Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Beech V35 Bonanza, N14UC: Fatal accident occurred November 25, 2019 in Blythe, Riverside County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California
Textron Aviation Inc; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N14UC

Location: Blythe, CA
Accident Number: ANC20FA005
Date & Time: 11/25/2019, 1739 PST
Registration: N14UC
Aircraft: Beech V35
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 25, 2019, about 1739 Pacific standard time, a Beech V35 airplane, N14UC, was destroyed after impacting terrain about 40 miles west of Blythe Airport (BLH) Blythe, California. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson, Arizona about 1601 mountain standard time.

Preliminary review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radio communications revealed that the pilot diverted from his intended destination of Hemet-Ryan Airport (KHMT) Hemet, California, to BLH due to weather along his route of flight. While flying to BLH radio communication was lost and a FAA alert notice (ALNOT) was issued. The wreckage was located later that night by the Riverside County Sheriff's Office about 3/4 of a mile south of Interstate 10 and was observed scattered across the terrain and partially burned.

An onsite examination of the wreckage was conducted on November 27. The airplane came to rest on a heading of about 200° at an elevation of about 770 ft mean sea level (msl) in desert terrain. The initial impact point was indicated by a crater about 3 ft deep with ground scars similar in length to the wing leading edges. The airplane was heavily fragmented, with pieces found along a heading of about 170° for about 300 ft from the initial impact. All of the major components were located at the scene.

The airplane was equipped with a Continental IO-520-BA(2) engine. The wreckage was recovered, and a detailed examination is pending.

The closest weather reporting facility was BLH. The 1652 observation included: wind from 320° at 22 knots, gusting to 30 knots; visibility 7 statute miles, overcast clouds at 5,500 ft; temperature 72°F; dew point 25°F; altimeter 29.63 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N14UC
Model/Series: V35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBLH, 392 ft msl
Observation Time: 0052 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / -4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 22 knots / 30 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 5500 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.63 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Tucson, AZ (57AZ)
Destination: Hemet, CA (HMT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.685278, -115.267222 (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 Brent Stackhouse


The pilot killed Monday night when his small plane crashed near Interstate 10 east of Desert Center has been identified as a 67-year-old Canyon Lake resident John Brent Stackhouse.

The Riverside County Coroner's Bureau identified Stackhouse, who was flying his classic Beechcraft Bonanza V35 when it went down "under unknown circumstances" about 5:40 p.m.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the crash site is near I-10 and Corn Springs Road near Desert Center.

Stackhouse crashed about 5½ miles southwest of Desert Center Airport, a small, single runway patch adjacent to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

The airplane's flight certificate was issued in 2017 and was valid until November 2020. Stackhouse's pilot certificate was reissued last year and remained valid. 

Attempts to reach relatives by The Desert Sun were unsuccessful. Canyon Lake is between Lake Elsinore and Menifee.

But in a posting on YouTube, in which Stackhouse shares a video of himself flying his Beechcraft above Anza, he said flying fascinated him since childhood. He described that plane, which was named "Walter," as a 1960 Beechcraft, which may not be the same craft that crashed this week.

"Life Long Dream of mine since 1956 at 5 years old when I looked up above our home and said to my Dad, What is that strange plane with a V shaped tail and Bombs? He said that I already have expensive taste, 'for that was the Cadillac of the Sky with not bombs but  tip tanks.' Finally realized the dream of a private pilots license 9/29/2014 and our beloved 'Walter,' a 1960 M-35 Beechcraft Bonanza, and it is still considered the Cadillac of the sky and revered by many. Our 9 grandchildren loved the name the prior owner, a captain for United, had given the plane that they too always refer to the Bonanza as 'Walter,' which more than likely the prior care taker lovingly named after the founder Walter Beech."

Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Robyn Flores said authorities were called to the scene about 6 p.m. Monday and search efforts were hampered by poor visibility in the remote area. A sheriff's department helicopter helped them find the downed aircraft and deputies confirmed there was a single victim, she said. 

Officials said the pilot was believed to be the only person aboard, Gregor said.

Online flight tracking indicates the aircraft departed from Hemet on Monday morning and arrived in Mesa just before noon. Gregor said the pilot was heading back to Hemet Tuesday but was diverted to Blythe because of turbulence.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash and an investigation could last a year or more, though a preliminary report usually is issued within a month or two.

Officials said it's too early to speculate about the cause of the crash, including if the weather was a factor. 

Gusts in the area reached 15 mph at 5:50 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. They rose to 23 mph by 7 p.m.

Monday's plane crash isn't the first in Riverside County this year. According to FAA records, six crashes occurred prior to Monday and of them three resulted in fatalities.

A pilot and passenger died in a Feb. 5 crash west of Morongo Valley. They were identified as a 32-year-old Korean national and 28-year-old Los Angeles woman, respectively, who departed San Gabriel Valley Airport for North Las Vegas Airport in a Cessna 172.

That crash happened two days after a pilot crashed a Cessna 414A into a Yorba Linda home, killing him and four people inside the building.

On April 23, a Chino man died after the historic Northrop N-9M "flying wing" he was piloting crashing on the grounds of the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco.

On March 16, when a plane crashed into a backyard on Robinson Avenue in Riverside. The pilot died.

At least four other fatal crashes have been linked to the Coachella Valley and Riverside County in the past five years.

In September 2014, a Rancho Santa Margarita man died after departing from Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal and crashing a Cessna 162 Skycatcher in a remote area of Anza-Borrego State Park.

Two Santa Barbara residents died in an October 2015 crash in the San Bernardino Mountains, about 25 miles northwest of Palm Springs. They flew a Piper PA29.

In January 2016, two Santa Rosa residents departed Palm Springs International Airport. Their Piper aircraft crashed in a rural area near their home, killing both.

Four people were flying from Riverside to San Jose when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Riverside Municipal Airport in February 2017. The crash happened about a half mile east of the airport.

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

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