Airplane Impacted A Storage Facility Attached To A Two-Story Apartment Building

Location: Keene, NH Accident Number: ERA23FA033
Date & Time: October 21, 2022, 18:45 Local Registration: N8020R
Aircraft: Beech A24 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On October 21, 2022, about 1845 EDT, a Beech A24R, N8020R, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Keene, New Hampshire. The flight instructor and commercialrated pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to recorded audio from the Dillant/Hopkins Airport (EEN), Keene, New Hampshire, common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), at about 1842, an occupant of the accident airplane broadcast that the flight was taking runway 02 for departure, which was consistent with back taxiing to the approach end of runway 02. About 2 minutes later an occupant broadcast on the frequency that the flight was departing from runway 02 and would remain in the airport traffic pattern.

According to several witnesses who were located on-airport, one of whom was a pilot and the other was a pilot and airframe and powerplant mechanic, the engine sounded abnormal with the pilot exclaiming that it never sounded smooth during the entire time the airplane was on the runway or while airborne. The pilot-rated mechanic stated that when the flight was airborne along the runway he heard a momentary power reduction, followed by a power advance. The flight continued and was noted to be in a very shallow climb, by witness accounts climbing to between 50 ft and no higher than about 200 ft when the flight was near the intersection of runways 02/20 and 14/32, which was about 5,200 ft down the runway, with about only 1,000 ft of runway remaining. The flight continued in a wings and nose level attitude while several witnesses who were located on airport northwest of the departure end of the runway reported the poor engine sound continued. A witness located about .5 nautical mile north-northeast from the departure end of runway 02 reported the airplane was flying not much higher than 50 ft above ground level when it flew by him. He reported hearing “pop pop” sounds, then the airplane began descending and the engine sound became louder, but the popping sound stopped when the flight was descending.

The airplane impacted a storage facility attached to a two-story apartment building about 1/2 nautical mile north-northeast from the departure end of runway 02. The storage facility and its contents were damaged by fire and some of the apartments and contents of some of the apartments were destroyed and/or damaged by fire. There were no injuries of any personnel in the apartment building.

There was no distress call made by an occupant of the airplane on the CTAF. Wreckage consisting of the aft end of the empennage, sections of left wing, left and right main landing gear, and engine assembly with attached propeller were recovered from the impacted building and retained for examination.