NTSB Identification: NYC00IA131.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Monday, May 08, 2000 in WINDSOR LOCKS, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Beech BE-58, registration: N9044V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The pilot smelled smoke after takeoff. He returned to the airport, landed, and taxied to the ramp. During the postflight inspection, the rotating beacon power wire was found to be burnt, the entire length of the airplane. The initiating event was suspected to be a failed beacon motor, which then initiated a short circuit; however, it was not positively confirmed. Further inspection revealed that a holding screw for the electroluminescent panel had contacted the rotating beacon switch/circuit breaker, and fractured the switch. The switch/breaker was attached to a solid buss bar behind the panel, and the screw position was directly below the toggle portion of the switch. The manufacturer's parts catalog called for the use of a specific screw, but did not give a dash number for the screw's length.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

Inadequate screw length information provided by the manufacturer, which allowed an inadvertent installation of a holding screw that was too long, and the subsequent fracture of the switch/circuit breaker. Factors included a short circuit of the beacon motor, and the location of the holding screw position within the electroluminescent panel.

Full narrative available

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