On May 15, 2019, at 1248 mountain daylight time, a Beech 60, N60RK, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an emergency landing at Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL), Loveland, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Majeste Air LLC, and was being operated as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the accident site at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado, about 1230, and was destined for FNL.
The airplane had been at BJC since July 2017 for the installation of new avionics which included a primary flight display (PFD); multi-function display (MFD); a backup to the electronic flight instrument system (EFIS); two navigation, communication, and GPS units, a transponder, audio panel, and associated wiring.
According to individuals who performed work on the airplane, a Hobbs meter oil hose was installed, as well as a longer fuel line in order to use the same mounting locations for the fuel flow transducers. This was only required on the right engine because of the location of air conditioning compressor.
Three engine runs were conducted after the work was completed. The first test run revealed an oil leak in the left engine oil pressure transducer. The line was re-torqued and the two subsequent engine runs revealed no anomalies. In a telephone conversation about two weeks prior to the accident, the pilot stated that he was applying for an FAA ferry permit because the airplane’s annual inspection had expired. The pilot arrived at the airport about 1130. He did not have a ferry permit and no ferry permit inspection was conducted.
At 1217, the pilot contacted BJC ground control and requested a “high-speed taxi” before takeoff. The request was granted, and the pilot made the high-speed taxi on runway 12L. He was subsequently cleared for takeoff at 1226.
At 1247, the pilot reported on the FNL common traffic advisory frequency that he was on the left downwind leg for runway 15 and that he had “an engine out [and] smoke in the cockpit.” The pilot of another airplane advised that he could see the fire and that the runway was clear. The accident pilot replied, “I’ve got a fire. I’m gonna land it pretty darn quick. Please have the trucks come on out.” There were several ground witnesses, one of which said that the airplane’s right wing was on fire before the accident.
The 69-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single- and multiengine land and instrument ratings. He also held a third-class airman medical certificate, dated March 14, 2018, that contained the restriction, “Must wear corrective lenses for distant vision and have available glasses for near vision.” At the time of his medical certification, he reported civil flight experience of 7,000 total hours with 50 hours in the previous 6 months.
According to maintenance records, the plane’s last annual inspection was on 9/1/17, when the airframe had accrued 3,119.9 hours on the tachometer (the Hobbs meter read 1,754.0 hours). At that time, the left engine had accrued 3,337.5 total hours and 902.9 hours since major overhaul, and the right engine had accrued 3,467.3 total hours and 827.7 hours since major overhaul. Review of FAA records confirmed that the pilot had not obtained a ferry permit for the accident flight.
The right engine was located about 40 ft northeast of the main wreckage. The right wing was separated just outboard of the right nacelle. Fire had consumed the inboard right wing, left wing, rudder and right elevator, but the left elevator was intact. The fuselage and instrument panel were destroyed by fire. Control cable continuity was established to all flight controls from their attach points through tensile overload failures. The flap actuators were consumed by fire. The left main landing gear was found in the retracted position. The nose landing gear and right main landing gear were separated during the impact sequence. The actuating arm indicated that the landing gear was extended.
Continuity and compression were established on the right engine except for cylinder Nos. 1, 3 and 5 due to impact damage, A significant area of thermal damage was observed in the vicinity of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel line from the pump to the fuel flow transducer was loose and could be moved by hand. The fuel strainer screens clean, but each bowl contained burnt material. Both fuel selector valves were positioned on the main tanks. Continuity and compression were established on the left engine.
The right propeller remained attached to the engine and was in the feathered position.
There was evidence of fire aft of the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel pump was discolored by fire. The fire sleeves on both the fuel pump inlet and outlet hoses were burned away. The fuel outlet hose to the flow transducer was loose.