CHI96LA031
CHI96LA031

On November 10, 1995, at 1530 central standard time (cst), a Beech 35, N9894R, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain. The airplane was circling to land, after executing the NDB 18 instrument approach at Belleville, Kansas. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating on a IFR flight plan. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. The flight departed from South Haven, Michigan, at 1100 cst. N9894R was en route to Mankato, Kansas.

During a telephone interview on November 14, 1995, the pilot said he decided to land at Belleville because Mankato did not have an instrument approach, and the conditions at Mankato were IFR. The pilot stated he flew a slow approach with gear down and flaps up. The pilot said he saw the airport when he was over the top of the airport at 2,300 feet mean sea level (MSL). After seeing the airport the pilot said he turned the airplane east to begin a traffic pattern for landing. According to the pilot during downwind the passenger in the right seat became ill. The pilot reported continuing the traffic pattern and said he turned base at 140 knots. The pilot reported a sudden downdraft, and with maximum power applied the airplane sank in a level attitude to the ground. The pilot estimated the landing visibility at one and one half miles, with the cloud bases at 2,400 feet MSL. The pilot reported the wind as very gusty and said he was ready to depart the area. The pilot also reported trouble distinguishing between the grass and the concrete runways. The pilot said he planned to land to the south.

The pilot's written statement was received by the investigator in charge (IIC) on November 30, 1995. The pilot wrote that on the inbound leg of the approach at approximately 2,400 feet MSL, the airplane was in VFR conditions. The pilot wrote that at one to one and one half miles from the airport, he had visual contact with the airport. The pilot also wrote that the aircraft experienced severe turbulence while inbound on the approach, which caused the passenger to become ill. The pilot wrote that once in VFR conditions he turned the pitot heat off, and entered left downwind for runway 32 which is grass. The pilot wrote that after noticing standing water on runway 32 he decided to abort the landing, and turned north. The pilot wrote that after turning north bound a severe downdraft or microburst was encountered, and with maximum power applied the airplane descended into the terrain.

The airplane came to rest approximately one quarter of a mile north east of the airport. Ground impact marks were found south of where the airplane came to rest.

A weather observation facility located 20 miles south of the accident site was reporting indefinite ceiling 300 sky obscured. The visibility was reported as one quarter mile in heavy snow and fog. The wind was from 360 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 22 knots.

A local resident who was approximately two miles away from the accident site wrote "the accident occurred during a snow blizzard." During a telephone conversation, the resident estimated the visibility to be between 100 and 600 feet. The Belleville Telescope newspaper reported three automobile accidents occurred that day, as a result of the blizzard like conditions. The first automobile accident occurred at 1520 cst the second at 1605 cst.

Post flight investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration found the airplane's engine was separated from the airframe, and the left wing was bent up at approximately forty five degrees from the center of the aileron. All propeller blades were bent. The left landing gear leg was down, the nose and right landing gear legs had collapsed. The wing flaps were found in the up position. The approach plate for the NDB 18 approach was out, and vomit was all over the cockpit.

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