The pilot, who was conducting a cross-country flight in a Beech 95, entered the pattern at the airport in Casey, Illinois, 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 plane was abeam the runway threshold.
He immediately checked the power levers and pushed the mixture controls to full. As he turned onto the base leg of the traffic pattern, the right engine lost power.
He 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.
He extended the flaps to the final setting, lowered the landing gear, and pushed the airplane’s nose over to “make the runway.”
He said 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.
Post-accident 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, 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 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.
Probable cause: 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.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA119
This February 2016 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.