Thursday, March 11, 2021

Beechcraft 95-B55 (T42A) Baron, N568P: Accident occurred March 10, 2021 near Colby Municipal Airport / Shalz Field (KCBK) Thomas County, Kansas

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; Wichita, Kansas
Location: Colby, KS 
Accident Number: CEN21LA174
Date & Time: March 10, 2021, 02:30 Local 
Registration: N568P
Aircraft: Beech 95-B55 (T42A) 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 10, 2021, about 0230 central daylight time, a Beech 95-B55 airplane, N568P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Colby, Kansas. The pilot had minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to information provided by the pilot, before the flight, he had neglected to remove the towbar. When he rotated the airplane for takeoff, the pilot felt the left rudder pedal “go to the floor” and he could not depress the right rudder pedal. The airplane climbed and drifted left of the runway, so the pilot continued the climb to pattern altitude. During the climb, he saw the towbar still attached to the nosewheel through the mirror on the left engine nacelle. The pilot circled over the airport and phoned for assistance. While circling, with the airplane in a left yaw, the right engine lost power. The pilot recalled that the right fuel gage showed
“low” and the left fuel gage was about 1/2 full. The pilot attempted to crossfeed the right engine, but he was unsuccessful in getting the right engine to restart.

Due to difficulty in directional control, the pilot opted to perform a landing to an open field. During the landing, the airplane was substantially damaged.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N568P
Model/Series: 95-B55 (T42A) 
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: VMC
Condition of Light: Night Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCBK,3187 ft msl 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.57 inches 
Hg Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.427669,-101.04859

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) - The pilot of a small airplane escaped serious injury in a crash landing early Wednesday near the Colby airport in western Kansas, authorities said.

The incident was reported at 2:28 a.m. Wednesday in a field about a half-mile east of Colby Municipal Airport. The location was about a mile north of the city of Holton in Thomas County.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, which investigated the incident, a Beechcraft 95-B55 (T42A) Baron was taking off from the airport when the front wheel dolly didn’t detach from the front wheel.

When the pilot got into the air, the patrol said, he noticed that the wheel dolly was still attached and called the Colby Fire Department.

While fire crews were heading to the scene, the right engine failed and the pilot had to conduct what the patrol called “a major crash landing.”

The pilot, Kelly B. Gabel, 40, of Colby, was taken to Citizens Medical Center in Colby for treatment of what were described as minor injuries. The patrol said Gabel was wearing his safety restraints.

No one else was on board the plane, according to the patrol.



  2. How do you taxi for takeoff with a wheel dolly attached, whatever that is?

    1. Wheel dollies are used for transporting aircraft with a flat tire and not designed to be used to sit a nose gear on and try and take off with a flat tire.

  3. Kinda sounds like Darwinism to me.......

  4. That is probably the greatest outcome one could ask for in that situation. Shoulder harness’s save lives!
    No fire
    No fatalities
    No property damage on the ground

    Good luck Kelly!

  5. This had to have been a tow bar and not a wheel dolly used to sit under a flat tire(s) of landing gear to ground move safely. It wouldn't be the first time here on KR we read about a pilot taking off with his tow bar still attached to the nose wheel either. It wasn't that many months ago there was another report here about that happening. How the hell do you miss that on a pre-flight?

    1. Had to be a tow bar. Preventable by procedural discipline of making sure if your hand leaves the tow bar, the tow bar is no longer attached to the aircraft. You might leave one behind if distracted, but flying away with the tow bar hooked up is easily prevented.

  6. ALWAYS walk around your airplane, looking carefully, one final time before you get in!

  7. Part of the problem here is the pilot departing at 2:30 AM. Obviously not fully awake or fully prepared to fly an airplane. Probably should be in bed at 2:30 AM.

  8. N568P, I remember that plane. We went and picked it up from Stiles Aviation at 44N and flew it on a ferry permit to PWM to have it completely torn apart and rebuilt. That airplane was badly damaged during hurricane Andrew.