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N9085Q accident description

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Crash location 43.574445°N, 107.151111°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Barnum, WY
43.664133°N, 106.909502°W
13.6 miles away

Tail number N9085Q
Accident date 04 Oct 2005
Aircraft type Beechcraft V35B
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On October 4, 2005, at 1022 mountain daylight time, a Beechcraft V35B, N9085Q, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 13 nautical miles southwest of Barnum, Wyoming. A postimpact fire ensued. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The cross-country flight departed Bridger Municipal Airport (6S1) Bridger, Montana, at 0840 and was en route to North Platte Regional Airport Lee Bird Field (LBF), North Platte, Nebraska.

The pilot contacted the Great Falls Flight Service Station on three separate occasions on the morning of the accident. The first telephone call, placed at 0618, was to request the Salt Lake Center frequency at 6S1. The second telephone call was placed at 0749 and covered information on "icing conditions" and a first attempt at obtaining a clearance for departure. The third telephone call was placed at 0833, at which time the pilot obtained his IFR (instrument flight rules) clearance to GPH with a clearance void time of 0845.

According to the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center transcripts, the pilot contacted the controller at 1011 and reported he was at 10,700 feet msl, was "attempting to climb," had "a little bit of ice" and was "having trouble climbing." At 1015, the pilot stated that he may need to "make a landing" and elected to continue to Casper, Wyoming. The pilot stated that he had ice and was in "IMC" (instrument meteorological conditions.) At 1022:17, the pilot declared an emergency and radar and radio communications were lost.

The wreckage was located on October 5, 2005, approximately 1730, by the Washakie County Search and Rescue Team.


The pilot, age 57, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument ratings. The pilot was issued a third class airman medical certificate on December 1, 2004. The certificate contained the limitation, "Must Wear Corrective Lenses." According to the pilot's last application for an airman medical certificate, he reported 1,440 hours total time. The pilot's current logbook was not recovered and the pilot's last flight review or instrument experience could not be established.


N9085Q, a Beechcraft V35B (serial number D-9212), was manufactured in 1970. It was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors IO-520-BB31 engine rated for 285 horsepower at 2700 rpm. The engine was equipped with a McCauley two bladed, constant speed propeller.

The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The airplane was maintained under an annual inspection program and the maintenance records indicated that the airplane underwent an annual inspection in February 2005, at a tachometer reading of 3,630 hours. The ELT battery was serviced in September 2005, at a tachometer reading of 3,845 hours. The tachometer and Hobbs meter were consumed by fire.


The second telephone call to the FAA Flight Service Station was made at 0749. During this phone call, the pilot requested information on "icing conditions" and a clearance for departure. The briefer advised the pilot of an AIRMET (significant weather phenomena) for icing "occasionally moderate rime or mixed from freezing level up through two zero zero." The briefer continued to advise the pilot about an additional AIRMET at his destination for "occasional moderate turbulence below eight thousand." There was no discussion about the en route weather.

At 1010 the Worland (WRL) routine aviation weather report (METAR), located 43 nautical miles northwest of the accident location, reported winds, 330 degrees at 6 knots; visibility, 4 statute miles, light rain showers, mist; sky condition, broken 800 feet above ground level (agl), overcast, 1,500 feet agl; temperature, 04 degrees Celsius (C); dewpoint, 04 degrees C; altimeter, 29.98 inches.


The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge arrived on scene approximately 1400 on October 6, 2005. The accident site was located in a valley, 13 miles southwest of Barnum, Wyoming. A global positioning system receiver reported the coordinates as 43 degrees 34.473 minutes north latitude and 107 degrees 09.063 minutes west longitude. The accident site was at an elevation of 7,400 feet mean sea level. The airplane impacted on a heading of 355 degrees.

The initial ground impact point was located to the south of the main wreckage. Sagebrush in the area of impact was uprooted and torn in the direction of the main wreckage. A debris path extended from the initial impact point to the main wreckage. The nose gear strut, the propeller assembly, torn metal, Plexiglas, and the right landing gear strut and tire were located within the debris path.

The main wreckage was located 208 feet from the initial impact point and came to rest on a heading of 080 degrees. The main wreckage consisted of the left and right wings, the engine, fuselage, and empennage. The area surrounding the wreckage sustained fire damage.

The cabin area starting at the firewall and extending aft to the empennage was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. The instrument panel, engine control panel, and flight controls were destroyed by fire. The windscreen was fragmented and partially consumed by fire and the right cabin door was charred and lay resting on the right wing. The empennage, to include the "Vee" tail control surface (combined rudder and elevator), was unremarkable. Control continuity to the "Vee" tail was established.

The right wing, to include the right aileron, and right wing flap, remained attached to the fuselage at the wing root. The right wing, starting at the wing root and extending outboard 15 inches was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. The leading edges of the wing exhibited crushes and dents along the entire span and the outboard 42 inches of the leading edge was crushed up and folded aft. The flap was wrinkled and the aileron was unremarkable. Control continuity to the aileron and flap was established.

The left wing, to include the left aileron, left main landing gear, and left wing flap, remained attached to the fuselage at the wing root. The leading edge of the wing exhibited dents along the entire span. The aileron was wrinkled along the outboard trailing edge and the left flap was crushed up, wrinkled, and bent at midspan. Control continuity to the aileron and flap was established.

The engine remained attached to the airframe at the lower right engine mount. The remaining three mounts separated from the airframe. The cowling was torn and crushed aft and the engine battery, located on the right side, forward of the firewall, had been melted. The engine was unremarkable.

The propeller separated from the engine at the propeller flange and was located 92 feet south of the main wreckage. The propeller blades were arbitrarily labeled A and B for identification purposes only. Blade A exhibited slight 45 and 90 degree chordwise scratches, and leading edge knicks along the blades surface. The blade was twisted 90 degrees towards the outboard tip of the blade. Blade B exhibited longitudinal scratches and leading edge knicks along the blades surface. The blade was bent aft at midspan.


An autopsy was performed by the Yellowstone Pathology Institute, Inc., in Billings, Montana, on October 7, 2005, as authorized by the Washakie County Coroner's Office. The autopsy revealed the cause of death as "hypothermia, due to exposure following [a] plane crash in snowing mountains." Other significant conditions included "blunt traumatic chest injuries."

A toxicology was performed by the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and drugs. The vitreous and urine were tested for the presence of glucose. The vitreous glucose level was 101 mg/dl and the urine glucose level was 473 mg/dl. "Postmortem vitreous glucose levels above 125 mg/dL are considered abnormal and postmortem urine levels above 100 mg/dL are considered abnormal." "Elevated postmortem urine glucose levels could be caused by diabetes mellitus or several other medical conditions, which may or may not have been a factor in the accident."


The wreckage was recovered and relocated to a hangar in Greeley, Colorado. The airframe and engine were examined on October 26, 2005. During the examination, conducted by the NTSB IIC, no anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine that would have been causal or contributory to the accident.


The Beechcraft V35B is not equipped with anti-icing or de-icing equipment. The Beechcraft Pilot Operating Handbook, Section IV Normal Procedures states "Flight in icing conditions is prohibited." According to Title 14 CFR Part 91.527 (b) " Except for an airplane that has ice protection provisions… no pilot may fly - (1) Under IFR into known or forecast moderate icing conditions."

Parties to the investigation include Federal Aviation Administration as represented by an inspector from the Casper Flight Standards Field Office, Raytheon Aircraft Company, and Teledyne Continental Motors. The wreckage was released to a representative of the insurance company on November 23, 2005.

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