Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Beech A36 Bonanza, AB Holding LLC, N4314S: Accident occurred December 22, 2015 near Deck Airport (9D4), Myerstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA077
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 22, 2015 in Myerstown, PA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N4314S
Injuries: 4 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 22, 2015, about 1735 eastern standard time, a Beechcraft A36, N4314S, was substantially damaged following a collision with terrain during climbout near Myerstown, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot and three passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to AB Holdings LLC., and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions were reported at the airport about the time of the accident, and an instrument flight plan was filed for the flight to Parkersburg, West Virginia. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, after conducting his preflight he prepared for departure. He noted that a "haze" started to fill around the airport but was not concerned with weather related issues. He conducted a pre-takeoff run up and everything checked out "ok." He taxied to the runway and started the takeoff roll; as the airplane reached take off speed (around 85 knots) he rotated, got airborne and reached over to raise the landing gear. He said that it "seemed" like he had a loss of engine power and when he checked the instrument panel, he noticed that the attitude indicator was on a 10 to 15 degree left bank. He immediately leveled the wings and kept the yoke "back" to continue the climb. However the airplane impacted the ground and "bounced" before coming to a stop.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the underside of the engine cowling and fuselage was crushed. The airplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13

Gary Deck Sr., manager of Deck Airport.

(Myerstown) -- Four men bound for Illinois were injured when their single-engine aircraft crashed on take off in heavy fog at Deck Airport Tuesday night.

Gary Deck Sr., manager of the airport and son of owner Clyde Deck, said the plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza, appeared to be in trouble from the start, managing to climb 200 to 300 feet before coming down in a farmer's field several hundred yards east of the runway.

"They really veered off," he said.

When he got to the scene of the crash, which occurred about 5:30 p.m., one man was spread out on a wing, another was laying in a field and two others were in their seats inside the plane, including the pilot, Deck said. The men had been in the area on business and were flying to southern Illinois with a scheduled stop in West Virginia for refueling.

"They weren't in great shape. I wanted to help them but I had to stay on (the phone) with 911," said Deck, who said he was the first on the scene of the crash.

Gary Deck Sr., manager of Deck Airport in Jackson Township, explains how a single-engine plane crashed on take off Tuesday night, injuring the four men inside it. 

Because of the foggy conditions, Deck said he asked the pilot before taking off he felt confident to fly and was told yes. However, he noticed the pilot had his landing lights on when he took off, which may speak to inexperience with flying in fog.

"That's the worse thing you can do because of all the glare," he said.

State police troopers from the Lickdale station were at the scene, as where crews from Prescott, Goodwill and Keystone Hook & Ladder fire companies. Area fire police also played a critical role guiding emergency equipment into the scene and traffic passed the airport located at S. Ramona Road in Jackson Township.

Access to the crash down a muddy path was difficult for heavy equipment, so ATV Gators were used to transport the victims to waiting ambulances from First Aid & Safety Patrol, Schaefferstown and Myerstown EMS, which took them to area hospitals.

The condition of the men was not available Tuesday night.

One woman who lives on a neighboring farm and declined to give her name, said her father heard the crash and described it to her.

"He said he heard it revving for takeoff like the always do. Then heard it flying and sputtering overhead and then he heard a loud boom," the woman said.

Deck said there was no flame or explosion. The hood of the engine was ripped off and the doors and windows of the fuselage where open on the plane which rested on its belly in the field.

Deck said that he has been in touch with Federal Aviation Administration officials who planned to send someone to investigate the crash on Wednesday. The area around the badly damage plane was secured with police tape.

Fire fighters place police tape around a single engine plane that crashed at Deck Airport Tuesday night to secure the area for investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration who are expected to arrive on Wednesday. 

Below is an earlier version of this story:

(Myerstown) -- An airplane taking off from Deck Airport in Jackson Township, Lebanon County, crashed this evening, while taking off in heavy fog.

According to the state police, there were four people in the plane.

All were conscious and taken to the hospital.

The extent of the injuries was not available at this time.

According to the state police, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been contacted, and they are expected to begin an investigation tomorrow.


JACKSON TWP., Pa. - A small plane with four men aboard crashed in dense fog near the border between Berks and Lebanon counties Tuesday.

The crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. after the plane took off from the Deck Airport in Jackson Township, Lebanon County, near Myerstown.

 A father, his two sons and the pilot were on board the plane when it went down, according to Pennsylvania State Police troopers with Reading-based Troop L.

The wings of the dented plane were covered with mud and grass, and the nose was damaged. 

Friends of at least three of the plane's occupants who visited the crash site told 69 News that the father is a pastor, and he and his three sons were in Pennsylvania for business.

They said the trio was headed back home to southwest Illinois. 

Trooper David Beohm, a Pennsylvania State Police public information officer, said all four men suffered "moderate injuries."

One of them was transported to Reading Hospital; the other three went to Hershey Medical Center. 

According to Beohm, troopers were securing the scene until officials with the Federal Aviation Administration could get there to begin their investigation. The FAA was expected to arrive on scene Wednesday morning.

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