Accident Beechcraft V35A Bonanza N35SD, Sunday 6 January 2013
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Date:Sunday 6 January 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Beechcraft V35A Bonanza
Owner/operator:Floyd Johnston Construction Co Inc
Registration: N35SD
MSN: D-8812
Total airframe hrs:6646 hours
Engine model:Continental IO-550-B12B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Near the Tulare and Kern County borders 8 miles SE of Porterville, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Imperial, CA
Destination airport:Fresno, CA (FAT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During a visual flight rules cross-country flight, air traffic control was providing flight-following services. The pilot informed the controller that there was cloud cover ahead and requested an instrument flight rules clearance and approach to the destination airport. The controller granted the clearance and then instructed the pilot to maintain 14,000 ft; the pilot read back the clearance. The pilot then requested a lower altitude and was advised to expect a lower altitude in 10 to 12 miles. The pilot was subsequently cleared for a descent to 7,000 ft and issued arrival instructions. Two minutes later, the controller advised the accident pilot of a pilot report of icing in the area. One minute later, the controller issued a clearance to 6,000 ft but received no response from the pilot. The controller issued the clearance again, and the pilot acknowledged the instruction. The controller relayed a nearby outside air temperature but received no response from the pilot. The controller made several attempts to contact the pilot and also asked another pilot to try to establish contact; all attempts were unsuccessful. Two minutes later, radar contact was lost. The wreckage was located about 1 mile from the last radar return and was distributed over the terrain for about 1/2 mile, indicating that an in-flight breakup had occurred. A postaccident examination of the airframe or engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
A weather study indicated that the airplane likely encountered light-to-moderate precipitation, especially near the end of the radar flight track. Precipitation and clouds would have reduced visibility. Considering the environmental freezing level, the airplane likely encountered supercooled liquid water and snowflakes about the time that voice communication was lost. Pilot reports in the immediate area described increasing instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) along with light-to-moderate icing conditions. The reports described the flight conditions as mostly smooth with some light turbulence when passing in and out of cloud tops. Along with the likely IMC, the airplane likely experienced moderate or greater icing conditions around the accident time. The airplane likely developed ice on the wings, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall followed by a loss of control and in-flight breakup during the descent.

Probable Cause: An in-flight encounter with icing conditions during descent, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall followed by an in-flight breakup.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR13FA086
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


FAA register:


Revision history:

07-Jan-2013 11:23 gerard57 Added
07-Jan-2013 20:43 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
08-Jan-2013 07:35 Geno Updated [Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:05 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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