Sept. 19, Franklinton, La. / Beech Bonanza


At 12:58 CDT, a Beech A36TC Bonanza struck trees while attempting a go around at the Franklinton Airport, killing the pilot and his three passengers. The pilot intended to fly IFR from Baton Rouge to Montgomery, Ala., and had taken off about 20 minutes before the accident. The airplane was in cruise flight when the pilot requested vectors to the nearest airport because of an engine overheating problem. Houston Center vectored him to Franklinton and terminated radar services soon after the vector was issued. A witness said the plane came in high and fast toward the runway. Several witnesses saw the airplane flying over runway 31 with the landing gear extended, at a steady altitude estimated between 15 to 35 feet above the runway. At the departure end of the runway, the airplane assumed a nose high attitude and power was increased, but the engine was sputtering. The Bonanza struck 60-foot trees about 1,400 feet from the departure end of the runway. The engine did not reveal any signs of a catastrophic failure; however, both spark plugs for the No. 6 cylinder were found contaminated with metal chips.


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