This December 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 200. Location: Salmon, Idaho. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot removed the airplane from a heated hangar and parked it on the ramp while awaiting the arrival of the passengers. The temperature inside the hangar was 60°, the outside temperature was below freezing, and a steady snow was falling. The airplane sat outside for at least 45 minutes before takeoff. Snow accumulated on the airframe during that time, melting on the warm airframe and then refreezing as ice. The pilot did not remove the accumulated snow or ice prior to takeoff.
According to the surviving passengers, the takeoff ground run seemed longer than normal. The airplane lifted off at 100 knots indicated and momentarily touched back down, then lifted off again. Almost immediately after it lifted off the second time, the airplane rolled into a steep right bank. The passengers thought that the wing tip might have hit the ground. As the pilot continued the takeoff initial climb, the airplane repeatedly rolled to the left and the right and did not seem to be climbing. The airplane was also shuddering, and the passengers said it felt like it may have stalled. The pilot then lowered the nose and appeared to attain level flight. He made a left turn of about 180° to a downwind for the takeoff runway. The airplane rolled to a steeper than normal bank angle, but the pilot successfully recovered. He then initiated a left turn toward the end of the runway. The airplane again began to shake, shudder, and yaw, and started to rapidly lose altitude. Although the pilot appeared to push the throttles full forward soon after initiating the turn, the airplane began to sink at an excessive rate. It hit a hangar approximately 1,300 feet southwest of the approach end of runway 35. The front of the airplane caught fire. The two surviving passengers were able to exit out the rear door of the aircraft.
No pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures were identified in examinations of the wreckage and engines.
A review of the Pilot’s Operating Handbook and FAA Airplane Flight Manual for the Beech Super King Air 200 revealed that Section VIII addresses deicing and anti-icing of airplanes on the ground. According to this section, “Snow and ice on an airplane will seriously affect its performance. Removal of these accumulations is necessary prior to takeoff. Airfoil contours may be altered by the ice and snow to the extent that their lift qualities will be seriously impaired. Ice and snow on the fuselage can increase drag and weight.” The manual further states that, “If the airplane has been hangared and snow is falling, coat the airplane surfaces with an anti-icing solution; snow falling on the warm surface will have a tendency to melt, then refreeze. After snow has been removed from the airplane, inspect the airplane for evidence of residual snow.”
Probable cause: An in-flight loss of control due to the pilot’s failure to remove ice and snow from the airplane prior to takeoff. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s improper preflight preparation/actions, falling snow, and a low ambient temperature.
For more information: NTSB.gov