July 09, Bethany, W.Va. / Beech Baron


At 1313 eastern time, a Beech BE-56TC crashed in a field after losing engine power while climbing near Bethany. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane had departed Parkersburg about 35 minutes earlier for a planned IFR flight to Watertown, N.Y. The pilot said he was climbing through 16,000 feet for 23,000 feet when the left manifold pressure gauge began to fluctuate. He then noticed oil streaking from the left engine cowling. The pilot secured the left engine and advised the controller that he wanted to return to PKB. About five minutes after the pilot had secured the left engine, the right engine lost all power. Neither engine would restart. During the restart attempts, the airplanes engine-driven vacuum instruments failed and the controller provided the pilot vectors toward the ILS Rwy 03 approach to Wheeling Ohio County Airport. The pilot was unable to glide to the runway and performed a forced landing to a field about three miles south of the airport, where the right main landing gear collapsed and the wings, fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.


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