Monday, May 16, 2016

Beech A36TC Bonanza, N60RW: Fatal accident occurred May 16, 2016 near Tupelo Regional Airport (KTUP), Lee County, Mississippi

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: 

Henry L. Jackson:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Jackson FSDO-31

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA185
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 16, 2016 in Tupelo, MS
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N60RW
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 16, 2016, about 0835 central daylight time, a Beech A36TC, N60RW, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Tupelo, Mississippi. The airline transport pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP), Tupelo, Mississippi, about 0830, destined for Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport (BYL), Williamsburg, Kentucky. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to air traffic control recordings, shortly after departing runway 36, the pilot advised the tower controller that there was smoke in the cockpit and that they needed to return to the airport. According to witnesses, the airplane made a left, westbound turn, at an altitude of about 500-1,000 feet. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning back towards the approach end of runway 18. Witnesses also reported seeing the airplane in a descent with smoke and flames coming from the airplane before it impacted terrain. 

The on-scene investigation revealed that the wreckage, which was mostly consumed by fire, was located on flat terrain with trees in the vicinity at 34 degrees, 17.464 minutes north latitude, 088 degrees, 45.922 minutes west longitude. Tree cuts, commencing about 50 feet above the terrain, descended at an approximately 30-degree angle for about 165 feet along a heading of 110 degrees magnetic. 

All flight controls surfaces were accounted for at the accident site, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to their respective control inputs. The outboard portion of the right wing was found about 80 feet past the initial tree strike; it was separated from the airframe and heavily burned. The right aileron remained attached, but the right flap was separated. The left wing remained attached at the forward spar, but sustained extensive fire damage. 

One of the propeller blades exhibited S-bending and leading edge gouging, the other blades exhibited tip curling and aft bending.

Examination of the engine revealed that the exhaust pipe was missing from the exhaust side of the turbocharger. A subsequent examination of the engine at a recovery facility did not reveal any other preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders, and continuity was confirmed throughout the drive train.

The exhaust pipe was recovered by airport personnel from the runway, along with a fractured V-band retaining clamp used to secure it to the turbocharger, and small fragments of fabric insulation. The recovered items were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory where a preliminary examination of the V-band clamp revealed that the outer band was fractured at a spot weld, and that oxidation and deposits found on the fracture surface were consistent with the presence of a preexisting crack. 

The six seat, low wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by a Continental TSIO-520, 300 horsepower engine, equipped with a McCauley three-blade, constant-speed propeller. 

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane; as well as flight instructor single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on October 24, 2014, and he reported 5,675 total hours of flight experience on that date.

Weather TUP, about 2 miles south of the accident site, reported at the time of the accident included; sky conditions 5,000 feet overcast, 10 statute miles of visibility and winds from 130 degrees at 9 knots.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Motorists pass by a makeshift memorial that was placed at the entrance of the access road that leads to the scene of Monday’s plane crash.

Lt. Col. Henry “Jack” L. Jackson, pilot, his wife Lt. Col. Gwynn A. Groggel

Dr. Charles Torti and his wife, Carrie Torti

TUPELO – A single-engine private plane made two distress calls and was trying to return to the Tupelo Regional Airport when it crashed Monday morning.

All four people onboard were killed when the Beechcraft Bonanza went down in a wooded area about a half-mile north of the runway.

Tuesday morning, Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green released the names of the victims: pilot Henry Jackson, 75; his wife Gwynn Groggel, 70; Charles Torti, 69; and Carrie Torti, 59. The two couples were all from Kerrville, Texas.

According to Millicent Hoidal, investigator in charge for the National Transportation Safety Board, witnesses on the ground saw pieces of the plane fall off as it took off around 8:30 a.m. and the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit.

“The pilot made two radio calls to return to the airport. They were cleared by the control tower to return to the airport,” Hoidal said. “It’s hard to generalize. Smoke in the cockpit could come from a variety of reasons. It could come from the panel or it could come from the engine.

“We swept the runway and portions of the exhaust system were found. The post-impact fire destroyed a significant amount of information, but there is still a lot of information. The plane did not have a black box, but often there are instruments in the panel, like a Garmin, that could record flight data and be useful in our investigation.”

The NTSB arrived at the scene late Monday and released the bodies to the coroner. They have been sent to the state crime lab in Jackson to have dental records confirm their identities.

“By going with dental identification, I’m hoping to have biological confirmation within a couple of days,” Green said. “That means they can be released to the families quicker.”

Hoidal and her team spent most of Tuesday documenting the scene and searching for evidence. What is left of the plane was loaded on a flatbed trailer and hauled to a secure location out of state.

“Within 5 to 10 days, we will release a preliminary report, usually just a one-page report,” Hoidal said. “Within 12 to 18 months, we will release the full factual report on our website.”

The plane took off from Kerrville Municipal Airport Sunday and landed in Tupelo. The couples over-nighted in Tupelo and took off around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. Their flight plan showed they were headed to Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I communicated with both families,” Green said. “These two couples loved to travel together and their families are in disbelief.”

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said this was not a safety issue for the airport and stressed the aircraft was not connected with Tupelo’s commercial air service.

This is the second time in less than five years that a plane crashed shortly after takeoff, resulting in a fatality. In August 2011, David Duncan’s twin-engine Cessna veered to the left and crashed into trees in front of a house on North Coley Road.

The NTSB investigation ruled a fuel line was improperly installed, causing one engine to cut out at 400 feet.

Original article can be found here:

A recovery team from Dawson Aircraft leaves the scene with a trailer carrying the Beech A36TC Bonanza that crashed shortly after takeoff on Monday near Tupelo Regional Airport. Two couples from Texas were killed in the crash.

Dawson Aircraft, recovery team

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -  A private plane crashed near the Tupelo airport just before 9 a.m. Monday, killing four people on board.

According to Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre, a pilot and three passengers are dead. 

The plane is a Beech Bonanza, a single-engine, six-seat aircraft registered to a company in Texas. The police chief said a mechanical issue could have caused the crash. 

According to the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, long-time pilot Harry Cook in Texas received a call Monday morning from a Tupelo Police Department detective asking if he could help identify who was on board the plane. Cook said the plane was registered to Henry L. Jackson, known as Jack Jackson to family and friends. He said Jackson, his wife Gwynn Groggel, and another couple were on the plane.

According to fire officials, the plane crashed in a wooded area and no other structures were damaged in the crash. 

A Federal Aviation Administration official said the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit before the plane crashed.

Shelton said the plane was fully loaded with fuel when it took off, bound for Virginia, and the nature of the crash caused it to burst into flames.

Tupelo officials said they have secured the scene and are waiting on federal officials to arrive and investigate the crash. 

"Anytime there is an incident that involves an aircraft, that immediately falls under federal jurisdiction," Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said. 

Shelton also agrees with the police chief and is speculating the cause of the crash is mechanical failure.

"This is just speculation on my part; this is not any type of official source. You're typically talking about some type of mechanical issue," Shelton said.

Shelton said the identities of the victims in the crash could not be released at this time, but it is believed they are from out of state.

"The information right now is difficult," Shelton said. "The names and identities cannot be released at this time."

Officials said they are still waiting on the FAA to arrive on the scene and investigate so the scene can be released and the bodies can be sent for autopsies and DNA tests.

"It is our understanding and belief that it was an out of state plane and that the occupants of the plane were out of state," Shelton said.

The plane crashed on a small access road less than half a mile from the Tupelo airport. The road leads to a sewage treatment plant.

Witnesses said they rushed to the crash site, but could not get close enough to provide any help because a chain link fence surrounding the sewage treatment plant kept them out.

"It went straight up about 3,000 feet and came right back down," Carl Fleming said.

Fleming was one of the witnesses that saw what happened to the plane.

"It was pretty loud," Fleming said. "Loud enough to shake the ground." It also shook the walls of nearby homes.

The police chief said because the plane crashed in the sewage plant, it was impossible for witnesses to get to the scene.

Firefighters arrived and used bolt cutters to get through the fence. Shelton acknowledged the fast response of the first responders, pointing it only took four minutes for the first crews to arrive on scene.

The accident was reported at 8:34 a.m., with the first responder crews arriving on scene at 8:38 a.m.

"It was a tremendous response by our first responders," Shelton said.

Witnesses said the plane hit several trees on its way down, then exploded twice.

"You could hear the trees popping," Fleming said. "The smoke was coming out of those trees and going back that way."

Shelton said he wanted to emphasize the crash does not reflect a safety concern with the Tupelo airport.

"This is a very, very uncommon occurrence at Tupelo airport, or any airport for that matter," Shelton said.

He said in spite of some reported incidents at the airport, it does not show a reason for concern due to the amount of traffic the airport conducts.

"We serve all three areas of aircraft here," Shelton said. "Tupelo is small enough where it's a place for pilots to do student training. It's a place for recreational pilots to go out and use their own place. It's also a cargo hub for commercial travel."

He said because of the amount of traffic the airport sees, it is not unusual for some reported incidents to show up occasionally. 

"I don't think it's out of the norm," Shelton said. "What you would look at is if there is some sort of safety issues or safety concerns with the airport and there are none."

This is not the first plane to crash in Tupelo. A pilot was killed in a crash in 2011. 

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -  A plane bound for Charlottesville Albemarle Airport crashed in Mississippi Monday morning. Now investigators are combing the crash scene in Tupelo, where authorities say the pilot and three passengers were killed.

The FAA says the plane had just taken off from an overnight layover in Tupelo when the pilot reported seeing smoke in the cockpit. The private plane crashed shortly after take-off near the Tupelo Regional Airport. 

The Tupelo fire chief and mayor say first responders raced to the scene, but there wasn't much they could do. 

"The plane was fully loaded with fuel, taking off to go to Virginia and the nature of the crash caused a fire. For those who saw the plume of smoke, you had a plane fully loaded with fuel departing for a relatively long trip,” said Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton. 

Shelton says he believes the accident may have been caused by a mechanical issue. At this point, authorities are not confirming the identities of anyone on board.

The Beech Bonanza was registered in Kerrville, Texas. Airport officials there say pilot Henry "Jack" Jackson, his wife Gwynn, and another couple left Sunday for Tupelo. Officials say Henry Jackson was an experienced pilot. He was vice commander of the Texas Wing Civil Air Patrol, a civilian group that helps the U.S. Air Force with search and rescue activities.

The Tupelo Police Department is still working on officially identifying the remains of the passengers. The bodies have been sent for autopsy.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac says the FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the crash's cause.

Story and video:

Four people were killed this morning when their private plane crashed in a field in Tupelo, Mississippi, shortly after takeoff, authorities say.

In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said that the  Beech A36TC Bonanza crashed a half-mile from Tupelo Regional Airport at around 8:30 a.m. local time. Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said today that the plane was "briefly" in the air before it crashed.

The FAA said the plane was carrying three passengers and a pilot.

The  Beech A36TC Bonanza was heading to Charlottesville, Virginia, according to FlightAware. The plane had taken off from Kerrville, Texas, and landed in Tupelo Sunday.

The names of the deceased had not yet been released.

The FAA said the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit before the crash. "We got smoke in our cockpit. We need to come back around," the pilot could be heard saying on air-traffic control audio.

"From what I can tell you right now there's quite a bit of debris," Aguirre said today during a news conference. "The wreckage is very broken up."

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the crash.

Story and video:

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – WTVA News is on the scene of a plane crash near the Tupelo airport.

Tupelo officials confirm it is on Colonial Estate Road. It happened at about 8:34 a.m Monday.

Tupelo Chief Bart Aguirre says it was a private plane heading to Virginia. He says there were four on board: three passengers and one pilot. There are no survivors.

The plane is a Beech Bonanza, single-engine, six-seat aircraft registered to a company in Texas.

According to the Daily Times in Kerrville, Texas, the plane is registered to a Kerrville resident.

Joe Kennedy of Kerrville Aviation says the plane left Kerrville with four on board at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday morning.

According to a statement from the FAA, the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit.

The bodies will be sent for autopsies.

As of now, the names of those involved are not being released until family members have been notified.

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Four people died Monday morning when a small plane crashed after taking off from Tupelo Regional Airport.

Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said the three passengers and a pilot died in the crash near Colonial Estates Road, about a half a mile north of the airport in a field adjoining the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo.

According to the Federal Aviation Agency, the Beech BE36 crashed at 8:32 a.m. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit before the crash.

Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green called the site "a severe crash area."

Leesha Faulkner, communications director for the city of Tupelo, said the plane burned on impact, and that there were no survivors. Tupelo police located the burning aircraft around 8:38 a.m. Tupelo fire and Northeast Mississippi Medical Center responded to the scene as well.

An aircraft matching that description, a  Beechcraft Bonanza, registered from Kerrville, Texas, arrived at the Tupelo airport Sunday morning. The six-seater, single-engine plane, registered to Henry L. Jackson, had departed Kerrville Municipal Airport in Kerrville, Texas, on Sunday at 8:16 a.m. It landed at the Tupelo Regional Airport at 11:38 a.m., according to

It was scheduled to take off from Tupelo Monday at 8:30 a.m. with an arrival time of 12:41 p.m. at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport in Charlottesville, Virginia. The weather was overcast with a light wind at the time of take-off.

The Kerrvile Daily Times reported Monday that four people from Kerrville were killed in the crash. They did not identify the victims.

Green told reporters that even when she had some idea of who the victims were, she would be hesitant to notify family until she has DNA identification.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton called the crash a "worst-case scenario."

"Tupelo Fire Department, airport emergency responders, and Tupelo police responded immediately and secured the scene and now will be in a secondary role to the FAA as they continued to conduct the investigation," Shelton said.

The Associated Press reported that Laurie Carwile, who works in the gift shop at the Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo, said she heard the crash and later saw smoke.

“We actually thought it was thunder,” Carwile said. “I was in the gift shop and this man came beating on the door telling me to open the door. I thought we were being robbed. He was actually trying to tell me the plane had come down and to call 911.”  

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are working to determine the crash’s cause.

Original article can be found here:

Four people from Kerrville were killed early Monday morning after a small plane crashed outside Tupelo, Mississippi.

The plane, a  Beech A36TC Bonanza, is registered to a Kerrville resident, according to Joe Kennedy of Kerrville Aviation, the fixed-base operator at the Kerrville/Kerr County Airport at Louis Schreiner Field.

Kennedy said the plane took off from Kerrville with four people on board at about 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning. The plane was taking off from Tupelo this morning.

Names have not being released yet pending notifications.

Original article can be found here:

TUPELO – Four people were killed Monday morning when a small, private plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Tupelo Regional Airport, according to police.

“The log at the airport said there were three people on onboard, in addition to the pilot,” said Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre. “We did not see any survivors.”

The Beech A36TC Bonanza is registered to Henry Jackson of Kerrville, Texas, about 50 miles northwest of San Antonio. The single engine plane, with a top speed of 200 knots and a range of 1,000 miles, arrived in Tupelo Sunday from Kerrville Municipal Airport. The flight plan filed at the airport showed the plane set to take off at 8:30 a.m. Monday from Tupelo with a destination of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The plane crashed about a half-mile from the north end of the runaway, approximately 150 yards west of Colonial Estates Road. The aircraft was on fire when Tupelo Police officers located it at 8:38 a.m.

“There is quite a bit of debris. The plane was broken up,” Aguirre said. “We found some bodies on the scene.”

A Federal Aviation Administration official said the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit after taking off.

“All that will be determined by the (Federal Aviation Administration),” Aguirre said. “We are holding the scene for them. Once they release the scene, the coroner will be allowed to go in and do what she has to do.”

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Aguirre said he expected FAA’s investigative team to arrive soon from Jackson.

Aguirre said once the FAA has “released” the scene, the bodies of the victims will be sent to the state crime lab in Jackson for autopsies, and DNA will be used to identify them. He does not expect identification to be made very soon.

“There’s no information available as to the identities,” he said. “It us our understanding and belief that it was an out-of-state plane and the occupants of the plane were out-of-state residents.”

Both the north and sound ends of Colonial Estates are blocked and will be for most of the day. Onlookers will not be allowed into the area.

“If you live in that area, we will let you go back home, but we are protecting the scene,” Aguirre said Monday morning.

Aguirre said no other lives were endangered by the crash and no structures were damaged, as the plane landed in a wooded area.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton described Monday’s crash as a “worst-case scenario.”

“We send out heartfelt condolences for the pilot and passengers on the plane,” Shelton said. “No information has been released, but no survivors have been located. It appears to be a worst case scenario. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.”

Shelton said he was not yet aware if the plane was being used for business or leisure travel, but did clarify the aircraft was not connected with Tupelo’s commercial air service.

Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith was at the airport this morning prior to the crash, but he did not witness the incident.

Smith was at the airport to see off his wife, Alice, who was scheduled to take a Contour Airlines flight to Nashville this morning.

As passengers for the Contour flight began to queue up, however, the security screening was halted, Smith said.

“They just told us there was an incident,” he said. “They didn’t say what it was at first.”

From his location in the airport, Smith said he did not see anything related to the crash.

The Contour flight did eventually take off, about 40 minutes behind schedule, according to Smith.

Putting his wife on an airplane was a little unsettling after news of a crash, the mayor admitted.

“It was kind of scary,” Smith said.

Monday morning’s crash is not the first at or near the Tupelo airport in recent years:

• In August 2011, David Duncan died virtually instantly when the Cessna twin-engine airplane he had just piloted from Tupelo Regional Airport suddenly banked to the left about 400 feet above the ground and crashed into a tree near a home off North Coley Road.

Reports to and by the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigated the incident, indicated the crash’s probable cause came from the airport mechanic’s failure to follow normal procedures to install a fuel line to the plane’s engine, which caused the engine to quit and the plane to crash.

Duncan’s daughters settled a lawsuit with the Tupelo Airport Authority’s insurance carrier in December 2013.

• In July 2013, a Beechcraft A36 owned by Fred Newman Jr. of Columbus crash-landed at Tupelo Regional after it lost power while approaching the runway.

The plane touched down in the pasture of the Tupelo Buffalo Park, bounced into the air and crossed a street before coming to a stop on airport property just short of the runway. Newman suffered minor injuries.

• In June 2014, a Beechcraft Baron twin-engine aircraft made a belly landing at the airport. No injuries were reported from that incident.

• In February 2015, a Cessna 182 crash landed at the airport. A Saltillo man was taking his plane on a shakedown flight before going on a trip that weekend when the back landing gear of the aircraft came down but the front wheel did not. The plane skidded on its nose for about 30 yards and stopped in the middle of the runway. The pilot was not injured in the crash.

“I do want to stress this is not a safety concern or a safety issue with the Tupelo airport,” Shelton said.

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