Saturday, December 11, 2021

Beechcraft V35 Bonanza, N5704V: Fatal accident occurred December 10, 2021 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky

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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Ron Eldridge Properties LLC

Location: Crab Orchard, Kentucky
Accident Number: ERA22FA085
Date and Time: December 10, 2021, 16:51 Local 
Registration: N5704V
Aircraft: Beech V35 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 10, 2021, about 1651 eastern standard time, a Beech V35, N5704V, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Crab Orchard, Kentucky. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The visual flight rules cross-country flight originated at Okeechobee County Airport (OBE), Okeechobee, Florida, on the morning of the accident with intermediate stops at Flagler Executive Airport (FIN), Palm Coast, Florida, and Baxley Municipal Airport (BHC), Baxley, Georgia. The pilot purchased 46 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel at OBE and the passenger purchased 25 gallons of fuel at BHC. Both fuel purchases were from self-service pumps and no other services were requested. The accident flight departed BHC about 1426, destined for Stuart Powell Field Airport (DVK), Danville, Kentucky, which was the pilot’s home airport.

According to preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, the flight approached an area about 14 nautical miles southeast of DKV at an altitude about 300-400 ft above ground level (agl). The airplane then proceeded north for about 1 mile and began a left 270° turn to the east, followed by a right turn until the airplane was heading north. The airplane then pitched up, gaining about 500 ft, as it approached rapidly rising terrain. The last two data points indicated a descent, the last data point was located about 275 ft south of the accident site.

The accident site consisted of a heavily-wooded area on rising terrain. The landowner was home at the time and heard the airplane prior to the accident. He reported that he heard the airplane coming down, and the engine was “very loud, getting louder, and running at high speed” with no interruption until he heard the “boom” from the ground impact. He never saw the airplane in flight.

Initial examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that all major structural components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The airplane struck the top of a 50-ft-tall oak tree before colliding with terrain. The measured descent angle from the tree breaks to the initial impact crater was about 75° nose down. There was no fire.

The pilot, who owned the airplane, did not possess an instrument rating. According to his pilot logbook, he accumulated about 965 hours of flight time, including 24 hours during the 90 days prior to the accident.

The closest airport with weather reporting capability was DVK, which was located about 13 miles from the accident site. The reported weather at DVK at 1655, included a 500-ft ceiling and 10 miles visibility.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N5704V
Model/Series: V35
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:
IMC Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDVK, 1024 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Baxley, GA (BHC)
Destination: Danville, KY (DVK)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 37.429529,-84.560773 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

 Ronald Eldrige

Lowell “Nick” Strong

Nicholasville residents Ronald Eldrige, 61, and Lowell “Nick” Strong, 63, have been identified as the victims of deadly plane crash in Lincoln County.

At around 5 p.m. Friday evening, police were called out to the crash site of a small fixed-wing, single-engine personal aircraft in a wooded area near Crab Orchard. According to Donnie Gilliam, Lincoln County emergency management director, both men were already deceased when first responders arrived.

The bodies are currently undergoing autopsies at the State Medical Examiners Office in Frankfort. According to Gilliam, the incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

LINCOLN COUNTY, Kentucky - The victims of a deadly small plane crash in Lincoln County have been identified.

Kentucky State Police said 61-year-old Ronald Eldridge and 63-year-old Lowell Strong, both of Nicholasville, died in the crash.

“Jessamine County sustained a tremendous blow today with the loss of Ron Eldridge and Nick Strong,” said Jessamine County Judge Executive David West. “These gentlemen not only operated businesses here but also gave back by serving on numerous boards, committees and charities. We have lost two true community servants. Their families are in our prayers.”

The bodies will be transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Officer in Frankfort for autopsies.

CRAB ORCHARD, Kentucky – A small private plane with two people on board crashed in a wooded area in Lincoln County on Friday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The names of the occupants weren’t immediately available.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Beechcraft V35 Bonanza is registered to Ron Eldridge Properties LLC out of Nicholasville.

According to the flight tracking website, FlightAware, the plane took off at 11:03 a.m. Friday from Okeechobee County, Florida.  The site says the plane was tracked over Baxley, Georgia at 2:26 p.m., and was last seen outside Danville, Kentucky at 4:51 p.m.

A Boyle County dispatcher says the plane was apparently trying to land at the Danville-Boyle County Airport at the time of the crash, not far from Crab Orchard in Lincoln County.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

1 comment:

  1. Seems like the track becomes very confused in the final minutes of the flight. Disoriented? That figure-8 track is haunting.