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 reported that after engine start, he listened to the automated weather observation system (AWOS) that reported the wind from 270o at 3 knots. The pilot considered the density altitude; however, it was not reported on the AWOS. The pilot taxied out to runway 03 and began the takeoff roll. About mid-field the airplane lifted off and began a slow climb. 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, the airplane continued to lose altitude and descended 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.

The elevation of the airport is 4,830 ft mean sea level. At the time of the accident, the density altitude was calculated to be 7,700 ft. 

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