Sunday, August 18, 2019

Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron, N678DM: Fatal accident occurred August 18, 2019 near New Castle Airport (KILG), Delaware

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Continental Aerospace Technology; Mobile, Alabama
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: New Castle, DE
Accident Number: ERA19FA250
Date & Time: 08/18/2019, 0851 EDT
Registration: N678DM
Aircraft: Beech 95B55
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On August 18, 2019, at 0851 eastern daylight time, a Beech 95-B55, N678DM, sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees and terrain after departing New Castle Airport (ILG), Wilmington, Delaware. The commercial pilot and flight instructor received fatal injuries. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight, which originated at 0849.

According to air traffic control radar and radio communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot established communication with the tower controller at ILG, who cleared the flight for takeoff on runway 32 and instructed them to make left traffic. The airplane initiated a takeoff roll; however, the pilot reported that they had a door "pop" and needed to return. The controller instructed the pilot to make a 180-degree turn and back-taxi on runway 32 but did not cancel their takeoff clearance. The pilot advised the controller they were conducting a training flight. He then told the controller they were ready to depart runway 32, and the controller cleared them for takeoff. After departing, the pilot advised the controller that they needed to return to the runway, however he did not specify a reason and did not declare an emergency. The controller then cleared the flight to land on any runway. The controller made 4 subsequent attempts to contact the pilot, but received no responses.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was manufactured in 1965 and issued an airworthiness certificate in 2002. It was equipped with two Continental IO-470-L, 260 horsepower engines that drove McCauley two-blade constant speed propellers. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was performed on August 10, 2019, at an airframe total time of 3,748 hours.

Examination of the wreckage at the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees and then terrain in a nose-low and inverted attitude. Two sections of the right wing (approximately six-ft. long) were separated outboard of the engine nacelle and were found in a tree approximately 30 ft above the ground adjacent to the main wreckage. Flight control cable continuity was established from all control surfaces to the cockpit. The left and right aileron bellcranks were fractured consistent with overload and all cable ends remained attached to their fittings.

Both fuel selector valves were removed from the airplane. The right fuel selector valve was found in the "main/right tank" position. The left fuel selector was found between the main and crossfeed detent. When the left fuel selector valve inlet was pressurized with air, no airflow passed through the crossfeed port and restricted airflow passed through the main tank port. The right and left engines controls were found in the following positions: the throttles were set full forward, the mixture controls were set to rich, and the propeller controls were set to high RPM settings. Both ignition switches were found in the ON position. All fuel caps were found closed and secured. The four fuel tanks were breached and no fuel was present in any of the tanks.

The left engine remained partially attached to the airframe through wires, hoses, and cables. There were no signs of a catastrophic internal engine failure. The crankshaft was rotated using a hand tool and continuity was established between the crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, and associated components. After the cylinders were removed, the exposed portions of the crankshaft were visually inspected; the visible portions displayed normal operating and lubrication signatures. The fuel pump was functionally tested and capable of pumping fuel. The magnetos were functionally tested and were capable of producing a spark to each magneto lead in the correct order.

The left propeller remained partially attached to the propeller flange; one propeller blade displayed minor chordwise scratches and the blade tip was bent approximately 90 degrees forward. The other propeller blade was bent aft and was loose in the hub.

The right engine remained partially attached to the airframe with cables, hoses, and wires. The crankshaft was rotated using a hand tool and continuity was established between the crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods and associated components. The fuel pump was functionally tested and capable of pumping fuel. The magnetos were functionally tested and were capable of producing a spark to each magneto lead in the correct order.

The right propeller had almost completely pulled free from the crankshaft. One propeller blade displayed minor twisting and aft bending deformation. The other propeller blade displayed S-bending deformation.

According to FAA records the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He held private privileges for airplane single-engine land. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on August 17, 2017, with the limitation of "must have available glasses for near vision." At that time, he reported 536 total hours of flight experience and 60 hours in the previous 6 months. According to a flight log found in the wreckage, the pilot had recorded about 586 total hours of flight experience with 72 hours of multi-engine experience since June 22, 2019.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate for airplane multi-engine and airplane single-engine. He was issued a second-class medical certificate on October 29, 2018, with the following limitation(s): Must wear corrective lenses. At that time, he reported civil flight experience that included 8,900 total hours and 115 hours in the last six months.

The 0851 recorded weather observation at ILG, located about 2 miles southeast of the accident location, included wind from 150° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 900 ft above ground level, scattered clouds at 12,000 ft above ground level, temperature 27° C, dew point 25° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N678DM
Model/Series: 95B55
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: ILG, 80 ft msl
Observation Time: 0851 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 900 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Wilmington, DE (ILG)
Destination: Wilmington, DE (ILG) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 39.690556, -75.638333 (est)

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 

Albert W. “Al” Dohring
July 25, 1940 - August 18, 2019

Albert W. “Al” Dohring, age 79, of Middletown, DE, passed away on Sunday, August 18, 2019.

 Born in Kent General Hospital, on July 25, 1940, he was a son of the late Nancy Ann (Warren) Dohring and Daniel William Dohring Sr.  Al had an accomplished aviation career spanning over many years and titles.  He served in the Delaware Air National Guard for more than 39 years, most recently as the Environmental Manager with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.  Al holds numerous licenses and type ratings, most proudly as a private flight instructor.  For the last 16 years, he worked for the Delaware River and Bay Authority in Airport Operations.  He had a passion for flying and boating.  Al’s fondest memories made were the times spent with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara A. Dohring; son, Derek D. Dohring of Middletown; and siblings, Daniel William Dohring Jr., Virginia (Dohring) Astfalk and Kathleen (Dohring) Boyd.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 9 am until 11 am on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 275 East Main Street, Middletown, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am.  Interment will follow in St. Georges Cemetery, Kirkwood-St. Georges Road, St. Georges, DE.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Al’s memory to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Terrence D. Daniels

Dr. Terrence D. Daniels, who was a retired Staff Sergeant in the United States Army, passed away tragically on August 18, 2019. His Family will greet relatives and friends on Tuesday Evening, August 27th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the PENNSYLVANIA BURIAL CO., INC., 1327-29 S. Broad St. His Interment Services with Military Honors will be on WEDNESDAY, August 28th precisely at 11:00am at The Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2645 Chesapeake City Rd., BEAR, DE 19710. Please arrive by 10:30 for Interment. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his memory to an Educational 529 Account his family is setting up for his son Grayson. Checks can be made payable to Grayson Daniels.

Terrence Daniels

Two men, including one from Philadelphia, were killed Sunday morning when their small plane crashed just after taking off from New Castle Airport, Delaware State Police said.

Terrence Daniels, 52, a Mount Airy resident who works as an administrator in the Pennsylvania Department of Education in Harrisburg, was identified by his wife as the pilot of the Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron. According to records, the plane is registered to Daniels.

Christina Daniels said she was notified Sunday evening about her husband’s death after several media outlets had reached out to her, based upon the name identified in the plane’s registration.

“He was an amazing man,” she said of her husband.

Albert Dohring, 79, of Middletown, Delaware, identified by Delaware State Police as an “instructor,” was also killed in the crash.

The aircraft went down at 8:53 a.m in a wooded area west of I-95 in New Castle County, according to a Delaware State Police statement. A motorist who was traveling on I-95 in the area of Churchmans Road reported seeing the crash, police said. The location is less than two miles west of the New Castle County Airport.

Police said the pilot of the plane issued a distress call moments after taking off from Runway 32 in a northwesterly direction. They said the pilot and a passenger, who was not identified, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Daniels, 52, a veteran Army air cavalry staff sergeant who received his doctoral degree in education in 2017 from Drexel University, was a devoted pilot, according to social media postings on which he described his passions as “golf and flying my plane.” His screen name on YouTube, where he posted videos of his air travels, was “Baron B55 Driver.”

Daniels posted a video recounting a close call he had last year landing his plane — an engine failure that happened near enough to the airport that he was able to “catch the runway” and land safely.

“You would think I would have enough God-given sense not to go back flying,” Daniels said in the post. “But no, that’s not me, that’s not my style.” Rather, Daniels said, he flew in another plane that day, to mark his 51st birthday.

“So, happy birthday to me,” he said. “Maybe I should be more careful since I have a new baby boy. I’ll think about it. All right. That’s it. Peace.”

Daniels lived in Mount Airy with his wife of 15 years, Christina, a SEPTA lawyer, his year-old son, Grayson, and “our three crazy pugs," according to a social media posting.

The accident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Delaware State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the aircraft manufacturer. Officials declined to speculate on a cause of the crash.

The Beechcraft 55 Baron is a popular early version of the Beechcraft Baron series; the B-55 was introduced in 1964 and produced through 1982, when it was replaced by updated models.

Daniels, who received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University, wrote his dissertation for his doctorate on the impact of student loan debt on African American students in Philadelphia who attended the University of Phoenix. He worked as an education administration associate in the state education department’s division of federal programs.

“He was a lifelong learner,” said Penny Hammrich, the dean of Drexel’s education school, who served on Daniels’ dissertation committee in 2017. “I’m in shock.

“He had a passion for giving a voice to those who couldn’t speak,” Hammrich said, referring to low-income students saddled with debt from a private for-profit university, the subject of his dissertation.

Sunday’s accident is the second fatal plane crash in the area this month. On the morning of Aug. 8, physician researchers Jasvir and Divya Khurana of Lower Merion died along with their daughter Kiran, 19, when their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza F33A crashed into backyards in Upper Moreland within minutes after taking off from Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

The pilot, Jasvir Khurana, 60, was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Temple University’s Katz School of Medicine. His wife, 54, was a pediatric neurologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and a professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Kiran Khurana graduated last year from Harriton High School, where she was on a nationally ranked squash team.

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) -- Officials said two people are dead following a plane crash in Newark, Delaware Sunday morning.

The incident occurred in the area of 550 Stanton Christiana Road around 9 a.m.

The plane's pilot radioed in that he needed to land and then officials lost communication with the pilot.

The twin-engine aircraft was found in a heavily wooded area off of Route 7, approximately two miles north of Runway 32 of New Castle Airport a short time later.

Officials said the Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron, registered to a Philadelphia resident, took off at approximately 8:50 a.m.

Two occupants were in the aircraft and both died in the crash.

At least 1 dead following plane crash in New Castle County, officials say: as seen on Action News Mornings, August 18, 2019

Officials said positive identification of the victims is pending.

The National Transportation Safety Board is on the scene and has begun their investigation.

"We're going to be looking at three areas: the pilot, we'll be looking at their certification, their medical background, and their training. We'll be looking at the aircraft. We'll be looking at the log books, the control surfaces and the engines. Thirdly, we'll be looking at the environment," said NTSB Investigator Pete Wentz.

Delaware state police said while there are no road closures at this time, motorists should expect delays due to heavy police activity in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration released the following information concerning the crash:

A Beechcraft BE-55 crashed into trees around one mile northwest of Wilmington Airport in Delaware at 9 a.m. today. The aircraft just departed from Runway 32 at the airport.

Local authorities will release the number of people aboard, their names and conditions. The FAA does not release names of people aboard aircraft.

The FAA will release the aircraft registration after officials release the names.

This information is preliminary and may change during the investigation.

The FAA will investigate along with the National Transportation Safety Board will be tasked with determining the probable cause of the accident

Story and video ➤

UPDATE: 12:15 P.M. — Two people are dead after a small airplane crashed in the woods near I-95 at Churchmans Road on Sunday morning, the Delaware River and Bay Authority said.

Delaware River and Bay Authority said the aircraft, which is registered to a Philadelphia resident, took off from Runway 32 at the New Castle Airport about 8:50 a.m. The pilot then immediately notified the air-traffic control tower of an urgent need to return to the airport, Delaware River and Bay Authority said. 

The aircraft crashed about two miles north of the runway in a wooded area off I-95 and Route 7 near the White Clay Medical Center, said Delaware River and Bay Authority, which operates the airport. 

There were two people — the pilot and a passenger — in the aircraft and both died, Delaware River and Bay Authority and State Police said. Their names are being withheld pending notification of kin.  

The Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron sustained significant damage, Delaware River and Bay Authority said. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified and were en route, Delaware River and Bay Authority said. 

 National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Delaware River and Bay Authority said.

State Police Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said troopers were on the scene of the crash Sunday morning. There were no road closures, but motorists were warned to expect delays due to the heavy presence of first responders in the area. 

A driver on I-95 called in the crash, according to radio traffic and State Police. The tower at the New Castle Airport told dispatchers that they had lost contact with an aircraft after it requested permission to land. 

First responders, which included Airport Rescue and Firefighting units, New Castle County EMS and several local fire departments, staged at White Clay Medical Center.

They were using Gators, small off-road utility vehicles, to get to the downed plane, according to radio traffic. 

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, which deals with hazardous chemicals and substances, was also on scene. 

Story and video ➤


  1. Another day another Baron crash. Go figure.

  2. Before I read the comment I was going to say "another day, another piston-twin crash". Will it turn out to be another engine failure and the pilot not being able to control it on one engine?

  3. We train to a minimum standard in the US. Once you get your multi rating you never have to practice again unless your insurance company requires it (light twins anyway). Get your flight review in a C172 and you are good to go.

    Many light twin drivers buy more airplane than they can afford to maintain. Don't expect them to waste money on training.

    Freedom isn't always free.

    RIP to all lost.

  4. looks like they went down inverted
    engine failure / VMC roll like Addison ??
    RIP :(

  5. I watched a few of the pilot's videos on YouTube; seemed like he really enjoyed flying and his B55. Very sad, like many crashes.

  6. ^^^^^ I watched a few as well.

    B55 is my favorite light twin.


  7. Back in the 1980’s I read an investment book in which the author, Howard Ruff, having become successful told how he decided against his inclination to get a twin engine airplane, when due diligence revealed twins were more dangerous to fly than a single engine airplane, because of the problem of flying on only one engine. At first, he thought it would be a safety factor to have an extra engine, in case of an engine failure. However, after researching the matter got a single engine plane.

  8. Twins are not intrinsically more dangerous than single engine planes, one can for example retard both throttles upon an engine failure and feather both props, push the nose down to best glide and sort it out or just land

    This would make twins and single engines behave exactly the same in an emergency.

    I believe this change would be beneficial in low altitude or takeoff engine failures, assuming one is not stupid enough to take off below Vmc.

    The Addison TX crash as well as a few other also show trying to salvage flying on a single engine is generally a disaster regardless of the skills and experience involved.

    The human brain is just not made to do a series of complex operations beyond a simple throttle pull in the few seconds an emergency develops. Heading and control shall be preserved at all costs and screw trying to preserve any sort of altitude.

  9. A comment above related a story how a lawyer did due diligence and found that twin engine aircraft are somehow more hazardous than singles. That's an interesting conclusion given that no statistics are kept for piston engine failures. The NTSB, under CFR 830.2, only requires a report for a piston engine failure that results in significant damage to the aircraft, or a serious injury to an occupant. In fact if any single piston engine (in a multi- or single engine aircraft) catastrophically fails, no report is required if the airplane lands successfully. For this reason, we only hear about the events that end in a bad crash. There is no way to draw any logical conclusion from recorded crash events, as there are no statistics regarding flight frequency, maintenance performed, training received, or environmental factors on aircraft that do not crash, and in many cases even on aircraft that do crash. If someone tells you otherwise, you are being told a work of fiction.

  10. "The human brain is just not made to do a series of complex operations beyond a simple throttle pull in the few seconds an emergency develops. Heading and control shall be preserved at all costs and screw trying to preserve any sort of altitude"

    I will try to remember this on my next proficiency check in the triple.