Friday, January 29, 2016

Beech V35B, N4523A: Accident occurred December 23, 2015 at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (TQH), Cherokee County, Oklahoma


 NTSB Identification: CEN16LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 23, 2015 in Tahlequah, OK
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N4523A
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 23, 2015, about 1520 central standard time, a Beech model V35B single-engine airplane, N4523A, was substantially damaged during a wheels-up forced landing at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (TQH), Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Beech V-35 LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The business flight departed TQH at 1515 and had the intended destination of William R Pogue Municipal Airport (OWP), Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

The pilot reported that, before the accident flight, he had topped-off the left fuel tank and estimated that the right fuel tank contained 15-20 gallons. He stated that after a normal takeoff from runway 35 he turned to a 283 degree heading toward the intended destination and continued to climb to his planned cruise altitude of 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl). He remarked that he used 25-inches of engine manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm during the cruise climb.

The pilot reported that, about 2-3 miles from the departure airport, as the airplane climbed through 2,500 feet msl, the airplane experienced a noticeable loss of thrust. He remarked that he did not hear a corresponding decrease in engine noise; however, he acknowledged that he was wearing a noise-canceling headset. The pilot stated that he made an immediate turn back to the airport for a forced landing on runway 17. During the turn back to the airport, the engine regained power/thrust for a short period of 1-2 seconds. He reported that he was initially concerned that the airplane might not have enough altitude remaining to reach the runway and, as such, decided to keep the landing gear and flaps retracted. Additionally, the pilot indicated that he pulled the propeller control full aft in attempt to reduce the propeller drag. He reported that the propeller continued to rotate/windmill throughout the forced landing. The pilot admitted that he became distracted with the forced landing and forgot to extend the landing gear once the airplane was in a position to safely to land on the runway. As such, the airplane made a wheels-up landing on the runway 17. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage, including several structural bulkheads.

The pilot stated that, following the force landing, an individual approached him and remarked that he had heard the airplane approach the airport before the wheels-up landing. This individual remarked that airplane sounded like it was experiencing a propeller over-speed condition or governor failure.

The pilot further reported that, before the accident flight, the propeller speed did not decrease significantly when he cycled the propeller control during his before-takeoff procedures. Additionally, he indicated that earlier the same day, before the previous flight leg from Seminole Municipal Airport (SRE) to TQH, he also did not observe an appreciable drop in propeller speed as he attempted to cycle the propeller during his before-takeoff procedures.

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