HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On August 15, 2004, about 1528 central daylight time, a Beech V35B, N6411S, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with trees and terrain during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power on downwind for runway 12 at Anderson Municipal Airport - Darlington Field (AID), near Anderson, Indiana. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported minor injuries. The local flight originated from AID.
The pilot's accident report stated:
On August 15, I arrived at Anderson Darlington Field at about 2:30
p.m. in advance of a planned and filed IFR flight to Allentown, PA
filed for 3:00 p.m. The plane had been out of service for 3 weeks for
it's normal annual inspection. Over the past few weeks I had had
several conversations regarding the maintenance necessary since a
cylinder (#2) had to be replaced. The mechanic ... had reported oil
leaks and difficulty resolving them. I was told the aircraft had been
signed-off and released to fly that morning (8/15). And that it had
been adequately tested.
I did a complete pre-flight inspection and noticed several small
cosmetic things I was concerned about, but my main concern was a
mis-fitting dipstick. The mis-fitting was difficulty in inserting the
stick and an inadequate seal once inserted. [The mechanic] came to the
airport at my request, and assured me the plane was flight worthy and
that the dipstick fit was normal. We made a few minor adjustments
including a new gasket and that seemed to tighten the dipstick cap.
Considering the problems that had been encountered during the annual,
I wanted to conduct a test flight staying in the pattern to be sure there
were no oil leaks and/or other problems. I contacted the tower after a
fairly normal start-up (a few extra turns were required but the engine
then ran fine) and taxied to Runway 12. All checklist items appeared
normal. Run-up was normal and temps (cylinder & head) were okay. I
was paying special attention to the temps of the cylinder that had been
replaced. Oil pressure was OK. Tower cleared me for take-off. I told
the tower it was a test flight and I would remain in the pattern. Tower
requested I report left base and I acknowledged.
Take-off was normal and the plane was making full power. I
climbed to pattern attitude while turning left downwind. When I
reduced power about mid-field, the engine ran fine at first but then
began missing. I checked the mixture setting and confirmed full
rich. I then applied more power and the engine responded but
quickly sputtered. I noticed cylinder temps were high and switched
fuel tanks. During this process, I alerted the tower I was having an
engine problem and he cleared me for a landing on Runway 12.
I had already initiated a turn to the field and lowered the gear. The
engine was turning, but not making power. Continuing emergency
procedures, I held the aircraft level and made best gliding speed. Gear
was down but flaps were not extended. I saw that I was not going to
make the field and notified the tower.
I flew into the tops of a clump of trees on the north side of [Indiana
State Road] 32 and the plane spun (rotated) to the left and settled into a
spot next to the road and a bridge. Several motorists came to help
me out of the plane and, after opening the door, I walked up to the
road to await emergency officials. I had a cut on my eye and many
bumps and bruises and the ambulance arrived and transported me to
Anderson Community Hospital where I was treated and remained
overnight for observation. I provided essential emergency
information to local police and emergency officials at the scene and
at the hospital. I also completed a blood and urine sample as was
The plane was destroyed in the accident and was removed by Anderson
Airport officials to my hanger for examination.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate for single engine land airplanes. He held an instrument rating. He reported 912 hours of total flight time and 427 hours of flight time in the same make and model as the accident airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on January 9, 2004.
N6411S, a 1975-model Beech V35B, was a low wing, single-engine, six-place airplane, which had retractable tricycle landing gear. The airplane was equipped with a fuel-injected, air-cooled six-cylinder, horizontally-opposed Continental IO-550-B5 engine, serial number 281695-R, which was derated to 285 horsepower, and a McCauley 3-bladed, all-metal, constant-speed propeller. According to the aircraft's maintenance records, the last recorded annual inspection was dated July 3, 2003. Those records showed that the engine and propeller were installed on the aircraft on November 23, 1992, in accordance with supplemental type certificate SA1835SO. The pilot reported and billing records showed that the current annual inspection was completed on August 15, 2004.
A receipt dated August 15, 2004, showed 3.1 gallons of 100 low lead fuel was added to top off the airplane's fuel tanks.
An excerpt from the airplane's flight manual stated:
The most probable cause of engine failure would be loss of
fuel flow or improper functioning of the ignition system.
(Loss of engine power, loss of fuel flow, rough running
1. Rough Running Engine
a. Mixture - FULL RICH, then lean as required.
b. Magneto/Start Switch - CHECK on BOTH position
2. Fuel Flow Gage - CHECK (fuel flow abnormally low)
a. Mixture - FULL RICH
b. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - ON
c. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - OFF if performance does
not improve in a few moments
3. Fuel Quantity Indicator - CHECK (Fuel tank being
used is empty)
a. Select other tank (check to feel detent)
At 1530, the recorded weather at AID was: Wind 120 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 23 degrees C; dew point 13 degrees C; altimeter 30.27 inches of mercury.
The East Central US Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) indicated AID's field elevation was 919 feet. The A/FD listed two runways, 12/30 and 18/36. The A/FD showed that runway 12/30 was asphalt-surfaced, 5,400 feet long, and 100 feet wide. Visual approach slope indicators service both ends of that runway. The A/FD showed that runway 18/36 was asphalt-surfaced, 3,400 feet long, and 75 feet wide.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The Anderson Police incident report stated that the airplane came to rest approximately in the 2900 block of Indiana East State Road 32. Photographs showed that the accident site was northwest of the approach end of runway 12 about a quarter mile. The engine separated from the airplane. The propeller remained attached to the engine. The leading edge of the left wing exhibited an area that was crushed rearward in a semicircular shape about the midspan of the wing.
The pilot reported that shoulder harnesses were not installed and that he sustained facial injuries during the accident.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The installed EDM 700 engine analyzer was shipped to its manufacturer, JP Instruments, for downloading of its data. That model was an early model that did not contain memory.
The engine was shipped to its manufacturer for examination. The Y-shaped intake manifold was crushed. Sections of intake manifold were cracked. The casting over the engine driven fuel pump's bellows was cracked. The oil cooler was cracked. Removed spark plugs were gray to brown in color. The damaged sections of the intake manifold were replaced with serviceable units. The fuel pump's casting was replaced with a serviceable casting. The oil cooler was replaced with a serviceable cooler. The engine was test run and it produced rated power. The engine's throttle was rapidly advanced and the engine accelerated to rated power.
The parties to the investigation included the FAA and Teledyne Continental Motors.
The aircraft wreckage was released to a representative of the insurance company.