January 6, 2009, Three Rivers, Mich., Beech A36TC Bonanza


At 1729 Eastern time, the airplane collided with a frozen river. The commercial pilot and passenger on board were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane picked up light rime ice during descent, breaking out at around 1700 feet MSL, or 900 feet AGL. The pilot was unable to see out of the forward windscreen so he had to look out the side window during the landing. As he neared the airport he attempted to add engine power, but was able to maintain only 17 inches of manifold pressure. He stated he held as much airspeed as possible until the airplane contacted the frozen river. The pilot reported the airplane normally stalls at 62 knots; however, it stalled at 82 knots during the landing.


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