Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Beechcraft 77 Skipper, N3815Z: Accident occurred June 20, 2020 in Elizabethton, Carter County, Tennessee

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 did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Accident Number: ERA20CA222
Date & Time: June 20, 2020, 08:00 Local
Registration: N3815Z
Aircraft: Beech 77 
Injuries: N/A
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N3815Z
Model/Series: 77 No Series 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: N/A 
Latitude, Longitude:

CARTER COUNTY, Tennessee (WCYB) — Two people are uninjured after a small plane crashed in Carter County near Iron Mountain.

The Carter County Rescue Squad first received calls of the crash involving a Beechcraft 77 Skipper aircraft at approximately 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The rescue squad was able to reach the two people shortly before 11:15 a.m.

"We had some inclement weather," says the pilot Luis Andrade. "We got some instructions. I followed the instructions. We encountered a mountain and didn't have enough time to climb to go above the mountain and we unfortunately crashed."

Andrade told News 5 he was traveling from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Newport News, VA.

In a statement, The FAA confirms the plane took off from Morristown, Tenn. as part of his cross country flight.

"A Beechcraft BE-77 crashed in the Cherokee National Forest near Doeville, Tenn., today at approximately 9 a.m. The flight departed Morristown Municipal Airport in Tennessee enroute to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia. Contact local authorities for information on the pilot and passenger. The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident."

The 77 Skipper is a small, fixed wing, two-seat aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation. It has a length of 24 feet, and a wingspan of 30 feet. The plane is able to fly around 400 miles on a tank of fuel. It is a lighter aircraft than some of it's general aviation counterparts and has tricycle landing gear. It was designed for flight training but has been used by pilots for personal flying and touring over the years.

Iron Mountain is located to the west of the Northeast Correctional Complex, near Stoney Creek.

The Carter County Rescue Squad says the hilly terrain has made it hard to get to the plane.

"The terrain is very, very steep," says James Heaton with the Carter County Rescue Squad. "The plane crashed at almost 4,000 feet in elevation. We're probably about 1,800 feet here so it's about a 2,000 foot vertical climb here."

"Anytime we have a rescue in the mountains, it can be potentially dangerous because of the terrain. This area had some trails in the vicinity. They were covered by trees. Very steep. Very rocky. Very difficult trails."

Fortunately, Andrade and his counterpart had no injuries.

"The only scratch I got was after I got out of the plane and walking through the thorns," says Andrade.

The FAA is investigating the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.



  1. Treetops decelerated the plane, no fire and they walked away. They did good.

  2. This is going to be a good story with all the late night and early AM flying. Since they lived, without any injuries, the report will be quick and easy.

    Waiting to see what WX briefings this guy got, especially when trying to navigate 4-5000 ft peaks at 3700 ft.

    1. The video from the local news story shows passenger with hoodie on, adding to the intrigue - is either person a rated pilot?

      Crash being 24 hours after the flight began and only stopping for fuel, sleep deprivation could have contributed even if the second person was a pilot.

  3. Controlled flight into terrain. Probably below radar coverage trying to avoid IFR conditions with NOTAMS indicating mountain obscuration and repeated warnings from ATC. "We got some instructions. I followed the instructions." ain't going to relieve him of responsibility.

  4. No current Luis Andrade pilot in the FAA Airmen database, just two long-lapsed individuals with date histories that don't work for a 24 year old.
    Could be a no cert or fresh-file student cert.

    Wonder what the circumstances are behind the straight-thru no sleep flight.

  5. Well there you go, just following those instructions. "If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?" Anton Chigurh

  6. Just putting two and two together here. The company that the registered owner works for, the age/nationality of the pilot(?) and passenger, the destination all >seems< suspiciously like Antifa. Just a theory mind you.

    1. If it's this guy, doubtful he is Antifa. https://talkbusiness.net/2017/08/21-year-old-uafs-student-and-trump-supporter-running-for-fort-smith-mayor/