Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Aerodynamic Stall / Spin: Beech C23 Sundowner 180, N18873; accident occurred June 27, 2020 at Davenport Municipal Airport (KDVN), Scott County, Iowa

View of the trim setting found after the accident.

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Ankeny, Iowa

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Klemme Aviation LLC

Location: Davenport, Iowa
Accident Number: CEN20CA253
Date & Time: June 27, 2020, 09:11 Local 
Registration: N18873
Aircraft: Beech 23 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was taking off and had begun to climb out when, the airplane's critical angle of attack was exceeded, an aerodynamic stall occurred, and the airplane impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. A postaccident examination of the airframe by Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspectors found the trim was configured in a nose up setting for a
landing profile. The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe and engine 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 failure to properly configure the airplane for takeoff, which resulted in the exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack, an aerodynamic stall, and subsequent impact with terrain.


Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Elevator control system - Inadequate inspection
Aircraft Angle of attack - Capability exceeded

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Preflight or dispatch event
Takeoff Loss of control in flight
Takeoff Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Takeoff Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: None
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 18, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 20, 2020
Flight Time: 145 hours (Total, all aircraft), 61 hours (Total, this make and model), 32 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 45 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N18873
Model/Series: 23 C23 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: M-1959
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 5, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3426 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming Engines
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4K
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 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: KDVN,750 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:52 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 307°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 8500 ft AGL 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Davenport, IA (DVN) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Baraboo, WI (DLL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:11 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Davenport Muni DVN 
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 750 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03 
IFR Approach: None Runway
Length/Width: 4001 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.612499,-90.588333 (est)

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