Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Beech G35 Bonanza, N4216D; accident occurred July 23, 2017 at Wichita Valley Airport (F14), Iowa Park, Wichita 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; Lubbock, Texas

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Accident Number: CEN17LA282
Date & Time: 07/23/2017, 2230 CDT
Registration: N4216D
Aircraft: BEECH G35
Aircraft Damage:  Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 23, 2017, about 2230 central daylight time, a Beech G35, N4216D, was substantially damaged when it struck an irrigation canal off the end of runway 13 at Wichita Valley Airport (F14), Wichita Falls, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was seriously injured. The local flight originated from Grand Prairie (GPM), Texas, about 2130.

According to the pilot's accident report, he departed GPM about 2130, and received flight following and a clearance into Class B airspace. The flight proceeded normally until he entered the downwind leg for runway 13 at F14. He noted scattered thunderstorms ahead. On final approach, he thought the airplane was too high and he considered making a go-around. He felt strong downdraft and encountered heavy rain and turbulence. He also observed several lightning strikes ahead.

The pilot made the decision to land and risk running off the end of the runway rather than possibly entering the thunderstorm. The pilot said he did not realize there were 6-foot tall berms on either side of a drainage ditch 50 to 60 feet from the end of the runway because of the tall weeds obscured them. There was also standing water on the second half of the runway. The airplane went off the end of the runway and struck the first berm. The impact rendered the pilot unconscious. When he regained consciousness minutes later, the airplane was in a drainage ditch and water had filled the cockpit. He remained in the airplane until daylight, extricated himself, and walked to a nearby house where he called 9-1-1.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors examined the airplane and reported finding substantial damage to the forward fuselage and firewall.

Weather observations recorded at Sheppard Air Force Base/Wichita Falls Municipal Airport (SPS), located 7 miles to the east of F14, reported winds varying from 060° to 360° at 16 to 20 knots, and gusting from 21 to 29 knots, with a peak wind at 35 knots. There was a thunderstorm in the vicinity, with lightning observed in all quadrants. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
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 3 Waiver Time Limited Special
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/16/2016
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 5000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 500 hours (Total, this make and model), 3500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N4216D
Model/Series: G35 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: D-4414
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/03/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3888 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: E-225-8
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 225 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSPS, 1019 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2231 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Convective
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Moderate
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Grand Prairie, TX (GPM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wichita Falls, TX (F14)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 2130 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Wichita Valley (F14)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1004 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Wet
Runway Used: 13
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3320 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  33.944167, -98.613056 (est)


  1. And we lose another GA gem because some old bold decided to outrun a thunderstorm.

  2. You think 65 is old huh. Now we know your level of experience. Also without the pilot that GA gem would have been sitting on the ground rotting, they don't fly and maintain themselves.

  3. I am surprised at the age of many of the planes flying today. It is not unusual to see 40 to 60 year-old planes in common use. I guess cars would last that long if they were maintained as meticulously as airplanes.

  4. Per the FAA non pressurized planes are eternal and the maintenance schedule, if followed, guarantees endless life to the airplanes.

    Pressurized ones will have a lifetime limited by the cycles on stress on their airframes but even then they can be refurbished and zero timed with special reinforcements to their structure.

  5. Anonymous said...
    Per the FAA non pressurized planes are eternal and the maintenance schedule, if followed, guarantees endless life to the airplanes.


    I don't care who you are ... That right there is down right funny in so many respects. Thanks for the humor.


  6. The ruddervator looks intact.

  7. We don't need no stinkin weather briefing!

    Dude, try taking the foggles off and look around before you start the engine?

  8. Assuming he had proper reserves, why not run to another airport and avoid the TS? Landing in a TS not a good idea for anyone. Depending on the storm, the severe turbulence can extend out 20 miles. At least he made the right decision to plant it instead of executing a go-around into the storm, which probably would not have had a happy ending. Hope the pilot has made a full recovery. Now he has a history of brain injury, and that's not good.