Sunday, May 13, 2018

Beechcraft 35-A33 Debonair, N486T: Fatal accident occurred May 12, 2018 in Jacksonville, Calhoun County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Textron Aircraft; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Jacksonville, AL
Accident Number: ERA18FA146
Date & Time: 05/12/2018, 2005 CDT
Registration: N486T
Aircraft: BEECH 35A33
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 12, 2018, about 2005 central daylight time, a Beech 35-A33, N486T, collided with trees and terrain during a forced landing at in Jacksonville, Alabama. The airplane was destroyed. The airline transport pilot was seriously injured, and one passenger, his daughter, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the pilot and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated at Hartselle-Morgan County Regional Airport (5M0), Hartselle, Alabama about 1924 and was destined for Falcon Field (FFC), Peachtree City, Georgia.

The pilot reported the following. He was familiar with the route from 5M0 to FFC and had flown it numerous times before. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and he planned the route at 5,500 ft mean sea level. All ground operations and the departure from 5M0 were uneventful.

His first indication of a problem was the smell of smoke. He was not completely sure it was from the airplane at first; he thought it could have been from outside. He continued to smell the smoke and "started turning stuff off." He kept progressing and analyzing the situation. The engine suddenly "sputtered and quit." He had just crossed over the boundary of the Talladega National Forest, so he reversed his course because it "appeared darker there." He turned the fuel boost pump on and established the airplane's best glide airspeed. He believed that the airplane may have recovered some power, and the engine was wind milling. He maneuvered the airplane toward a pasture near Jacksonville. It was night, VFR but he could still see the ground.

After setting up the glide to a general area, he felt a "warm heat." The passenger, who was his daughter, climbed into the rear cabin. He pulled out the fire extinguisher and shot discharged it toward the firewall where there were now flames. He had "some luck" with the extinguisher. The smoke continued and got heavy; he had to open the side window to let some air in, so he could clear the smoke and see. The flames persisted. While crossing a ridge, the airplane hit trees and spun around and crashed. He was still in the airplane, but his daughter was not. The wreckage was on fire. He egressed the cockpit, and ran clear of the wreckage. He found his daughter and she was injured. He could hear a siren "right away." First responders arrived shortly thereafter. The fire eventually died down subsided and burned itself out. There was no explosion.

The airplane crashed on the side of a hill in a forested area, about 2 miles southeast of the Jacksonville town center. The wreckage path was oriented on a westerly heading and was about 150 feet in length. All components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage, and right wing. A majority of the main wreckage was consumed in the postcrash fire. The engine, propeller, nose landing gear, and engine cowling separated during the impact sequence and were found in an area free of post impact fire signatures. The engine displayed black soot and heat damage on the aft accessory section of the engine. Several fuel lines were burned. The upper cowling, which was clear of the postcrash fire zone, displayed soot aft of the engine baffling and there was brown discoloration and burned paint on the exterior surfaces of the cowling. The nose gear tire was burned on the surface closest to the engine.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine and single engine land privileges. He also held flight and ground instructor certificates. He reported 3,240 hours total flight time on his latest Federal Aviation Administration first class medical certificate, dated July 5, 2017. He was an airframe and powerplant mechanic with an inspection authorization authority and performed the maintenance on the airplane, including the annual inspections.

The low-wing, single-engine, four-seat airplane incorporated a retractable, tricycle landing gear. The airplane was equipped with a Continental IO-470-K, 225-horsepower reciprocating engine . The engine was fitted with a Hartzell constant -speed propeller. The airplane was built manufactured in 1961. The pilot reported that the maintenance records were at his residence and would provide them to the investigation team.

The wreckage was retained for further examination 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N486T
Model/Series: 35A33 NO SERIES
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: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: ANB, 612 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hartselle, AL (5M0)
Destination: Peachtree City, GA (FFC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: Both
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 33.798056, -85.725278 (est)

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 

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT)-Authorities in Jacksonville are investigating a fatal plane accident that happened Saturday night in Calhoun County.  Police have now identified the victim who was killed as 27 year old Stefanie Fasselin of Peachtree City Georgia.

Scott Landers and his girlfriend are shocked and saddened to hear that a woman was killed and her father was hurt in the crash.  Landers lives on Scotty Lane not far form where the plane went down.  He heard the explosion after the aircraft went down.

"It sort of sounded like a moped sputtering out of control and then a loud hit.  And a few minutes later it seemed like a small explosion" Landers said. 

27 year old Stefanie Fasselin died, her father who was the pilot survived the crash and was taken to a hospital in Huntsville for treatment.  The two were the only ones on board when the aircraft went down.

"I couldn't imagine losing a child, this man.  I really don't have words, losing a daughter has to be terrible.  My heart goes out that family" Landers said.

Its unknown where the plane departed from or where the aircraft was headed.  Shortly after the crash, Scott Landers jumped on his four wheeler and rode to the crash sight with firefighters.

"It was kind of a nervous scary feeling, my hats off to the firemen and first responders.  I went in right behind them.  Those guys did a heck of a job, but that was sad to see happen".

Authorities say the plane was having engine problems right before it crashed.  The aircraft involved in the incident was a single engine Beech BE-35. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the crash.

Story and video ➤

Stefanie Amanda Smith Fasselin

Our beautiful wife, daughter, sister, and friend Stefanie Amanda Smith Fasselin “went home” to her Father in Heaven unexpectedly on May 12, 2018. She was born July 15, 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the first-born daughter of Beth and Kevin Smith. She was a vibrant ray of happiness and joy. The room seemed to light up whenever she entered. Many were drawn to her joyful personality. She made life-long friends whose hearts were tied together as sisters. She was an avid reader, lifelong learner, and a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

She played soccer as a youth and earned the Gold Award in the Girl Scouts of America. She attended Starrs Mill High School and graduated in 2008. She went to Brigham Young University and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Heath in 2013. She was working on her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Georgia. 

She started with Delta Airlines in 2009 as a gate agent in Atlanta, but worked her way up through the Company. She was promoted to Strategic Communications Manager at Atlanta Airport World Port. She loved learning about the business world. She was a hard worker and an independent thinker. Her initials were S.A.S. so she always said she was a little bit “sassy” and had a fierce belief that when women cheer each other on, amazing things can happen.

She married her best friend and true love, Cody Fasselin on April 27, 2012 in the Salt Lake City, Utah LDS temple. They enjoyed watching sporting events and eating unique cuisine. They loved to travel and wanted to visit all seven continents. Their love extended to their two precious Corgis, Indy and Penny. Cody loved his “Steffie” with all of his heart and looks forward to their eternal reunion.

Stefanie is survived by her loving husband; mother, Elizabeth (Beth) Hulfeld and father, Kevin Smith; sister, Rebecca; grandmas, LaWanna (Granny Wannie) Hulfeld and Mildred Smith, uncles, aunts, cousins, many in-laws, and nieces and nephews who thought of Steffie as their favorite “auntie.” She was preceded in death by two grandpas, George Hulfeld and George Smith, and by her Uncle Joe Hulfeld. 

A Celebration of A Beautiful Life will be held Saturday, May 19, 2018 at The L.D.S. Ward Chapel, 2021 Redwine Road Fayetteville, Georgia, at 2:00pm with viewing held one hour prior to the service. An additional viewing will by held Friday, May 18, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm at Mowell Funeral Home, 200 Robinson Rd, Peachtree City, Georgia. Interment will be in Westminster Memorial Gardens, Peachtree City, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Room to in support of Girls’ Education Program.

A plane crash in Jacksonville Saturday night claimed one life. First responders and officials on Scotty Lane. The plane crash was in rugged terrain about a mile from Scotty Lane.  Jacksonville Fire Chief Lee Batey and Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown leave on a all-terrain vehicle to the crashed plane.

A small airplane crashed in Jacksonville, Ala., Saturday night killing one person on board, according to Calhoun County authorities. Media reports say a woman was killed, but a man on board survived the crash. His condition was not immediately known.

Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown identified the victim as 27-year-old Stefanie Fasselin of Peachtree City, Ga. A LinkedIn post under that name identifies her as an employee of Delta Air Lines.

The pilot was her father, according to Brown. His name and condition have not yet been released.

Sheriff Matthew Wade said he was notified at 8:30 p.m. that a small, private, single-engine plane had developed engine problems and crashed. Kathleen Bergen, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, identified the plane as a Beech BE-35.

The sheriff said the plane hit a tree when it came down in the Whites Gap area near Scotty Lane.

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤

Jacksonville, Ala. —  First responders were called to a plane crash in Calhoun County.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade says a Beech 35 Bonanza crashed near Scotty Lane, off White's Gap Road in Jacksonville Saturday evening.

Sheriff Wade says two people were on-board, and he was told one person died at the scene. 

Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown identified the victim as Stefanie Fasselin, 27, of Peachtree City, Georgia. 

The other person was taken by helicopter to a hospital. There is no word on that person's condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Beech 35 Bonanza crashed about 8:00 p.m.

The FAA says local officials reported the aircraft collided with a tree and caught fire.

Sheriff Wade reported the plane was having engine trouble, and was attempting to find a safe place to land.

It's unknown what the plane's departure location was, or where it was headed.

Original article can be found here ➤

JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - A woman died and a man was airlifted after a plane crashed in Jacksonville on Saturday.

The plane was found in a wooded area off Whites Gap Road and Scott Lane.

The woman has been identified as 27-year-old Stefanie Fasselin of Peachtree City, Georgia. Officials say she is the daughter of the pilot of the plane, who was transported to a Huntsville hospital for treatment. No word on his condition.

We're told the Beechcraft 35-A33 Debonair broke into pieces during the wreck.

Story and video ➤

JACKSONVILLE — A Saturday night plane crash in Jacksonville claimed one life, according to Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown.

Brown said two people were aboard the Beech 35 Bonanza, which crashed in rugged terrain off Scotty Lane near Whites Gap Road.  

Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said that the two passengers — one man and one woman — were family members and the plane had engine trouble when it crashed.

“Crash landed here in this area striking some trees causing severe damage to the aircraft,” Wade said.

A local resident, who declined to be identified, said he heard the plane before it crashed.

“You could tell something was wrong with it — then I heard it hit the woods,” he said.

Brown said responders found the plane on fire. The male survivor, who was the pilot, was airlifted to Huntsville, according to Brown.

White Plains Fire Department, Jacksonville Fire Department, Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and Jacksonville police responded to the crash.

Authorities declined to identify the victims, pending notification of next-of-kin.

Original article can be found here ➤


Anonymous said...

Sad, praying for the victim. If it was engine trouble, the answer as to whether a twin is safer than a single seems obvious.

Anonymous said...

"the answer as to whether a twin is safer than a single seems obvious."

It's not.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that you chose to exploit this family's tragedy to promote an opinion that is not supported by the facts, especially as it seems self-congratulatory. Small multi-engine aircraft flown by non-occupational pilots do not have an "obvious" better safety record. Too often, owner/renter pilots do not successfully manage engine failure emergencies, whether by aptitude, training, or proficiency issues. The real proof is revealed in insurance rates; compare quotes for Barons versus Bonanzas and adjust for hull value, if the Baron was truly safer overall the insurance rate would be lower.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to summarize the pilots actions or inactions without actually being in the plane at the time of the accident. Sometimes engine failures are sudden and without warning, very little reaction time and it was dusk so that could have been a factor as well.
The best policy in a single engine plane is have all the altitude you can afford and always have a emergency landing area in sight.

Anonymous said...

The best policy to avoid engine trouble is taking optimum care for your engine.

Anonymous said...

Pilot training and maintenance being equal, I'd take a twin at night every time... Thats a no brainer. I just feel to many pilots buy into the single engine airplanes are just as safe as twins argument, because they supplant pilot training over the inherent safety aspects of a twin

Anonymous said...

We are having way too many fatal small plane crashes in this country. It's almost one crash per day. Sometimes two crashes a day. Someone needs to do something about this.

Anonymous said...

There are no safer aspects of flying a piston twin. Let's be honest, most piston powered twins aren't able to maintain level flight when an engine quits, much less climb. And this one goes for turboprop twins also, if the engine is no feathered promptly. Don't fool yourselves. As someone said it "If a engine quits in a light twin, you have the other engine to get you to the scene of the accident".

Anonymous said...

Senator Chuck Schumer wants the Inspector General to investigate general aviation accidents and incidents.

Anonymous said...

Schumer is an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Everytime government gets involved they make bad things worse.

Anonymous said...

True. Schumer is an idiot

Anonymous said...

My twin flys just fine on one engine, and no, it doesn't take you to the scene of accident. This is a common myth perpetrated by those who are ignorant. Otherwise, there would only be single engine aircraft. This accident happened at night which made it difficult to decide where to land. The safest aircraft is the one that isn't flown. Nevertheless, condolences to the family for their loss. I'm sure the father did all that he could do under the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the above. If single engine was just as good & safe as a twin, I am sure the airlines would be flying large passenger jets as such. Much cheaper

Anonymous said...

QUOTE: Anonymous said...
We are having way too many fatal small plane crashes in this country. It's almost one crash per day. Sometimes two crashes a day. Someone needs to do something about this.

There are so many Auto accidents EVERY day, it would take up an entire evening news broadcast to cover them all. Honestly I feel safer in my plane. Its better maintained and inspected regularly. How many cars and trucks on the road can say that? When is the last time you pulled your car apart for annual? Every day I see cars and trucks that have no business being on the road. They are a hazard.

Maening said...

Right. 110 people killed every day in car wrecks- thousands injured. Problem is too much media and government resources sent to cover plane crashes. Not necessary. We don't need 50 cops to investigate a small plane crash. Florida coward cop gets $10,000 month pension! At least father here survived, which means he didn't stall it. Sad about his daughter not making it.

Jim B said...

A terrible accident.

When you have a fire you are supposed to turn off the fuel feed and fuel pump(s).

Its all hindsight now. It had to be an extremely stressful situation.

Sadness for this family.