Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Beechcraft B200 King Air, N860J: Fatal accident occurred February 20, 2020 in Coleman County, Texas

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Pratt & Whitney Canada


Location: Coleman, TX
Accident Number: CEN20FA093
Date & Time: 02/20/2020, 0600 CST
Registration: N860J
Aircraft: Beech 200
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On February 20, 2020, about 0600 central standard time, a Beechcraft, B200 airplane, N860J, impacted terrain near Lake Coleman, Texas, in open ranchland. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to TLC Air, LLC and operated by Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a cross-country flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated from Abilene Regional Airport, (ABI), Abilene, Texas, and was en route to the Valley International Airport (HRL), Harlingen, Texas.

A preliminary review of air traffic control communications with the pilot revealed the airplane was cleared for takeoff from Runway 35L, shortly afterwards the pilot was instructed to climb to 12,000 ft and was then cleared to climb to FL230.

The pilot reported to the controller that they encountered freezing drizzle and light rime icing on the climb from 6,400 ft to 8,000 ft.

As the airplane climbed through 11,600 ft, the pilot reported that they were having an issue with faulty deicing equipment and needed to return to the airport. The controller instructed the pilot to descend to 11,000 ft and cleared them direct to the ABI. The flight was then instructed to descend to 7,000 ft and asked if there was an emergency. The pilot responded in the negative and stated that they blew a breaker when they encountered icing conditions, and that it was not resetting.

The controller then instructed the pilot to descend to 5,000 ft and to expect the ILS Runway 35R approach. The controller then instructed the pilot to turn to a heading of 310. Shortly afterwards the controller asked the pilot if they were turning to the assigned heading; the pilot responded that they were having issues with faulty instruments. When controller asked the aircraft to report their altitude, the pilot reported that they were at 4,700 ft. The controller then instructed the pilot to maintain 5,000 ft. The pilot responded he was "pulling up". There was no further communication with the pilot.

Preliminary review of the airplane's radar track showed the airplane's departure from ABI and the subsequent turn and southeast track towards its destination. The track appeared as a straight line before a right turn was observed. The turn radius decreased before the flight track disappeared.

The airplane impacted terrain in a right wing low attitude, followed by the right engine, then left engine. The wreckage path was on an initial heading of 320°, and continued for about 570 ft. The wreckage was highly fragmented and spread-out along the wreckage path.

At 0552, the automated weather station located at ABI recorded wind from 040° at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, broken clouds at 900 ft, broken clouds at 1,400 ft, overcast clouds at 3,100 ft, a temperature of 14°F, dewpoint of 41°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.34 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N860J
Model/Series: 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Ka 200 Holdings Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Not Reported
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / 5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 40°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 900 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Abilene, TX (KABI)
Destination: Harlingen, TX (KHRL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.050833, -99.570000 (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.

COLEMAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB) – The site of where a Beechcraft B200 King Air crashed near Lake Coleman is set back quite a way from public roads. That means that data, a collection of numbers and arrows pulled from flightaware.com, is the best way to tell what happened.

“It looked to me like he turned around and made more than one 360-degree turn,” said general aviation pilot Dan Kenley,” which would make you think something’s not going right.”

Kenley explains while the human body is capable of recognizing surroundings and position while on the ground, it is truly out of its element while in flight.

As an example, Kenley described two very different actions which result in similar sensations: “In the airplane you can’t tell a pull up — it pushes you down in the seat — from a turn, which pushes you down in the seat.”

“Your kinesthetic senses won’t work in the air. The only thing you can do, you’ve gotta fly the instruments in the airplane,” said Kenley.

If those instruments are lost, which may have been the case in the Coleman County accident, the situation becomes extremely dire, and Kenley says recovery is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

“Somebody’s instruments could go out and if they went out, and they were trying to do something in the airplane, when they went down and moved back up, that would start all these sensations that you get, and that could do you in.”

Once the flight path is put into motion on flightaware.com, you can see the situation play out. The details may never be completely discovered, or made known, but the result is all too clear.

Original article ➤ https://www.bigcountryhomepage.com

MERKEL — From a young age, Chase Hunter Bellah was in love with airplanes.

As an adult, he was licensed to fly commercially. That love came from a trip he took as a 5-year-old.

"For his fifth birthday," Michael Bryan said, "he flew to Dallas. He sat in the pilot's seat and (got to see the plane). He was hooked on airplanes from that day forward."

Bellah was laid to rest after a funeral service Monday at Merkel Church of Christ, with about 200 in attendance. Bellah called Brownwood home but he was a Merkel High School alum.

Bryant was officiant at the service and spoke for the family.

He died in a plane crash Thursday in Coleman County. He was the pilot.

The passengers were Cleveland "Cleve" Whitener III, 70, and Gary Alan Morrison, 65. Their services will follow this week.

Bellah never grew out of his love for airplanes. His family told Bryan that every time they arrived in Lubbock from Merkel, they needed to go by Reese Air Force Base to see the planes take off and land.

And, they said, every time they left Lubbock, they needed to do the same.

With Bellah's love of planes came a love for travel. He was able to visit all 50 states and both Canada and Mexico, Bryan said.

"The United States had Chase written all over it," Bryan said. "He's been everywhere. He's saturated it."

Bellah competed in football and track at McMurry University, graduating with a degree in business administration.

In 2014, he married Kelsy, and the couple in September had a son, Kylan. A video showing images of Bellah holding his young child and spending time with his wife and other family members was shown before and after the service at the church.

"Chase was a family man," Bryan said. "He wasn't a dad for a long time, but I think he would've been a great dad."

Bryan said one trip took Bellah and his wife to Canada, where they traveled more than 7,000 miles in 2½ weeks.

Bellah also was remembered for his extensive shoe collection, Bryan said. That earned laughter from those in attendance.

Bryan said he never saw Bellah wearing the same pair of shoes a second time.

"I don't know what they're going to do with all of those shoes," Bryan said. "I'm sure they'll be finding them all over the place."

Original article ➤ https://www.reporternews.com

Chase Hunter Bellah

Chase Hunter Bellah, 31, of Brownwood, Texas, went to be with his Lord on February 20th, 2020, while doing what he loved.

Chase was born in Lubbock, Texas, on May 24th, 1988. He spent the greater part of his life in Merkel, Texas, and graduated from Merkel High School. He then attended McMurry University while playing football and competing in Track and Field. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration, he began pursuing his career in aviation as a pilot. He received his ATP License, the highest license a pilot can achieve, and also later earned his real estate license. During this time he met the love of his life, Kelsy, and wed on June 8, 2014. Throughout their marriage adopted a dog, Nala, and they continued to enjoy Chase's favorite things in life: camping, hiking, boating, traveling, flying, and daydreaming. They celebrated the birth of their son Kylan on September 4, 2019.

Chase had the biggest heart and his family was his whole world. He was always striving to learn something new. Chase found joy in many things, but most of all in his son, Kylan. He will be remembered for his love of family and his strong love for his Lord and Savior. Many things led Chase to realize that he was not in control, and often said, "I am God's Co-Pilot."

He is survived by his wife Kelsy Bellah; son Kylan Bellah; parents Jimmy and Ginger Bellah; sister Kami Schuchart and her husband Garret of Temple; grandparents Carroll and Pat Bellah of Athens; mother-in law LeAnn and husband Chris Herd of Anson; and brothers-in-law Chase and Lance Scott of Abilene.  Funeral services will be held at 1:00PM on February 24th, 2020, at the Merkel Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Starbuck Funeral Home in Merkel.

Charles Cleveland "Cleve" Whitener III

Charles Cleveland "Cleve" Whitener III, chairman and CEO of Lauren Engineers and Constructors, died February 20th, 2020, in a Coleman County plane crash. Cleve, a friend Gary Morrison, and their pilot Chase Bellah were en route to a quail hunt on the family's ranch near Harlingen. He was 70.

A memorial service honoring Cleve's life is planned for 2:00 p.m. February 25th at First Baptist Church of Abilene, 1333 North 3rd. A private graveside service will be held on February 24th. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.

Born September 22nd, 1949, in Waco, Texas, Cleve was the second of five children born to Mary Pearl (Miller) and Charles Cleveland Whitener Jr. He grew up in the Dallas area with two brothers and two sisters, graduating from Lake Highlands High School in 1968. As a multi-sport athlete, Cleve played on multiple LHS football, baseball, and basketball playoff teams, including the Lake Highlands '68 State Basketball Championship team. He scored his first construction job in the building of the then new Lake Highlands high school.

Cleve played football for Southern Methodist University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a SMU senior and First Team Academic All-American, Cleve was one of two National Scholar-Athletes honored in New York with the 1972 "Red" Blaik Award (a precursor of today's Campbell Trophy) for the nation's best collegiate scholar athlete by the National Football Foundation. Subsequently, he attended the University of Texas at Arlington and Dallas Theological Seminary, completing graduate courses in business and religion. These three fields of study coalesced into the passion of his life, centered on his Lord Jesus Christ.

Cleve met Becky Trickey while they were serving as leaders on a Young Life retreat in Colorado, and they married July 27, 1974, in Abilene, Texas. Their daughter, Lauren Elizabeth, was born while the couple lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Later, using his daughter's name, Cleve created the mechanical engineering division, Lauren Constructors, Inc. as a subsidiary of the Comstock Group, to pursue industrial projects on an open shop basis. In 1988, he created Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc. as a holding company for three of the Comstock Companies and began doing design and build projects throughout the Southeast and Southwest. He relocated the company to Abilene in 1994. Under Cleve's guidance, Lauren Engineering has achieved multiple state, national and international awards in innovation, safety, and project execution. Lauren engineering has created a worldwide footprint in engineering, procurement, and construction with projects in electrical power generation, chemical/polymers, refining and industrial manufacturing beyond the US from the west and east coasts of Canada, as well as in India and a number of other worldwide locations.

Caring for the Lauren family, his own family and contributing to his community were central to his character. Competitive by nature in business and in life, Cleve was an avid sportsman who enjoyed time with friends and family on regular trips to hunt, camp, fly fish and snow ski. He was an active member of First Baptist Church and its Top of the Mesa Sunday School class.

In Abilene, Cleve served as chairman of the West Central Texas Workforce Development Board and Harmony Family Services. He was a founding member of the board of directors for Bible Training Center for Pastors in Tucker, Georgia. He also served on the board of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International, FCCI. Through the Whitener Family Foundation he and Becky quietly support many local and international Christian organizations. For more than 20 years, Whitener provided scholarships to young people seeking careers in engineering, business and construction fields. He supported the Lantern Project, which provided construction skills training and disaster relief, and sent Lauren employees and their families on mission trips.

Cleve was preceded in death by his father and a brother, Nathan.

He is survived by his wife, Becky, and daughter Lauren, of Abilene; his mother, Mary of Southlake; brother, Sid and wife Sherri of Aledo; and two sisters, Cherry Rohe and husband Jamie of Denver, Colorado, and Nancy DePue and husband Jim of Colleyville, nephews Ethan and Austin DePue, nieces Courtney Whitener, Meagan Lewis, and Kristin Gustafson. He is also survived by Becky's mother, Mary and husband Allen Wright of Abilene, Allen's children, Erin and Yanni Tassoulas, Kelly and Cindy Wright, John Wright and their families; in-laws Cindy Corpening of Fort Worth, Charles Trickey, Larissa Trickey and their children Alyssa and Braden, nieces and nephews Brittany Miller, Brandy Barbee, Thomas and Matthew Sleutz.

Those wishing to honor Cleve's life may do so with memorial gifts to any organization, church or charity that strives to bring the work and gospel of Jesus Christ to our community and the world, or to any charity of your choice. Memories may be shared and condolences submitted online at: www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com

Gary Morrison

Gary Morrison, Abilene CPA, died February 20th, 2020, in a Coleman County plane crash at age 65. He was headed to Harlingen to go hunting with his good friend Cleve Whitener.

A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. February 26th, at Beltway Park Church/South Campus in Abilene, Texas with burial to follow. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.

Morrison was born in Abilene, December 28th, 1954, the oldest son of the late Bill and Jane Morrison. He graduated from Cooper High School and only left town for Austin when he became a University of Texas diehard Longhorn. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, he returned to Abilene. He received a Master of Accountancy from Abilene Christian University and for more than 30 years was a partner and owner of Burchell, Denson & Morrison, P.C.

Gary met the love of his life, Mari Kay Young, on a blind date arranged by his mother, a local Abilene realtor, who had met Mari Kay at an open house. The couple married in Bangs, Texas on May 21, 1988, and had two children, Anna Katherine who now lives in Houston, and William McKendrie who is a graduate student in Accounting at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Above all else, Gary loved his family. He could not wait to become a father, and with the birth of his daughter Anna, his eyes were opened to a new world of beauty that only a daughter can teach. In the years that followed, he helped her navigate the business world not only as a father but also as a mentor in her professional career. Gary's devotion to his family and love of sports played out in his involvement in the community. His own family swore he was born with a ball in his hand, so when his son McKendrie was born, Gary returned to his childhood love of sports. There is no other relationship like that between a coach and a player, but even more special when that bond is between father and son.

Gary lived by the pursuit of Jesus first, family second and work third. Integrity permeated his business and his faith. He was an active member of Beltway Park Church for over 25 years. His deep and abiding love for the nation of Israel was reflected in his service on the Fields of Wheat Board of Directors and his frequent travel to Israel in support of that ministry. Gary had a servant's heart. He loved the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and served as Chairman of Finance for many years of both the Center and the Foundation. He was one of the five founders of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Classic. Since its inception in year 2000, Gary only missed one game.

Both Gary and Mari Kay were blessed to have families that love deeply with arms wide open. It is their big hearts for each other and the next generation that bind their family together. Gary's heritage will be known through the lives of his beloved children.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife and children and by his only brother, Paul, and his wife, Becky, of Midland and their daughter, Rachel Morrison of Fort Worth. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Sharon Rambo, and Margaret Blackburn (husband, Royce), brothers-in-law David Young (wife, Elizabeth), and Stephen Young (wife, Veta) and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Those wishing to honor Gary's life may do so through memorial gifts to local organizations he loved: West Texas Rehabilitation Center, 4601 Hartford, Abilene, TX 79605; Big Country FCA, PO Box 6605, Abilene, TX 79608; Dixie Little League, PO Box 7603, Abilene, TX 79608, or the Abilene High School football program, attn: Coach Mike Fullen, 2800 N. 6th St., Abilene, TX 79603, or a charity of your choice. Memories may be shared and condolences submitted online at  www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com

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