The Wind Was Coming From The East (Tailwind For Runway 27) At An Estimated Velocity Of 15 Knots

Location: Middleburg, FL Accident Number: ERA21FA194
Date & Time: April 28, 2021, 09:00 Local Registration: N6009U
Aircraft: Beech C23 Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On April 28, 2021, about 0900 eastern daylight time, a Beech C-23, N6009U, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Middleburg, Florida. The pilot, pilot-rated passenger, and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness described that around 0840, he heard what he thought was the accident airplane departing from the Spencer’s Airpark (FL13), Middleburg, Florida. Shortly thereafter he heard the sirens of first responders as they proceed toward the accident site.

The accident site was located in a heavily wooded area about 800 ft beyond the departure end of runway 27 at FL13. Multiple tree branches that displayed angular cuts were found along a path that stretched from the trees near the departure end of the runway to where the wreckage came to rest.

The fuselage came to rest upright oriented on a heading of 180 degrees magnetic. The airplane was partially consumed by a postaccident fire. The engine remained attached to the firewall through the tubular engine mount and was heavily fire damaged. The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft flange and the spinner and one propeller blade were embedded in the soft earth. The engine oil sump, carburetor, and the lower portion of the accessory case were consumed in the post-impact fire. The engine-driven fuel pump, the vacuum pump, and both magnetos were heavily fire-damaged. The cabin and instrument panel were also consumed by the postimpact fire. The wings sustained tree impact damage and were partially separated from the fuselage. Both wings came to rest in front of the engine and sustained significant postimpact fire damage. The right flap was separated from the wing and remained in one piece. A small fragment of the left flap was found forward of the engine.

The tail sustained minimal impact damage; however, it was thermally damaged. Flight control cable continuity was established for all tail control surfaces. Aileron and flap continuity were partially established due to multiple separations that displayed signatures consistent with overload separation and postimpact fire damage. The manual flap handle ratchet plate was loose; and the position of the flaps could not be determined. The stabilator trim was found in a position that correlated to approximately 8° tab trailing edge down.

The wreckage was recovered for further examination. The airport was located at an elevation of 150 ft, and its single turf runway was 3,800 ft-long by 75 ft-wide and oriented in a 9/27 configuration. Runway 27 sloped downward with an elevation change between the runway ends of about 40 ft. Trees that were an estimated 70 to 80 ft tall were present beyond the departure end of runway 27.

A witness, who arrived at the airport about 30 minutes after the accident, stated that at that time the wind was coming from the east (tailwind for runway 27) at an estimated velocity of 15 knots, straight down runway 27.