Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beechcraft B23 Musketeer Custom, N7628R: Accident occurred March 22, 2015 at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (KFLG), Coconino County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location:  Flagstaff, AZ
Accident Number: WPR15LA132
Date & Time: 03/22/2015, 1115 MST
Registration: N7628R
Aircraft: BEECH B23
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The private pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll for the local personal flight, the nosewheel seemed to turn slightly to the left. Rudder input maintained a straight path on the runway centerline, but the nosewheel side-skidded for a few seconds before the airplane lifted off. When the airplane returned for landing, the pilot stated that touchdown was smooth and uneventful. During the landing roll, the nosewheel turned slightly left, and he attempted to correct with full right rudder. The airplane continued to veer to the left, exited the runway, and impacted a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) light. The pilot stated that he felt that the right rudder bungee did not have enough pull to stop the nosewheel from continuing to turn more sharply to the left. However, a postaccident examination of the airplane and nosewheel steering mechanism did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Thus, it is likely that the pilot failed to maintain directional control of the airplane during landing. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Runway/taxi/approach light - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information 

On March 22, 2015, about 1115 mountain standard time, a Beech B23, N7628R, veered off runway 21 during the landing rollout at the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona. The private pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local area personal flight. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed FLG about 1050.

According to the pilot, just prior to rotation for takeoff, the nose wheel seemed to turn left slightly, rudder input maintained a straight path on the runway centerline, but the nose wheel side skidded for a few seconds before he rotated. They flew for about an hour and then returned to the airport for a full stop landing. The pilot stated that touchdown was smooth and uneventful. During the landing rollout, the nose wheel turned slightly left, and he corrected for the condition with full right rudder. He felt that the right rudder bungee did not have enough pull to stop the nose wheel from continuing to turn more sharply to the left. The pilot applied right brake, but was not able to correct the turn to the left. The airplane tipped up on its nose wheel and right main landing gear, which caused the nose wheel to turn more to the left. The pilot applied full power and elevator to reduce the weight off the nose wheel in an attempt to turn it to the right. The right wing struck a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) box, and the pivot tube on the left wing caught the top of another PAPI box. After coming to a stop, the pilot and passenger exited the airplane.

Flagstaff airport reported wind from 230 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 20 knots.

The airplane was inspected by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, with no mechanical anomalies identified. 

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Collision during takeoff/land 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/08/2014
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 122 hours (Total, all aircraft), 21 hours (Total, this make and model), 82 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N7628R
Model/Series: B23
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: M-1249
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  07/01/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2452 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 27 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5370.65 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4G
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
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: FLG, 7014 ft msl
Observation Time: 1057 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -7°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots/ 20 knots, 230°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1008 MST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 7014 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8800 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

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:  35.140278, -111.669167 (est)

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