Monday, April 29, 2019

Beech E50, registered to Engen LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N29Y: Accident occurred April 26, 2019 in Sheldon, Vernon County, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sheldon, MO
Accident Number: CEN19LA127
Date & Time: 04/26/2019, 1455 CDT
Registration: N29Y
Aircraft: Beech 50
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On April 26, 2019, about 1455 central daylight time, a Beech E50 (Twin Bonanza) airplane, N29Y, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a dirt field following a dual partial loss of engine power near Sheldon, Missouri. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, sustained no injury. The airplane was registered to Engen, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the El Dorado Springs Memorial Airport (87K), El Dorado Springs, Missouri about 1445.

The purpose of the flight was to reposition the airplane from 87K to the pilot's home base at the Atkinson Municipal Airport (PTS), Pittsburg, Kansas. The pilot reported this was the airplane's first flight since maintenance work was performed, including the annual inspection, which was completed on the day of the accident by an independent certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic. After departing from 87K and climbing to about 3,000 ft above mean sea level (msl) and on heading of 246°, the pilot configured the airplane for cruise flight.

About 1452, the pilot heard the right engine emit "sputtering" noises and was backfiring. The pilot applied power to the left engine and then noticed a "large smoke trail" was emitting from the left engine about 1 minute after the right engine started emitting "sputtering" noises and was backfiring. The pilot did not have carburetor heat applied and he reported that he always operates with the mixture in the full rich setting. Once the degradation of both engines commenced, the airplane was at an altitude of about 1,700 ft msl (about 800 ft above ground level), and the pilot concluded that the two engines were no longer producing adequate power to remain airborne.

The pilot decided to execute a forced landing to a dirt field that was tilled. During the forced landing sequence, the pilot did not have adequate time to execute an emergency shutdown on both engines as he reported the dual engine degradation and loss of altitude sequence happened fast. The pilot configured the airplane for the forced landing and during the landing roll on the dry dirt, the nose landing gear wheel collapsed, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage as shown in figure 1. Once the nose landing gear wheel collapsed up into the fuselage, the nose of the fuselage and the two Hartzell full-feathering metal three-blade propellers impacted the dirt. The pilot, stationed in the front left seat, was able to egress from the airplane without further incident and contacted first responders with his cellular phone from the accident site.

Figure 1 - View of the front of the airplane. 
(Courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration)

About 60 total gallons of 100 low lead fuel (about 30 gallons in each main fuel tank) were confirmed to be onboard at the time of the accident. The pilot purchased fuel from 87K, and the airport manager obtained a fuel sample from the onsite fuel storage facility and no contamination was noted in the sample. The airport manager further reported that other pilots who obtained fuel around the same time as the accident pilot did not report any issues with the fuel they purchased.

On April 27, 2019, an aviation safety inspector (ASI) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) traveled to the accident site. During the onsite examination by the FAA ASI, no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe and engine were noted. An examination of the airplane's maintenance records revealed no evidence of uncorrected mechanical discrepancies with the airframe and engine.

The FAA ASI interviewed the mechanic who reported the airplane was transported to 87K for the annual inspection in December 2018 and the annual inspection wasn't started until early March 2019. No major discrepancies were noted during the annual inspection. During the inspection of the fuel sumps, a small amount of water was discovered, but the mechanic reported this was "nothing more than usual" as seen during an annual inspection. No work was performed on the fuel system outside of the inspection. It was discovered that the right engine had a "bad" exhaust valve on one cylinder, and the cylinder was replaced by the mechanic. The mechanic further reported that both engines were ground ran several times at various power settings (including the highest power setting that could be safely accomplished without the airplane moving) during the annual inspection and no discrepancies were noted.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site and was transported to a secure location for a future examination of the airframe and both engines.

The six-seat capacity airplane, serial number EH-16, was manufactured in 1957. The airplane was equipped with two 340 horsepower supercharged Lycoming Engines GSO-480 series engines.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N29Y
Model/Series: 50 E50
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: KPTS, 952 ft msl
Observation Time: 1955 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: El Dorado Springs, MO (87K)
Destination: Pittsburg, KS (PTS)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.666111, -94.302222 (est) 

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