We can only wonder what must have been going on in the mind of the pilot of a Beech A36TC Bonanza as it became increasingly difficult for him to handle the control yoke so the airplane was level enough to avoid stalling or diving. It was a battle he’d eventually lose, with the plane crashing into Clear Lake in Orlando, Florida, killing him and his passenger. The pilot thought he knew what was going wrong but couldn’t fix it no matter how hard he tried. With the luxury of hindsight, NTSB investigators found that the pilot missed what should have been obvious. The fact that he was fairly new to this airplane should not have mattered—the issue was fundamental to flying.
The airplane was manufactured in 1981. It had a 300 horsepower Continental TSIO-520-UB engine driving a constant speed prop. The pilot purchased it on September 9, 2015, and at the time of the accident, it had 5,310 hours. The pilot flew it for 37 of those hours. He held a private pilot certificate for single-engine and multi-engine airplanes. He was instrument-rated and held a third-class medical certificate. He had logged 1,541 flight hours as of October 30, 2015, with 1,374 in single-engine airplanes.