April 28, Middletown, R.I. / Beech Bonanza


At about 09:30 eastern time, a Beechcraft A-36 crashed while returning to land at Newport State Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. The flight had departed when the pilot transmitted that he was returning to secure part of the cowling. A pilot waiting to take off saw the airplane flying low and slow, about 200 feet above the ground, on a tight downwind leg for runway 4. The airplane turned onto the base leg at about 100 feet agl, flying very slowly. The airplane then accelerated and banked about 70 degrees to the left. As the airplane passed the extended centerline of the runway, it leveled off and full power was applied, but the airplane struck the ground. The airplane was heavily fire-damaged, but the left cowling was opened and undamaged. The pilots flight instructor and the airplanes maintenance shop said the airplane had a history of problems with the left engine cowling.


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