Sunday, July 14, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Beech B36TC Bonanza, N6860W; accident occurred August 20, 2018 near La Porte Municipal Airport (T41), Harris County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: LaPorte, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA340
Date & Time: 08/20/2018, 0620 CDT
Registration: N6860W
Aircraft: BEECH B36TC
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 20, 2018, at 0620 central daylight time, a Beech B36TC single-engine airplane, N6860W, was destroyed when the engine lost power and the pilot made a forced landing in a wooded area 1/4-mile southeast of La Porte Municipal Airport (T41), La Porte, Texas. The airplane was registered to and operated by RD Airways, Channelview, Texas, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for local flight. The flight was originating from T41 at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that after taking off and starting a climb, the airplane began to make a "weird very loud sound and the engine started to lose power." The pilot verified the throttle, mixture, and propeller controls were full forward. The engine noise "started getting louder and power was almost gone." When the pilot activated the auxiliary fuel pump, the engine "just got real loud and sounded very deep. I knew I was descending." The airplane continued to descend, and the pilot made a forced landing near a housing development on unsuitable terrain. Both wings were separated from the airplane. The pilot was not injured.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane, and reported "the exhaust section looks like it had been having some issues for a while. Also disturbing is the v-band clamp condition." He also stated an Airworthiness Directive (A.D. 2018-06-11) had been issued in June 2018. That AD added a life limit to the exhaust tailpipe v-band clamp that attaches the exhaust tailpipe to the turbocharger and requires an annual visual inspection of the exhaust tailpipe v-band coupling (clamp).

The engine was sent to Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama, where, on March 13, 2019, it was functionally tested under the oversight of an FAA inspector. The engine performed with no anomalies. According to Continental Motors, the v-band may have been loose enough to allow manual rotation of the turbo outlet collar. A hose used to connect the aftermarket intercooler was oil-soaked and did not appear to be freshly torn. If the hose failed in flight, manifold pressure would have immediately dropped and the "weird" sound could have been turbo discharge pressure escaping through the tear. When the engine lost turbo pressure, the fuel pump would have continued to operate with a much richer mixture, not sensing the loss of induction pressure to the engine. When the pilot turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, the engine would have been further flooded with excess fuel pressure.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/14/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  63 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model), 13 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N6860W
Model/Series: B36TC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: EA-411
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/23/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3103 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520UB12B
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: Dawn
Observation Facility, Elevation: EFD, 32 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0650 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 225°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 26°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: La Porte, TX (T41)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: La Porte, TX (T41)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0620 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: La Porte Municipal (T41)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4165 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  29.672500, -95.069722