On September 24, 1999, about 1200 Eastern Daylight Time, a Beech F33A, N100LK, was substantially damaged while landing at the Cape May County Airport, Wildwood, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to airport personnel, the airplane taxied to Runway 19, a 4,998 foot long asphalt runway, for departure. The airplane then departed unannounced, using the entire available runway, "barely" clearing the threshold lights located at the departure end of the runway. Airport personnel made repeated calls to the airplane on the UNICOM frequency to ask if there were any problems, but there were no replies. The airplane entered a "short pattern", returned to land, and touched down about mid-field on the runway. The airplane then began to bounce several times for the whole length of the runway before it gained a positive climb rate, and reentered the pattern. The airplane returned to land, and touched down about mid-field. It began to bounce several times again, before it struck the threshold lights, continued into an embankment, and sheared the nose gear off. The airplane came to rest upright in a grass field, about 460 feet from the departure end of the runway.
A day after the accident, the pilot talked with airport personnel explaining that "he had lost his wife last week who he had been with since 1934." He additionally stated that "people make too many excuses today for their actions, and this accident was just plain and simply his fault."
According to the pilot in a written statement, as the airplane touched down on the first landing, the engine would not throttle back. A go-around was initiated and the airplane was flown back to the runway for a planned "short landing." While landing for the second time, the pilot was able to throttle the engine back, "but insufficient to control [the] airplane to make a complete stop."
The pilot had accumulated a total experience of about 16,000 flight hours. He had flown a total of 73 hours in the F33A, 6 hours of which were in the last 90 days.
The owner of a repair facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, that worked on the airplane after the accident stated that the throttle lever connected to the throttle body was restricted in movement by a piece of the fuselage pushed near it during the accident. The fuselage was pulled away from the throttle lever and tagged with an Aircraft Condition Notice.
A FAA Inspector examined the airplane in November 1999. He checked the throttle cable and the fuel injector throttle arm for freedom of movement throughout the operating range. No discrepancies were noted.
Inspection of the wreckage in Hagerstown on December 7, 1999, by a Safety Board Investigator, revealed that the throttle moved freely with no noticeable friction.