Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Beechcraft A23 Musketeer, N8868M; accident occurred July 05, 2020 near Sedona Airport (KSEZ), Yavapai County, Arizona

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Sedona, AZ
Accident Number: WPR20CA205
Date & Time: 07/05/2020, 1030 MST
Registration: N8868M
Aircraft: Beech 23
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot was departing from an airport where the density altitude was 7,700 feet. While departing with a slight left quartering, the airplane lifted off from the runway near the mid field point and began slowly climbing. Crossing the end of the runway, the airplane yawed and then began to lose altitude. After the airplane exited the airport boundary, which was on a plateau, it continued to lose altitude and descended down the sloped terrain. Unable to gain airspeed or maintain altitude, the pilot initiated a forced landing to a road. During the landing, the right main and nose landing gear collapsed. The right wing and lower fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inability to maintain a climb after an attempted takeoff in high density altitude conditions, which resulted in a forced landing on a road and subsequent landing gear collapse. 


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Climb capability - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues High density altitude - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/18/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/30/2020
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 9800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 97 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 45 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N8868M
Model/Series: 23 A23
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: M-606
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/28/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 17 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2799.98 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-346-A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 165 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:Day 
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSEZ, 4827 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1035 MST
Direction from Accident Site: 72°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sedona, AZ (SEZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Chandler, AZ (CHD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1030 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Sedona (SEZ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4830 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:  5132 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.863889, -111.791944 (est)

SEDONA, Arizona - Sedona police say a small plane had to make an emergency landing, but it ended up on State Route 89A in west Sedona.

At 11 a.m. the plane took off from Sedona Airport, but then the pilot had to make an emergency landing for an unknown reason.

The plane was flying from east to west. As they landed, they "touched down on 89A, bounced up and flew over a couple of cars, and came back down onto Mountain Shadows Road." The plane came to a stop on 89A in front of the Hampton Inn.

Both the pilot and the passenger are ok. They were able to pull themselves out of the plane, and they were transported to the medical center for precautionary measures.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

Sedona police are in the process of making sure there are no secondary collisions with any cars.



  1. Sometimes the emergency turns out fairly well. Not having a structural break and fire makes a big difference.

    1. Would have been hilarious if they grabbed their bags and checked in at the hotel.

    2. And explained that they had parked at the corner because they weren't sure if the hotel allows airplanes in the parking lot.

  2. A pilot's worst nightmare: only option in an engine out is to put down on a road with traffic. Best outcome there could be here. Hopefully the 'Muskrat as we called them in an AFB aero club can be fixed up.

  3. Good fun little youtube about landing on roads


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.