Friday, August 13, 2021

Beechcraft 77 Skipper, N3873Y: Accident occurred August 12, 2021 in Stanley, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

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. 

Location: Stanley, New Mexico
Accident Number: WPR21LA316
Date and Time: August 12, 2021, 11:00 Local
Registration: N3873Y
Aircraft: Beech 77
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 12, 2021, about 1100 mountain daylight time, a Beech 77 Skipper, N3873Y, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Stanley, New Mexico. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations
Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that, during the climbout, the airplane maintained only a 200 fpm climb rate. He added that 3 days earlier, under similar atmospheric conditions and airplane loading, the airplane maintained a climb rate of 500 fpm. A performance calculation for the accident flight revealed that the airplane’s climb rate should have been at least 410 fpm. The pilot further reported that the airplane would not climb higher than 6,700 feet mean sea level and decided to maneuver the airplane towards the destination airport. About 300 feet above the ground, as he maneuvered to the southeast to follow a road, the pilot noticed that the terrain was rising and elected to perform a precautionary landing. Shortly after touchdown, the airplane struck a cattleguard post and the slid upright 200 feet to a stop.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing was substantially damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N3873Y
Model/Series: 77 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAEG, 5837 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:47 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 41 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Albuquerque, NM (KAEG) 
Destination: Borger, TX (KBGD)

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: 35.167793,-105.96872 (est)


  1. last ADS ping
    Speed: 28 kt
    Altitude: 6,400 ft
    Vert. Rate: 0 ft/min
    Track: 77.5°
    Pos.: 35.172, -105.850
    closes data @ Elev 6322 ft, 35.10 °N, 106.08 °W
    2:00 PM 87.6 °F 52.0 °F 29 % East 3.0 mph 8.0 mph 29.96 in

    Type: BE77
    1981 Beech Skipper

    1. Sheriff said it was a Beechnut, as in "Premium chewing tobacco!"

      Seems like Skippers have been on KR a lot in the last year or so.

    2. When I was in primary flight school as a teen in my first year of college, I had a choice to choose between the Skipper and a $7/hr more expensive Skyhawk ($35/hr vs. $42/hr in the late 1980s). The Tomahawk to me was too toyish. Pilots at the aero club didn't like them either. They were always available to rent whereas the 152s and 172s were always booked.

    3. Skipper is not a Tomahawk. Different planes.

  2. From what I have read the Skipper is supposed to be less likely to spin than the Tomahawk and is more forgiving for a beginner to fly. Just slightly over 300 made. "Beechnut" Be careful about buying a counterfeit "knock-off".

  3. Instructed in a Skipper for several years, CFI and CFII. Stable and benign stalls. Never an issue like the Tomahawk, to which I’ve lost a friend.

  4. Can someone chime and briefly explain the difference between the Skipper and, the Tomahawk? H/P, GWT, Fuel Capacity, Range, General specs, Etc.
    Thanks, JW

  5. The Skipper and Tomahawk are similar as far as simple statistics are concerned. Similar weight, power, etc. that’s where the similarities end. The Skipper has far superior flight characteristics. Much better — and safer — in a spin than a Tomahawk. Skipper a much better airplane than a Tomahawk.

  6. The Skipper failed in the marketplace because it was released during the historic collapse of the GA market — unlucky timing.

    The Tomahawk failed because it was a terrible airplane. Very poor spin recovery.

  7. If you go to the AOPA website, search for articles on both planes. They have several short articles that really elucidate the details of both planes.

  8. The Piper PA38 Tomahawk was and still is a good airplane. Critics are usually undereducated. Fly it like a real airplane and it will respond accordingly. The Beechcraft Skipper is a good aircraft as well. Don’t believe the ‘experts’ who have flown neither.