NTSB Identification: NYC01FA109.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 28, 2001 in Middletown, RI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Beech A-36, registration: N55588
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After departure, the pilot contacted air traffic control and stated, "I've got a bit of a problem here on takeoff I'm gonna have to go back and close a cowl flap." A witness observed the airplane flying low and slow, about 200 feet above the ground, on a tight downwind leg for the runway. When the airplane turned onto the base leg, it was about 100 feet above the ground, "still flying very slow on the verge of a stall." The airplane then nosed over, "picked up airspeed," and turned sharply to the left at an angle of about 70 degrees. As the airplane passed the extended centerline of the runway, it leveled off and full power was applied to the engine. The airplane then descended, and impacted buckets of rope dip, which was a black waterbased protective coating for rope, and barrels of nautical lines, before coming to rest upright against metal lobster traps located in a field. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the upper left hand side cowling was observed opened and undamaged. Examination of the latching mechanism for the left hand side cowling revealed no damage to the forward latch. The rear latch exhibited damage to one half of the clamshell. Rope dip was observed on the upper half of the left hand cowling cover, the left hand side of the engine crankcase, and on the rearward section of the left hand side bottom cowling. No rope dip was observed on the right hand side engine cowling or crankcase. The pilot had flown with a flight instructor 5 days prior to the accident. During that flight, the flight instructor observed that the left side engine cowl cover "became loose and opened all the way," while the airplane was on the ground. The pilot remarked to the flight instructor that he thought he had secured it. He then shut the engine down, and re-secured the cowl cover. While the airplane was in maintenance the day prior to the accident, the pilot mentioned to a mechanic that he had been having problems with the left engine cowling cover; however, the mechanic did not observe any abnormalities with the cover. The recorded winds about the time of the accident were from 360 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 21 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while landing.

Full narrative available

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