Sunday, September 29, 2019

Explosion (Non-Impact): Beechcraft 58 Baron, N190RS; accident occurred June 08, 2018 at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (KBTR), Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA221
Date & Time: 06/08/2018, 1605 CDT
Registration: N190RS
Aircraft: BEECH 58
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Explosion (non-impact)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 8, 2018, about 1605 central daylight time, a Beech 58 airplane, N190RS, sustained substantial damage when the right wing caught on fire during initial climb from the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR), Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to Bonanza Partners LLC and operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the flight had an activated instrument flight plan. The flight had departed BTR and was en route to the Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR), Jonesboro, Louisiana.

The pilot reported that during initial climb from runway 31, about 200 ft above ground level, she heard a loud bang from the right wing. She then saw the right wing was wrinkled between the engine nacelle and the wingtip and she thought that it might have been the result of a bird strike. She informed the tower controller that she had a bird strike and needed to land. The tower cleared her to enter the left downwind for landing. She started the turn to the left but then she saw flames coming out of the trailing edge of the right wing. She notified the tower that she had a wing fire and was turning back to make an emergency landing on runway 13. During the turn she shut off the right fuel selector, feathered the right propeller, and put the right engine fuel mixture to cutoff. After she landed on runway 13 and stopped the airplane, she "shut everything down" and exited the airplane while the wing was still on fire. The BTR fire department arrived soon after and extinguished the fire.

The location of the fire was outboard of the right engine near the wingtip and auxiliary fuel tank. The aluminum wing skin exhibited black charring, burn holes, popped rivets, and buckling on the top and bottom of the wing. Black soot was visible near the right wingtip navigation light and anti-collision light. Black soot and blue fuel stains were found near the fuel vents located on the bottom side of the wing under the right wingtip anti-collision light. Blue fuel stains were also found under the right wing near the main and auxiliary fuel tanks, and inside the wing cavity near the electrical wiring for the right wing navigation light. The examination of the right wing revealed that the wiring for the right wing anti-collision light was crimped together with "handshake" connectors and then wrapped with electrical tape. The source of the fuel leak could not be determined with any certainty due to the fire damage to the right wing.

A Hawker Beechcraft Safety Communique issued in December 2010 concerning the "Outboard Wing Fire Potential Due to Fuel Leaks and Electrical Wire Chafing." The communique advised owners/operators of a potential safety issue concerning loose wiring and fuel fumes in the structural areas on Baron and Bonanza model airplanes. The communique reported cases of fire and/or ignition of combustible flammable fluid or vapors that occurred in the outboard wing of Baron model airplanes. Fire damage and skin buckling, skin rupture, and ballooning were noted on the outboard wings of the affected airplanes. The communique stated that it "strongly reminds all owners/operators of the importance of performing proper safety inspections and maintenance inspections on the fuel and electrical systems in accordance with the applicable maintenance manuals." It further stated that it "strongly reminds all owners/operators that no visible fuel leaks or staining should be observed around the vents and sump drains during preflight inspections."

The airplane's maintenance logbook indicated that the last annual maintenance inspection was completed on October 3, 2017. The airplane had a total time of 5,941.1 hours at the time of the inspection. During the annual inspection, the right wing navigation bulb was replaced. A maintenance logbook entry made on June 6, 2018, two days before the accident, indicated that the airplane had 5,996.0 hours, 54.9 hours since the last annual maintenance inspection. The logbook entry indicated that the right wing landing light bulb had been replaced for a second time. An examination of the airplane's maintenance logbook did not reveal any logbook entries that gave a clear indication of when or what maintenance actions were required for the wiring modification behind the right wing anti-collision light. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 28, Female
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): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/07/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/11/2017
Flight Time:   1813 hours (Total, all aircraft), 60 hours (Total, this make and model), 1606 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 91 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 44 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N190RS
Model/Series: 58
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: TH-804
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/03/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 5941 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-C
Rated Power:
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: BTR, 69 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Baton Rouge, LA (BTR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Jonesboro, LA (JBR)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1600 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Baton Rouge Metropolitan (BTR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 69 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 31
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7005 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: In-Flight
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.533056, -91.150000



  2. It really grabs your attention when you see a wing on fire!

  3. they say it's the only time you can have too much fuel but a few instances come to mind where you can have too much. a classic case is where that king air 350 pilot filled up his tanks at addison texas to save a few bucks and then filled up that airplane with 10 people. no way that plane was going to climb on the right engine with that kind of load and especially with the gear left down.

  4. no way that plane was going to climb on the right engine with that kind of load and especially with the gear left down.

    i suspect it would have if the proper engine out drill was carried out, but the engine showed no signs of failure, it is being attributed to left power lever creeping aft due to friction lock not being properly engaged...which would have disabled the autofeather as well

  5. Incredible airmanship. Wing on fire. No problem. Bring it in for a landing. No sweat.

    If you EVER hear another story of an airplane with its wing on fire that gets landed safely ... you just let me know. Because I've never heard of it.

    Incredible poise.

  6. A friend and fellow pilot had a fuel fire in the right wing of a C421 one night. He had it on a runway in 2-1/2 minutes from altitude and the airport fire dept wrapped the wing with blankets to smother it. The fire burned 1/2 of an aileron hinge and within an inch of the tip tank. He felt his training as a fighter pilot allowed him to get on the ground quickly.

  7. Great job by the Baron pilot.

    In reference to the Addision 350 accident comment ... Plane would have flown fine had the proper procedures been used.

  8. Pucker factor 10 with a wing on fire. Excellent airmanship by this woman. That said, replacing a navigation light bulb twice in short interval (8 months here) should always lead one to suspect a wiring or socket short problem.

    If you have a light fixture in your home that keeps blowing out bulbs prematurely, you want to find out why. Wire chaffing is some scary stuff. I saw a neighbor's 1970s era home go up in flames from poorly insulated wiring arching that set some attic cardboard storage boxes on fire.

    But again big kudos to the level headed pilot!