Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN20LA197

Cambridge, OH, USA

Aircraft #1

N123JB

Beech 35-A33

Factual Information

On May 27, 2020, about 1458 eastern daylight time, a Beech 35-A33 airplane, N123JB, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees during a forced landing near Cambridge, Ohio. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 ferry flight. According to air traffic control (ATC) radar data, at 1404, the airplane departed Ohio State University Airport (OSU), Columbus, Ohio, and briefly flew westbound before it made a climbing right turn to a northeast course. The airplane continued the climb to 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl) before it turned to an east-southeast course. The airplane then climbed to a final cruise altitude of 3,500 ft msl as it continued to the east-southeast. According to recorded ATC voice transmissions, at 1442, the pilot established contact with Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and continued to receive visual flight rules (VFR) flight following. At 1448, Cleveland ARTCC lost radar contact with the airplane after it flew into a known area of poor radar coverage at 3,500 ft msl. The controller and the pilot remained in contact via voice transmissions for the remainder of the flight. At 1452, the pilot reported an unspecified issue and that he was going to divert to Barnesville-Bradfield Airport (6G5), Barnesville, Ohio. At 1454, the pilot declared an emergency due to an engine issue and reported that he had an airport at his one o'clock position, which he subsequently identified as Cambridge Municipal Airport (CDI), Cambridge, Ohio. At 1455, the pilot told the controller that he did not believe he would be able to land at CDI. At 1456, the pilot confirmed that the airplane was at 2,000 ft msl and on a 3 mile final for runway 22 at CDI. At 1457, the pilot again stated that he did not believe the airplane would be able to land at CDI and that he was going to land in a field. There were numerous witnesses that reported seeing the airplane flying at a low altitude and that the engine was running rough. Several of the witnesses reported hearing the engine "sputtering" or "misfiring" before the airplane descended out of their sightline behind trees. The accident site was in a field about 3 nautical mile (nm) northeast of CDI. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors who responded to the accident site, there was no evidence that the airplane's wheels had contacted the ground before the airplane flew into the trees at the eastern edge of the field on an east heading. Based on the damage to the trees and the airplane, the airplane impacted the trees a few feet above ground level in a level pitch attitude. Examination of the airplane revealed evidence of fuel streaking from the lower right side of the engine compartment, continuing aft along the lower right fuselage. A visual examination of the engine's exterior did not reveal any evidence of an internal mechanical malfunction. The engine crankshaft was not seized, but damage to a propeller blade prevented a full rotation of the crankshaft at the accident site. The wreckage was recovered to storage facility where a detailed examination will be completed. Figure 1. Aerial Photograph Showing Accident Site Location Figure 2. Aerial Photograph Showing Accident Site Location Figure 3. Main Wreckage at Accident Site Figure 4. Lower Fuselage with Evidence of Fuel Streaking Figure 5. Lower Fuselage with Evidence of Fuel Streaking According to FAA incident data, on February 3, 2020, the pilot inadvertently landed the airplane with the landing gear retracted at OSU. According to maintenance logbook documentation, after the wheels-up landing, the Continental Motors IO-470-N engine, serial number 1036858, was shipped to Continental Services, Fairhope, Alabama, to be disassembled and inspected for any propeller strike damage. After the engine was inspected, it was reinstalled on the airplane on May 22, 2020, by the Ohio State University Airport certified repair station with a new McCauley P4347482-01 propeller, serial number 191236. On May 27, 2020, the damaged flaps were removed, and a serviceable pair of flaps were installed by a mechanic representing Plane Care, LLC, a certified repair station at Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR), Hagerstown, Maryland. The mechanic disabled the flaps in the up position by pulling and collaring the flap circuit breaker. The landing gear was disabled in the extended position by pulling and collaring the landing gear circuit breaker. On May 27, 2020, the FAA issued a ferry permit for the airplane to be flown from OSU to HGR where additional airframe repairs were to be completed.

 

Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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