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On June 29, 1993, at 0745 central daylight time, a Beech 58, N120TW, registered to Venture Aviation, Inc., of Owensboro, Kentucky, and piloted by an instrument rated commercial pilot, experienced a departure from controlled flight and impact with the terrain .7 mile south and .4 mile west of runway 36 at the Greater Beardstown Airport, Beardstown, Illinois. The business flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Witnesses at the accident site reported instrument meteorological conditions existed with fog and very light drizzle at the time of the accident. The flight departed Evansville, Indiana, at 0625, on an IFR flight plan to Jacksonville, Illinois. Air Traffic Control reported that the pilot cancelled the IFR flight plan on the approach to Jacksonville, Illinois, and was proceeding VFR to Beardstown, Illinois. The destination airport did not have an instrument approach.
An eyewitness to the accident stated that he observed the airplane flying north approximately one-half mile (east) of his residence. After passing abeam his home he observed the airplane "rolling, similar to that of a crop duster." He stated that the engine noise increased and then the airplane struck the terrain with a "thud."
Trees and foliage were damaged by the airplane during its descent into the terrain.
The pilot born August 3, 1966, was the holder of a commercial certificate with an instrument rating and privileges for operating single and multi-engine airplanes. He held a first class medical certificate issued on December 8, 1992, with a limitation for wearing corrective lenses while flying. He had accumulated 2,400 hours total flight time and 200 hours in make and model. His most recent biennial flight review was on July 7, 1992.
The airplane was a Beech 58, N120TW, serial number TH-537. The airplane had accumulated 5,300 hours time in service with 48 hours since the last annual inspection on May 23, 1993. Both the right and left engines had a total time of 1,257 hours with 798 hours since major overhaul.
At 0731 a special weather observation at Quincy, Illinois, was sky partially obscured, measured one hundred overcast, 1 mile visibility in fog, wind 080 degrees at 8 knots, altimeter 29.94. Quincy, Illinois, is located 41 nautical miles west of the accident site.
A pilot/resident of Beardstown, Illinois, who was driving about two miles northeast of the accident site at approximately 0745 stated the ceiling to be 450 feet, and visibility one-quarter mile in fog and light drizzle.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Ground scars indicated that the airplane impacted the terrain on a heading of 226 degrees. Damage to the fuselage and ground impact marks indicated that the airplane was inverted at initial impact. The fuselage came to rest upright, on a heading of 002 degrees. Measured angle from tree strike to impact crater was 48 degrees above horizontal. The terrain was in a wooded area of trees which were approximately 30 feet in height. The ground was level.
A strong odor of fuel was noticed around both wings. Foliage downwind of the left wing was wilted.
Both propellers had separated from their respective engines and were partially buried in the sandy soil. The right propeller was buried two and one half feet deep in the ground and the left propeller was buried two feet deep. Paint on the cambered faced of both propellers showed scratches to the painted surfaces.
The right magneto from the right engine sparked when rotated by hand.
The vacuum pump was disassembled and showed no evidence of internal stress. The cover of the fuel distribution manifold was removed and fluid was found inside which appeared to be aviation fuel.
The left engine right magneto produced spark when rotated by hand. The vacuum pump was disassembled and showed no pre-impact damage.
The cover of the fuel distribution manifold was removed and a large quantity of fluid which appeared to be aviation fuel drained out.
Spark plugs from each engine had combustion deposits on them.
Flight control cable continuity was established to all control surfaces. Likewise continuity was established from all engine controls to the respective engine.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Autopsy on the pilot was conducted by the Cass County Illinois Coroner.
The toxicology test results were negative on specimens from the pilot.
The parties to the investigation were the Federal Aviation Administration, Flight Standards District Office, Springfield, Illinois, and Beech Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas.
The aircraft wreckage was released to a representative of the owner on July 6, 1993.