Airplane’s Ground Speed On The Final Leg Of The Airport Traffic Pattern Was 65 Knots
Location: Big Bear, CA Accident Number: WPR23FA173
Date & Time: May 1, 2023, 14:02 Local Registration: N2038Y
Aircraft: Beech A36 Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On May 01, 2023, about 1402 Pacific daylight time, a Beech A36 Bonanza, N2038Y, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Big Bear City, California. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.
According to one witness, the purpose of the flight was to conduct an airplane pre-buy inspection for one of the passengers, at Big Bear City Airport (L35), Big Bear City, California. The pilot occupied the front left seat, one passenger occupied the front right seat, and they departed French Valley Airport (F70), Murietta/Temecula, California about 1122 and landed at Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), Corona, California about 1136. They onboarded the rear seat passenger and departed AJO about 1332 with the intended destination of L35.
Recorded Common Traffic Advisory Frequency transmissions confirmed the pilot’s position report with the intent of landing at L35 on runway 26. A second position report made by the pilot indicated that the accident airplane was 3-miles south and entering the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern for a landing on runway 26. According to preliminary Automatic Dependent Broadcast-Surveillance (ADS-B) data, 15 seconds before the accident, the airplane’s ground speed on the final leg of the airport traffic pattern was 65 knots. According to the manufacturer’s pilot operating handbook, the airplane’s stall airspeed is 62 knots.
The airplane impacted the ground about 1402 in a nose down, right roll on a heading of 310° magnetic. The right wing struck the ground forming the initial point of impact, as confirmed by ground scars that contained fragments of the green position light lens. The right front cabin area impacted terrain and the right front door separated from the fuselage.
The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.