Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bede BD-5, N501BD: Fatal accident occurred October 08, 2019 near Camarillo Airport (KCMA), Ventura County, California

WOODLAND HILLS—   John K. Lewis, 82, of the Reforma neighborhood in Woodland Hills was identified as the pilot aboard the Bede BD-5 that crashed into vegetation field terrain off Pleasant Valley Road & Las Posas Road in Camarillo Tuesday, October 8th.

Communications Manager Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration spoke to Canyon News and stated that the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances at around 12:30 p.m. Pilot Lewis, who was the only person aboard, was killed when the plane burned after impact. After departing, Lewis reported that he was having trouble gaining altitude. The FAA declared in their preliminary report that the aircraft crashed while attempting to land at the Camarillo Airport. According to Gregor, Lewis departed from the Camarillo airport to fly locally, and planned to return to Camarillo after his flight.

The Flight Safety Foundation stated in their report of the fatal crash that Lewis experienced a loss of engine power and a subsequent impact when hitting the ground during his attempted return to his point of departure southeast of the Camarillo Airport. They concluded that the aircraft was partially consumed by the post crash fire causing Lewis to become trapped inside where he succumbed to his injuries. The distance between the vegetation field terrain off Pleasant Valley Road & Las Posas Road where the aircraft crashed and the Camarillo airport was 0.8 miles, a total of 4224 feet.

The FSF detailed that the Bede BD-5 Micro was created to be a small, single-seat homebuilt aircraft presented to the market primarily in kit form. The aircraft was experimentally built in the 1960’s, then quickly deemed defunct as of the early 1970s.

Gregor informed Canyon News that The FAA and The National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. He stated that the NTSB is the lead agency and it typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine a probable cause of an accident. Neither The FAA nor The NTSB identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.

Original article ➤ https://www.canyon-news.com

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.


Date: 08-OCT-19

Time: 19:29:00Z
Regis#: N501BD
Aircraft Model: BD5
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

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. 

Officials identified a pilot Wednesday who died after his small plane struggled to gain altitude and crashed Tuesday in a Camarillo-area field, according to federal authorities.

The pilot was identified as John Lewis, 82, of Woodland Hills, according to James Baroni of the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office. Lewis died from a combination of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, Baroni said.

The Bede BD-5 plane crashed around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after taking off from the Camarillo Airport, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Lewis planned a flight in the Bede BD-5 that would return to the airport, according to Gregor.

“Shortly after taking off, the pilot reported he was having trouble gaining altitude and crashed right after that,” Gregor said. 

Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Hatlee said callers who reported the crash said the plane had been flying low before it went down in the field south of the airport. Filled with a leafy green crop and next to a lemon orchard, the field is immediately south of Pleasant Valley Road and west of Las Posas Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board. The National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigative agency, and it typically posts a preliminary report within a week to two weeks after an accident, Gregor said. 

The Federal Aviation Administration looks at aircraft maintenance and inspection records as part of every accident investigation, Gregor said. 

Federal Aviation Administration records categorize the Bede BD-5 as an experimental, amateur-built plane that was declared airworthy in 1998.

The Bede BD-5 was created in the 1960s by aircraft designer Jim Bede and marketed mainly in kit form in the 1970s, according to online accounts. It has a small, streamlined fuselage with space under a canopy for a semi-reclined pilot and an engine in the middle of the fuselage.

The Bede Aircraft Corp. went bankrupt in the mid-1970s, according to online reports.

The crash came several weeks after another crash at the airport killed two people. An amateur-built Wheeler Express 2000 stalled and crashed short of the Camarillo Airport runway on August 7th, killing a Salt Lake City couple, pilot John Wells, 60, and his wife, Tara Wells, 56. They had taken off from the South Valley Regional Airport in Salt Lake City.

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

CAMARILLO, California - Authorities launched an investigation following a deadly plane crash miles from the Camarillo Airport Tuesday afternoon.

One person was killed in the crash, officials confirmed. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that the pilot was the only person onboard the plane at the time of the crash.

The incident was reported near the intersection of Las Posas and Pleasant Valley roads which is about three miles from the Camarillo Airport around 12:30 p.m.

The Bede BD-5 crashed in a field south of the Camarillo Airport and caught fire, the Federal Aviation Administration said. 

SkyFOX showed aerial images from the crash.

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

A pilot was killed when a small plane crashed and caught fire near Camarillo Airport Tuesday afternoon, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The crash was reported in a field near Pleasant Valley Road at about 12:30 p.m., and the fire was extinguished by 12:55 p.m., according to the department.

Authorities said the pilot was the only person aboard the plane.

Aerial video from Sky 5 showed firefighters surrounding a single-engine plane down in a field.

The Bede BD-5 fell about 1,000 feet west of the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

It's unclear what led to the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

Story and video ➤ https://ktla.com

CAMARILLO, California - Authorities have released the identity of a man killed in a small plane crash just outside of the Camarillo Airport Tuesday afternoon.

John Lewis, 82, of Woodland Hills died Tuesday in the crash. He was the only occupant aboard the plane.

Ventura County Medical Examiner's office said Lewis' died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

Lewis' plane crashed around 12:30 p.m. Roads were closed in the immediate vicinity of the crash.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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


Anonymous said...

Beyond sad. The DB-5 is a national treasure and a unique airplane. This one seems to have the propeller on it vs. the small jet engine.

Anonymous said...

While Sir David Brown might agree that the DB-5 is something of a national treasure, the Jim Bede designed BD-5 is actually something of a deathtrap, in my humble opinion . . .


Anonymous said...

Was recently described in Oct 2019 EAA Sport Pilot magazine- "Member Central". Not the first time this plane has had an issue.

Anonymous said...

From cybermodeler:

Markings are provided for N501BD, the first all-metal prototype BD-5A that crashed after an engine failure during a safety demonstration to the Federal Aviation Administration, and for a BD-5J in aerial demonstration team colors.

Anonymous said...

I would hardly call the Bede BD-5 a national treasure,far from it,the chances of surviving a crash in one of these is remote,over the water in Ireland we lost a jet powered version which killed the owner pilot.

Anonymous said...

Cybermodler (above)- the owner, John K Lewis, had applied for and received the original Jim Bede tail number, for nostalgia reasons for his plane, as it had been retired. He got it.

This was not Bede's original N501BD aircraft. This one had an earlier in life engine bearing issue and crashed, and it had been "recently" been rebuilt.

Anonymous said...

Wrong, original NBD501 was rebuilt as a non flying display model. Let’s try to be correct when correcting.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above- all I did was refer to the EAA article on the plane in the Oct 2019 Sport Aviation magazine, vol. 68. No. 10, page 90.

John K. Lewis, owner, claims it with a picture and all published info. Kit # 5-1039. He claims the tail number came from "Jim Bede's first metal prototype".

No argument here- just published information from EAA before the accident

Anonymous said...

Found a way to link the EAA article where i got my info


Anonymous said...

the first poster has quite an astute grasp of the obvious, "it seems to have a propeller" your comments all cleared up so many things for the rest of us uninformed airmen so thank you so much! Have you ever flown an airplane in your life? sure doesn't sound like it opey! also have to agree with the other posters who feel that this ready made casket is hardly a national treasure. does anyone have any idea why these morbid pretend "pilots" like to lurk around these aviation accident websites? i believe those of us who actually fly review them in the hope of learning something.

Anonymous said...

Good link to article. Thanks. I think the BD story is very interesting. You have to admit that the Octopussy scene was entertaining. I met Corey Fornoff once at Reno. Very good hearing him talk about flying the little jet. I have a complete unopened original kit that someday will be built into a display model only. May this pilot RIP.

Unknown said...

At the risk of being attacked, let me say that apparently the pilot did “fly it into the crash” rather than stall / spin, which seems to be so common. There is quite a long scar in the field where he slid along