Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Beech H35 Bonanza, N5596D; accident occurred June 21, 2021 at Colorado Air and Space Port Airport (KCFO), Adams County, Colorado

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; Denver, Colorado

Location: Watkins, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN21LA289
Date and Time: June 21, 2021, 19:13 Local
Registration: N5596D
Aircraft: Beech H35 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he was landing at his destination airport following a cross-country flight when on touching the airplane’s nose wheel onto the runway, the airplane immediately tracked 10° left of the runway centerline. The pilot attempted to correct with right rudder, but the airplane did not respond to his input and the airplane departed the left side of the runway impacting a runway sign and separating the nose wheel assembly. The airplane came to rest in an area of dry loose sand. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right front keel beam and left flap. The pilot reported that during the cross-country flight he made one
intermediate stop to refuel. The airplane was moved to covered parking following refueling using a golf cart and tow bar, which was connected to the tow pins on the nose gear assembly. The manager at the stopover airport who towed the airplane, reported that nothing abnormal occurred during the tow and he observed no damage on the airplane when the tow bar was attached and detached. An airport video showed the airplane taxi out normally.

After the accident, the tow pin in the nose gear assemble was examined. The fracture surface features were consistent with overload due to shear loading. Based on available evidence, it was not determined if the damage to the tow pin occurred during the towing operation or during the accident sequence. The airplane manufacturer reported that a damaged tow pin on the nose gear assembly would not cause a loss of steering ability from the cockpit. Additionally, the manufacturer reported there are no towing limits published for the airplane, nor are there requirements for tow limit markings or a tow limitation placard to be installed on the nose gear assembly.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion and a subsequent impact with an obstacle.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Sign/marker - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial 
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 20, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 29, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 21380 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3700 hours (Total, this make and model), 18945 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N5596D
Model/Series: H35 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1957 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: D-5124
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 3, 2020 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6819.1 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: I0-470-N14
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 260 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDEN, 5431 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 18:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 296°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 170° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Russellville, AR (RUE) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Watkins, CO 
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 15:57 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Concrete
Airport Elevation: 5515 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08/26
IFR Approach: ILS
Runway Length/Width: 8002 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

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: 39.793786,-104.5511 (est)

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