On October 9, 2005, about 1042 eastern daylight time, a Beech 95-B55, N6413S, registered to Master Craft Plumbing, Inc., was landed in a field shortly after takeoff from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL), Lakeland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, to Page Field Airport, Fort Myers, Florida. The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire and the commercial-rated pilot, and private-rated passenger sustained minor injuries, while one passenger seated in one of the two rear seats sustained serious injuries. The flight originated about 1 minute earlier from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot-in-command (PIC) seated in the right seat stated that the flight had landed earlier that day following an uneventful 30-minute flight, and after landing, both main fuel tanks were filled. Before takeoff he personally checked the fuel level in the left tank and noted it was full. The left seat occupant checked the fuel level in the right tank. He (PIC) "...then walked around the aircraft inspecting it. Everything appeared normal." The airplane was taxied to runway 27 (8,500 foot long runway), where an engine run-up was performed by the pilot-rated passenger, who was in the left seat. When performing a check of each magneto the engine rpm decrease for each was approximately 75. During the takeoff roll, the airplane became airborne in no more than 2,000 feet, and he climbed maintaining blue-line airspeed. When the airplane was near the end of the runway while flying at 50 feet above ground level (agl), with insufficient runway remaining to land, he placed the landing gear selector handle to the up position to retract the landing gear. At that time, he heard the engine sound decrease and sensed the airplane was not accelerating. The engine gauges did not indicate a loss of power and the airplane did not yaw in any direction, so he "...did not try to check for a engine-out." He confirmed the throttle, mixture, and propeller controls were full forward, and a few seconds later he heard the stall warning horn which he silenced by pitching the airplane down to maintain blue-line airspeed. While maintaining altitude flying at blue-line airspeed at 100 feet, he thought about returning to the airport, but committed himself to an off airport landing. He saw a field that was approximately 70 degrees to the flight path of the airplane, descended to 50 feet agl, and lowered the landing gear selector handle. He banked to the right to land in the field, flew under powerlines, and impacted the ground in a wings level attitude. A postcrash fire occurred and all occupants exited the airplane after it came to rest.
The pilot-rated left front seat occupant stated that after landing following the 30-40 minute flight, he put in a request to "...top off both tanks." While in a restaurant on the airport, he observed a truck with markings "AvGas" and "Truck 1" pulling up to fuel the airplane. He verbally reported taking a sample of fuel from only 1 sump drain under each wing and noted the samples smelled like 100 low lead (100LL) fuel, and both had a blue tint; no discrepancies were reported. He further reported that he started the engines and the engine run-up before takeoff was "normal." They were advised by the tower controller to position and hold and the pilot-in-command taxied onto the runway over the "27 marking." They received their IFR clearance and the PIC "...did our normal takeoff procedure which, in the Baron, is to advance the throttles to 2200 rpm while holding the brakes and check the engine gauges. All appeared normal." The PIC released the brakes and applied full power and he (pilot-rated left front seat occupant), perceived everything to be normal. The airplane accelerated past red-line, and the rotation and initial climb felt normal as the PIC retracted the landing gear. He then reported that when the flight was at 250 to 350 feet mean sea level (msl), he noticed they were no longer climbing and he had the sensation of reduced power but he did not notice a yawing motion and the PIC did not appear to have any problem maintaining directional control. A decision was made to continue straight ahead and look for a place to land since they lost altitude while banking. A north/south oriented road was noted and the PIC maneuvered the airplane to land on the road. The airplane flew under powerlines then landed and bounced around a few times. Flames were immediately seen and the PIC opened the cabin entry door and exited the airplane, and he (pilot-rated left front seat occupant) pulled the right front seat forward so the rear seat occupant could exit the airplane. The pilot-rated left front seat passenger then exited the airplane.
The rear seat passenger stated that he did not detect any engine malfunction during the engine run-up before takeoff. He also reported the acceleration and the initial climb after takeoff were normal but he then felt a "...deceleration as if you were down shifting in a car." The pilot-rated left front seat occupant asked the PIC if he felt that and stated that "...something [happened]." The engines were "...still running fine but now we were barely holding altitude." The tower was advised of the situation and the flight was cleared to return to the airport. A "...bad engine was not identified they both were still running for the moment." The pilot-rated left front seat occupant looked at either the vertical speed indicator or altimeter and verbalized out loud they were descending. The pilot-rated left front seat occupant advised the tower controller that they were going to land off airport and the controller advised they would call fire rescue. The PIC descended below power lines and the airplane impacted the ground flat but he was thrown to the left. Flames occurred on impact in front and behind the right wing, and the PIC had trouble opening the cabin door. He (rear seat passenger), "...dove over the seat and exited the right wing into a wall of flames. I closed my eyes and did not know how far it was to the ground. I fell face down in the field that was on fire. I rolled twice and got up getting away from the wreckage."
According to the controller who cleared the flight to takeoff, the airplane had full length of runway 27 available. He estimated the takeoff roll was approximately 3,000 feet, and after becoming airborne the climb out was "very slow." He commented to a co-worker in the tower that it was not right. While airborne he did not detect a loss of engine power and did not see any yaw, or smoke trailing the engines. He first noticed the landing gear was retracted before the airplane reached the departure end of the runway, and the airplane flew over the departure end of the runway on runway centerline at approximately 100 feet. The airplane then slowly banked to the right heading 300 degrees, and he called Crash/Fire before losing sight of the airplane. He lost sight of the airplane then observed smoke. A helicopter that had previously landed flew to the area and after flying to the area reported the airplane was already on fire. He further reported that since he was only working the accident airplane at the time, he normally can hear if engine(s) are misfiring, and he did not hear any misfiring from the engine(s) of the accident airplane.
During recovery of the airplane, both engines were placed inside the heat damaged fuselage. Examination of the engines following recovery was performed by a representative of the engine manufacturer with FAA oversight.
Examination of the left engine revealed extensive heat damage to the engine, engine accessories, and controls which precluded bench or operational testing of the components and controls. The crankshaft was fractured aft of the propeller flange; the fracture surfaces exhibited 45-degree shear lips. The forward portion of the crankshaft flange remained secured to the propeller flange. Rotation of the crankshaft was performed using an adaptor positioned at the propeller governor drive pad. Continuity of the remaining portion of the crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity was confirmed. Suction and compression was noted in all cylinders during rotation of the crankshaft. The crankshaft to camshaft timing was verified by alignment of the gear's timing marks. Disassembly of the right magneto revealed extensive internal heat damage. The left magneto exhibited external heat damage; the magneto was not disassembled. Examination of the upper spark plugs revealed all exhibited normal wear signatures when compared using "Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug Comparison Chart." The drive coupling of the fuel pump was not fractured, and disassembly of the fuel manifold valve revealed the diaphragm was destroyed. All six fuel injector nozzles and lines were free of obstructions. The oil pump drive was not fractured; light scoring was noted in the oil pump housing. Heat damage to the propeller governor precluded rotation of it by hand. Examination of the left propeller revealed one blade was bent aft at the midspan of the blade, with leading edge exhibiting polishing, gouging, and scoring. The second propeller blade exhibited "S" type bending from the tip inboard to within 9 inches from the propeller hub. The leading edge exhibited leading edge polishing, gouging, and scoring. The third propeller blade was bent aft at the midspan of the blade, with leading edge exhibiting polishing, gouging, and scoring.
Examination of the right engine revealed extensive heat damage to the engine, engine accessories, and controls which precluded bench or operational testing of the components and controls. The propeller remained secured to the crankshaft, and all engine accessories and controls were removed from the engine prior to any attempt at crankshaft rotation. Rotation of the crankshaft by hand revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Suction and compression was noted in all cylinders during rotation of the crankshaft. The crankshaft to camshaft timing was verified by alignment of the gear's timing marks. Both magnetos which exhibited heat damage could be rotated by hand. Disassembly of the left magneto revealed extensive internal thermal damage. Examination of the upper spark plugs revealed all exhibited normal wear signatures when compared using "Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug Comparison Chart." Extensive heat damage was noted to the engine-driven fuel pump which could not be rotated by hand. Examination of the fuel pump drive coupling revealed it was fractured with the fracture surface exhibiting signatures consistent with shear overload. Disassembly of the fuel manifold valve revealed the diaphragm was destroyed. All six fuel injector nozzles and lines were free of obstructions. The oil pump drive was not fractured; light scoring was noted in the oil pump housing. The propeller governor could be rotated by hand; impact damage to the control lever and shaft were noted. Examination of the right propeller revealed one blade was bent aft approximately 20 inches from the blade tip. The second propeller blade had only approximately 18 inches of blade remaining with thermal damage to the end of the blade. The third propeller blade was bent aft approximately 24 inches from the propeller hub, and a section of the propeller blade tip was separated. The end of the blade exhibited thermal damage. Leading edge polishing and gouging was noted on the blade.
Before departure the airplane was fueled from truck No. 1; a total of 68.4 gallons of 100 Low Lead fuel were added. Postaccident, a sample of fuel from truck No. 1 was taken and submitted for testing to a laboratory located in Miami, Florida. The specimen was reported to, "...meet specification for Avgas grade 100LL."
The permanent maintenance records were not located. According to documents provided by the airplane insurance adjuster, the airplane was last inspected in accordance with an annual inspection on June 8, 2005. At the time of the inspection the airplane total time was 2,633.1 hours, and the time since overhaul for the left and right engines were 636.2 and 398.4 hours, respectively. At the time of the annual inspection the time since overhaul for the left and right propellers were each 284.5 hours. A review of the discrepancy list revealed no listed discrepancies related to either engine.
The current weight and balance sheet and the permanent maintenance records were not located; therefore, the exact weight and balance at the time of engine start could not be determined. The airplane weight and balance at the time of engine start was estimated to be within limits.
A METAR taken at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on the day of the accident at 1048, or approximately 6 minutes after the accident indicates that the wind was from 280 degrees at 4 knots, the visibility was 12 statute miles, broken clouds existed at 1,300 feet, the temperature and dew point were 28 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 29.78 inHg.
A review of the airplane "Pilot's Operating Handbook and FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual" (POH/AFM) revealed that the "Takeoff Weight" chart found on page 5-22 indicates that based on the pressure altitude, the airplane was capable with the "Associated Conditions" listed, of achieving a positive single engine rate of climb at lift off to the maximum gross weight of 5,100 pounds. The "Take-Off Distance" chart found on page 5-25 of the POH/AFM indicates that based on an outside air temperature (OAT) of 28 degrees Celsius, a pressure altitude of 282 feet, a weight of 5,000 pounds (the chart lists the maximum weight of 5,000 pounds), and 4 knots of headwind, the ground roll and distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle were calculated to be approximately 1,500 and 2,250 feet, respectively. The "Climb-Two Engine" chart found on page 5-28 of the POH/AFM indicates that based on a pressure altitude of 282 feet, an OAT of 28 degrees Celsius, a weight of 5,000 pounds, and the associated conditions consisting in part of the landing gear being retracted, the airplane was capable of climbing at approximately 1,600 feet-per-minute. The "Climb-Balked Landing" chart found on page 5-46 of the POH/AFM, indicates that based on an OAT of 28 degrees Celsius, a pressure altitude of 282 feet, and a weight of 5,000 pounds, and the associated conditions listed, the airplane was capable of climbing at approximately 800 feet-per-minute.
The NTSB was unable to establish contact with the owner of the airplane. The wreckage and all NTSB retained components was released to Stephen Webb, of Webb's Towing & Recovery Service on July 12, 2006.