An Occupant Of The Airplane Advised The Controller Of An Engine Failure

Location: Lakeland, FL Accident Number: ERA21LA201
Date & Time: May 1, 2021, 14:28 Local Registration: N125WC
Aircraft: Beech A36 Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On May 1, 2021, about 1428 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, N125WC, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Lakeland, Florida. The private pilot was seriously injured, and the pilotrated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, earlier on the day of the accident the airplane flew to several airports before arriving at Bartow Executive Airport (BOW), Bartow, Florida. The accident flight departed BOW about 1420 and proceeded toward Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida.

According to recorded air traffic control communications with the LAL air traffic control tower, the flight was instructed by the local controller to join the right downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 9 at or above 1,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The local controller observed the airplane descending to 800 ft msl and informed the pilot that the flight needed to be at or above 1,500 ft msl, and to turn southbound. An occupant of the airplane advised the controller of an engine failure. The airplane was cleared to land on runway 5, and subsequently cleared to land on runway 27, after a transport category airplane that was on approach to runway 9 was instructed to go-around; however, the pilot or passenger advised that the airplane could not reach the runway.

According to ADS-B data between 1423:38 and 1425:37 when the flight was about 4 nautical miles east-southeast from the approach end of runway 27 at LAL, the airplane flew on a westerly direction consistent with entering the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 9. After 1425:37, the airplane turned slightly to the right, then again proceeded briefly on a westerly direction. At 1426:25, the airplane turned to the right onto a west-northwesterly direction toward the approach end of runway 27 until 1427:53, at which time, when the flight was about .80 nautical mile and 101° from the approach end of runway 27, the airplane turned right to a north-northwesterly direction. The airplane’s last ADS-B target at was located about .68 nautical mile and 092° from the approach end
of runway 27 at LAL.

The airplane impacted a tree about 12 ft above ground level, then impacted a trailer and the ground. A postcrash fire nearly consumed the cockpit and cabin. The airplane was recovered for further examination of the airframe and engine.