Bohrer and Lukeman Reaches Confidential Settlement in Caldwell Beechcraft Bonanza Crash

March 15, 2019
Abram I. Bohrer

The airplane accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman have reached a confidential settlement in the Hawker Beechcraft Bonanza crash in Caldwell, NJ. On January 21st, 2017, a Hawker Beechcraft Bonanza G36 single engine light airplane, registration number N979BA, suffered a loss of engine power moments after takeoff from Essex County Airport (CDW), plunging to the ground below. The airplane, consumed by fire, was damaged beyond repair. The pilot survived but suffered catastrophic injuries.

According to the preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the Beechcraft Bonanza was cleared for takeoff shortly before 12:45pm EST, following a delay from air traffic control due to inbound traffic and weather. The general aviation flight departed from Runway 22, destined for Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, New York. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules plan was filed.

The pilot was the aircraft’s sole occupant. He was returning the Hawker Beechcraft Bonanza G36 airplane to New York following its federally-required annual inspection by a fixed base operator on January 16, 2017, just 5 days before the crash. At that time, it had accumulated just 251.9 total flight hours.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website, “Any reciprocating engine or single-engine turbojet/turbopropeller-powered small aircraft (weighing 12,500 pounds or less) flown for business or pleasure and not flown for compensation or hire is required to be inspected at least annually. The inspection shall be performed by a certificated airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic who holds an inspection authorization (IA) by the manufacturer of the aircraft or by a certificated and appropriately rated repair station.”

A review of security camera footage showed that the six-seat Beechcraft airplane reached a height of 100 feet above ground level before it began to descend. The left wing struck the roof of a warehouse as the airplane rotated to the left and dived towards the ground, bursting into flames upon impact.

The NTSB investigation of the crash scene revealed that at the time of the accident, the landing gear was down and the propeller was separated from the engine by the impact. Most of the cabin was consumed by the fire. The crash occurred only half of a mile from the runway.

According to the FAA’s records, the pilot held a “private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane.” On June 16, 2016, he received his most current FAA third-class medical certificate, at which time he had accumulated 1,430 hours of flight experience.

The aviation accident attorneys at Bohrer & Lukeman will continue to litigate on behalf of victims injured and/or killed in commercial aviation and general aviation accidents such as the Hawker Beechcraft Bonanza crash in Caldwell, NJ. Abe Bohrer, founder of the New York-based firm, has successfully represented clients, domestically and internationally, for over 25 years. For more information, please visit; follow us on Facebook and Twitter @flightinjury.