Friday, March 22, 2019

Loss of Lift: Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, N264PC; accident occurred November 14, 2018 at H. A. Clark Memorial Field Airport (KCMR), Williams, Coconino County, Arizona

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Williams, AZ
Accident Number: GAA19CA060
Date & Time: 11/14/2018, 1206 MST
Registration: N264PC
Aircraft: Beech 36
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, during an uphill takeoff into ascending terrain, about 4,000 ft down the 6,000-ft-long runway and at 80 knots, he rotated the airplane and stayed in ground effect to gain airspeed. He began pulling back to establish a climb, but the stall warning horn sounded, so he reduced the pitch attitude. He added that he "constantly attempted" to pitch up until he heard the stall horn. At the end of the runway, he retracted the landing gear, but it did not affect the airplane’s performance. He reported that he knew the airplane had attained a positive climb rate but did not know the specific value. He then saw that the airplane was going to strike a tree, so he pulled back hard, but the airplane struck the tree and then impacted terrain.

 The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airport’s automated weather observation station reported that, about 9 minutes after the accident, the wind was calm, temperature 50°F, dew point 3°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.41 inches of mercury. The airplane departed from runway 18.

The airport elevation was about 6,691 ft mean sea level (msl). Runway 18 was 6,000 ft by 100 ft with a 1.0% up gradient. The calculated density altitude was 7,128 ft. The calculated takeoff distance with flaps up was 2,442 ft, and the takeoff distance over a 50-ft obstacle was 4,440 ft. The calculated climb rate was 670 ft per minute.

The airplane was equipped with additional tip tanks per a supplemental type certificate, which increased the allowable maximum gross weight to 3,833 lbs. The pilot reported that the airplane’s weight at the time of the accident was 3,797 lbs with a center of gravity of 80.7 inches, which was near the forward center of gravity limit.

The pilot added that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector estimated that the tree was 35 to 40 ft tall. The FAA inspector provided an on-scene picture, which included the elevation and latitude and longitude coordinates for the accident site. The elevation was 6,716 ft msl, and based on the coordinates, about 0.4 mile from the end of the runway. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to attain a sufficient climb rate during initial climb in high-density altitude conditions with the airplane near its forward center of gravity and maximum gross weight limits, which resulted in an impact with trees.


Climb rate - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
CG/weight distribution - Capability exceeded (Cause)
Maximum weight - Capability exceeded (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tree(s) - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb
Attempted remediation/recovery
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/15/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/12/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1310 hours (Total, all aircraft), 214 hours (Total, this make and model), 1248 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N264PC
Model/Series: 36 A36
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: E-3444
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3833 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1468.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-39B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 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: KCMR, 6677 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1915 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 219°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.41 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Williams, AZ (CMR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Avalon, CA (AVX)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1202 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6690 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.305556, -112.194444 (est)


  1. The performance calculation in the investigation docket nails this situation. This is a perfect example to use in a classroom full of 300hp
    A36 Pilots, or any other pilot flying operating at these altitudes. I saw this same(nearly)this happen to a c-210 turbo with a tow on the conservative side. Many of us operate at much lower altitudes. I have learned from studying this report. Thanks Kathryn’s

  2. lucky guy. Should've aborted the takeoff, but I'm guessing lack of power at ground level isn't a common issue for Bonanza drivers.