FTW99LA126
FTW99LA126

On April 29, 1999, at 1130 central daylight time, a Beech J35 airplane, N735B, was substantially damaged during a collision with a fence while making a precautionary landing near Bass, Arkansas. The instrument rated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country flight, for which a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from the George R. Carr Memorial Air Field Airport, Bogalusa, Louisiana, at 0700, with the destination of the Springfield/Branson Regional Airport near Springfield, Missouri.

The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that prior to departing Bogalusa, he obtained a "weather briefing from the Pan Am weather system." He further reported that while en route to Springfield he encountered broken and solid clouds below his cruise altitude of 6,500 feet msl. When the flight arrived at Springfield, the clouds below were solid, and the Springfield ATIS was reporting 500 foot ceilings. The pilot also reported that he turned 180 degrees to return to an area of "broken overcast to land and refuel." With "fuel very low, he descended through a hole in the overcast to make a precautionary landing."

The pilot reported to local authorities that he elected to perform a precautionary landing to Country Road (CR) 37 because "he was getting low on fuel and the weather conditions were deteriorating." He further stated that the touchdown and rollout on the road were uneventful; however, the road curved to the left and the airplane continued straight colliding with a fence. The airplane came to rest in an open field on the east side of the road.

The FAA inspector who responded to the accident site stated that CR 37 is a "two lane crushed limestone road with an elevated road base, which runs through a mountain valley." The FAA inspector further stated that aircraft touched down on CR 37, and rolled out to the north for about 800 feet, at which point, the road turns to the left about 25 degrees. The airplane was unable to negotiate the turn on the loose gravel and slid off the right side of the road. The airplane went through a barbed wire fence and came to a stop 250 feet from the turn in the road, facing the direction from which it came.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed that the nose and right main landing gear were collapsed, and the right wing sustained structural damage.

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