Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Beech 23, N8701M: Accident occurred November 15, 2021 at Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Taylor County, Texas

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Location: Abilene, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22LA040
Date and Time: November 15, 2021, 11:45 Local
Registration: N8701M
Aircraft: Beech 23 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On November 15, 2021, about 1145 central standard time, a Beech 23 airplane, N8701M, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Abilene Regional Airport (ABI), Abilene, Texas. The flight instructor received serious injuries and the student pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The flight instructor stated that on the morning of the accident, 4.19 gallons of fuel were added to the right fuel tank for a total of 30 gallons in the right tank and 15 to 17 gallons in the left tank. The first instructional flight was 1.1-hours, and the airplane consumed an average of 8 gallons per hour in cruise flight. The second instructional flight was about 1-hour, during which they completed maneuvers in the local area then returned to ABI for practice landings. They had completed one touch-and-go landing at ABI, then after takeoff, about 500 ft above ground level (agl), the engine experienced a loss of power. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and requested that the student pilot complete the emergency checklist for a loss of engine power. Since they were unable to restart the engine, they made an emergency landing to an area of trees.

The student pilot stated that after the initial loss of engine power, he followed the checklist and switched the fuel selector to the right fuel tank. He stated the engine started, but it “sputtered like it was not getting fuel.”

The airplane owner stated that he had leased the airplane to two pilots who intended to use it for their flight instruction business. He estimated that on the morning of the accident there would have been only 32 gallons of fuel in the airplane.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector reported that the fuel tanks were breached and there was no sign or smell of residual fuel at the accident site. The fuel line from the fuel pump to the carburetor was void of fuel. The carburetor bowl was intact, but the position of the wreckage prevented an examination of the contents of the bowl at the accident site. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage.

The airplane has been retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N8701M
Model/Series: 23 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
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: KDYS,1789 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C /3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Abilene, TX
Destination: Abilene, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.404185,-99.681571 (est)

Two people were transported to an Abilene hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after their small aircraft crashed in a wooden area of city property about 11:45 a.m. Monday west of Abilene Regional Airport.

The aircraft was doing "touch-and-go" exercises at the airport when the pilot reported engine trouble, said Don Green, director of aviation for the city of Abilene. 

Eva Lee Ngai with the office of communications at the Federal Aviation Administration identified the aircraft as a single-engine Beechcraft 23. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. 

The aircraft hit a tree and is "pretty torn up," Green said, but it did not catch fire. The crash site is east of Diamondback Golf Course at 1510 E. Industrial Blvd. and north of the roadway. 

Firefighters, law enforcement and ambulance services responded to the scene, which initially was difficult to locate because of thick mesquite trees. They had to use an airport service road to reach the scene. 

There was a report of a second small plane in the air circling the site to help crews reached the damaged aircraft, according to scanner traffic. 

Removal of the airplane most likely will be coordinated by the company that insured the aircraft, Green said. 

ABILENE, Texas  – First responders are at the scene of a plane crash near the Abilene Regional Airport.

The crash happened on the southwest side of the airport off Industrial Blvd and Oldham Lane just before 12:00 p.m.

Two occupants were inside the small plane when it crashed, according to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. No fatalities have been reported, and the occupants were taken to the hospital, but it’s unknown if they are injured or how severely.

Emergency crews searched for the crash for nearly 30 minutes after air traffic control confirmed the plane went down, then smoke was spotted in the area.

City of Abilene Director of Aviation Don Green says a student and instructor with a local flight school were performing touch and go exercises when they reported engine failure preventing them from reaching the runway.

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