The August 3, 2007 Weekly Accident Update is now posted at
"The goal of accident investigation is not to solve accidents for its
own sake, but to improve safety by preventing [future] accidents." - Air
Line Pilots Association

I apologize for being a day late with this week's Update. With 15 new
reports this week it took me longer than expected to complete the report
and commentary. In fact, I believe this is the greatest number of
piston Beech mishaps reported in a single Weekly Accident Update in my
eight years of compiling these reports.

FLYING LESSONS suggested by this week's report
Although based on Beech mishap records, the lessons learned are
universal. Consider how they may apply to the airplanes you fly.
-- Ensure trim is properly set for takeoff. Use a checklist, a flow
check or mnemonic as a final Takeoff re-check.
-- Many airplanes have a wide range of pitch trim settings and may have
enough trim authority to present a very nasty surprise if mis-trimmed
for takeoff.
-- The required Before Takeoff check of electric pitch trim, if
installed, can easily result in a radically mis-set trim unless you
perform the full checklist and re-set it after the test. The same goes
for autopilot preflight tests.
-- Train to a level of competence in possible attitudes and emergency
procedures. Familiarity with stall recognition and unusual attitudes
might prevent denial and "freezing on the controls" when faced with an
-- If you're a pilot in the right seat, be prepared for anything.
-- Many airplane designs are fairly nose-heavy in some loading
scenarios, and frequently are the subject of directional control mishap
reports resulting from nose-first touchdowns.
-- Any "pull" or other control difficulty on takeoff or landing should
be fully investigated and repaired as needed before it contributes to a
loss of aircraft control.
-- Assuming you have some clue to the possibility of turbulence
[Airmets, Sigmets, presence of cumulus clouds] it may be wise to slow to
the appropriate turbulent air penetration speed. This speed (sometimes
called VB) is designed to permit the wing to momentarily stall when
encountering an essentially "moderate" or greater gust, thereby
unloading the wing to prevent overstress. At faster speeds the wing may
absorb more stress than it is designed for.
-- VB is not always published, but it can be approximated by reducing
the published VA speed by two knots for every 100 pounds below maximum
takeoff weight [which is the weight at which VA is certified].
-- Wing modifications, if present [such as vortex generators, winglets
or tip tanks] may cause VB to be even lower than otherwise calculated.
It's best to remain well below published VA when in or anticipating
moderate or greater turbulence.
-- There seems to be a high incidence of pushrod or rod end failures
after about 2000 hours in service. Although it's not required,
consensus is building that rods should be removed and inspected at no
more than 2000 hours in service, and rod ends replaced at that time.
Bushings, shims, and any other rigging adjustments should be carefully
inspected and replaced as necessary at this time as well. Consider it
fairly cheap insurance to avoid a $40,000 - $60,000 or more gear
-- Check engine power indications (manifold pressure, rpm, EGTs, TIT as
appropriate, and fuel flows) against expectations well before reaching
liftoff speed, and abort immediately if your power targets are not met.
-- For more data and analysis on LGRMs see the LGRM pages of

First, let me thank everyone who attended my presentation "What Really
Happens in IMC?" at EAA AirVenture 2007. I greatly appreciate your kind
words and constructive criticisms. I'll be writing up this presentation
in article form for possible publication in a future print magazine.

Getting a positive result from mishap education, I've posted a number of
Tools for Flying Safely on the Mastery Flight Training website. See the
link near the bottom of <> Featured Tool this week: the Categorical Outlook
FlyingT Decision-Making Matrix. Use this as a guide for making your
go/no-go decisions by comparing observed and forecast weather to other
risk factors for the flight, adjusted for your qualifications and
currency and the capability of your airplane.

-- An A35 pitched up abruptly on takeoff due to failure to re-set the
trim prior to take-off..
-- A C23 lost control and departed the runway..
-- A B36TC was destroyed on impact with terrain following an encounter
with adverse weather..
-- During a touch and go, one of a Duchess' propellers struck the
-- A Baron 58 landed gear up..
-- An A36 crashed under unknown circumstances..
-- A Duke encountered severe drafts, and after landing the pilot
discovered wing damage..
-- A Beech 23 crashed under unknown circumstances..
-- A Beech 23, on landing, went off the runway, through a fence and
into a field..
-- On final, a C35 stalled and crashed short of the runway..
-- The nose gear of a Baron 58 collapsed on takeoff..
-- An A33 landed gear up..
-- A D55 landed gear up..
-- A B24R Sierra landed gear up..
-- A B60, on aborted takeoff, landed in a field..

There are also some modifications to previously reported mishaps as a
result of new NTSB postings. For more details, commentary and analysis
see <>

Fly safe, and have fun!

Thomas P. Turner, Master CFI
Mastery Flight Training, Inc. <>
<> .net

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact Mastery Flight
Training, Inc. by reply to this message.
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