Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cessna 425 Conquest I, N622MM: Fatal accident occurred June 10, 2019 near Butler Memorial Airport (KBUM), Bates County, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri
Cessna; Wichita, Kansas
Pratt & Whitney; Montreal, FN

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Butler, MO
Accident Number: CEN19FA161
Date & Time: 06/10/2019, 1030 CDT
Registration: N622MM
Aircraft: Cessna 425
Injuries:1 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 10, 2019, about 1030 central daylight time, a Cessna 425 multi-engine airplane, N622MM, registered to Santa Fe Investments Inc., of Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by the pilot, was destroyed during a forced landing after experiencing engine problems, near Butler, Missouri. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The cross country flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated at 0554 from the Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB), Vero Beach, Florida, and its planned destination was the New Century Air Center Airport (IXD), Olathe, Kansas.

According to preliminary information provided by Air Traffic Control (ATC), the pilot was beginning to descend to set up his approach to IXD. Passing through about 17,000 feet msl, the pilot told the ATC controller that he was having problems retarding the power on the right engine. Passing through about 13,200 feet msl, the pilot told the controller that he was going to lower the landing gear and continue to proceed direct to IXD, and stated that he would have to shut down the right engine when he was in range of the airport. Passing through about 12,900 feet msl, The pilot told the controller that the right engine was still stuck at full power, and that he was going to have to shut the right engine down. Passing through about 7,800 feet msl, the pilot requested to change his destination to the nearest airport. The controller advised the pilot that the nearest airport was Butler Memorial Airport (BUM), about 8 miles away, and gave the pilot a vector to BUM.

Passing through about 6,200 feet msl, the controller asked the pilot to change frequencies and the pilot acknowledged but did not have the airport in sight. The controller issued another vector toward BUM. Passing through about 5,400 feet msl, the pilot told the controller that he still did not have the airport in sight, and a few seconds later told the controller that he had the airport in sight. Passing through about 4,000 feet msl, the controller advised the pilot of a possible tailwind if landing on runway 18 at BUM, and the pilot responded that he would go-around and set up for runway 36. Passing through about 2,900 feet msl, the controller asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight, and the pilot responded to standby and said, "I am trying to get this thing under control." Passing through about 1,800 feet msl, the pilot told the controller that, "she's going down," and stated that he was going to try to land on highway 69. The last radar information showed the airplane about 1,700 feet msl.

A witness near the accident site saw the airplane at low altitude, nosing down toward a field. Evidence at the accident site showed that the airplane impacted a 75-foot tall grain silo and fell to the ground. The grain silo was located about one mile from a highway, and about 4 miles from BUM. Local residents responded to the accident site and reported the accident.

The wreckage was moved to a secure facility and detailed examinations of the airframe fuel system and engines were conducted. Examinations of the engine accessories are ongoing. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N622MM
Model/Series: 425 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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BUM
Observation Time: 1015 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 90°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Vero Beach, FL (VRB)
Destination: Olathe, KS (IXD) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.350278, -94.340278

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 

 John N. McConnell Jr.

VERO BEACH, Florida  —  Authorities with the Bates County Coroner's Office say the pilot killed when his Cessna 425 Conquest I plane crashed into a western Missouri grain bin Monday has been identified as 80-year-old John N. McConnell Jr.

Neighbor Tom Kappus, of Vero Beach, said McConnell had homes in both Vero Beach and Kansas City.

Kappus said he was devastated when he learned his friend had died.

"It's such a sad day to think that John is not here," Kappus said. "He's one of those people you always expect to see."

Producing Artistic Director/CEO for Riverside Theatre Allen Cornell said he met McConnell through his wife, who became a board member when the couple moved to the Vero Beach.

"It's just hard for all of us here at the theatre to believe this happened because he was one of our mainstay supporters," Cornell said. "He was instrumental in so many things that we did here."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, McConnell departed from the Vero Beach Airport and was headed to the Butler Memorial Airport when the plane crashed.

McConnell was the only person on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.

Story and video ➤

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — One man died in a plane crash Monday morning in Bates County, Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that the crash happened off of Interstate 49 between Adrian and Passaic. The Bates County Sheriff's Office called the area part of rural Butler.

MSHP confirmed the pilot was the only person on board the small plane and was killed in the accident.

The Bates County Coroner's Office on Tuesday identified the pilot as 80-year-old John N. McConnell, of Kansas City, Missouri and Vero Beach, Florida.

The Cessna 425 Conquest I plane was headed for the Butler Memorial Airport from Vero Beach.

The Bates County Sheriff's Office said that the plane crashed into a grain bin.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. 80 year old pilot (flying alone) + fuel required miscalculation + complacency = very unfortunate ending to himself and a fine aircraft. I had noticed that this aircraft in previous flights had to divert more then once to another airport most likely due to running low on fuel. My prayers are with the family. Come on guys, it's nice to be able to fly as we get older, but for goodness sakes take a long a safety pilot!

  2. I have flown with many older pilots, as an instructor, and it is difficult to tell them that they are not up to "par", where they need to be better than "par".

    The issue is that even though I stop flying with them to keep my signature out of their logbooks does not stop them from flying without a flight review, medical or another qualified person, or in a legal airplane.

    The airlines live by a rule for a reason ....

  3. And does being 30 or 40 make you any better or smarter? I'll bet a study of "fuel starvation" accidents is more skewed to the under 50s than the over 50s.

  4. Not smarter, but more cognizant of your situation as a flight progresses

  5. fuel starvation? perhaps. I'm not that familiar with the C425, but 4+30 must be getting close. However, the crash occurred around 1030 on what was apparently a CAVU day. You mean to tell me, he could not have picked a more suitable place to dead stick it, but the side of a grain elevator, when all about him were wide open fields??

  6. "Not smarter, but more cognizant of your situation as a flight progresses"

    Plenty of 30 and 40 year olds in the stats to argue that age doesn't matter on lack of situational awareness


  7. Remember it's a twin. So fuel starvation means that one engine conks out. So suddenly he's got 400+ horsepower on one side and zero on the other. Flightaware depicts a tight 360-degree turn to the right at the very end. My theory would be that the right engine ran out of fuel and this initiated the tight turn to the right.

    It's not helpful that this occurred at the 4 1/2 hour mark. A pilot of any age is fatigued at the 4 1/2 hour mark. I'm not 80 years old and I would be startled plenty.

    Also unhelpful is that this plane is so fast and sleek. Power-to-weight of the 425 is almost on par with WWII warbirds. It's a very potent airplane. Once it got loose it might be be difficult to get it back.

  8. I would venture to guess fatigue and fuel mismanagement.

  9. According to flightaware, he was going to IXD and then diverted to Butler; meaning his intended destination was further than Butler. Guessing he diverted here due to a fuel limitation, and then experienced fuel exhaustion.

    Regardless of the cause, RIP to the pilot and condolences to his family.

  10. You have NO idea about this wonderful pilot. He was very conscientious and calculating. Keep your thoughts to yourself. No one planned so well as he did. You may just find yourself in the same situation one day!

  11. He was an amazing pilot. Extremely prepared and conscientious. Never took a chance with weather and planned perfectly. If you don't know him, keep your thoughts to yourself... because you have NO idea of the brilliant man who lost his life. God bless his family in this tragic time.

  12. Interesting discussion on

    Not likely fuel exhaustion.

    Some evidence that it's a strange over speed condition on engine.