September 10, 2009, Flat Rock, N.C., Beech A36 Bonanza


At about 1415 Eastern time, the airplane collided with trees and terrain in a residential area. Instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the solo private pilot was killed.

A few minutes after takeoff, the pilot told ATC he was flying around the city a little bit and was trying to stay below the clouds. Approximately 65 seconds later, the pilot informed ATC he wanted to return for a landing. After several vectors for traffic, ATC advised the pilot to fly a heading toward the airport and to advise when it was in sight; the pilot acknowledged the heading. A controller turnover briefing then occurred, during which the controller being relieved informed the relieving controller of the accident airplanes status.

Shortly, the new controller asked the accident pilot if he was capable of tracking the localizer, to which there was no response. The controller broadcast several times the call sign of the accident airplane, but there was no response. The approach controller informed on the frequency that radar contact was lost with the accident airplane.

A witness near the accident site reported hearing a very loud constant engine sound. He then heard a loud boom and called 911. He reported there was fog in the area at the time of the accident.


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