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N91WC accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 37.154167°N, 94.434722°W
Nearest city Carterville, MO
37.149225°N, 94.443003°W
0.6 miles away
Tail number N91WC
Accident date 13 Jul 2001
Aircraft type Beech E-55
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On July 13, 2001, at 0057 central daylight time, a Beech E-55, N91WC, twin-engine airplane, piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed after it departed controlled flight and impacted into a garage in a residential area of Carterville, Missouri, 3 miles east of the Joplin Regional Airport (JLN), Joplin, Missouri. Prior to the crash, the airplane lost power on one engine. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane departed Sulphur, Louisiana, on July 12, 2001, at approximately 2230, without a flight plan on file. On reaching the Joplin area, the commercial pilot filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) plan with the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZKC). The cross-country flight was to terminate at Joplin, Missouri. The pilot and five passengers on board sustained fatal injuries in the crash. There were no injuries to persons on the ground.

At 0011:38, ZKC established radio contact with N91WC. The pilot informed ZKC that he was going to start a slow descent into the Joplin airport. ZKC asked the pilot if he had the current weather for landing. The pilot said, "negative". ZKC informed the pilot that the weather at JLN was winds 050 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, ceilings of 800 feet broken and 5,000 feet overcast, and an altimeter of 29.99 inches of Mercury (Hg). The pilot responded that they were going to need an IFR approach into JLN. ZKC cleared N91WC direct to JLN and told them to maintain 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl).

At 0017:25, ZKC inquired, [N91WC] "are you heading over towards joplin now?" The pilot said his global positioning system (GPS) equipment was showing he was heading direct to JLN. ZKC asked the pilot what heading he was on. The pilot responded, "forty two degrees." ZKC said, "ok yeah that ought to be good if you turn right to uh about a zero three five zero four zero heading that'll take you direct joplin looked like you were heading to the north there looked like you were heading straight north."

At 0018:05, the pilot inquired, "and what kind of approach we gonna make?" ZKC said, "it'll be approach of your choice they've got i l s they've got uh back course uh just let me know what you want to do i can vector you for i l s if you want."

The pilot said, "i've got the approach plate out now for the i l s uh one eight." ZKC said, "all right turn uh fifteen degrees left vectors i l s uh you say you want to do i l s one eight?" The pilot said, "i guess that'll do." ZKC then said, "ok they got vectors uh they've got the i l s one three or one eight it'll be your choice uh."

After rechecking the winds, the pilot told ZKC, "i guess we'll uh let me see if i got that one approach plate."

At 0021:50, the pilot said, uh center one whiskey charlie i've got that approach plate out now." ZKC told the pilot, "ok thank you and uh turn fifteen degrees left vectors i l s runway one three into joplin fifteen left."

At 0028:35, ZKC told the pilot, "november niner one whiskey charlie turn right heading one zero zero one hundred on the heading." The pilot responded, "one zero zero roger."

At 0029:30, ZKC told the pilot, "november one whiskey charlie continue right turn heading one three zero you're eight miles north west of lunns intersection then maintain three thousand two hundred until established cleared i l s runway one three into joplin over." The pilot responded, "one whiskey charlie roger."

At 0030:22, ZKC asked the pilot, "and one whiskey charlie are you on the localizer inbound now?" The pilot responded, "one whiskey charlie doesn't show uh it on." ZKC said, "all right turn uh let's go fifteen left you may have turned a little tight left to join i'll let you know when you're on it."

At 0031:14, the pilot said, "we show on the localizer now." ZKC said, "all right one whiskey charlie you're cleared i l s one three into joplin thirty two hundred."

At 0031:35, the pilot said, "... i just got a red flag on this localizer uh center one whiskey charlie." ZKC said, "all right you say you're not getting it in now." The pilot responded, "uh got a red flag on the nav here". ZKC asked the pilot, "... you want to try another approach there something else then?" The pilot said, "i've lost uh the localizer and glide slope both i guess i ought to go over there and try that one eight". ZKC said, "… we can vector you up there … maintain your present altitude … you can climb up to four thousand … vectors for the i l s runway one eight and let's turn left heading zero three zero take you in from the east side there."

At 0033:46, ZKC asked, "you say you still got plenty of fuel you say you got two hours fuel there?" The pilot responded, "uh yes sir."

At 0038:51, ZKC told the pilot, "uh you can turn left now head to the north heading three six zero." The pilot responded, "left three six zero." ZKC told the pilot, "we'll take you up here about ten miles turn you back in on the localizer one eight."

At 0041:14, ZKC told the pilot, "november nine one whiskey charlie turn left heading two seven zero." The pilot responded, "left two seven zero roger." At 0042:06, ZKC told the pilot, "... continue left turn heading of two zero zero two hundred on the heading." The pilot acknowledged.

At 0042:30, ZKC told the pilot, "… you're one three miles north of the airport heading of one ninety maintain three thousand two hundred until established cleared i l s runway one eight into joplin you should be joining here in half a mile or so."

At 0045:11, ZKC said, "one charlie whiskey i show you right on the localizer now inbound do you concur with that." The pilot said, "well it's showing slightly left to our left."

At 0045:36, ZKC said, "and one whiskey charlie say your altitude radar contact is lost." The pilot said, "one whiskey charlie two thousand seven hundred descending." ZKC said, "roger and are you established now." The pilot said, "uh i'm about a needle width to the uh left i mean to the uh right of course."

At 0046:36, ZKC asked the pilot, "are you established inbound yet?" The pilot said, "we're close."

At 0047:27, the pilot said, "uh we're showing 2,500 feet."

At 0047:53, ZKC told the pilot, uh one whiskey charlie radar contact is lost change to advisory approved cancel out this frequency if unable you need to cancel out through radio."

At 0048:40, ZKC said, "and november one whiskey charlie if you're still with the center can hear me i show you just about over the airport twenty four hundred feet."

At 0048:47, the pilot said, "uh one whiskey charlie we're going to make a missed approach and go try it again uh never could get the runway lights on i don't think."

At 0050:55, ZKC asked, "ok do you want to try another approach there what kind do you want to try?" The pilot said, "well we'll try that one more time see if we can get down through it." ZKC said, "nine one whiskey charlie roger you can climb and maintain four thousand you're radar contact a mile south of the joplin airport four thousand left heading zero two zero vectors for the i l s runway one eight again." The pilot responded, "that's a left zero two zero you say." ZKC said, "yeah we'll head you up to the northeast again of zero two zero vectors for the i l s runway one eight. The pilot acknowledged.

At 0055:06, ZKC said, "and one whiskey charlie center." There was no response.

At 0055:13, ZKC said, "november nine one whiskey charlie center."

At 0055:16, the pilot said, "one whiskey charlie we're having a little problem here i think we've lost an engine i'm trying to get leveled off here and get back up to four thousand feet." ZKC told the pilot, "one whiskey charlie roger just keep me advised."

At 0056:06, ZKC said, "november nine one whiskey charlie i show you descending below the minimum safe altitude two thousand three hundred over." There were no further transmissions from N91WC.

The last position recorded by ZKC radar for N91WC showed the airplane 3 miles east of JLN in a descent.

Several witnesses in Carterville, Missouri, heard the airplane flying in the area beginning approximately 0015. One witness said he heard the airplane going east, then west, and then back east again. The witness said that when he heard the airplane travel east the second time, it sounded like a single-engine airplane. The witness also said it sounded like the airplane was "awful low".

Another witness saw the airplane just before the accident. She said she could see the lights on the airplane. The witness described the airplane pitch up into a 30-degree nose high climb, roll counterclockwise, and then enter a 45-degree dive toward the ground. The airplane continued its counterclockwise roll until she lost sight of it behind some trees.

A witness in the residence across the street (west) of the garage the airplane struck said he heard the airplane. "It sounded like a nosedive barrel roll. It was loud and fast." The witness said, "It sounded like a loud engine running and it sounded like one engine, not two." The witness said he was heading for his front door when the airplane hit. He said the impact knocked him to the floor. The witness said he got up, opened his front door and saw the tail of the airplane in his yard. The witness' wife said that their house started to shake just before the airplane hit. She said the impact was loud and that she had never heard anything like it before in her life.


The 70 year old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single-engine and multi-engine, instrument airplanes, issued on February 24, 1999. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with provisions to instruct in single-engine and multi-engine instrument airplanes. The pilot's instructor pilot certificate was due for renewal on April 30, 2002. Additionally, the pilot held a ground instructor's certificate and a control tower operator's certificate.

According to his personal logbook, as of May 26, 2001, the pilot had 6,823.8 total flying hours. Approximately 1,440 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. The pilot's last recorded flight in a multi-engine airplane was on October 26, 2000, in a Cessna 337. The pilot's logbook showed within the 90 days preceding the accident flight, the pilot recorded 4.3 hours of night time. The logbook showed in the 6 months preceding the accident flight, the pilot recorded 4.8 hours simulated instrument time and 1.8 hours actual instrument time. Between December 18, 2000 and May 26, 2001, the pilot flew 9 instrument approaches. The approach flown on May 26, 2001, was an ILS. The pilot completed a biennial flight review on April 17, 2000.

The pilot held a second-class medical certificate dated June 27, 2001. The certificate cited the following limitations: "must wear lenses for distant - possess glasses for near vision, limited second class/full third class privileges, and miscellaneous restriction assigned."

The pilot's aeromedical records showed he underwent coronary bypass surgery on July 24, 1998. The pilot regained his medical certificate on June 11, 1999. The pilot also suffered from asthma, a condition that predated his heart problems.

The previous owner of the airplane said that she thought the pilot got his checkout in the airplane on July 7, 2001.


The airplane, serial number TE-909, was manufactured in 1973. It was white in color with light and dark blue stripes on the fuselage, vertical stabilizer and wing tips. The airplane had been recently purchased by a businessman who was one of the passengers on board at the accident. Previously, the airplane was owned by the president of an engineering company and was used for that company's business purposes. The previous owner said the airplane was purchased by the new owner around June 27, 2001. The previous owner said that the current owner had in his possession the bill of sale and the paperwork to submit to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The airplane had an annual inspection performed on October 14, 2000. The airplane had a Hobbs meter time of 1,590.6 hours and a total airframe time of 3,388.4 hours at the annual inspection. The Hobbs time recorded at the accident was 1,597.7 hours.

The airplane was equipped with instrument landing system equipment, distance measuring equipment, a localizer receiver, and a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver.


At 0055, the automated weather observing system at JLN, located 3.4 miles west of the accident site, recorded an overcast ceiling of 800 feet above ground level, 10 miles visibility, temperature 70 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 68 degrees F, winds 060 degrees at 7 knots, and altimeter 30.00 inches Hg.


The published initial approach fix for the ILS/DME approach to runway 18 at JLN is MITBY intersection, 9.7 nautical miles (nm) from the end of the runway. The final approach course for the localizer is 178 degrees. The glide slope can be intercepted at MITBY at an altitude of 3,000 feet msl. A step down altitude of 2,500 feet msl is published for the localizer. The final approach fix for the localizer is 4.7 nm from the end of the runway. The altitude at the final approach fix is 2,500 feet msl. The minimum descent altitude for the localizer is 1,340 feet msl (375 feet height above airdrome). The decision height (minimum descent altitude) for the ILS approach is 1,165 feet msl (200 feet height above touchdown). The published minimum safe altitude for the approach is 3,100 feet within a 25 nm radius of the outer marker for runway 13, is 3.7 nautical miles northwest of the field on a 314-degree heading.


Runway 18 at JLN is equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system (MALSR) with runway alignment indicator lights and sequenced flashing lights. The runway is also equipped with a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lighting system. Both the MALSR and PAPI systems are pilot controlled (PCL).

According to the airport manager, the JLN air traffic control tower opens at 0600 and closes at 2100. The runway lights are turned on when it gets dark and remain on all night. Before the tower closes, tower personnel check the pilot controlled lights. The lights operate on the common traffic advisory frequency of 119.8 megahertz. By clicking the microphone button several times, a pilot can increase the brightness intensity of the runway lights from low to medium, and medium to high.

The airport manager said he received notification of the accident at 0104. The manger said that ZKC told him that the pilot told them that he could not get the lights to come on. The manager said he told ZKC that the lights were on. The airport manager said when he arrived at the airport he noticed the airport lights and the beacon were on. He said he used his radio to click up the PCL. The medium and high intensity settings worked. The airport manager said he checked the lighting at the approach end of runway 31. He said he could see the visual lighting to runway 18. Everything was working.

At 0400, field sector inspectors from the FAA arrived and inspected the navigation equipment and the airport lighting. Everything was found operational.


The National Transportation Safety Board on-scene investigation began on July 13, 2001, at 1245.

The accident site was located in a residential area located in the 400 block of Cedar Street in Carterville, Missouri. The site began at a garage on the north side of a house at 421 Cedar Street, continued along a 229-degree magnetic heading, crossing Cedar Street, continued through the front and side yards of the residence at 418 Cedar Street, continued through the back yard of the residence at 10 Vandella Street, and ending at the yard's west fence; a total distance of 300 feet.

The front half of the garage at 421 Cedar Street was broken downward. The north wall of the garage was broken outward. The collapsed roof over the garage came to rest on top of a car

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decisions. Factors relating to the accident were the pilot's lack of experience in the airplane, the inadvertent spiral, and the residence.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.