Friday, May 17, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Beechcraft 60 Duke, N60RK; fatal accident occurred May 15, 2019 near Fort Collins-Loveland Airport (KFNL), Larimer County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Lycoming Engines; Milliken, Colorado
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Loveland, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN19FA143
Date & Time: May 15, 2019, 12:48 Local
Registration: N60RK
Aircraft: Beech 60 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Ferry


The commercial pilot was relocating the multiengine airplane following the completion of an extensive avionics upgrade, which also included the installation of new fuel flow transducers. As the pilot neared the destination airport, he reported over the common traffic advisory frequency that he had "an engine out [and] smoke in the cockpit." Witnesses observed and airport surveillance video showed fire emanating from the airplane's right wing. As the airplane turned towards the runway, it entered a rightrolling descent and impacted the ground near the airport's perimeter fence.

The right propeller was found feathered. Examination of the right engine revealed evidence of a fire aft of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel pump was discolored by the fire. The fire sleeves on both the fuel pump inlet and outlet hoses were burned away. The fuel outlet hose from the fuel pump to the flow transducer was found loose. The reason the hose was loose was not determined. It is likely that pressurized fuel sprayed from the fuel pump outlet hose and was ignited by the hot turbocharger, which resulted in the inflight fire.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control due to an inflight right engine fire due to the loose fuel hose between the engine-driven fuel pump and the flow transducer.


Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Fuel distribution - Failure
Aircraft Fuel distribution - Not inspected
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern downwind Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern downwind  Fire/smoke (non-impact)
Uncontrolled descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On May 15, 2019, at 1248 mountain daylight time, a Beech 60, N60RK, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an emergency landing at Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL), Loveland, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Majeste Air LLC, and was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the accident site at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight which originated from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado, about 1230, was destined for FNL.

The airplane had been at BJC since July 2017 for the installation of new avionics which included a primary flight display (PFD); multi-function display (MFD); a backup to the electronic flight instrument system (EFIS); two navigation, communication, and GPS units, a transponder, audio panel, and associated wiring.

According to individuals who performed work on the airplane, a Hobbs meter oil hose was installed, as well as a longer fuel line in order to use the same mounting locations for the fuel flow transducers. This was only required on the right engine because of the location of air conditioning compressor.

Three engine runs were conducted after the work was completed. The first test run revealed an oil leak in the left engine oil pressure transducer. The line was retorqued and the two subsequent engine runs revealed no anomalies. In a telephone conversation about 2 weeks before the accident, the pilot stated that he was applying for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ferry permit because the airplane's annual inspection had expired. The pilot arrived at the airport about 1130. He did not have a ferry permit and no ferry permit inspection was conducted.

At 1217, the pilot contacted BJC ground control and requested a "high-speed taxi" before takeoff. The request was granted, and the pilot made the high-speed taxi on runway 12L. He was subsequently cleared for takeoff at 1226.

At 1247, the pilot reported on the FNL common traffic advisory frequency that he was on the left downwind leg for runway 15 and that he had "an engine out [and] smoke in the cockpit." The pilot of another airplane advised that he could see the fire and that the runway was clear. The accident pilot replied, "I've got a fire. I'm gonna land it pretty darn quick. Please have the trucks come on out." There were several ground witnesses, one of which said that the airplane's right wing was on fire before the accident.

A video taken by an airport security camera showed the airplane on a base leg for runway 15. Fire could be seen on the right side of the airplane. The airplane completed two full rolls as it descended before impacting a dry retention pond about ¼-mile from the approach end of the runway.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/14/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  7000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

The 69-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single- and multiengine land and instrument ratings. He also held a third-class airman medical certificate, dated March 14, 2018, that contained the restriction, "Must wear corrective lenses for distant vision and have available glasses for near vision." At the time of his medical certification, he reported civil flight experience of 7,000 total hours with 50 hours in the previous 6 months.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N60RK
Model/Series: 60 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: P-79
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6775 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3119.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TIO-541-E1C4
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The accident airplane (serial number P-79), was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1969. It was powered by two Lycoming TIO-541-E1C4 fuel-injected reciprocating engines (serial numbers RL-1143-59, left; L-1676-59. right), each rated at 310 horsepower, and each with Hartzell 3-blade, all-metal, constant speed propellers (model number HC-F73YR-2UF).

According to the maintenance records, the last annual inspection occurred on September 1, 2017, when the airframe had accrued 3,119.9 hours on the tachometer (the Hobbs meter read 1,754.0 hours). At that time, the left engine had accrued 3,337.5 total hours and 902.9 hours since major overhaul, and the right engine had accrued 3,467.3 total hours and 827.7 hours since major overhaul. Review of FAA records confirmed that the pilot had not obtained a ferry permit for the accident flight.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FNL, 5016 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1256 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 210°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Broomfield, CO (BJC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Loveland, CO (FNL)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1230 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

The recorded weather conditions at FNL about the time of the accident included wind from 210° at 7 knots, variable between 180° and 240°; 10 miles visibility; clear sky; temperature 28°C; dew point 01°C; altimeter setting, 29.96 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: Northern Colorado Regional (FNL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5016 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight and On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.464722, -105.085556

The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of 072° at an elevation of 4,869 ft mean sea level (msl).

The right engine was located about 40 ft northeast of the main wreckage. The right wing was separated just outboard of the right nacelle and came to rest on a heading of 192°. Fire had consumed the inboard right wing, which was oriented on a heading of 020°. The left wing was also destroyed by fire; it was oriented on a magnetic heading of 204°.

The rudder and right elevator were destroyed by fire, but the left elevator was intact and oriented on a magnetic heading of 090°. The fuselage and instrument panel were destroyed by fire. Control cable continuity was established to all flight controls from their attach points through tensile overload failures. The flap actuators were consumed by fire. The left main landing gear was found in the retracted position. The nose landing gear and right main landing gear were separated during the impact sequence. The actuating arm indicated that the landing gear was extended.

Continuity and compression were established on the right engine except for cylinder Nos. 1, 3 and 5 due to impact damage, A significant area of thermal damage was observed in the vicinity of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel line from the pump to the fuel flow transducer was loose and could be moved by hand. The fuel strainer screens clean, but each bowl contained burnt material. Both fuel selector valves were positioned on the main tanks. Continuity and compression were established on the left engine. The magnetos were thermally damaged and did not spark.

The right propeller remained attached to the engine and was in the feathered position. Two blades were straight and unremarkable; the third blade exhibited S-bending. The left propeller remained attached to the left engine. One blade remained attached to the hub and was bent slightly forward at midspan. The other two blades separated from the hub; one blade was straight, the other was fractured at midspan.

The left side of the right engine sustained heavy impact damage. The turbocharger pipes were displaced to the right, and the flange bolts were sheared off to the right. The air conditioning hoses were completely consumed by fire. There was evidence of fire aft of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel pump was discolored by fire. The fire sleeves on both the fuel pump inlet and outlet hoses were burned away. The fuel outlet hose to the flow transducer was loose. 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Larimer County Chief Medical Examiner in Loveland, Colorado. The cause of death was attributed to blunt force and thermal injuries.

Toxicological screening performed by FAA's Forensic Sciences laboratory found no evidence of carboxyhemoglobin or ethanol in blood, or drugs in urine. A cyanide test was not performed.

The single occupant of the Beechcraft 60 Duke that crashed in Loveland on Wednesday has been identified as Thomas Lawson, 69, of Golden, according to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

Deputy Coroner Debbie Reisdorff said Monday morning that Lawson died of blunt force and thermal injuries, and the manner of his death has been deemed accidental.

The Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on Lawson on Thursday morning but could not positively confirm his identity until tracking down his dental records.

Lawson was piloting the twin-engine plane, which was built in 1969 with the tail number “N60RK.” The Federal Aviation Administration shows it registered to Majeste Air LLC in Las Vegas.

According to, a website that archived transmissions between air traffic control and N60RK Wednesday, Lawson reported “we have an engine out with smoke in the cockpit” just after noon. Seconds later, traffic control replied “we do see a fire on you, runway’s clear.” Lawson then radios, “I’ve got a fire, I’m going to land it pretty darn quick.”

Traffic control then notifies airport fire crews of the emergency landing and a possible fire on the runway. Seconds later, another person reported “…be advised, the Duke has lost control; it has crashed.”

About 1 minute, 18 seconds passed between Lawson’s report of smoke and the report that he had crashed.

Lawson’s Duke crashed just south of County Road 30, about a quarter-mile northwest of the Larimer Humane Society. A witness reported that the plane “nose-dived” into a dry retention pond and was “immediately on fire.”

The National Transportation Safety Board began investigating the crash and the crash site around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Original article can be found here ➤

The Larimer County Coroner’s Office has completed an autopsy of the pilot who died in Wednesday’s plane crash near Loveland but will need dental records to officially identify the victim, which it will release with the cause and manner of death, according to Deputy Coroner Debbie Reisdorff.

While coroners continue to investigate the identity of the single occupant of the plane that crashed just south of County Road 30 near the Larimer Humane Society, National Transportation Safety Board investigators are piecing together a timeline of the crash using witness accounts and the plane wreckage.

Crash witness Todd Annand told the Reporter-Herald that he was eating lunch in his truck Wednesday before the crash. He was parked on the side of County Road 30 just south of Nelson Reservoir, where he did excavation work Wednesday and Thursday.

“First I saw the shadow pass over me,” Annand said, recalling the seconds before the crash. “Then it nose-dived into the pond; it was about 100-150 feet from my truck.”

He said the plane was “immediately on fire” upon impact. He got out of his truck, called 911 and attempted to approach the wreckage.

“But with those flames, there was nothing I could do,” Annand said, adding that the plane must have passed very close to him and his truck. “Someone was looking out for me yesterday.”

Annand said he then devoted his time to getting work vehicles and construction equipment away from the site to make way for emergency apparatus and personnel. He remained on scene to answer investigators’ questions until about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

At the crash site Thursday morning, investigators inspected and pulled apart the wreckage and placed it on a flatbed truck. Arnold Scott, senior air safety investigator for the NTSB, said investigators would then take the plane to Beegle’s Aircraft Services in Greeley, where they would continue to study the wreckage.

Scott said the plane was headed southbound when it crashed, and witnesses reported flames coming from the right wing of the airplane. He confirmed that the plane had two engines and propellers, and that as of Thursday morning, he was “very suspicious about that right engine.”

He added that people from Textron Aviation and Lycoming Engines also investigated the crash site Thursday morning. Textron Aviation owns Beechcraft, which manufactured the plane and equipped it with two Lycoming engines. The plane is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration as a Beech 60 “Duke” manufactured in 1969. The plane belongs to Majeste Air LLC in Las Vegas, Nev.

According to the Flight Safety Foundation, the plane left Broomfield-Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport on Wednesday. Northern Colorado Regional Airport Director Jason Licon said Thursday that according to flight data, the plane intended to land at the NCRA. He added that most flight arrivals and departures are coordinated through Denver TRACON, and most are not scheduled through the airport officials.

Licon added that he was not familiar with the history of the Beech 60 that crashed, and that due to the off-site crash, the NCRA would not be conducting an investigation.

Scott said the pilot radioed that there was smoke in the cockpit shortly before the crash, which happened just before 12:49 p.m. The pilot radioed again to report further smoke and a possible engine fire. A different person called 911 shortly after that to report they had seen a plane with a wing on fire.

He said his next step would be to compile radar data to determine a flight timeline for the Beech 60.

Scott said that upon first glance, engine failure seemed evident due to the mechanical position of the propeller blades at the crash site. He explained that when an engine fails, pilots are taught to “feather the prop” of a failed engine, or turn the propeller blades so the “fins” point straight backwards for minimum air resistance.

“The props are in that position now,” Scott said, “but they may have turned that way on impact. We’ll have to take them apart to be sure. You never trust what you see; always pull it apart.”

Scott said he’s been an investigator for 37 years, and fiery crashes can be difficult to investigate.

“The plane is ashes,” he said. “I hate fire.”

Original article  ➤

One person died after a small plane crash Wednesday afternoon just north of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

Emergency crews responded to the report of a plane crash just north of the airport off Larimer County Road 30 in Loveland. Authorities confirmed around 6:23 p.m. that the lone occupant of the plane died, but did not confirm that was the pilot.

Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Battalion Chief Carie Dann said the National Transportation Safety Board would release any further information on the crash, and the Larimer County Coroner’s Office would be responsible for releasing the identity of the person who died, as well as his or her cause and manner of death.

An investigator on scene Wednesday evening said the NTSB would resume its  investigation around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Loveland Fire Rescue was summoned at 12:49 p.m. to an in-flight emergency, with smoke in the cabin, according to Dann.

Crash witness Michael Stahl said he saw what looked to be “a fireball dropping straight down” as he was driving north on Interstate 25 just south of U.S. 34.

“My first thought was that it looked like a meteor dropping from the sky but it was going way too slow,” Stahl said in a Wednesday email. “It dropped below the horizon and that is when the dark black smoke cloud raised.”

At 12:54, crews arrived to find plane wreckage just south of County Road 30, across the road from Nelson Reservoir. They upgraded the call to an official plane crash response and put out a fire at the site. Smoke was visible throughout the area.

Federal investigators reached the scene just after 3 p.m. to conduct an investigation on the crash.

The debris from the plane was in a relatively small area, Dann said, in a dry detention pond about a quarter-mile northwest of the Larimer Humane Society, 3501 E. 71st St.

Crews remained on scene until after 3:30 p.m. to try to mitigate the impact of the fuel spilled from the plane. Dann said the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment was notified of the incident.

Though not confirmed by federal investigators, she said she believed a single-engine plane had crashed. Only one propeller and engine could be seen in the wreckage Wednesday.

About 40 personnel from Fort Collins-based Poudre Fire Authority, Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue, Loveland Police Department and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the response.

The crash didn’t affect operations at the Loveland airport, according to a tweet from the airport shortly after the crash. County Road 30 was closed about two hours between Frontage Road to the east and County Road 9 to the west.

Original article can be found here ➤

Investigators suspect issues with the right engine could have caused the fatal plane crash near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

The Larimer County Coroner's Office has not been able to positively identify the pilot and plans to use dental records to make the identification, office spokesperson Debbie Reisdorff wrote in an email.

The crash occurred just after 1 p.m. Wednesday about half-mile north of the airport in Loveland after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and an engine on fire, according to emergency radio transmissions. 

Northern Colorado Regional Airport general manager Jason Licon said the plane intended to land at the airport, traveling from the Broomfield-Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, about 45 miles away.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane involved was a Beechcraft 60 Duke, manufactured in 1969 and registered to Majeste Air, LLC in Las Vegas, NV. 

Investigators have focused their investigation on the right engine, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board Arnold Scott said. The wreckage has been transported to Beegle’s Aircraft Services in Greeley, where officials will continue to investigate the right engine. 

"I suspect it was the engine," Scott said.

Several witnesses told investigators they saw the plane on fire while still in the air, and Scott said the next objective for investigators is to figure out what caused the fire.

Witnesses told the Coloradoan they saw the plane catch fire in the air, and then spin or flip before crashing, causing a ground fire and a plume of black smoke. 

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Wow third Duke going down this month.

  2. Holy crap ............. time to give the B-60 wide berth on the ramp

  3. in the first picture the prop looks to be feathered; one blade not damaged.

  4. The engine with the cowling is heavily sooted and its propellers are feathered.

  5. Another duke bites the dust...

    Seriously though the rudder force needed in case the pilot is graced by single engine operations is the maximum allowed by the FAA. So it seems to me this plane is on the capricious side if an engine fails.

    Looks gorgeous but apparently a pain in the ass to maintain to boot.


  6. Only plane I ever had engine failure cruising at 22,000 in VFR weather 80 NM SE of Tucson fully loaded. No problems, follow POH and training, add rudder trim for operating 375 HP Lycoming and fly the plane to landing.....

    1. He said VFR weather, not operating VFR. Not the same.

    2. although in "VMC" or "in visual conditions" is more accurate.

    3. He said VFR "weather", you must fly in MSFS2020 or X-Plane only.

  7. A plane catching fire is a difficult emergency to overcome.

    1. The video shows rapid fire escalation for 5.6 seconds before impact, there was no time to do anything, 2 seconds in the pilot probably was trying to avoid the fire and not flying the plane. Simply a awful event

  8. Failed engine, fire, smoke in cockpit, single pilot......very tiny probability of a positive outcome regardless of how good you are. You can only do so much.

  9. Hate to say it but a 3k personal parachute would be a good investment as would be hinges on the door for a quick release and when operating it solo. Better outcome chance when a plane catches fire in cruise.

    1. A typical sport parachute takes about 400ft to open. I doubt thie Incident Pilot had that amount of sufficient of altitude or a sufficient amount of time to exit the aircraft and deploy a parachute.

    2. He entered a roll due to the right engine falling off, no time for a parachute plan

    3. The A and B 60 series use an aft door, nearly impossible to open during flight. Besides, during a catastrophic fire such as this pilot experienced, more than likely the pilot was frantically taking actions to contain the fire. Your first thoughts are to identify, address issues and fly the airplane … not to try and jump out. As important, there are people below .. something that professional pilots sacrifice their lives in order to avoid further disaster.

  10. "Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot" ??? Is the NTSB blaming the Pilot because the fuel clamp was loose? I haven't really seem much of "Blame the Pilot" instead of the mechanic who didn't tighten the fuel hose lately. Stick around and I guess you will see everything.

  11. Having 3700 hours in my B60, and with that 23 annual inspections and several upgrades, I have had more than I’d like to experience faulty AP AI work performed. Once was a severe issue tied to the fuel selector valves where two fittings developed leaks. The odor of gasoline in the cockpit was overwhelming and an emergency (IFR) descent was initiated into Hobby field, Texas.
    I learned that it’s imperative to double check. No matter what you fly, double check.

  12. I'm curious, does anybody know for sure which shop at BJC had this plane for TWO YEARS? They apparently didn't do the fuel line correctly, but my big question mark is TWO YEARS???

  13. and another pilot dies because of maintenance.


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