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On February 12, 2009, at 1740 Central Standard Time, N9648Y, a twin engine Beech 95-55A, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees and terrain west of runway 17 at Williams Airport (9X1), Porter, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private company based in Austin, Texas. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) approximately 1700, and was destined for 9X1. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
Several witnesses located at the airport observed the airplane as it approached the airport and stated that it flew over runway 17 at a low altitude, but never landed. It began a climbing right hand turn as it approached the end of the runway then nosed over into the trees. One of these witnesses thought the engine power was not at flight idle as it floated down the runway.
A retired state trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, stated that he was sitting in his truck talking with the airport manager when he first noticed the airplane approaching the runway, which he noted was free of obstructions. The airplane flew down the length of the 3,594-foot-long and 49-foot-wide asphalt runway, but never touched down. The airport manager made the comment to him that the airplane was "floating too long." When the airplane approached the end of the runway, it pitched up and the engine power increased. He said, "It was lifting above the tree line on the south end of the runway, when it made a sharp roll to the right and appeared to nose dive behind the tree line. We all heard the crash."
The airport manager stated that she had received a call from a pilot earlier in the day, which was planning on flying his twin-engine airplane into the airport. The pilot wanted to know about the trees located at the airport. She told the pilot that a "considerable" amount of trees had been cleared on the south end of the runway and some trees had been cleared to the north. The manager advised that runway 35 would be the preferred runway if the winds permitted. Later that day, she observed a twin-engine airplane on final approach for runway 17, but was not able to determine if it was the pilot who had called earlier that day. She stated, "It appeared to be higher than I would have expected. As it flared, it seemed to float for an unusually long period. By midpoint on the runway, it seemed unlikely that he would be able to complete the landing successfully. He seemed slow to commit to a go-around." Shortly after, she heard power increase on the engines and the airplane began to climb. The manger said that she heard no abnormal noises or saw anything that would indicate an engine problem. The airplane then began to climb and bank to the right before it nosed over and descended into the trees.
A witness said the airplane circled over the airport before it made an approach to runway 17. She said that it appeared to be "coming in too fast" and "like the pilot wasn't sure about landing." When the airplane got near the end of the runway, "it looked like the pilot was going to pull up to take off...[it] went up and banked to the right." The witness said the airplane's wings appeared to be perpendicular to the ground as it was turning to the right. It then appeared to turn over and disappeared over the tree line. She observed smoke under the right side of the airplane before it disappeared from her view.
Another witness also stated that she observed the airplane circling over the top of the airport before it made an approach to Runway 17. The airplane glided down the runway but never landed. She said, "When they reached the end of the runway power was applied to the engines and I noticed fluid leaking from the right engine. The engines did not sound like they were producing full power. As the airplane was climbing out he stalled and started falling to the right and impacted the ground."
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His last FAA second-class medical was issued on July 21, 2008. A review of copies of his pilot logbook that were dated between May 13, 2008, and January 6, 2009, revealed that he had accrued a total of 2,364.5 hours, of which, 367 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. The pilot had been given a checkout in the accident airplane by a certified flight instructor on January 3rd and 6th, 2009. The pilot had a total time of 4.2 hours in the accident airplane at the completion of the checkout.
A review of maintenance logbooks revealed that the last annual inspection was completed on April 1, 2008, at a total airframe time of 5,988 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued a total of 6,049.7 hours. The tachometer installed in the airplane indicated a total of 3,161.7 hours.
The was equipped with two I0-470L engines that were manufactured by Teledyne Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama.
The left engine (s/n:CS201456-72L) was installed on September 15, 2003, at an airframe total time of 2,625 hours. The engine had accrued a total of 504.7 hours since major overhaul.
The right engine (s/n: CS192388-9-L-R) was installed on March 3, 2004, at an airframe total time of 2.715 hours. The engine had accrued a total time of 446.7 hours since major overhaul.
Weather reported at Lone Star Executive Airport (CXO), Conroe, Texas, approximately 13 miles north of the accident site, at 1753, was reported as clear skies, wind 150 degrees at 10 miles per hour, temperature 67 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.07 inches Hg.
The airplane came to rest in a swampy section of land behind a private residence located west of the runway. The initial impact point was a stand of approximately 60-foot-tall trees. Impact marks became progressively lower on the trunks of these trees on an approximate heading of 290 degrees. The airplane came to rest approximately 80-feet forward of the initial impact point on an approximate heading of 040 degrees at a field elevation of 122 feet mean sea level (msl). There was no post-impact fire. Several pieces of angular cut wood were found along the wreckage path. Examination of the ends of these cuts revealed black paint transfer marks.
An on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted on February 13-14, 2009. All major components of the airplane were located at the site. The airplane sustained extensive impact damage, and the outboard section of the right wing and the left engine had separated from the airframe. The tail section remained attached to the airframe by control cables. The leading edge of the vertical stabilizer was crushed and the right elevator trim tab had separated. Both the left engine and outboard section of the right wing were located near the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was established for all flight control surfaces to the cockpit except for the right aileron, which sustained extensive impact damage.
The left and right flap actuators were extended approximately 6.2-inches, which correlated to a full flap extension of 30 degrees. The landing gear was in transit at the time of the accident.
The engines were examined on March 17-18, 2009, under the supervision of the Safety Board.
The right engine was in condition a to be test-run. In preparation for the test-run, a few of the accessories and components were either removed or replaced. The engine was then placed on a test bench and started. The engine experienced a slipped starter adapter on the first attempt. The starter adapter and starter were replaced and the test was continued. The engine experienced normal start on the second attempt. The engine was then run through its full power band without hesitation or interruption in power. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded the engine from producing power at the time of the accident.
The left engine was not able to be test-run and was disassembled. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded the engine from producing power at the time of the accident.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOAGICAL INFORMATION
A forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on the pilot on February 17, 2009. According to the autopsy report the pilot’s cause of death was determined to be, “Blunt force trauma to the head and neck.”
The FAA’s Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. The results of the testing were negative for all items tested.