On July 13, 1999, at 0845 central daylight time, a Beech C35 airplane, N5BH, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during takeoff from Marty's Classic Airstrip near Jonesboro, Arkansas. The instrument rated commercial pilot and his three passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Phillips Medical, Inc., of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. A visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the non-stop, 387 nautical mile cross-country flight to Destin, Florida. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported to the FAA inspector that during takeoff to the south from the 2,500 foot grass airstrip, "the airplane stalled right after rotation at about the runway's midpoint." The pilot added that the airplane impacted the ground in a nearly level attitude near the departure end of the airstrip, then the landing gear struck a ditch and collapsed. The airplane impacted a road embankment, became airborne briefly, traveled across State Highway 18, and came to rest facing the airport on the opposite side of the highway.
Examination of the 1951 vintage airplane by the FAA inspector revealed structural damage to both wing spars. Additionally, the engine became partially separated from the airframe, and the landing gear and propeller were damaged. The airplane's 60-gallon fuel system was found to be full at the time of the accident. The cabin area of the airplane retained its structural integrity.
According to law enforcement personnel who responded to the accident site, there was "a very large suitcase" and a case of engine oil in the baggage compartment. The trooper reported that he estimated that the total weight of all four occupants exceeded 700 pounds. The NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) calculated that the airplane's maximum takeoff weight of 2,700 pounds was exceeded by 220 pounds.
In the enclosed NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot's total flight time was listed as 2,000 hours of which 1,600 hours had been accumulated in military helicopters. According to FAA records, his last medical examination was completed on May 23, 1989. On the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that he had completed a "military class II medical" on February 23, 1999.
The winds at the Jonesboro Municipal Airport, located approximately 5 miles to the west of the accident site, were reported from 330 degrees at 6 knots. The airplane was departing to the south. The IIC calculated the density altitude at 1,183 feet.