Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beech V35B Bonanza, N23583: Accident occurred August 30, 2016 near Sioux Falls Regional Airport (KFSD), Minnehaha County, South Dakota


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Rapid City FSDO-27

NTSB Identification: CEN16CA364
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Sioux Falls, SD
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N23583

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.


Date: 30-AUG-16
Time: 13:59:00Z
Regis#: N23583
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 35
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
State: South Dakota

Tuesday was a perfect day for flying a plane. The air was smooth, the wind calm.

Tuesday was also the day licensed private pilot Tony Breit's plane engine failed, forcing him and his instructor to land in a cornfield.

Breit was working with his instructor on achieving his instrument rating, which would give him the ability to fly through clouds or when weather conditions are less than favorable.

The two took off out of Tea around 8:30 Tuesday morning. Since the skies weren't cloudy and the weather was favorable, Breit wore foggles, goggles that force him to focus on the instruments rather than the conditions around him. The instructor was keeping an eye on the outside conditions.

About 15 minutes later, Breit was preparing to land the plane. He put down the gear, set the flaps at 10 degrees and adjusted the power setting to control his descent when the engine started to sputter.

"That's very rare," Breit said.

Breit adjusted the throttle back. The engine continued to sputter. He adjusted the throttle forward. That's when the engine died.

At that point the instructor took control over the plane. Breit tried restarting the plane, switching gas tanks. By that time, the two were bracing for impact.

The instructor directed them away from buildings.

Within a minute, the plane was going 80 mph through a field of corn stalks.

Sheriff Mike Milstead said two people were unharmed when their small plane underwent engine failure on Tuesday morning in northern Sioux Falls. The plane landed in a cornfield.

“We didn’t have time to be afraid,” Breit said. “You go into a problem-solving mode and have a sense of urgency to remember the steps and get (the plane) down.

The last thing I remember thinking before we hit the cornfield is, ‘This is going to hurt.’”

Surprising to the plane’s occupants and emergency responders, Breit and his instructor got out of the plane unscathed.

“We looked at each other and thought, ‘Wow, that wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be,’” Breit said. “I was envisioning the plane flipping and me getting my face bashed into the windshield.”

He didn’t even bump his head. The only injury was a little cut on the finger. The same couldn’t be said for Breit’s plane, with its wings demolished in the landing.

“Those corn cobs beat the hell out of the wings,” he said.

In Breit’s 150 hours of flying, this was the first time he’d experienced a malfunction and a forced landing. He said most pilots who fly thousands of hours never see a forced landing or crash.

His instructor had been a pilot in the military and has been flying for years and had never experienced an engine failure.

He’s not worried to go up in the skies again.

“We did everything right,” he said. “If I had a plane, I’d fly tomorrow if I had a place to go.”

It’s still unknown why the engine failed. Breit said he’ll know when the investigation is done.


Tony Breit

Two people are safe after a plane made an emergency landing north of Interstate 90 on Monday morning.

Sheriff Mike Milstead said two licensed pilots, both men from Sioux Falls, were in the plane and were practicing an approach to the Sioux Falls Regional Airport when the engine failed. The plane had taken off from a nearby airport, Milstead said.

One of the pilots was a student who was upgrading to an instrument rating and the other was a licensed instructor. They were unable to restart the engine.

The plane landed upright in a cornfield near 72nd Street and Ditch Road, about a mile from the airport. The two occupants were being interviewed by authorities and had no injuries, Milstead said.

"Luckily this is one of those stories that has a happy ending," Milstead said. "They are really fortunate. I have been to aircraft crashes in my career, and they don't often end this way. This took some skill to be able to bring it down. It took some thinking because they were in areas close to populated areas."

Milstead described the two as "incredibly calm and happy to be alive."

This is the second time a plane has landed safely in one of farmer Mike Williams' fields. About 15 years ago, Williams says another small plane landed in his field and the pilot walked away unharmed.

Williams was driving down the road Tuesday morning when his neighbor, Steve Wilkinson, called him to say that a plane went down in their area. Williams pulled up to find the small plane about a quarter-mile deep in his cornfield.

The plane did not do much damage to the field, Williams says, but "we're going to do some damage getting it out."

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack," he said.

Dan Letellier, the executive director of the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, identified the aircraft as a Beechcraft Bonanza, a small private plane that holds up to six people. No fire was reported after landing.

The plane was registered in November 2015 to James Breit, a Sioux Falls resident, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The two occupants of the plane didn't want to speak with the media, Milstead said. The plane will likely be removed from the cornfield later Tuesday.

Story and video:   http://www.argusleader.com

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - A small airplane crash-landed north of the Sioux Falls airport near Catfish Bay around 9:00 this morning but the pilot and passenger were not injured.

The Minnehaha County Sheriff's office, police, Renner Fire Department and ambulance responded to the scene.

The aircraft is a Beech V35B Bonanza and the flight instructor and student pilot been practicing approaches at the Sioux Falls airport.  Sheriff Mike Milstead says the engine went out in the plane and they looked for the safest place to land.

Sheriff Mike Milstead says the plane landed in a cornfield just east of72nd Street and Ditch Road. 

First responders left the site about 45 minutes after arrival.

Names have not been released and the pair is being interviewed over the incident

Story and video:   http://kwsn.com

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