Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Beechcraft C24R Sierra, N24030: Fatal accident occurred September 07, 2019 near Henderson Executive Airport (KHND), Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


John F. McCarthy

Location: Las Vegas, NV
Accident Number: WPR19FA252
Date & Time: 09/07/2019, 1950 PDT
Registration: N24030
Aircraft: Beech C24
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On September 7, 2019, about 1950 Pacific daylight time, a Beech C-24R, airplane, N24030, impacted a divided roadway during a return to the airport shortly after takeoff, about a 1/4 mile from the departure end of runway 17R at the Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were fatally injured and the two passengers had serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to a So Cal Leasing LLC, and operated by the California Flight Academy as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The flight was destined for Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), San Diego/El Cajon, California.

An eyewitness that was located at the north end of the airport, was monitoring the tower frequency with a handheld radio. He saw the accident airplane taxi near his location and perform a run-up; all while the passenger door was open. The airplane's engine sounded normal during the run-up and the left entry door was closed prior to obtaining takeoff clearance and entering the runway. The eyewitness reported that the airplane appeared to roll down the runway about 500-600 ft with about 50% power, before full power was applied and lifting off the runway. The airplane climbed to about 50 to 100 ft above ground level and appeared to struggle to gain altitude; climbing a few feet and then descending. The eyewitness heard the pilot on his radio report to the tower that a door had opened and requested to return to land. The airplane then appeared to climb about another 50 to 100 ft, and then initiated a left turn. Subsequently, the airplane entered a nose down left bank and impacted the terrain.

According to the operator, the accident airplane was used as an instructional flight and to transport a mechanic and an additional pilot from SEE to HND to repair and return a company airplane back to SEE. When the other company airplane could not be repaired, all four then planned to return in the accident airplane that morning. When the first flight was unsuccessful at getting over the mountains during departure, a second attempt to depart HND was performed later that night.

Airport employees reported that the accident airplane arrived at HND around 0800 and parked at the transient parking for about 1-1/2 hours. A fuel request came in and the airplane was refueled to about 1.5 inches from the fueling ports, a little more than halfway up the fuel tank tabs. A total of 23 gallons of fuel was added to the airplane. Shortly after refueling, four individuals were aboard the airplane when it departed HND and returned minutes later to the transient parking area. An occupant on that flight stated to one of the airport employees that it was too hot and that the airplane couldn't climb to get around the mountains.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted a divided roadway, slid through a steel barrier fence, and came to rest in a culvert drainage area. The empennage separated from the main wreckage just aft of the baggage door area and was found adjacent to the culvert entrance. The main wreckage was partially consumed by post-impact fire. The cabin area and the wing's inboard sections, including the wing fuel tanks were mostly consumed by post-impact fire. The wreckage was relocated to a secured facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N24030
Model/Series: C24 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: California Flight Academy
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHND, 2458 ft msl
Observation Time: 0256 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Las Vegas, NV (HND)
Destination: El Cajon, CA (SEE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  35.971389, -115.133889 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

 John F. McCarthy

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — John F. McCarthy has been identified by his family as the second man who died in a small plane crash near Henderson Executive Airport on the night of September 7th, 2019.

Two people died and three others were injured in the crash. The plane was heading towards San Diego, California from a work trip in the Las Vegas valley and had multiple pilots inside, according to a GoFundMe page created by McCarthy's family.

The Clark County Coroner has not identified McCarthy as the second victim, however his stepdaughter, Katie Selagi, confirms with 13 Action News that he died in the crash.

His family was told it could take up to six weeks before McCarthy will be legally identified as a result of extensive burns on the body, according to the GoFundMe page.

The first victim has been identified as 48-year-old Lorenzo Abdul Harris by the coroner. His cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma and thermal trauma.

Air traffic radio scanners picked up a pilot in the area before the crash saying something wasn’t right. “Tower, we just had a door open up…is there any way we can come back to land,” a pilot says.  The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash for an official cause.


Thomas William Craig VIII, who survived the plane crash.

A fundraiser for a pilot who survived a deadly plane crash this weekend in Henderson raised more than $63,000 in fewer than 24 hours.

The GoFundMe campaign, which indicates that it was created Monday evening by family members, states that pilot Thomas William Craig VIII was saved by a good Samaritan after the crash but suffered serious burns to most of his body.

Two people died and three others, including Craig and the good Samaritan who helped him, were injured.

“A fire occurred and as it blazed, a Good Samaritan Angel helped an individual stumbling from the wreckage on fire. That person was Thomas, whom we all love so deeply,” the GoFundMe page states.

Craig became a certified commercial pilot in February, Federal Aviation Administration records show. In May, he became a certified flight instructor, and in June he began working at the California Flight Academy in El Cajon, according to his LinkedIn page.

“Over the last year, I have completely changed the course of my life and dedicated it to making my dream of becoming a commercial pilot reality,” Craig wrote on his LinkedIn page. “I have given it everything I have to gain my commercial ratings and become the pilot I am today.”

Craig graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2010, according to his LinkedIn page.

One of the deceased passengers, 48-year-old Lorenzo Abdul Harris of California, was identified Tuesday. He died of thermal and blunt force injuries, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. The other passenger who died and the other injured people have not been identified.

FAA records show that Harris became a certified commercial pilot in 2014.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, the family of the second injured person — Hugo Diego Betancourt Vizuet — referred questions to lawyer Eric Palacio.

In an email, Palacios said the family would like privacy and that they are “praying for his speedy recovery.”

“There’s not much to say at this time. Hugo is obviously in a very delicate condition,” Palacios said.

On his LinkedIn page, Betancourt Vizuet wrote that “traveling, airports and airplanes are part of the lifestyle I want to live.” He listed the El Cajon-based California Flight Academy, LLC, on the website as part of his “experience.”

FAA records show Betancourt Vizuet became a private pilot in April.

On Saturday, a single-engine Beechcraft Sierra plane with four people on board had a mechanical issue after takeoff from the Henderson Executive Airport and turned around in an attempt to land. The plane then crashed and caught fire in a desert area just south of the airport.

Archived audio of radio traffic between the plane and the airport’s control tower indicated the plane requested to turn around and re-land as a door was open mid-flight, according to the air traffic website LiveATC.net.

The Beechcraft Sierra, which identified itself with the same identification number provided to the Review-Journal by the FAA on Saturday, was cleared for takeoff about 7:41 p.m.

About two minutes later, the person on the plane’s radio said “we just had a door open on us… is there anyway we can come back to land?” There was no radio audio on the website from the crash itself.

It remained unclear Tuesday what caused the crash.

According to the GoFundMe page, Craig was born in Hawaii and lived in San Diego, where the plane was returning before it crashed. The plane was registered to the same address of the California Flight Academy, where Craig worked, FAA records show.

A person who answered the phone Tuesday at the academy hung up after a reporter identified himself.

Craig has no relatives in Las Vegas, according to the GoFundMe page, and his friends and family have traveled across the country to visit him.

“His loved ones gathered in the burn unit with hearts in hand,” the fundraiser states. “Thomas will have to endure multiple surgeries, multiple skin grafts, and many months, possibly years of rehab.”

Craig suffered second- and third-degree burns across almost 75 percent of his body, according to the GoFundMe page.

As of Tuesday morning, 397 people had donated over $41,000 of the fundraiser’s $100,000 goal. Within 23 hours of the campaign’s creation, 531 people had donated more than $63,000.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.reviewjournal.com

HENDERSON (FOX5) -- A good Samaritan was the first person at the scene of a deadly plane crash on Sept. 7 near Henderson Executive Airport.

Two people died and two more remain hospitalized.

The good Samaritan was Henderson resident Sevag Sagherian.

“I looked in the rear-view mirror and just saw a blaze of fire,” he said. He was driving down Volunteer Boulevard with his two sons in the car.

“First I said, ‘Oh, I think it's a car,' because I saw a huge explosion,” he said. “Then my son said, ‘No, we're by the airport. I think it was a plane.’”

His son was right, so Sagherian turned around to help.

“I got out, I told my son to call 9-1-1 and I ran toward the blaze,” he said. “I got there first and all I could see was this guy running toward me, moving slowly. He was on fire. I kept telling him, ‘Drop, drop and roll!’ And he needed help rolling. He was exhausted from trying to pat out the fire. I took my shirt off and I was hitting him with it, but the flames would just not - I couldn't put them out.”

Sagherian helped a second person, pulling him away from the burning plane.

“Something in me said this plane is going to blow up again, I just sensed it. I had no idea why,” he said. “And I said, we've got to get this guy on the other side of this bridge. And as soon as we did, there was another explosion. So I got some shrapnel in my shin.”

Sagherian also inhaled too much smoke.

“The heat was just unbelievable. I've never felt that kind of heat,” he said.

When first responders arrived, they took over. Sagherian went to University Medical Center to be checked out for smoke inhalation.

“It’s very surreal, it's a nightmare,” he said. “I honestly can't believe it happened.”

On Sunday night, he was out of the hospital and breathing better. But he said he can’t shake what he saw.

“When you hear people crying and in that physical shape, you have to help out,” he told FOX5.

Sagherian said he does not consider himself a hero. He just hopes he did enough to make a difference.

“What I did was crazy,” he said. “But at the same time, on the flip side, it's inhumane to not help out. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't help out.”

The single-engine plane was on its way to an airport near San Diego. It was registered to a flight school in Southern California.

Story and video ➤ https://www.fox5vegas.com

UPDATE 9:30 P.M. There are now two confirmed fatalities as a result of the airplane crash in Henderson on Saturday night. First responders and others are expected to be on the scene for several hours.

The plane was taking off to fly to California when it crashed just south of the airport, according to officials. Two other people have serious injuries and one person has minor injuries. Volunteer Boulevard is closed in the area of the crash.

Audio obtained via FlightAware.com indicates that a door came open on the plane before it crashed. That information has not been confirmed.

The FAA says it was a Beechcraft C24R Sierra. The aircraft tail number is N24030, which belongs to So Cal Leasing in El Cajon, California. The plane was on the way to Gillespie Field Airport in San Diego. The FAA will investigate the crash.

Four people were killed in 2018 when their plane crashed in California after taking off from Henderson airport.

A vintage military plane crashed near the airport in 2017. The plane burst into flames but the pilot was able to walk away.

A plane on its way from Porterville, California, to Nashville, Tennessee, was forced to divert to Henderson in 2016. It crash landed just short of the runway. The two people on board were not injured.

A family of 5 was killed in 2015 when their plane crashed on its way from northern California to Henderson. The plane crashed near Bakersfield. It was supposed to land in Henderson.

HENDERSON (KTNV) -- A small, private plane crashed on Saturday night at the Henderson Executive Airport.

According to Henderson Fire Department, 5 people were injured. One person is dead and the other 4 people have been transported to a local hospital.

Three of those transported have serious injuries and 1 person has minor injuries.

The plane crashed just south of the airport off of Volunteer Boulevard. It crashed as it was taking off, according to a spokesperson for McCarran International Airport.

Henderson Fire Department spokesperson Kathleen Richards says that the Beechcraft C24R Sierra had a mechanical issue and was attempting to turn around and go back to the airport when it crashed. The plane was planning to fly to California when it took off.

Richards also said that one of those people injured was a Good Samaritan who rushed to the plane crash to try and help those on board. That person suffered minor smoke inhalation. 

Volunteer Boulevard is currently closed.

Story and video ➤ https://www.ktnv.com

Two people died and three others were injured after a Beechcraft C24R Sierra plane crashed near Henderson Executive Airport on Saturday night, officials said.

The Beechcraft C24R Sierra with four people on board had a mechanical issue after takeoff and turned around in an attempt to land back at the airport. The plane then crashed and caught fire in a desert area just south of the airport, off of Volunteer Boulevard, Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said from the scene shortly after 9 p.m.

The Henderson Fire Department was called to the scene about 7:45 p.m., she said. One person died at the scene, and another person died at a hospital.

Two other people on board were hospitalized with serious injuries, while a bystander was hospitalized with minor injuries. Firefighters believed the person with minor injuries suffered from smoke inhalation after attempting to assist those injured in the crash, Richards said.

The plane was set to fly to the Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon, California, about 20 miles from San Diego, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said in an emailed statement Saturday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into the cause of the crash. It may take a year or more for the agency to determine a probable cause, Gregor said.

According to online Federal Aviation Administration data, the plane’s registered owner is a Southern California company located at 2065 N. Marshall Ave., which is next to the Gillespie Field airport and is the address for flight schools California Flight Academy and California Wings of El Cajon.

The Clark County coroner’s office will identify those who died after their families have been notified, Richards said.

Story and video ➤ https://www.reviewjournal.com

Soon after departing from the Henderson Executive Airport, a small airplane went down in a fiery crash that killed two people and injured three others, according to authorities.

The Beechcraft C24R Sierra crashed about 8:15 p.m., and caught fire about half a mile south of the Henderson airport, said Ian Gregor, regional spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Gregor said Saturday night that the information was preliminary, adding that the crash occurred “under unknown circumstances.”

Four people were onboard, one of whom died at the scene and another at a hospital, said Gregor and Henderson Fire Department spokeswoman Kathleen Richards. Two other passengers were hospitalized in serious condition, Richards said.

A bystander, who also was taken to a hospital, suffered smoke inhalation when he tried to help the crash victims, Richards said.

Richards said the plane went down near Volunteer Boulevard.

The aircraft, which was manufactured in 1977, is registered to So Cal Leasing LLC, a San Diego County-based entity, Federal Aviation Administration records show. The flight was heading to Gillespie Field Airport near San Diego, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lasvegassun.com

HENDERSON (FOX5) -- Two people were killed and three others were injured after a small private plane crashed near Henderson Executive Airport on Saturday night.

Reports of the Beechcraft C24R Sierra crash came in about 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 7. It happened near Volunteer Boulevard and Via Inspirada, about a half-mile south of the airport, officials said. 

An airport spokesperson said the plane, carrying four people, was taking off and "didn't get far" before it crashed.

Recorded into air traffic control archives, the pilot had reported to the tower that a door had come open about two minutes after take-off. The next communication is another pilot reporting the crash about seven minutes after take-off. 

The plane, built in 1977, caught fire after crashing, the Federal Aviation Administration said. 

First responders on scene confirmed one fatality on scene. Henderson Police said a second person died at the hospital, and two more remained hospitalized.  

According to Henderson spokesperson Kathleen Richards, the two other victims from the plane were in serious condition.

Another victim who suffered smoke inhalation is believed to have been a good Samaritan who tried to help.

The plane is registered to a flight school in Southern California. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane was flying from Henderson to Gillespie Field Airport in suburban San Diego. 

National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an investigation, per the Federal Aviation Administration.

Story and video ➤ https://www.fox5vegas.com

Two people were killed and three others were injured on Saturday night after small private plane crashed near a Nevada airport, investigators said.

Around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, the Beechcraft C24R Sierra, carrying four people, crashed right after takeoff from Henderson Executive Airport, which is about 25 minutes from Las Vegas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told Fox News. The crash unfolded about half a mile south of the airport, an FAA spokesman said, adding that the plane, made in 1977, caught fire after it crashed.

One person died at the scene and another died at a hospital, investigators said. They declined to release the names or ages of the victims.

Three people were hospitalized; two remained in the hospital in serious condition Sunday, Fox 5 in Las Vegas reported. The third person who had been hospitalized, apparently a good Samaritan, reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation.

The plane had a mechanical issue and turned around in an attempt to land when it crashed, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing a Henderson spokeswoman.

The pilot had reported to air traffic controllers that a door had come open about two minutes after takeoff, Fox 5 reported, citing air traffic control archives. The station reported that the next communication was about seven minutes after takeoff when another pilot reported the crash.

The Beechcraft C24R Sierra, which reportedly was registered to a flight school in Southern California, was bound for Gillespie Field Airport in suburban San Diego, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board ware investigating the cause of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the lead investigative agency, was expected to have an investigator at the scene Sunday, according to a statement it sent to Fox News.

Story and video ➤ https://www.foxnews.com


  1. My initial thoughts are similar to that of the cherokee six stall/spin due to open baggage door. Sad.

  2. Don't know that an open door would cause it to crash. An impossible turn to return to the airport..............certainly.

  3. with 5 people onboard. Weight and balance? who knew?

  4. it's a shame pilots panic when a door opens in flight. they could have removed the door completely and flown it to san diego with no problem if they wanted to. a little breezy and higher noise level would be the only difference from having a properly closed door. a quick trip back to the airport would have solved the problem easily. this airplane does have a bit of a high stall speed so very easy to stall spin on a steep turn with cross control inputs hot day in vegas and very likely overloaded airplane.

  5. Story states four people on board and the good samaritan who helped rescue the person on-fire made five. A door coming open in flight is pretty much a non-event, just fly the airplane as normal and return to land. Four people in a Sierra depending on their weight could have been a bigger problem combined with density altitude. Prayers to the survivors as burns are bad and require a long road to recovery if you can keep from getting an infection. RIP

  6. If the large baggage door came open in the aft cabin, it could disturb airflow over the stabilator resulting in pitch control problems. That door is not controllable from any of the cabin seats.

  7. Just looking at what may be the most likely here...

    "Puppy mill" (likely part 141 school) graduated pilot who in quick successions gets a CPL then a CFI to build the hours for the ATP gets hired for a part 134.5 operation. Because... why not?

    And since a part 91 plane has lax maintenance requirements compared to part 135 there was an engine or mechanical issue on takeoff.

    Sadly the engine out procedures taught are an academic exercise only rehearsed to pass the checkride of going through the motions in a relax atmosphere with a CFI present where the engine is simply brought to idle.

    The real deal will happens at the worst possible moment on takeoff with adrenaline impairing all that was rehearsed for the checkride and probably all gone from memory, with panicked passengers not exactly helping and screams and basic reflexes taking over, mostly to do the wrong thing when fear and other primal reactions strike i.e pull the yoke and turn instinctively.

    One has to sadly assume that no matter the credentials, a fresh pilot of any age will NOT be able to cope with a real engine out on takeoff, unless they subject themselves to perfecting the craft of staying cool and always planning ahead and always assuming the engine will always fail on takeoff. A hard and repetitive exercise few do.

    Those that like me experienced several engines out and other diverse emergencies know it is a THING. I was lucky to survive and do this mental exercise out of trauma and necessity.

    This is what being a pilot and perfecting the craft of bing an airman means.

  8. Door popping open is NOT an emergency in most GA planes. Fly the damn plane. What a shame.

  9. Part of the certification process for all aircraft are flight characteristics with door(s) open, canopy back, cowling loose, fuel doors open, etc. I was a 18 year text pilot for Cessna, flight testing many single and twin aircraft. Believe it folks, aircraft don’t crash if a door becomes ajar. The wind will keep it snug against the airframe, just loud wind noise is the result. It is a non emergency event. If it happens, do abnormal pattern and FLY THE AIRPLANE. Land as you normally would.
    More less common events that are tested are .. uneven flap deployment, out of sync ailerons, out of sync elevator, loss of rudder, extreme trim conditions up or down, partial power loss and loss of propeller pitch control ... all of which are totally survivable if handled correctly. Thus, know your checklists, especially emergency checklists.
    This accident is sad, as they all are.


    ...If it happens, do abnormal pattern and FLY THE AIRPLANE... corrected, if it happens, do a normal pattern and FLY THE AIRPLANE.


  11. As with most accidents it is several circumstances hooked together to make a safe flight unsafe.
    In this case there are at least four
    heavy airplane
    high density altitude
    low experience
    Those three combined with the distraction of a open door looks like it proved to be to much for this crew. Most likely if they had ignored the door and climbed to a safe altitude before turning we would not be reading about this.
    Instead the pilot took a non emergency and turned it into a fatal accident by initiating a turn while low and slow.
    In hind sight the limits were pushed to the unsafe category without the door even opening by filling the seats in a sub par performing airplane with a high density altitude. There was a minimal margin for error with everything perfect and the door was just the last straw. They had recognized how marginal this flight was by returning to the ramp to await cooler temperatures. That delay probably added to the desire to complete the mission.

  12. Looks like the kid who survived was a passenger hitching a ride back to base.
    All prayers to him he's got a long road ahead.

  13. After reading the report I have my doubts of a door even being a factor just a convenient excuse to come around and land instead of reporting to tower, "we're grossly overloaded and barely climbing we are going to try to turn without losing altitude" looks like pilot decision and inexperience played a major factor in this case unfortunately for these folks.

  14. The door issue is indeed a non event. It happened to me in an Arrow and no biggie.... just do the pattern and land and close it nicely.

    I suspect poor planning and an overloaded plane can explain this chain of events.