WPR09LA079
WPR09LA079

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 12, 2009, at 1221 Pacific standard time, a Beech 95-A55, N9694Y, departed the runway during takeoff and collided with parked airplanes and a hangar at Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), Corona, California. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The certificated private pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar and fuselage during the accident sequence. The personal flight was departing with a planned destination of Glendale Municipal Airport, Glendale, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) interviewed the pilot the day following the accident. The pilot stated that just prior to takeoff, the pilot of a landing airplane made a radio call warning of crosswinds. The accident pilot then began the takeoff roll from runway 07, and as the airplane reached an altitude of about 20 to 40 feet above ground level (agl), it began a bank to the right. He stated that the engines made a sound that did not appear to correlate with full power, and he assumed the bank was caused by a loss of power from the right engine. He reported that there was a crosswind at the time, and that this may have exasperated the banking tendency. He estimated his rotation speed to be about 100 mph, and that he did not have time to react to the upset, or retract the landing gear. His next recollection was of the airplane departing the runway to the right, colliding with two parked airplanes, and then colliding with the hangar.

A witness located at a midfield fuel tank adjacent to the runway, stated that he looked up after hearing the sound of "engines running at full power." The sound led him to initially believe the airplane was performing an aborted landing. He looked towards the runway, and observed the airplane flying at an altitude of about 20 feet agl. The airplane then began a right bank, and passed behind a building and beyond his view. He then heard the sound of a collision. He stated that gusting wind conditions existed prior to the accident. Throughout the day he observed the windsock swing back and forth between the runway heading and a direct crosswind.

After the airplane came to rest, the pilot turned off the electrical system master switch. As he exited the airplane, he observed fuel leaking from under the wings and returned to set the fuel selector valves to the off position. He did not recall the position of the fuel selector valves prior to the accident.

The IIC reviewed video footage from a set of security cameras that recorded the accident sequence. The cameras were located about 315 feet south of the runway, at the midfield position. The footage also displayed a windsock located at the midfield position. The video images revealed that the airplane began its takeoff roll, and then rotated about 1,200 feet along the runway. Throughout the ground roll sequence, the windsock was in a position roughly parallel with the runway heading. As the airplane rotated, the windsock swung to the right correlating to about 60 degrees left crosswind. The airplane then began to bank to the right and depart the runway. The bank angle reached about 45 degrees as the airplane crossed the taxiway to the south. The right wing tip then made contact with the taxiway surface, and the airplane collided with two parked airplanes and a hangar.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 64-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. He did not possess a multiengine rating.

The pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued in May 2008; it had no limitations or waivers.

The pilot reported a total flight time of 1,900 hours. His total flight experience in multiengine airplanes was 40 hours, 13.7 hours of which took place over the 90 days prior to the accident.

FAA records revealed that the pilot had failed his private pilot multiengine land practical test on September 16, 2008.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1963. It was powered by two fuel injected, normally aspirated, Continental IO-470-L engines, and equipped with Hartzell constant-speed propellers.

At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued a total time in service of 8,544.7 hours. The last annual airframe and engine inspection occurred on August 26, 2008, 44.7 flight hours prior to the accident.

Review of the engine logbook revealed that the right engine was overhauled in May 2002, 558.7 flight hours prior to the accident. At the time of the overhaul, the engine had accrued 913.8 hours of total time. The left engine was overhauled in June 1997, 1,066.6 flight hours prior to the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station was located at Corona.

An aviation routine weather report for was issued at 1056.

It stated: winds from 120 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 25 knots; visibility 10 miles; skies clear; temperature 28 degrees Celsius; dew point minus 4 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.22 inches of mercury.

At 1156, the reported winds were from 080 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 20 knots.

At 1256, the reported winds were from 070 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 23 knots.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

First responders reported draining about 10 gallons of fuel from the right wing main fuel tank. Visual examination of the left wing main tank revealed it to be filled to approximately half of its capacity. Both the left and right auxiliary tanks contained residual amounts of fuel.

The propellers for both engines were at approximately the same angle of pitch and exhibited similar aft bending in a smooth arc, 6 inches from the tip. Each blade tip exhibited similar leading edge gouges and chordwise scratches.

External examination of both engines revealed no evidence of pre-impact catastrophic mechanical malfunction or fire.

Both engines were rotated at the crankshaft by hand, utilizing the propeller. They were free and easy to rotate in both directions. Thumb compression was observed in proper order on all cylinders. The top spark plugs produced a spark in firing order.

The combustion chambers of the cylinders were examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The valves were intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of valve to piston face contact. The gas path and combustion signatures observed at the combustion chambers, and exhaust system components displayed light tan coloration and deposits.

The IIC confirmed operation of the right engine electrical fuel pump by switching the right fuel selector valve to the right main wing tank, and turning on electrical power. Fuel flowed from the fuel servo inlet hose at the firewall.

A detailed engine examination report for both engines is contained in the public docket for this accident.

Control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces through to their respective cabin controls. Both wing flaps were in the fully retracted position.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH)

The POH was recovered from the airplane. One section of the POH discusses emergency procedures.

'ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF AND IN FLIGHT

An immediate landing is advisable regardless of takeoff weight. Continued flight cannot be assured if takeoff weight exceeds the weight determined from the TAKEOFF weight graph. Higher takeoff weights will result in a loss of altitude while retracting the landing gear and feathering the propeller. Continued flight requires immediate pilot response to the following procedures.

1.Landing Gear and Flaps - UP
2.Throttle (inoperative engine) - CLOSED
3.Propeller (inoperative engine) - FEATHER
4.Power (operative engine) - AS REQUIRED
5.Airspeed - MAINTAIN SPEED AT ENGINE FAILURE (115MPH MAX.) UNTIL OBSTACLE IS CLEARED'

A NOTE states that the most important aspect of engine failure is the necessity to maintain lateral and directional control. If the airspeed is below 90 mph, the pilot should reduce power on the operative engine as required to maintain control.

The POH listed the following emergency airspeeds:

Air Minimum Control Speed: 90 mph
Best Rate-of-Climb Speed, One-Engine Inoperative: 115 mph
Best Angle-of-Climb Speed, One-Engine Inoperative: 105 mph

The POH states that the maximum demonstrated crosswind is 25 mph.

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