Sunday, April 04, 2021

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Beechcraft V35B Bonanza, N3958A; accident occurred September 24, 2020 in Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas 
Continental Engines; Mobile, Alabama 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Terrell, Texas
Accident Number: CEN20LA420
Date & Time: September 24, 2020, 13:50 Local 
Registration: N3958A
Aircraft: Beech V35
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Factual Information

On September 24, 2020, about 1350 central daylight time, a Beech V35 B airplane, N3958A, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Terrell, Texas. The pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, reported that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane that included “physical fuel level inspection in each wing with [a] flashlight.” He checked both wing fuel sumps and drained the fuel sump twice on the left side. Additionally, he sampled the fuel in the belly fuel sump and then secured its door.

The flight departed Propwash Airport, Justin, Texas, about 1320, and was destined for Van Zandt County Regional Airport, Wills Point, Texas. The pilot reported that about 30 minutes after departure, when the airplane was about 2,200 ft mean sea level, the engine lost power. He switched the selector from the left fuel tank to the right fuel tank. However, the engine did not respond, and he performed a forced landing, during which the airplane impacted trees and terrain; the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the empennage.

An examination of the airplane at the accident site found that the right wing contained fuel and that the left wing was compromised from impact damage. The pilot said that the fuel gauges indicated half tanks for both wings.

The airplane wreckage was recovered for further examination. The engine mount area was damaged, and the engine had impacted the firewall area. An engine test run was not able to be performed. The three-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft flange, the tip of one blade was bent aft, and another blade had a slight bend aft about mid-span. The throttle and mixture controls cables were attached to their respective controls. The fuel manifold’s fuel lines were connected. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed; the pump turned freely, and its drive shear shaft was intact. The top set of spark plugs was removed; normal wear on the electrodes was noted. The engine timing was checked and appeared to be 22°, which was consistent with the factory setting.

Thumb compression and suction were noted on each cylinder when the engine was rotated using the propeller. Additionally, each magneto impulse coupling was heard during engine rotation. Spark was observed on each of the top set of ignition leads. Continuity through the valve train and accessory drive was confirmed.

The oil filter remained attached to its mount and was removed. The filter contained a small amount of engine oil. No contaminants or debris was observed in the oil.

The inlet fuel screen for the fuel servo was removed and was clear of debris.

The fuselage fuel gascolator (located on the left side of the fuselage) was removed. Its fuel screen was clear of debris or contaminants. However, a blue stain, which was consistent with the color of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline, was observed both on the exterior of the bowl and top of the unit.

The airplane was modified with wing tip fuel tanks that were subsequently removed. However, the airplane components were not placarded that the wing tip tanks were removed.

There were no other preimpact anomalies noted during the examination that would have affected normal engine operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: BasicMed Last FAA Medical Exam: August 13, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 1500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 313 hours (Total, this make and model), 1259 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N3958A
Model/Series: V35 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: D-9194
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 10, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed 
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-B4F
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTRL,475 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 242°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 1700 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 350° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Justin, TX (16X) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wills Point, TX (76F) 
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 13:20 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.787931,-96.093123(est)

1 comment:

  1. Lucky chap. bet he wishes he had kept his gear up. Chatty, too.