Monday, September 18, 2017

Beech 35 Bonanza, N3187V, Ronin Aero Group LLC: Accident occurred September 16, 2017 in Marathon, Monroe County, Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Ronin Aero Group LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N3187V

Location: Marathon, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA347
Date & Time: 09/16/2017, 0855 EDT
Registration: N3187V
Aircraft: BEECH 35
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 16, 2017, about 0855 eastern daylight time, a Beech 35, N3187V, operated by the private pilot, was substantially damaged while ditching in the Gulf of Mexico, following a total loss of engine power about 10 miles west of Marathon, Florida. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about 0745.

The pilot reported that he and a business partner planned to survey damage to his business partner's home on No Name Key, Florida. They flew to the home, circled it at a lower altitude, took photographs, and began a climb back to cruise altitude for the return to FXE. About 800 to 1,000 feet above mean sea level, the engine lost all power. The pilot prepared to ditch as the airplane would not glide far enough to reach land. He also attempted two engine restarts with no success, and reported the emergency to air traffic control. The pilot attempted two more engine restarts using the wobble fuel pump and electric fuel pump. He then attempted another restart using the electric fuel pump with no success. The pilot landed on the water with the landing gear and flaps retracted. The airplane came to rest upright and both occupants were rescued by law enforcement.

According to the president of a recovery company, the airplane was recovered 12 days later, on September 28, 2017. The airplane appeared to be intact and was resting on a sandy bottom. Following recovery, no fuel or water was noted in the left wing fuel tank and approximately 1 gallon of a fuel and water mixture was recovered from the right wing fuel tank.

Initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuselage was buckled during the ditching. The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N3187V
Model/Series: 35 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No 
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MTH, 5 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 40°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FXE)
Destination: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FXE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  24.725556, -81.228889 (est)



On Sept. 16th 2017 at approximately 9:30 am FWC responded to a single-engine aircraft crashed into the water approximately four miles north of the west end of the 7 Mile Bridge.

The pilot contacted MCSO 911 who transferred him to FWC. FWC dispatched officers out of Marathon and Bahia Honda and the USCG sent a vessel from USCG Station Marathon.

The aircraft was completely submerged. The pilot and the passenger were able to leave the aircraft and hold onto two commercial trap buoys for flotation.

Coordinates were relayed from the pilot to FWC and the both the pilot and the passenger were pulled from the water in good condition.

The position of the aircraft was documented and FWC will complete an incident report to be turned over to the FAA. They were taking aerial photos of the hurricane damage.

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