Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Beech D50 Twin Bonanza, N814JE: Incident occurred May 19, 2020 near Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (KLXT), Missouri

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Aircraft made an emergency landing on Interstate 470 due to loss of power.


Date: 19-MAY-20
Time: 19:00:00Z
Regis#: N814JE
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 50
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

LEE’S SUMMIT, Missouri — A metro freeway became a runway Tuesday afternoon when a pilot made an emergency landing on Interstate 470 in Lee’s Summit.

Officials say it was a close call and could have ended much worse. 

According to flight records, the small plane was only in the air for 3 minutes after taking off from the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport. 

The Beech D50 Twin Bonanza suffered left engine failure and was trying to circle back to the airport — but the pilot quickly realized he couldn’t make it. 

With dozens of businesses, hundreds of homes and even a hospital, it’s very populated just south of the airport where the plane was airborne. So the pilot decided to put the plane down right on I-470. 

“My understanding is it was an imminent emergency,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Andy Bell said. “He had to make a decision now and for him to land on that section of roadway was his best option to potentially avoid some catastrophic collision elsewhere.”

Footage shot by one driver, seen in the video player above, shows the plane joining the flow of traffic near Douglas Street, coming to a stop right before the Douglas Road bridge. 

“Anytime you can land any type of aircraft on a major interstate and you can come out with zero injuries and no real issues it’s just short of a miracle,” Bell said.

Police said this is the third time a plane has had to land on this stretch of highway near the airport for one reason or another.

Thankfully, though, this landing had the best outcome it could have, with the wing only clipping a highway sign post.

The interstate was blocked up for several hours while officials worked to remove the plane from the road and get it back to airport property. 

The Federal Aviation Administration will now investigate what led to the reported engine failure. 



  1. Right wingtip damage shows at 56 second mark in video below:


    1. Another wingtip view at 1:149 this video. Minor damage.


  2. awesome merged into traffic like he was driving his truck

  3. Pilot calls the FBO and asks "Do you still have that hitch ball tow bar handy?"

    FBO sends truck, brings bar, pilot rides in the back, off it goes...

    1. And the got back on the field by opening up some fencing, so no disassembly or load up on a flatbed was required - they were good to the pilot (see 1:52, below):


  4. According to the reporting only the left engine failed. Why can't these airplanes fly on one engine ?

    1. Depends on the plane. Engines on the the twin Bo are not the most powerful.

    2. Good that he didn't Vmc into the ground, but the correct action in a twin is to keep Vyse, clean up gear and flaps, identify and feather the INOP engine, go through the emergency checklist and then pick a suitable airport to land, not a highway. A highway is an appropriate option for single engine planes if there is no airport or suitable meadow in sight.
      That's the whole idea of a twin, that you have more options.

    3. Depends on the Twin Bo. Some had Supercharged engines and had quite a bit of power. Then there were the "C" models with 2 bladed props that couldn't fly out of sight. Great planes.

    4. That aircraft has Go-480 Series Lycoming engines according to his air worthiness record.

    5. The difference between a good pilot and a great one is when they can quickly comprehend in a emergency what their viable options are at any given moment. If in this case airspeed and altitude only left him with one safe option then he had the best possible outcome. To many multi pilots recognize to late that with one engine at full power and the other one dead most entry level twins will barely climb if at all. He did not bend much metal and no one was hurt. Great job !

  5. probably would have flown better if he could've feathered the inop engine

    1. Probably would have been better if it hadn't happened at all - might have been a reason why he couldn't feather it but I'm sure he'll consider your expert advice.

    2. I get a kick out of all you perfect pilots with all the answers. It takes 5-6 seconds before you even know you have a problem. Since you just took off, there isn't much time to troubleshoot. Remember, fly, navigate, communicate. The results in this case were perfect.

  6. Looks like a good job and that Twin Bonanza is obviously well looked after.
    Pretty cool after pulling that off to be on the wing calling whoever...

  7. looks like the left engine is partially feathered. Smart guy he realized he couldn't turn back. How many have died trying to ?


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