Monday, September 25, 2017

Beech C35, N5958C: Fatal accident occurred September 24, 2017 at Camden Municipal - Harrell Field Airport (KCDH), Ouachita County, Arkansas

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA364
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Camden, AR
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N5958C
Injuries: 2 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 September 24, 2017, about 1845 central daylight time, a Beech C35 airplane, N5958C, impacted terrain on the Harrell Field Airport (CDH), Camden Arkansas. A post impact fire ensued. The two commercial pilots on board were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned by a private individual and being operated without a flight plan as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The airplane was departing the airport when it turned back toward the runway. The airplane then departed controlled flight and impacted the ground in a field on the airport.

An examination of the airplane wreckage at the scene showed it impacted the ground in a flat, upright spiral. The fire consumed the forward fuselage aft of the engine, the cabin section, the inboard portions of the left and right wings, The landing gear, the baggage compartment, and the aft fuselage just aft of the baggage compartment. A 10-foot long outboard section of the right wing, two 4-to-5-foot sections of the outboard left wing, an 8-foot long section of the aft fuselage, and the V-tail empennage survived the fire. The right outboard wing was broken upward at the leading edge at mid span. The forward portion of the right tip fuel tank was consumed by fire. The left wing was broken aft at mid span. The leading edge of the inboard portion was crushed upward and aft at mid span. The outboard section was twisted upward and broken aft. The end of the wing where the right tip fuel tank was located was charred and melted. The right tip fuel tank was broken aft and separated from the wing. It rested on the ground aft of the wreckage and was charred and consumed by fire.

The airplane's engine, engine cowling and propeller hub with one blade was located at the front of the wreckage. The cowling was broken open. The engine was intact and broken downward at the mounts. Several of the engine accessories suffered fire damage. The propeller hub was intact. One blade remained with the hub and was bent aft 70 degrees approximately 68 inches outboard of the hub. The blade showed no signs of S-bending or chordwise scratches. The spinner was crushed aft to the hub. The other propeller blade was broken out of the hub and showed no signs of torsional bending.

The airplane's surviving aft fuselage section was rest upright supported by the airplane' s left stabilator. It was fractured circumferential aft of where the baggage compartment was located. There was charring from fire at and aft of the fracture. The empennage was not damaged.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the forward cabin area to the control surfaces. The airplane wreckage was retained for further examination.

At 1835, the automated weather observation station at CDH, located near the accident site recorded wind calm, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 28° C, dew point 23° C, and altimeter setting 29.89 inches of mercury.

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 

CW2 Rufus Ferron Brown, 42, of Arkadelphia

CW2 Justin Levon Ashley, 31, of North Little Rock

Arkansas remembers. 

A memorial service was held at the Third Street Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, Ark., in honor of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rufus Brown, on Sept. 27. Aviators of the 77th Combat Aviation Brigade paid tribute to their brethren pilot by assembling a missing man formation and flying over the church where the service was held.

Two Arkansas National Guardsmen killed Sunday in an airplane crash at the Camden Municipal Airport, Rufus Feron Brown and Justin Levon Ashley, had stopped by Gaston's White River Resort prior to their departure for Camden. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Nick Price, a friend of both men, said the two had been practicing cross-country flying Sunday. They had stopped at Gaston's White River Resort at Lakeview in Baxter County at 3:47 p.m. Sunday to eat, Brown posted on his Facebook page. The pair were trained to fly helicopters, officials said Tuesday.

42-year-old Brown, of Arkadelphia, and 31-year-old Ashley, of North Little Rock, died when Brown's Beechcraft C35 Bonanza that he had named "Nanner" crashed just after taking off from the airport at 6:45 p.m.

Both men held the rank of chief warrant officer 2 and were trained to fly UH-60 helicopters with Bravo Company of the 2-285th Aviation Helicopter Assault Regiment at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, said Maj. William Phillips, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard.

Brown also was a helicopter maintenance test pilot.

Both were in an off-duty status Sunday and were not performing in a military function, Phillips said.

They took off from Gaston's heading south, and the plane stopped at the Camden airport to refuel at about 6:30 p.m. Fuel is cheaper at the Camden airport than elsewhere in central Arkansas, and it is a common practice for pilots to stop there, said Capt. Adam LaDuke of the Ouachita County sheriff's office.

Witnesses said the plane taxied to the northern end of the runway, turned around and took off. It suddenly veered to the left and crashed into a grassy area and burst into flames.

LaDuke said surveillance video taken from a business near the airport captured the crash.

"The plane took off and then just veered and hit," LaDuke said. "It burst into an intense fireball.

"It appears there was some kind of mechanical failure."

Federal Aviation Administration investigators were at the airport Monday and placed the plane's wreckage onto a flat-bed trailer. They left later that night, LaDuke said. The agency has not yet determined the cause of the crash.

The Ouachita County sheriff's office would not confirm the identities of the two Tuesday because it is waiting for state Crime Laboratory autopsies to be conducted before releasing the names, LaDuke said.

Brown had been with the National Guard since 2001 and had served in Kuwait and Iraq.

Ashley joined the Guard in 2013, Phillips said.

CAMDEN, Ark. (AP) - Authorities say a plane that crashed in southwestern Arkansas claimed the lives of two Arkansas National Guardsmen.

The victims have been identified as:
CW2 Rufus Ferron Brown, 42, of Arkadelphia
CW2 Justin Levon Ashley, 31, of North Little Rock

Both men were UH-60 helicopter pilots with regiments in Little Rock.

Authorities say their plane crashed as they were trying to return to the Camden Municipal Airport immediately after takeoff. The crash happened around 6:45 pm on Sept. 25th.

Ouachita County Sheriff's Capt. Adam LaDuke told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the pilot apparently made a hard turn to return to Camden Municipal Airport immediately after the wheels left the ground on Sunday. The plane crashed and burned in a grassy area near the airport, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock.

Military officials say Brown and Ashley were off-duty at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

An airplane that crashed and killed two people at the Camden Municipal Airport on Sunday evening had just taken off and appeared to turn back before hitting the ground and bursting into flames, authorities said.

The Beechcraft C35 taxied to the north end of the Harrell Field runway, took off heading south and suddenly made a U-turn as soon as its wheels left the ground, said Capt. Adam LaDuke of the Ouachita County sheriff's office.

The accident occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims, pending notification of family members.

LaDuke said the plane was headed to Saline County Regional Airport in Bryant but had stopped in Camden to buy fuel because it was cheaper there. It's a common practice among pilots to do that, LaDuke said.

LaDuke said he didn't know where the plane flew in from.

Camden Fire Chief Rob Metford said firefighters were called to the airport at 6:52 p.m., and the craft was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. Firefighters extinguished the blaze with foam and recovered two bodies, he said.

Ouachita County Coroner Sylvester Smith pronounced both of the victims dead at the scene, a sheriff's office news release said.

Both bodies were burned badly, LaDuke said, and he believed both were men. Authorities sent the bodies to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for identification.

The airplane is registered to co-owners Rufus F. Brown of Hensley and Michael S. Felcher.

LaDuke said he spoke with Felcher on Monday morning after learning he was not on the plane.

Metford said the plane crashed in grass just to the northeast of the runway. The burned wreckage was confined to a small area, he said, indicating the plane did not explode in the air. Some witnesses told authorities they heard an explosion when the plane crashed.

Willie Jean Kemp said she returned to her home on Carden Street at the northern end of the airport Sunday night and saw the smoldering wreckage of the airplane.

She said a friend who lives by her saw the crash and notified authorities.

"He said it was taking off and just got up when it turned around and tried to land," Kemp said.

"It took a nose dive and crashed."

Angie Langley, an employee of Quickie's Valero on U.S. 79, said she saw smoke on the northern end of the runway. The convenience store is near the airport.

"We assumed it was someone burning diesel off," she said. "Then we saw the firetrucks."

Police said the weather was clear at the time of the accident.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said investigators arrived at the crash site Monday morning and the National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the investigation.

"It's hard to figure out what happened," LaDuke said. "It made that hard turn left to come back. You can assume it was mechanical failure, but right now all it is is assumptions."

CAMDEN, Ark. - The Arkansas National Guard confirms that the two victims killed in a Sunday evening plane crash were members of the Guard based at Camp Robinson.

A guard official says the victims were not on official Guard business.

Their names have not yet been released.

Original story:
CAMDEN, Ark. - A Sunday evening plane crash has left two dead in south Arkansas.

The Ouachita County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) says it happened at Camden Municipal Airport/Harrell Field shortly before 6:45 p.m. near the north end of the runway.  First responders were able to extinguish the fire to the aircraft where two bodies were discovered, the OCSO said. 

"Sadly there was a fatal plane crash earlier this evening at the Camden Airport. While the plane was not local, the pilot was well known to the pilots who fly out of here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved," the airport posted on its Facebook page.

The names of the victims and the type of aircraft have not yet been released. 

"This morning the Federal Aviation Administration arrived on scene at the Camden Municipal Airport to begin their accident investigation. At this time no more information is available for release, pending investigation," the OCSO said via Facebook on Monday afternoon.

Original article ➤

Two people have been killed in the crash of a small airplane at the Camden Municipal Airport, according to Ouachita County Sheriff David Norwood.

The accident happened about 6:45 p.m. Sunday near the north end of the north-south runway at the facility off U.S. 79.

“Sadly there was a fatal plane crash earlier this evening at the Camden Airport. While the plane was not local, the pilot was well known to the pilots who fly out of here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved,” said a statement on the airport’s Facebook page.

The airport, called Harrell Field, has one 6,500-foot runway.

Original article ➤

1 comment:

  1. This hits close to home.

    We purchased an aircraft there at CDH in May and visited the previous August for service at Faith Aviation (since moved to El Dorado).

    I met Katherine Beckham who runs the South Arkansas Aviation School and gave an informal career talk to the students. Many of them were just like me, only 40 years younger.

    Our sympathies to these faithful soldiers and their families.