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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN16LA119
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 27, 2016 in Casey, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/06/2016
Aircraft: BEECH 95 C55, registration: N88FL
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was conducting a cross-country flight in a multiengine airplane; he entered the pattern on the crosswind leg and set the mixture and power for landing and extended the flaps. He reported that the right engine “sputtered” while the airplane was abeam the runway threshold. The pilot immediately checked the power levers, pushed the mixture controls to full. As he turned onto the base leg of the traffic pattern, the right engine lost power. He further reported that, during the turn to the final leg of the traffic pattern, the left engine also sputtered, and then experienced a total loss of power. The pilot extended the flaps to the final setting, lowered the landing gear, and pushed the airplane’s nose over to “make the runway.” The pilot said that he “flared then bounced, floated and bounced again." The airplane ran off the paved surface, flew over a ditch and touched down in a plowed field where all three landing gear collapsed. Postaccident examination revealed that the airplane touched down on the 1,400-foot-long parallel taxiway, rather than the runway, and continued off the taxiway, where it came to rest. During recovery of the airplane from the accident site, 25 gallons of fuel was drained from each of the main fuel tanks. The airplane’s engines were run on a test stand at the manufacturer’s facility. Both engines exhibited normal operation through all power settings. No other system anomalies were found with the airplane. It is likely the pilot, distracted by the reported loss of power on both engines, mistook the parallel taxiway for the runway. On touching down, he quickly ran out of hard surface and pulled the airplane back into the air. He subsequently touched down beyond the perimeter road about taxiway into soft ground, collapsing the landing gear and resulting in the damage to the airplane’s forward fuselage and right wing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's inadvertent landing on a taxiway after a reported loss of engine power in both engines, which resulted in an overrun of the paved surface. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined because a postaccident test run of the engines did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.