Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, N4133S: Accident occurred August 20, 2022 in Wilder, Canyon County, Idaho

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.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Simpson, Eliott

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Kenneth J. Greenwell; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho 

Location: Wilder, Idaho
Accident Number: WPR22LA314
Date and Time: August 20, 2022, 18:00 Local Registration: N4133S
Aircraft: Beech F33A 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 20, 2022, about 1800 mountain daylight time, a Beech F33A, N4133S was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Wilder, Idaho. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot and a mechanic had been performing maintenance, attempting to resolve a problem where the engine would intermittently shudder during flight. After checking the cylinder compression, replacing a set of spark plugs, cleaning the fuel injectors, and confirming the engine timing, they decided to perform a test flight.

The engine runup and takeoff were uneventful, and during climb out they monitored the engine instrument gauges, and all indicated nominal values. A short time later, the engine shook violently, and stopped producing power. They performed a forced landing into a field, and the airplane sustained damage to the lower forward fuselage and both wings.

Preliminary examination of the engine revealed a large hole in the upper rear section of the crankcase, just below both magnetos.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N4133S
Model/Series: F33A 
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: KEUL,2429 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 36°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Parma, ID (50S)
Destination: Wilder, ID

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 43.705708,-116.9131

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances 

Date: 21-AUG-22
Time: 00:01:00Z
Regis#: N4133S
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: F33
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
State: IDAHO

WILDER, Idaho — A small plane carrying two men crashed in a field near the corner of US 95 and Howe Road in Wilder Friday evening.

Sergeant Michael Chamberlain with the Canyon County Sheriff's Office told KTVB the crash happened around 6 p.m. The two men, one in his 40s and the other in his 60s, reported engine trouble as they were flying to the Parma Airport Friday. 

Chamberlain said the men were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the crash.


  1. These two were very fortunate to put the plane in an open field and walk away after the catastrophic engine failure. Perhaps they'll find out what let go in the engine but this appears like a bottom end bearing or perhaps a rod end cap let go with destructive results. While we don't know how bad the shudder was, it raises the question of how serious an engine vibration is and what exactly should we as pilots do about it. Is it just roughness, like carburetor ice, maybe an intermittent spark plug lead, or is it something more serious? I think it behooves us to treat all engine roughness as being potentially dangerous until we can identify the exact source of the problem. In the case of these two individuals, it appears as though they tried all the standard 'fixes', but ultimately did not detect the more serious issue. Thoughts and ideas are welcome.

    1. I did a first time annual on a 150, and the engine was a little rough running with a not terrible vibration, but still concerning. We found that one blade of the prop was 1" shorter that the other, and the weld holding the prop flange to the crankshaft was cracked almost all the way around with only about 2 or 3" of weld left holding it on.
      So yes, not dealing seriously with even mild vibrations can end up badly.

    2. The 0-200 has a forged one piece crankshaft. No welds. If you have any information to the contrary, I'd really like to know.
      If you worked on one that was welded, it was a repair and an extraordinarily bad idea. Illegal, too. If a prop shortening crank welding mechanic is even aware of that aspect.
      A weld might survive the torque of an o-200, but fatigue from both vibration and gyroscope forces during maneuvering would be a problem. Spins?

    3. The above "anonymous" comment about welding was mine (technical trouble commenting)...
      I had talked to some airboat mechanics out of curiosity. They had crankshaft fatigue/cracking problems with their 'tour' airboats, due to the passenger pleasing donuts at the end of tour. Something for aerobatic flyers to think about.
      Welding and regrinding crank journals is done successfully to alter stroke, but not in aircraft, that I'm aware of.

    4. yes, you are right. This was over 30 years ago, and as I think back it wasn't a weld. (And it's been close to 20 since I've worked in maintenance) We shipped the engine out to a repair shop, and that's what they called and told us, and that the crank was scrap. Also, it could have been part prop strike, as the plane had been flipped over on its back on takeoff and extremely badly repaired. The owner who had just bought it, ended up buying another cheap hanger queen 150 and we made one good 150 out of two.

    5. I meant to say the shop just said the crankshaft was cracked, not that it was welded. That was just my poor memory in action.

  2. When I fly post maintenance, a good strategy is to fly circles above the airport so you have a chance to it back on the runway.

    1. ^^^^ this times 1000. Dont do a straight out. Or ask someone who actually uses common sense to fly your plane on the test flight so our insurance rates dont keep sky rocketing. They climbed to 1000’. Plenty to make it back had they circled the airport. Thanks guys :(.

  3. this 1975 BEECH F33A was an estimated $250,000 acft, thus with detailed engine monitors available for retrofit, this accident and other total engine failures need not occur in the air.

    1. A hole in the crankcase sounds like a thrown rod. An engine monitor, while a fine idea, would probably not give a warning. Might have warned of the cause some time earlier, if, for example, detonation were involved. Never saw a "wasted rod bearing " indication on a monitor. The oil pressure gauge that the Bonanza came with in 1975 might work for that, if you weren't distracted by the monitor.
      A false sense of security can be a dangerous thing. Technological gizmos can provide that, in addition to good information. Maybe cirrus drivers have an opinion on that.

  4. This comment isn't criticism of the pilot or the mechanic..but I wonder about the legal aspects here.
    The pilot flew an aircraft with a known problem, not solved or "returned to service", and with a passenger.
    If the passenger had died, what would the pilot say to the lawyer representing the family of the deceased? The fact that this passenger was an a/p might not matter much.
    I never liked making "could not duplicate" log entries as a mechanic, and didn't like seeing them as a pilot. 121 carriers flew with passengers regularly with such "signoffs", made under direction of company maintenance controllers.

    1. Of course someone would likely be sued regardless, it’s aviation. Something happens and someone’s gotta pay. I do say this not having lost someone to an aircraft accident fortunately. Seen cases where the preliminary is a day fresh and three shops were sued when there was an obvious factor of the aircraft being way overloaded.

      I’m no lawyer, but if the issue didn’t rear its head on the maintenance run up and the pre takeoff run up, then it’s a simple could not duplicate. And as long as the mechanicals were done properly, it would be hard to prove anything. Of course, you will still pay big buck and maybe even go broke simply defending yourself from a case even if not guilty.

    2. I would guess that no "could not duplicate " entry was even made. I would probably only document work which I actually performed...Checking mag timing, etc. I picture a friendly, informal discussion, resulting in a "let's go see" flight. The pilot was the one who chose to fly, and with a passenger.
      This nitpicking is the result of a lot of rules, and our litigious is unfortunate, but is the nature of things.
      Luckily, it is also hypothetical, as they were ok. I hope no lawyers are involved.

    3. That’s what I typically do for no duplicates, just state the work I did. Plus I don’t like putting squawks in the logbook.

    4. Not putting squawks in the log book is not kind if multiple pilots fly the aircraft and not helpful to the next mechanic. The legal risk is there either way … log entry or not.

    5. not putting squawks in the logbook can come back to bite you as well...

  5. The accident report above indicates the person with the pilot was the mechanic.

    "After changing the plugs, checking compression, etc... "they" decided to perform a test flight."