Beech 19A Musketeer Crash in McArthur, Ohio
On December 24, 2011, a 1969 Beech model 19A, N33SR, known as a Musketeer, crashed near a road about 250 feet south of the departure end of the runway at the Vinton County Airport in McArthur, Ohio. The pilot, Kevin Byers, an Ohio attorney and owner of the airplane, along with two passengers, including Byer’s mother and Siobhan Reynolds, a patient activist and founder of the Pain Relief Network, were fatally injured.
The aircraft was manufactured in 1969 and equipped with a Lycoming O360 SER engine. No flight plan was on file with the FAA, and the flight was being conducted under visual flight rules (VFR) pursuant to FAR Part 91, which governs general aviation flights.
A witness who lived in a house near the aviation accident site reported hearing the airplane “rev up” and pass by apparently “above the runway and climbing toward the west.” Moments later he heard an impact. It is too soon to say what the cause may have been and whether the engine was operating properly before the crash — mechanical or structural failure, an engine issue or pilot error are all possibilities.
The NTSB has initiated an investigation and will undoubtedly examine the aircraft structure, flight controls and the engine as well as review any recent maintenance that may have been performed. Kreindler & Kreindler LLP has successfully prosecuted claims on behalf of victim’s families in accidents involving older single-engine aircraft like the Beech Musketeer. It is important to understand the legal issues that may affect your rights and recovery in a general aviation accident case, including the limitations created by the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) for aircraft like this one that was manufactured more than 18 years before the date of the accident.
Photo Credit, Beech 19A plane, Pete Webber