Thursday, November 2, 2017

Beechcraft 35-C33 Debonair, N293GC: Fatal accident occurred October 31, 2017 near Columbus County Municipal Airport (KCPC), Whiteville, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

George H. Chartress: http://registry.faa.gov/N293GC

Location: Whiteville, NC
Accident Number: ERA18FA012
Date & Time: 10/31/2017, 1005 EDT
Registration: N293GC
Aircraft: BEECH 35C33
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 31, 2017, at 1005 eastern daylight time, a Beech 35-C33, N293GC, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of engine power during approach to Columbus County Municipal Airport (CPC), Whiteville, North Carolina. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, which departed from Cannon Creek Airport (15FL), Lake City, Florida about 0735.

According to the pilot-rated passenger, the private pilot told him that the engine on the accident airplane would consume about 11.5 gallons per hour in cruise flight. On the morning of the accident, during the preflight inspection of the airplane they noticed that the fuel level was about ½ inch above the tabs in both fuel tanks. They initially intended to fly from 15FL to Lake City Gateway Airport (LCQ), Lake City, Florida for fuel, but the fixed-base-operator was closed, so they decided to refuel at CPC, on their way to their final destination of Westerly State Airport (WST), Westerly, Rhode Island.

After departing 15FL, they flew with the fuel selector in the right tank position for 1 hour and 25 minutes. When they were about 40 minutes from CPC, the private pilot switched the fuel selector to the left tank position.

During the final approach to runway 6 at CPC, when the airplane was about 700 ft above mean sea level, the private pilot switched the fuel selector to the right tank, as the landing checklist required the selector to be selected to the fullest tank for approach and landing. The pilot-rated passenger noticed that the left fuel tank gauge was showing ¼ full, and the right fuel tank gauge was showing ½ full. He then advised the private pilot that that could not be correct, as they had been operating on the right tank for most of the flight. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the pilot-rated passenger advised the private pilot that the airplane had lost engine power. The pilot-rated passenger then noticed the private pilot twisting the vernier type throttle, and he told him again that the engine was not producing any power.

The private pilot then reached down, and switched the fuel selector to the left tank. The pilot-rated passenger noticed that as the private pilot leaned forward against the throw-over control wheel assembly, the airplane pitched sharply downward. The pilot-rated passenger then saw that the airplane was approaching trees, and he yelled at the private pilot who then looked up just as the airplane's left wing struck a tree. The pilot-rated passenger then put his arms in front of him to brace himself. He subsequently egressed from the airplane and called 911.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded area about 2,000 ft from the approach end of runway 6. The airplane came to rest upright, in a 38° nose down attitude, facing the opposite direction of travel.

Examination of the airplane revealed that it had been substantially damaged during the impact sequence with the outboard left wing sustaining significant impact damage near the flap/aileron junction.

The throttle was in the full throttle position, the propeller control was in the high rpm (fine pitch) position, the mixture control was in the full rich position, and the fuel boost pump switch was on. The wing flaps were in the 30° extended position and the landing gear was down. The fuel selector valve was in the "LH TANK" position.

The left fuel tank contained about 16 gallons of fuel, and the right fuel tank contained about 0.5 gallons of fuel. Both left fuel tank and right fuel tank quantity transmitters were checked with an Ohmmeter; the resistance levels were variable and moved in concert with the floats. When electrical power was applied to the electrical system, the left fuel tank quantity gauge indicted about ½ full and the right fuel tank quantity gauge indicated about ¾ full.

When the left fuel tank quantity transmitters were actuated to full (up), the left fuel tank quantity gauge responded accordingly. When the left fuel tank quantity transmitters were actuated to empty (down), the left fuel tank quantity gauge responded accordingly.

When the right fuel tank quantity transmitters were actuated to full (up), the right fuel tank quantity gauge responded accordingly. When the right fuel tank quantity transmitters were actuated to empty (down), the right fuel tank quantity gauge still indicated approximately ¾ full.

The engine did not exhibit physical impact damage. Oil was present in the oil sump, galleries, and rocker boxes. The engine oil dipstick indicated that the oil sump contained about 5.5 quarts of oil. All six upper spark plugs exhibited normal wear patterns, were dry, and exhibited a light color consistent with a lean combustion mixture. Examination of the piston domes, cylinder walls, exhaust valves, and intake valves with a lighted borescope, did not reveal any anomalies. Continuity was established with the cockpit engine controls and the associated engine components. The throttle and mixture control arms remained attached and secured. The mufflers and tailpipes were impact damaged.

Drivetrain continuity was established, thumb compression and suction were achieved on all six cylinders, and rocker arm motion was observed on all valves. Spark was produced by the magnetos to each ignition lead, and the impulse couplers were heard to release. The fuel control inlet screen was clean, and the engine driven fuel pump gear and drive coupling were intact. The fuel pump rotated smoothly, and fuel was expelled when manually rotated. The oil pump appeared normal, and the vacuum pump drive coupling was intact.

Examination of the two-bladed propeller revealed that one propeller blade exhibited S-bending, twisting, and leading-edge paint erosion, with smearing of the red paint that was on the blade tip. The other blade was bent aft around the left side of the engine; the blade was twisted, and the tip was curled aft. Freshly cut sections of tree limbs, about 5 inches in diameter and approximately 15 inches long were observed at the accident site.. One section exhibited a red paint transfer mark.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman and pilot records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 22, 2016. He had accrued about 3,797 total hours of flight experience, about 2,403 hours of which, were in single engine airplanes.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot-rated passenger, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument-airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 19, 2016. He reported on that date, that he had accrued about 1,330 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA airworthiness and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1966. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on March 4, 2017. At the time of the Accident, the airplane had accrued about 5,812 total hours of operation.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N293GC
Model/Series: 35C33 UNDESIGNATED
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: CPC, 99 ft msl
Observation Time: 1005 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: LAKE CITY, FL (15FL)
Destination: Whiteville, NC (CPC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 34.263889, -78.726944




COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  One person died when a small plane crashed Tuesday morning outside of Whiteville.

Columbus County Municipal Airport says a Beechcraft 35-C33 Debonair was trying to land at the airport but crashed in a wooded area near Runway 24 around 10:30 a.m.

According to Sgt. S.G. Greene with the NC Highway Patrol, the call came in that a plane had crashed off of Pleasant Plains Rd.

Sgt Greene says George Chartress, III, 62, from Lake City, Florida was the pilot. He died in the crash. The passenger, Richard Shawn, 58, from Bradford, Rhode Island only had minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

Greene says the plane took off from Cannon Creek, Florida around 7:40 a.m. and was on the way to Rhode Island. They were stopping in Columbus County to refuel. As they were making an approach to land, the engine stalled and crashed about 400 yards from the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.


Original article can be found here:  https://www.wwaytv3.com










WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) — A Florida man was killed after his plane crashed outside of Whiteville Tuesday morning.

FAA officials said a Beechcraft 35-C33 Debonair crashed in a wooded area short of runway 24 at the Columbus County Municipal Airport around 10:30 a.m.

Highway Patrol officials said the pilot, George Howard Charteress III, 62, took off from Lake City, Florida at 7:40 a.m. and was headed to Rhode Island.

Charteress was approaching the Columbus County Municipal Airport to refuel when the plane lost power about 400 yards south of the runway and crashed.

Richard Shawn, 58, of Rhode Island, was a passenger in the plane and suffered minor injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Story and photo gallery:  http://wncn.com





Updated 2:20 p.m.

A Rhode Island man died at the controls of his airplane this morning near Columbus Regional Airport.

The N.C. Highway Patrol said George Howard Charteress III, flying a Beechcraft 35-C33 Debonair, left a Florida airport shortly before 8 a.m. heading for Rhode Island with one passenger, Richard Shawn.

Officials said Charteress was heading in to land when the plane lost power and crashed 400 yards short of the runway.

Shawn, 58, also of Rhode Island, suffered minor injuries. He called 911 after the plane crashed, and rescuers used his GPS coordinates to find the crash site, which was not visible from the airport or nearby Pleasant Plains Church Road. Shawn was outside the aircraft when the first rescuers arrived, and walked out of the thickly vegetated area to board an ambulance.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

The Columbus airport is a popular stop for many private pilots due to lower fuel prices here than at many larger airfields.

Brunswick and Whiteville firefighters, Whiteville Rescue Unit, the Highway Patrol and the sheriff’s office responded to the crash.

11:30 a.m. report

The pilot of a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza died in a crash just west of the runway at Columbus County Airport at about 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. A passenger in the plane survived and was able to walk out of the wooded area where the plane crashed. He was taken to Columbus Regional Healthcare for minor injuries by Whiteville Rescue Squad.

Sammy Jacobs, a salvage yard operator, heard the radio call and offered to guide several of his workers to the scene. The workers were volunteers of Brunswick Fire Department. Jacobs heard the passenger of the plane calling for help and made his way through a densely wooded area to the scene. He returned to Pleasant Plains Church Road and flagged down first responders.

The pilot is from out of state. He will be identified pending notification of kin.


Original article can be found here:  https://nrcolumbus.com





COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A Florida man was killed after his plane crashed outside of Whiteville Tuesday morning.

FAA officials said a Beechcraft 35-C33 Debonair crashed in a wooded area short of runway 24 at the Columbus County Municipal Airport around 10:30 a.m.

Highway Patrol officials said the pilot, George Howard Chartress III, 62, took off from Lake City, Florida, at 7:40 a.m. and was headed to Rhode Island.

Chartress was approaching the Columbus County Municipal Airport to refuel when the plane lost power about 400 yards south of the runway and crashed.

Richard Shawn, 58, of Rhode Island, was a passenger in the plane and suffered minor injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.wect.com

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