles northwest of Brinnon, Washington. The airplane was not reported overdue until June 28, 1995. The airplane was located on July 4, 1995, at the 3,200 foot level on Mt. Turner. Visual to instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The flight had departed from Port Townsend on June 20, 1995, approximately 1700, and was en route to Eugene, Oregon. The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) did not activate.

Paperwork found in the wreckage indicated that for the two weeks prior to the accident, the airplane had been operating in California, Montana, British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska. The last entry dated June 19, 1995, indicated a stop in Gastavus, Alaska, where the pilot purchased 14.16 gallons of fuel. On June 20, 1995, the flight stopped at Port Townsend and the pilot purchased 54 gallons of fuel. Personnel at the airport stated that the pilot was asking about the route to Hoquiam, Washington, however, the pilot was talked out of this route because of the reports of poor weather. The pilot also asked about Grants Pass, Oregon, via Olympia, Washington. A flight instructor who spoke with the pilot and his passenger, stated that the pilot did not mention any problems with the airplane and that he wanted to "press on," while the passenger stated that she was tired and wanted to remain overnight in Port Townsend.


The pilot's flight logbook was not made available for review, however, the Federal Aviation Administration airmen and medical records indicate that the pilot held a private pilot certificate for single-engine land operations that was issued on September 16, 1991. The pilot's current medical certificate dated May 17, 1994, indicates that the pilot listed a total flight time of 1,525 hours with 95 hours in the previous six months. Records show that the pilot had passed the instrument written test on July 1, 1992, however there is no record indicating that the pilot completed the instrument flight test.


The closest weather reporting facility, located at Bremerton, Washington, reported at 1715, an overcast ceiling of 3,400 feet with ten miles visibility.

A flight instructor flying west-bound and heading for the Jefferson County Airport, Port Townsend, Washington, reported seeing the accident airplane flying south-bound on the day of the accident. The flight instructor stated that the Olympic mountains and the foothills were obscured with clouds. The flight instructor stated that the ceiling over the Hood Canal was approximately 3,000 feet with multiple scattered layers to the surface. Visibility over the canal ranged from three miles to seven miles.


At 1708, the pilot made contact with Seattle Approach Control and reported that he was about 40 miles north. The controller asked the pilot if he was landing at Olympia, and the pilot responded that he was going to go past Olympia. The pilot also stated that he was unfamiliar with the area and asked for a vector.

The controller then asked the pilot where he was going to land, and the pilot responded that his destination was Eugene, Oregon. The controller instructed the pilot to maintain VFR and utilize his own navigation to Eugene.

At 1715, the approach controller instructed the pilot to contact Seattle Approach on 126.5, however, there was no response from the pilot.


The wreckage was located at the 3,200 foot level on the north face of Mt. Turner. The area was covered with densely populated trees measuring in excess of 100 feet. The terrain angle on the north face of the mountain varied from 10 degrees to nearly 90 degrees. Evidence of a tree strike was noted near the top of the exterior bark of at least one 100 foot tree. The tops of smaller trees and brush on the south side of the wreckage were broken off. Debris was found littered at the base of the 100 foot tree and directly below the wreckage. A magnetic bearing of 170 to 180 degrees was estimated as the ground path through the trees. The wreckage distribution path was estimated to be approximately 50 feet.

Approximately ten feet directly above the main wreckage, a vertical rock face showed evidence of impact and a flash fire. The wreckage was positioned with the nose of the airplane pointing toward 40 degrees. The wreckage was entangled and secured by smaller trees on a narrow ledge. The engine was directly under the wreckage and one wing was bent back and also under the wreckage. The other wing was bent forward. The empennage was positioned upright, with the horizontal and vertical stabilizers in place. The rudder remained attached at the hinges. The left side horizontal stabilizer displayed extensive leading edge damage with the outboard section missing. A section of the elevator remained attached to the inboard hinge. Similar damage was noted to the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

After the wreckage was removed from the accident site, additional documentation was accomplished. All of the wreckage recovered was found in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage.

The left wing was found in two main pieces. Extensive aft traveling and leading edge deformation was noted along the entire length of the wing. A section of the left flap remained attached at a hinge. The wing separated between the outboard end of the flap and the inboard end of the aileron. The aileron had separated at the hinges.

The right wing was found in several pieces with similar deformation damage noted as the left wing. A three foot section of the inboard area of the flap remained attached at the inboard hinge. A one foot section of the aileron remained attached at a hinge. Extensive aft travelling tearing was noted.

The fuselage area forward of the baggage compartment was completely destroyed and severely deformed.

The engine displayed extensive impact damage. The crankcase was cracked open, exposing the crankshaft. The cylinders were partially pulled out from the mounting base and the pistons were exposed. The accessories were destroyed. All three propeller blades had pulled out from the hub. The blades displayed "S" bending and extensive leading and trailing edge gouges and scratches. The tips of two of the blades were torn off.


No autopsy was performed on the pilot, and there were no suitable samples available for toxicological analysis.


Radar data made available from the Seattle Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (TRACON) indicates that the flight was travelling in a southerly heading at altitudes between 3,000 feet and 3,400 feet. The groundspeed varies from 120 knots to 153 knots. (See attached Radar plots). The last few plots indicates that the flight was turning to a heading of 188 degrees, with an airspeed of 153 knots and an altitude of 3,100 feet. The flight path was just outside of the 30 nautical mile limit for the Class B airspace. The Seattle Terminal Area Chart indicates that mode C capabilities are required for this area, permission to enter this area is not required.

The wreckage was moved to a secured storage facility in Seattle, Washington. The wreckage was released to the owner's representative on July 17, 1995.

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