HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On December 13, 1993, at 1350 eastern standard time (EST), a Beech B36TC, N36CK, owned and piloted by Dr. Edward J. Zenni, of Cincinnati, Ohio, struck terrain in Lost Creek, Kentucky. The airplane was destroyed by the impact, and the pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the flight had been operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 CFR Part 91.
The business flight departed from Lunkin Airport, Cincinnati, Ohio, at 1257 EST, with a planned destination of Hazard, Kentucky. At 1346:10, the pilot cancelled his IFR clearance. That is the last known communication with N36CK.
Recorded radar data indicated the airplane was heading toward the Hazard Airport, and started a descent after the pilot cancelled his IFR clearance. After descending for one minute, the descent rate and ground speed slowed. The final recorded radar contact occurred at 1350:11, when the airplane was 1 1/2 miles from the airport, at a recorded altitude of 1600 feet. At that time the ground speed had slowed to less than 50 knots and the vertical velocity was about 500 feet a minute down.
No witnesses were located who heard or saw the accident. Two witnesses located approximately 1/2 mile north of the accident site, saw an unidentified airplane fly over at a low altitude. One witness who was not certain of the time reported hearing a big bang, and said the propeller was turning slowly as the airplane disappeared from view. The other witness said he saw an airplane fly overhead and heard a racket, like a loud piece of equipment, around 1400.
The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 37 degrees, 24 minutes, 35 seconds North and 83 degrees, 16 minutes, 52 seconds West.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land and instrument ratings. He held an FAA Airman Third Class Medical Certificate issued on November 9, 1992, with a limitation to wear glasses. The last flight in his pilot log book was on November 26, 1993. The log book indicated a total time of 952 hours, with 262 hours in the accident airplane. According to his log book, his previous airplane was Beech A36.
The airplane was a 1989 Beech B36TC. The airplane had accumulated 90 hours since the last annual inspection, conducted on May 28, 1993. The total time on the airplane at the time of the accident was 641 hours.
According to the FAA Approved Pilot Operating Handbook, the stall speed at 3100 lbs, with the wing flaps retracted, idle power, and wings level, was 59 KIAS.
The fuel burn at 5000 feet cruise altitude, 2300 RPM, 24 in/hg, temperature ISA -20C, was 12.85 gallons per hour, and a true airspeed of 145 knots.
The 1355 weather observation at Julian Carroll Airport (JKL), Jackson, Kentucky, was reported as 12,000 feet scattered, 25,000 feet overcast, visibility 25 miles, and winds from 050 degrees at 3 knots.
The UNICOM operator Hazard Airport reported a 14000 foot overcast, visibility 15 miles, and winds calm, at 1350.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane was examined at the accident site on December 15, 1993, and at the Hazard Airport on December 17, 1993.
The accident site was on the side of a hill, at an elevation of 1400 feet, 50 feet below the highest terrain, and 1 mile north of the Hazard airport. The terrain sloped down about 30 degrees.
Trees in the area were estimated to be 50 feet high. Tree branches immediately above the airplane were broken. No broken branches were found on other trees in the immediate vicinity.
The airplane was intact, with the top side of the fuselage resting against higher terrain. The roof of the fuselage above the front seat occupants was crushed inward. The bottom of the fuselage was pointing 120 degrees.
The leading edge of the outboard portion of the left wing was bent in an upward direction. The leading edge of the outboard portion of the right wing was bent in a downward direction. The landing gear and wing flaps were retracted. Flight control continuity was verified.
Two propeller blades were bent in a rearward direction with no evidence of leading edge impact damage or rotational scoring. Compression was found in all cylinders. Valve train continuity and accessory gear rotation was verified.
The engine driven fuel pump shear shaft was intact. Fuel was found in the fuel pump, in the line between the fuel pump and the throttle body, and in the fuel injection manifold.
The right wing was torn open on the leading edge, mid-span. No fuel was found in the bladder. The left wing was crushed near the filler cap where rips were found in the bladder. About 6 ounces of fuel and 1 ounce of water was found in the tank.
The fuel selector was in the left tank position. No fuel was found in the fuel strainer or filter, which were clear of obstructions. The fuel flow gauge was reading 4.5 gallons per hour. The needle moved freely when touched.
The electric fuel boost pump switch (locking) was in the off position. The electric fuel boost pump was tested outside of the airplane and pumped fuel.
There was no smell of fuel at the accident site; however, the investigative team had arrived on scene 44 hours after the accident, and there had been moderate rain in the area.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Autopsies were conducted on the occupants by Dr. George Nicols, Chief Medical Examiner, State of Kentucky, Louisville. Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results were negative for drugs and alcohol.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The engine driven fuel pump was taken to Mattituck Motors, Inc., at Mattituck, New York for testing, under the supervision of the NTSB. At 600 RPM, the pump flowed 6.5 pounds per hour at 7.0 PSI. At 2700 RPM, the pump flowed 200 pounds per hour at 17.1 PSI. According to Personnel at Mattituck, the fluid used has a density less than aviation gasoline and the pump output was about 10 percent less than if gasoline was used.
The airplane was refueled twice on November 26, 1993. First with 75 gallons, then with 14 gallons. On December 5, 1993, the airplane was refueled with 20 gallons. According to the FAA, the pilot flew the airplane on December 11, 1993, for about 1/2 hour and did not refuel after the flight. No other flight or refueling records were available for review.
The Safety Board investigator flew in a helicopter on December 17, 1993, to view the accident site. The terrain to the north for several miles consisted of wooded hills with slopes between 30 and 45 degrees. The same terrain was around the accident site and continued to the airport.
The aircraft wreckage was released to Mr. Michael J. Wilhelms on December 17, 1993.