This October 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Beech A36. Location: Glenpool, Okla. Injuries: 5 Fatal. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot had logged 1,500 hours, including 200 hours in the accident airplane, which belonged to a friend of the pilot. The pilot, who borrowed the plane to make a cross-country flight, topped it off with fuel prior to departing on the flight with four passengers. He obtained a weather briefing and filed an instrument flight plan. When talking to a weather briefer, the pilot mentioned that he was concerned about weather hazards along the route because he had children on board the airplane. The briefer informed the pilot that convective activity was forecasted in the Tulsa, Okla., area and to expect moderate turbulence along his route of flight below 15,000 feet. The pilot informed the controller that he would be departing before the forecasted thunderstorms and that the wind was “blowing” at the departure airport. The pilot received a clearance and was told to taxi to the runway but hold short. The controller informed the pilot that the wind was from 150°, variable to 200° at 20 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The pilot was then instructed to continue holding short of the runway for IFR separation. The pilot acknowledged the instructions. A few minutes later, a controller informed the pilot that the wind was from 170° at 20 knots followed two minutes later by another wind warning from 160°, variable to 210° at 28 knots. The pilot was again advised to continue holding short. The pilot was finally cleared for takeoff. Several witnesses on the ground watched the takeoff. They reported that the airplane was having difficulty climbing and at times seemed out of control.
A review of radar data revealed the airplane climbed to an altitude of 1,300 feet MSL while on a southwesterly heading, then began to descend. The control tower manager reported seeing the airplane on radar when it was at an altitude of 1,200 feet MSL and at a ground speed of 70 knots. A few moments later he noted it had descended to 1,100 feet MSL.
The airplane hit a row of unmarked power lines located about 3.4 miles south of the runway. The aircraft burst into flames and plunged to the ground.
An estimated weight and balance calculation revealed that the airplane was under its published maximum gross weight of 3,600 pounds by approximately 130.5 pounds. It was within the center of gravity limitation for takeoff and slightly aft of the allowable center of gravity limits for landing. The impact signatures on the propeller blades indicated the engine had been producing full power at the time of impact. The post-accident inspection did not reveal any mechanical issues.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane after departure, which resulted in a collision with power lines. The high winds were a factor.
For more information: NTSB.gov