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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45881
Last updated: 11 July 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BE36 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Raytheon Beechcraft A36 Bonanza
Registration: N615M
C/n / msn: E-3344
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Somis, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Destination airport:Oklahoma City, OK (PWA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot was departing on a cross-country flight when he advised an air traffic controller that he needed to land at the nearest airport. The pilot did not specify why he needed to land. An air traffic controller initially cleared him to one airport, and then the pilot asked for a clearance to closer airport. Multiple controllers were in contact with the pilot after his initial call that he needed to land. During the first call, the initial controller and a second controller had a discussion about what the nature of the problem was, and if the pilot was declaring an emergency. The primary controller reported that he thought the pilot was having an engine problem, and he was not declaring an emergency. Once the pilot was handed off to the second controller, the pilot was asked if he had an engine problem and if wanted to declare an emergency. The pilot replied negatively to both questions. The pilot was then handed off to the final controller at the airport where he wanted to land. The pilot was unable to advise the air traffic controller at the landing airport of his position. The pilot was cleared to land, but then he reported an unspecified emergency and collided with terrain approximately 3 miles north of the airport. The airplane came to rest straddling a ditch, adjacent to a road, and was mostly consumed in the post-impact fire. The engine came to rest at the top of the ditch on the south side, and the tail section came to rest on top of the ditch on the north side. An engine inspection and teardown were conducted, with no mechanical anomalies noted that would have precluded normal operation. No evidence was found of any airframe system malfunction or flight control problem. To date, the pilot has not responded to requests from the investigator-in-charge for a statement as to the source of the problem and subsequent emergency. The investigation determined that the pilot was taking a prescription antidepressant, a metabolite of which was detected on post-accident toxicology testing. He was also reported to have recently begun using a prescription anti-anxiety medication, not detected on post-accident toxicology testing, but for which therapeutic levels are below the detection threshold on such testing. Neither medication would have been approved for use by the FAA. The pilot had not reported any mental conditions or use of medications at the time of his most recent application for airman medical certificate nearly 2 years prior to the accident.
Probable Cause: a ground collision during an emergency landing for undetermined reasons.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
05-Dec-2017 09:15 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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