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Last updated: 16 February 2019
Date:Monday 23 January 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 300 Super King Air
Operator:KAAZ LLC
Registration: N385KA
C/n / msn: FA-42
First flight: 1985
Total airframe hrs:9962
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tucson International Airport, AZ (TUS) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Tucson International Airport, AZ (TUS/KTUS), United States of America
Destination airport:Hermosillo-Gen Pesqueira Garcia Airport (HMO/MMHO), Mexico
A Beechcraft 300, N385KA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during takeoff from Tucson International Airport (TUS), Arizona, USA. The pilot and the passenger were fatally injured.
A witness observed the airplane takeoff from runway 11L and rapidly pitch up in the initial climb. At an altitude between 100-150 feet above the runway, the airplane suddenly yawed to the left while maintaining a nose-up pitch attitude. The airplane then appeared to slow down such that he believed it was about to stall. The left wing dropped, and the airplane rolled left and continued as the nose dropped and the airplane struck the ground inverted.
Another witness described the airplane yawing from left to right while climbing. The airplane then rolled left and eventually became inverted, in a manner he described as similar to a barrel roll. The airplane then exited his field of view.
After impact, the airplane slid about 650 feet across the ramp on a 060-degree magnetic heading before it collided with an 8-feet tall concrete wall.

No evidence was found of any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
Toxicology testing revealed the pilot's use of multiple psychoactive substances including marijuana, venlafaxine, amphetamine, pseudoephedrine, clonazepam, and pheniramine. The wide variety of psychoactive effects of these medications precludes predicting the specific effects of their use in combination. However, it is likely that the pilot was impaired by the effects of the combination of psychoactive substances he was using and that those effects contributed to his loss of control. The investigation was unable to obtain medical records regarding any underlying neuropsychiatric disease(s); therefore, whether these may have contributed to the accident circumstances could not be determined.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment by the effects of a combination of psychoactive substances."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Accident number: WPR17FA057
Download report: Final report

Flightcrew member's alcohol, drug usage
Loss of control


METAR Weather report:
19:40 UTC / 12:40 local time:
KTUS 231940Z 24012G22KT 10SM OVC060 19/06 A2989 RMK AO2 ACFT MISHAP T01940061


photo of Beechcraft 300 Super King Air N385KA
photo of Beechcraft 300 Super King Air N385KA
photo of Beechcraft 300 Super King Air N385KA
photo of Beechcraft 300 Super King Air N385KA
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Tucson International Airport, AZ to Hermosillo-Gen Pesqueira Garcia Airport as the crow flies is 334 km (209 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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