On September 9, 2000, at 1400 central daylight time, a Beech A36TC, N3683D, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during a collision with terrain on takeoff from runway 12 (4,000 feet by 75 feet, dry asphalt) at the Moorhead Municipal Airport, Moorhead, Minnesota. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was seriously injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Saint Paul, Minnesota. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector found tire marks in the grass that began about 50 feet from the departure end of runway 12 and continued to the accident site.
In a written statement, the pilot said that he recalled the start of the takeoff but had, "... no further memory of the event due to injury."
A witness stated, "... when I saw the bonanza it was on approximately the last 1000' of runway 12 with the main wheels on the runway and the nosewheel off the runway. Just before reaching the end of runway 12 the aircraft became airborn[e] and flew with the main wheels 1-2 feet off the grass overrun area. The main wheels touched the ground for a couple hundred [feet] before the aircraft became airborn[e] again. The aircraft flew for a few seconds, pitched up radically before pitching down to a near nose level attitude before the three wheels touched the ground. The aircraft rolled a short distance before impacting [the road]..." In a telephone interview, the witness stated that he noticed that the flaps were extended.
A second witness stated, "I observed the plane approx[imately] 1000' from [the] end of [runway] 12 in a tail low attitude. [The airplane] seemed to be flying slow and mushing. The plane touched down approx[imately] 200/300' past the end of the runway in the grass. Bounced up into the air for another 300 to 400 feet and then settled back into a bean field..."
Another witness said that the aircraft went by the departure end of the runway at about 1-1/2 feet off of the ground. He said that the wheels then hit the ground and the aircraft subsequently impacted the road and came to rest in a ditch on the other side of the road.
A postaccident examination of the accident aircraft was conducted. With respect to the airframe, no anomalies were detected that could be associated with a preexisting condition. The flap actuator extension was measured as 5.88 inches, which corresponds to approximately 25 degrees of flap extension. The A36TC flap system has three settings, 0, 15, and 30 degrees with no intermediate settings. The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the aircraft lists 0 or 15 degrees of flap extension as allowable settings for takeoff.
The aircraft engine was removed and transported to the Teledyne Continental Motors facility in Mobile, Alabama where a teardown inspection was performed under the direct supervision of an NTSB investigator. The teardown inspection of the engine and its accessories failed to reveal any anomalies that would have prevented normal engine operation.
Aircraft takeoff performance charts indicating takeoff ground roll distance as a function of temperature, pressure altitude, aircraft weight, and wind component are appended to this report.
The weather reporting station located at the accident airport recorded the weather at 1355 local time as: Wind 190 degrees magnetic at 15 knots gusting to 21 knots; Visibility 10 statute miles; Sky condition clear; Temperature 29 degrees Celsius; Dewpoint 16 degrees Celsius; Altimeter setting 29.32 inches of Mercury.
Based on the recorded weather and the airport field elevation of 917 feet MSL, the density altitude was determined to be 3,534 feet.