Monday, November 19, 2018

Beech 95-B55 (T42A) Baron, N4817M: Fatal accident occurred November 17, 2018 near Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (KLBL), Kansas

Dick and Kris James, who in 1994 founded Dick James & Associates Inc., one of Sacramento's leading property management firms for multifamily, died in a plane crash on November 17th.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Liberal, KS
Accident Number: CEN19FA029
Date & Time: 11/17/2018, 1657 CST
Registration: N4817M
Aircraft: Beech 55
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 17, 2018, about 1657 central standard time, a Beech BE-95-B55, N4817M, impacted a field during a visual localizer approach to runway 35 at Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL), Liberal, Kansas. The airplane impacted powerlines and terrain about 3 nautical miles south of runway 35. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was operating on an instrument flight rules flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight departed from Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), Montrose, Colorado and was destined to Dodge City Regional Airport (DDC), Dodge City, Kansas, but diverted to LBL due to weather at DDC.

The pilot reported to air traffic control (ATC) that that airplane picked up moderate rime ice descending to 5,100 feet, en route to DDC. The pilot reported that the airplane was picking up too much ice, and he would like to climb to 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). ATC cleared the airplane to 8,000 feet msl. The pilot then reported moderate/severe icing. The airplane was about 12 miles south of LBL when the pilot told ATC that the airplane was unable to climb and was now at 3,500 feet msl. The pilot told ATC that he regained control of the airplane, and he was in visual flight rules conditions. ATC cleared the airplane direct LBL at 3,500 ft msl. The LBL Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) reported ceilings of 600 foot above ground level and a visibility of 7 statute miles. The pilot requested radar vectors to the instrument landing system (ILS) approach at LBL, and ATC stated they were unable to provide radar vectors because the airplane was below the minimum IFR attitude. The pilot said that he had the approach chart for the ILS. The pilot reported established on the localizer, which was confirmed by ATC. ATC then cancelled the flight's IFR clearance and terminated radar service. ATC asked the pilot to confirm the airport in sight, and the pilot said that he could not see out of the windshield and would have to get closer. The pilot was told to contact ATC after landing. There were no further recorded ATC communications from the flight.

The airplane was located about 3 miles south of runway 35 in a relatively flat field and about 325 feet north of unlighted/unmarked powerlines, which had the its top wire separated. The top wire was estimated to be about 50 feet in height. The airplane nose landing gear and one of the propellers displayed features consistent with a wire strike. The landing gear was in the extended position, and the flaps were in the 0-degree position. Both propellers were broken off at their hubs and exhibited a 45-degree fracture face consistent with torsional overload. Flight control continuity from the control surfaces to the cabin was confirmed. The airplane windshields were covered in ice when the airplane was located by law enforcement about 1920. On the following day of the accident, there was about ½ inch of ice on the leading edges of the horizontal stabilizers. The airplane was not certificated for flight into icing conditions, and it was not equipped with a wing anti-ice/de-ice system. The airplane was equipped with an alcohol deice system for the propeller and windshield. The reservoir tank for the alcohol deice system and its fluid lines were dry and exhibited features consistent with long-term non-use.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N4817M
Model/Series: 55 95B55
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LBL, 2886 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / , 30°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 600 ft agl
Visibility: 7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Montrose, CO (MTJ)
Destination: Liberal, KS (LBL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.985000, -100.955278

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

Dick James and his beloved wife Kris.

A celebration of life will be held on Jan. 13 for Dick and Kris James, who founded one of the Sacramento region’s largest property management firms and died in a plane crash on Nov. 17.

According to employees with Dick James & Associates Inc., the couple died after the plane Dick James was flying clipped a power line and crashed as they were landing in rough weather at an airport in Oklahoma.

“It’s so sudden that it’s still hard to think about,” said Michele Amaral, the couple’s daughter and the president and chief financial officer of the company. “They always had an attitude of treating everyone like family.”

Dick James, who grew up on a farm in Isleton, came to Sacramento as a young man and answered a newspaper ad in 1964 promising a real estate license in exchange for working for a firm selling properties, said Jack Anderson, who works in strategic operations for Dick James & Associates.

James spent decades as a leading broker, primarily for apartment properties, before he ended up owning one himself, Anderson said. After he realized the manager manager of the property was doing a lousy job, he began to move into that side of business and within about eight months, the property was profitable, Anderson said. That led to founding Dick James & Associates in 1994. The firm ranked second this year on the Business Journal’s list of largest local multifamily property management companies.

“What the company grew into is a one-stop shop,” Anderson said, describing how the firm handles accounting, marketing, maintenance and landlord responsibilities on behalf of multifamily owners. Dick James & Associates now manages 90 properties and 8,000 units in three states including California, he said. “One of the things we love to do is taking a property that’s underperforming and turn it profitable."

Dick James received quite a bit of help in growing his company from his wife. Anderson and Amaral said Kris James’ experience in executive administrative work lent itself to formalizing the new company around her husband’s philosophies.

“They learned by trial and error at the beginning,” Amaral said, describing her father as a lone wolf-type broker who had to adjust to working in a company with others.

As the company grew, Dick and Kris James told employees they felt lucky to have been able to provide so many people with jobs and homes, Anderson said.

Amaral and Anderson said they’d describe the couple as strong individuals. “I wouldn’t call them sweet,” Amaral said, but her mom was a generous donor to charities, and her father enjoyed bringing people up. Anderson said the couple often hired recent immigrants to the U.S. and helped them establish lives here.

The couple also enjoyed aviation and became pilots, a hobby that their children also picked up. The Jameses were on their way to the entertainment hub of Branson, Missouri, when they crashed.

Kris James had retired from the company last year, while Dick James was in the early stages of forming a succession plan for his children to keep the company going, Amaral said. Her brother Todd Stevenot, an experienced professional with an MBA, has joined the company as CEO in the unexpected transition, she said.

Next month’s celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Arden West in Sacramento. Those wanting to make a donation in their memory are encouraged to donate to Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary.

A California man and a woman are dead this week following a aircraft fatality accident as reported by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

According to the report, the crash occurred five miles east of Tyrone at about 6 p.m. on November 17th with a Beech 95-B55 (T42A) Baron, piloted by 79-year-old Richard C. James. He was pronounced dead at the scene due to massive injuries.

The name of the woman in the crash is being withheld pending positive identification. She was also pronounced dead at the scene due to massive injuries.

Weather conditions were cloudy at the time of the crash. Both victims were found pinned inside the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been advised.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Original article ➤


  1. Looking at FlightAware, this pilot took off from Sacramento,CA at 9:05am and flew direct to Montrose,CO for a fuel stop? He then took off bound for Liberal,KS and was near his destination when the crash happened. My feeling is that's a lot of flying (5hrs,13 min) in one day for a 79 year old pilot. He was also at 15,500' for almost 2 hrs before the crash. Could his oxygen system not have been working correctly assuming he was using it? Could fatigue have played a role in this accident? Maybe another case of gethereitis.

  2. Your "feeling" is incorrect. Was not bound for Liberal, he was bound for Branson, MO when he encountered icing over SE Colorado and was attempting a diversionary landing in Liberal. PIREPS re: icing had been issued for the area.

  3. The female may have been a member of the Sacramento 99's chapter, given the plane tail information. I would check with them.

  4. Pictures of the aircraft, N4817M show that it was not equipped with deice boots. If it encountered significant icing conditions as one poster said above, that could leave the pilot flying a difficult, if not possible, to control airplane.


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