NTSB Identification: CHI05FA063.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 04, 2005 in Niles, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2006
Aircraft: Beech BE-58, registration: N12AZ
Injuries: 4 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.
The twin-engine airplane was destroyed when it departed from cruise flight at 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) in visual meteorological conditions and impacted the terrain in a wooded area. The fight was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The airplane departed at 0838 eastern standard time. Radar track data indicated that altitude remained constant at 7,000 feet msl until 0919:42. At 0919:47, the radar data indicated the airplane was at 6,900 feet msl. At 0919:52, the radar data indicated the airplane was at 5,800 feet msl. At 0919:57, the radar data indicated the airplane was at 5,300 feet msl. At 0920:02, the radar data indicated the airplane was at 3,400 feet msl. No further radar contact with the airplane was recorded. The radar track data indicated that the airplane's heading and altitude went almost "straight down." Radar track data indicated the airplane impacted the terrain at about 300 knots true airspeed with about a maximum descent rate of 25,000-feet per minute. The descent angle of the airplane was about 70-80 degrees nose down. The main wreckage was localized at the impact crater. The engines, the cockpit and cabin, both wings, and the empennage were found in the impact crater. The cockpit was fragmented and destroyed by impact forces. Flight control continuity could not be established due to the destructive impact forces. All flight control cable breaks were consistent with overload fractures. The inspection of the airframe revealed no preexisting anomalies. Engine continuity and compression could not be established for the left and right engines due to impact forces. The engine inspections revealed no preexisting anomalies. The pilot had a total of 11,409 flight hours of which 4,589 hours were in multi-engine aircraft. The airplane seated six including the pilot's seat. The cabin was configured in "club" seating with the middle seats, located behind the pilot's seat, facing aft. The airplane was equipped with a "throw-over" control yoke. The medical examiner reported that the pilot was sitting in the left front pilot's seat, and two passengers were sitting in the second row of seats facing aft, and the other passenger was sitting in the third row of seats facing forward. Due to impact forces, the autopsies and toxicological examinations provided limited medical information.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The steep nose down descent from cruise for undetermined reasons and the subsequent collision with terrain in a steep nose down attitude. Full narrative available
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