Friday, August 21, 2020

Beech 200 Super King Air, N198DM: Fatal accident occurred August 20, 2020 at Chicago/Rockford International Airport (KRFD), Winnebago County, Illinois

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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greater Chicago, Des Plaines, Illinois
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

Location: Rockford, IL
Accident Number: CEN20LA352
Date & Time: 08/20/2020, 1543 CDT
Registration: N198DM
Aircraft: Beech 200
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On August 20, 2020, about 1543 central daylight time, a Beech 200 airplane, N198DM, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Rockford, Illinois. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight.

The purpose of the flight was to relocation the airplane to the pilot's home base near Wayne, Illinois. The airplane was at Chronos Aviation LLC (a 14 CFR Part 145 repair station) at the Rockford International Airport (RFD), Rockford, Illinois, for maintenance work. Preliminary flight track data showed the pilot initiated a takeoff from runway 19 at RFD. During the takeoff, the airplane departed controlled flight and impacted terrain. The airplane came to rest on a flat grass field to the east of runway 19 on airport property.

The airplane sustained fire damage and was fragmented from impacting terrain. A Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector and an air safety investigator from Textron Aviation documented the accident site and the wreckage was recovered to a secure location for a future examination of the airframe and the two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 engines.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N198DM
Model/Series:200 B200 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KRFD, 743 ft msl
Observation Time: 2054 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 200 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / 18 knots, 200°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rockford, IL (RFD)
Destination: Wayne, IL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.193056, -89.088611 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Ronald D. McAlister, better known as Mac, was ushered into the arms of Jesus on August 20, 2020.  Though our hearts are shattered, we are comforted knowing that he is dancing with his glorious Savior, Jesus Christ.  He was a proud resident of Arizona, formerly of Wayne, IL. 

Ron began his career with a two-year stint at IBM, followed by selling bonds at VanKampen, and was eventually a founder of First Trust Portfolios.  His love of flying inspired him to start a second career when he founded King Air Academy in 2014. 

What Ron treasured most were his 48-year marriage, his kids and grandkids.  Mac loved giving advice, whether solicited or not.  He loved to tell stories and had an infectious laugh.  He embraced every role in his life with zeal and intention.  He was a devoted husband, a wonderful father and a loving “Papou”.  He leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of many, and will be sorely missed at his grandkids’ activities, the golf course, the airport and Costco.  He was deeply loved and leaves a legacy of a life well lived. He is survived by his loving, supportive wife Donna and his children, Mike (Rosheen) McAlister, Kristin (Steve) Roth, Lindsay (Dave) Terhune and Meaghan (Mike) Zaino, and his 14 grandchildren.

A memorial visitation will be held in the Preforming Arts Center at Wheaton Academy, 900 Prince Crossing Rd., West Chicago, IL 60185 on Saturday, September 5th from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

A celebration of life service will be held on Sunday, September 6th at 1:30 p.m. outdoors in Big Rock, IL.  Location and parking information will be available at this site on Saturday.

The family is requesting favorite memories and stories of Ron be emailed to prior to the service.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Focus on the Family or Institute of Creation Research.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — A pilot killed in a plane crash Thursday afternoon in Rockford has been identified as 67-year-old Ron McAlister.

McAlister is from Wayne, Illinois, according to Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz.

Officials say McAlister was the sole occupant of the Beech 200 Super King Air when it was attempting to take off from the Chicago Rockford International Airport, and instead crashed and caught fire on impact.

An autopsy was performed, but the official cause of death is pending further studies.

McAlister was the founder of King Air ACademy, an aviation training school in Arizona.

The academy posted on Facebook that McAlister was picking up his plane from maintenance on Thursday when it crashed on takeoff.

"Ron was a father, grandfather, avid golfer, pilot and founder of the King Air Academy. I can personally attest that Mac, and his wife Donna, were all about their family and how proud he was of all his children and grandchildren."

ROCKFORD, Illinois (WIFR) - A 67-year-old man from Wayne was killed after a plane crash at Chicago Rockford International Airport on Thursday afternoon, according to Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz.

Ron McAlister was the pilot of a Beech 200 Super King Air ran a little bit too far off the runway, southeast of the terminal itself at Runway 1. The aircraft burned after impact upon taking off at around 3:45 p.m., according to the FAA.

It is believed the plane was taxiing on the runway at 5751 Falcon Rd. The plane did catch fire.

Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz was called to the scene at 5:11 p.m. for a report of a death at the airport. The pilot, the sole occupant, was pronounced dead at 6:06 p.m. at the scene.

The death is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. Toxicology tests will be available in approximately three weeks.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and all updates. Updates will be posted at

“The FAA will release the tail number after investigators verify it at the accident site,” according to the FAA.


  1. Replies

    2. I had a similar experience after my left throttle friction knob was loose after maintenance. I have since added it to the checklist. The throttle returned to the stop instantly due to acceleration of the aircraft when I reached for the gear handle... My King Air 90 made it to 80 degree bank in 2 seconds. I was lucky

  2. Just came from a maintenance shop?
    oh boy.

  3. "67 years old..." "Heart attack at 55..." "Nuclear stress test every year..."

    I think one can reasonably predict where this might be heading...

    1. Ah, the medical event speculator. Might want to know what work was performed on the aircraft by the shop he was picking it up from and have a look at camera recordings from the field.

      Statistically more likely to be VMC roll on power loss for what the witness described and wreckage shows than a heart attack that happens at just the right moment. Why malign the pilot so soon?

    2. Have to agree. If a plane is going to experience a “problem” it’s more likely to happen right after it’s had maintenance performed on it.

  4. mid-point/far-side of "Runway 1/19 Dimensions: 8200 x 150 ft. / 2499 x 46 m"

  5. What was the position of the elevator trim...? Was there a gouge left in the runway by this aircraft? Airport surveillance video? Hopefully we'll have some answers soon...

    1. "Statistically more likely to be VMC roll on power loss"

      and graphically...

      Juan Brown has a good overview of the accident on his channel

      This news story link was copied from Juan's channel:

  6. " aircraft just out of maintenance are more likely to have safety-of-flight issues than an aircraft in good condition flown on a daily basis, according to FAA officials."
    Advanced Preflight Checks
    Advanced Preflights go above and beyond the normal preflight checklist. Create your checklist by reviewing the maintenance history of the aircraft, and once you have that information, develop additional items checklist. Once you have made this list, you can use it in all future preflight inspections.

    Find and review all aircraft records, including receipts, work orders, FAA Form 337s (Major Repair and Alteration forms) and approval for return to service tags (8130-3 Forms). Find any Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) data, including information on items no longer installed on the aircraft.
    Some additional tips:
    Become familiar with all controls and systems before maintenance, and create a baseline. Having this information will make it easier for you to find any “abnormal” functions after maintenance.
    Coordinate with your mechanic to determine exactly what has been accomplished. Give those systems an extra look-over before flight.
    Pay particular attention to the aircraft components that were replaced or repaired. If you suspect a problem, ask your mechanic to recheck the aircraft.
    Be ready to abort takeoff if something doesn’t feel right.
    For the first flight, stay in the pattern within gliding distance to the runway.
    “Your safety, and the safety of those who fly with you, depends on your vigilance. Check, ask questions, and recheck,” FAA officials note. “Your life may depend on it.” @

  7. There've been a number of KA crashes shortly after TO caused by throttle migration. Why on earth are pilots being trained to remove their hand from the throttle (s) after setting TO power?!
    Mechanics often loosen throttle friction stops during MX (they're mechanics not pilots)! First thing I check when I climb in is throttle action.
    If you're gonna fly a twin you better be on the fricken ball!