MIA96LA171
MIA96LA171

On June 29, 1996, about 0930 eastern daylight time, a Beech B35, N5136C, registered to West Fair, Inc., encountered clear air turbulence while descending near Kissimmee, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated about 0830 from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The pilot stated that while descending from 2,000 to 1,500 feet in an area of unstable air with the power set to 24 inches manifold pressure, and at an indicated airspeed of 170 miles per hour, the flight encountered "moderate to severe turbulence." He then felt a vibration through the airframe and immediately reduced power. The vibration only lasted "a couple of seconds" and he elected to continue and landed uneventfully at his planned destination. Post landing inspection of the airplane revealed that the rear bulkhead was cracked and both stabilators and both rudders/elevators were damaged. The flight manual for the airplane indicates that the beginning of the caution range is 164 miles-per-hour.

Both rudders/elevators with attach hardware were removed from the airplane and found to be within prescribed limits for static balance tests.

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