Friday, March 9, 2012

Linksair British Aerospace Jetstream 3102 on behalf of Manx2, G-CCPW, Flight NM-309: Accident occurred March 08, 2012 in Isle of Man


An airplane operated on behalf of the same company involved in the fatal crash at Cork Airport last year, crash landed on the Isle of Man on Thursday.

Links Air flight NM-309 was arriving at Ronaldsway Airport on the Isle of Man from Leeds when it veered off the runway into the grass after the right main landing gear apparently collapsed.

There were 12 passengers and 2 crew on board the British Aerospace Jetstream 3102 turboprop aircraft, however no-one was injured. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

It is also understood that it took fire crews almost five minutes to respond the incident, which was not immediately spotted by air traffic controllers.

It has been reported that it was the crew of another aircraft which reported the incident to the tower.

The incident is currently under investigation by British authorities.

Manx2, a virtual commuter airline, sells flights from the Isle of Man to a number of British airports.

Three airlines, VanAir Europe, FLM Aviation and Links Air, currently operate flights on behalf of Manx2.

In a statement, Manx2 said: "A Jetstream 31 aircraft operated by Links Air, on behalf of Manx2.com, suffered a problem with the right-hand undercarriage after landing."

The company confirmed that engineers from Links Air are also investigating the incident.

One passenger said on Twitter: "My Manx2 plane just crashed landing in Isle of Man. We all walked off OK." The tweeter, named Richard Wild, also posted photos of the evacuation.

On Feb 10 last year, Manx2 flight NM-7100 from Belfast to Cork, operated by Barcelona-based Flightline, crashed in low visibility at Cork Airport killing six people, including both pilots.

The plane had made three attempts to land in dense fog when it flipped over on its back and burst into flames on the third attempt.

Two weeks after the tragedy, Manx2 announced that it was ceasing operations on the Belfast to Cork route.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport is continuing its probe of the Cork crash, but confirmed in an interim report last month that an anomaly was found with an engine sensor. 

Poland report shows Smolensk plane crash avoidable

The Smolensk-bound passenger jet that crashed on April 10, 2010, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 88 other top officials, should never have taken off that day because the destination was not on Poland's register of approved airfields, according to a 70-page report from the Polish Supreme Audit Office presented in the Sejm on Friday.

No inspection of the Smolensk-Severny airfield was carried out prior to the flight, as required by established procedures. That inspection would have found the airfield inadequate and prompted a decision to transport the president to Smolensk by helicopter from the nearest suitable airport, the report says.

The report identifies numerous violations in the organization of flights for top Polish officials throughout the entire 2005-2010 period. Indeed, the report gives failing grades to all the government bodies concerned with the flights.

All ninety-six people on board the April 10 flight to Smolensk for the 70th anniversary of the WWII Katyn massacre perished when the Russian-built Tu-154 crashed in poor weather conditions.

http://english.ruvr.ru

Beechcraft 100 King Air, Southern Air Charter, 70JL: Accident occurred March 09, 2012 at Deadmans Cay Airport (LGI) in Long Island, Bahamas

 






Nassau, Bahamas – Breaking news coming into Bahamas Press confirm a Southern Air plane crash landed in Long Island shortly after 2PM today.  

Reports from the island reaching our news desk also confirms ALL OF THE PASSENGERS ARE INDEED UNHARMED and are being interviewed by local police officials on the island.

We repeat, ALL PASSENGERS ARE FINE.

The crash was a result of a failed landed gear which failed to release upon approach of the runway.

The flight we are told crash landed as it approach Long Island’s Buckley’s terminal. We know the flight left LPIA shortly after 1pm.

At this hour we are counting some seven to nine passengers were onboard the Beech king air 100 nine seater model.

Now some are asking what was BP doing in Long Island today? We were covering the PM along with Cabinet leaker when the incident unfolded.

In fact the PM left shortly afterwards on RBDF plane. He was taking no chances.

We can report Neko cussed out Pineapple Air pilots that were flying him and other Cabinet Ministers out – right in front of tourists, who were shocked!

The Government MPs here for opening of Mangrove Bush Primary class room block.

Ingraham also met with fishermen after giving Chinese license to fish in Bahamian waters..

Meeting didn’t go well as he told them he could do nothing with poachers.

He asked them to wait 5 years.


http://www.bahamaspress.com



Reports have reached The Tribune of an airplane crash at Deadman's Cay Airport in Long Island. Problems with the landing gear of a Southern Air plane, flying from Nassau, caused the crash, which has left the plane in the bush at the end of the runway. There are no reported injuries.

Air controller involved in 2nd potential collision

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press 

WASHINGTON (AP) — An air traffic controller who nearly caused a midair collision last year has again been relieved of duty after putting two planes on converging courses. The case raises questions about whether employee rights are trumping safety at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Shortly after beginning the 7 p.m. work shift at the FAA radar facility at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in Mississippi on Feb. 29, controller Robert Beck ordered an Air Force C-130 transport jet to increase its altitude from 2,000 feet to 3,000 feet and to adjust its heading. That put the jet on a converging course with a twin-engine turboprop owned by the Department of Homeland Security, according to an FAA employee with knowledge of the incident.

The controller whom Beck had relieved was standing in the back of the radar room while taking a break. He noticed the mistake and alerted Beck so he was able to separate the planes, avoiding a possible collision, said the employee with knowledge of the incident. The planes were just north of Gulfport at the time.

The employee wasn't authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of not being named. An FAA report on the incident, released Friday in response to an Associated Press request under the Freedom of Information Act, confirms most of the details, although it doesn't name the controller involved.

An FAA analysis of radar data shows the planes came within 2.59 miles laterally and 300 feet vertically of each other. Regulations require a minimum separation distance between planes of three miles laterally and 1,000 feet vertically.

Air traffic was light at the time, leaving Beck — who has a history of disciplinary problems — with no planes to handle except the two that he put on a converging course, the employee said.

Beck didn't return a telephone call from the AP. The FAA report said the controller who made the error initially thought he'd been told the planes were at the same altitude, which is why he told the Air Force jet to go up to 3,000 feet.

The controller has been removed from directing air traffic and is "currently assigned to administrative duties while the FAA evaluates the individual's future status with the agency," the FAA said in a statement.

FAA officials are "committed to ensuring the safety of our nation's airspace for the traveling public, and we take seriously and investigate all reported infractions," the statement said. "We are working with (the National Air Traffic Controllers Association) to implement a professional standards pilot program that will help improve performance levels and conduct among employees."

Ralph Humphrey, Beck's former boss, said he tried repeatedly last year to get the controller fired, but FAA officials in Washington ignored his requests.

"It's typical of trying to get rid of problem employees" at FAA, said Humphrey, who was the air traffic manager in Gulfport until he retired in January. "It is damn difficult to get rid of an employee for cause."

One reason is that union officials exploit complex employee protection rules even when controllers are unfit, Humphrey said.

Efforts to obtain comment from the controllers association were not immediately successful.

A mistake by Beck last June caused a regional airliner and a small plane to come within 300 feet of colliding with each other, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released in January. Investigators were told Beck had "a history of professional deficiencies that included taking shortcuts with phraseology and not complying with standard checklist procedures." He has been suspended several times within the last five years for tardiness, absenteeism and failure to report an arrest for driving under the influence, the report said.

Beck, a 23-year veteran, was ultimately disciplined by the FAA and required to receive professional re-training but only because he didn't disclose the June incident at the time it occurred, Humphrey said. It was only recently that Beck had been allowed to direct air traffic without another controller sitting beside him to catch any errors, the former manager said.

Bill Voss, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation in Alexandria, Va., said Beck's case underscores a larger problem of FAA's difficulty of firing employees who are safety risks.

"It should never be easy to fire a person at any company, but when an FAA manager has legitimate concerns about safety there needs to be a streamlined process where they can work with the union in order to take timely action," Voss said.

FAA officials should put "a safety valve" in their contract so that managers can "pull a flag that says this isn't a normal situation, this is a safety problem," he said.

The FAA has recently introduced a new system for reporting mistakes that encourages controllers to disclose their errors. In return, the agency has agreed not to punish controllers as long as the mistakes aren't due to negligence.

However, David Conley, the president of the professional association that represents FAA managers, testified before a House committee last year that the new system is preventing managers from "using their experience and intuition to coach, mentor and train controllers toward correcting deficiencies."

The purpose of the new reporting program is to gain more information on errors so that safety trends can be analyzed and problems spotted ahead of time.

 http://www.npr.org

Cessna 320D, N320KP: Accident occurred May 22, 2009 in Fallon, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR09FA258 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 22, 2009 in Fallon, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 320D, registration: N320KP
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane approach the airport from the southwest and cross near mid-field to enter the left traffic pattern for landing. Witnesses observed the airplane make a right 270-degree turn to enter on the downwind and, after becoming established on the downwind, make a sharp left turn and descend out of sight near a point consistent with a turn to a close-in base leg. Witnesses then reported seeing a fireball erupt in the area of the accident site. On the downwind leg, at a radar-recorded ground speed of 93 to 106 knots, the airplane's indicated airspeed could have been between 71 and 81 knots, which is in the range of potential stall speeds. Ground scar and wreckage signatures were consistent with a nose-low and left-wing-low ground impact. The witness observations and the impact attitude could be consistent with a stall and loss of control. No anomalies or other conditions were found with either engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s inadequate airspeed, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 22, 2009, about 1935 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Cessna 320D, N320KP, impacted terrain during landing at Fallon Municipal Airport (FLX), Fallon, Nevada. The owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and post crash fire. The cross-country personal flight departed Fresno, California, about 1830, with a planned destination of Fallon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

Witnesses to the accident reported seeing the airplane approach the airport from the southwest and cross mid-field to enter the downwind leg for landing on runway 21. The airplane was observed making a right 270-degree turn to the downwind leg. At a base turn point, the airplane made a sharp left turn and descended out of sight. Witnesses then reported seeing a fireball erupt in the area of the accident.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 44-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi engine land and instrument airplane.
The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on September 14, 2007, with no limitations or waivers listed.

At the time of the accident, the pilot was a U.S. Naval aviator, and was current and qualified in the F/A-18, which is a multi engine jet with centerline thrust.

An examination of the pilot's flight records as of September 12, 2008, indicated the pilot had accumulated a total flight time of 3,235 hours, with an estimated 204 hours in the accident make and model. A biennial flight review was completed on July 23, 2008.

The investigation team was unable to recover any records, or witnesses, that indicated the pilot had obtained any recent flight training involving the make and model of the accident airplane, or for any multi engine airplane with differential thrust.

The pilot’s total civilian flight time at the time of the accident could not be determined.

The pilot utilized the accident airplane to facilitate roundtrip flights between Fallon and Fresno to pickup family members. He would depart from Fallon and fly to Fresno, where he would fill the main fuel tanks. He would then fly back to Fallon. On his trip retuning to Fresno he would again fill the main fuel tanks for his return to Fallon. No records of the pilot buying fuel at Fallon were located. The FBO at Fresno was contacted and reported that the accident pilot would fly in and only obtain fuel in the main fuel tanks, and had no record of him ever having the auxiliary fuel tanks fueled.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Cessna 320D, serial number 0070. A review of the airplane’s logbooks revealed that the airplane had a total airframe time of 5,667.8 hours at the last annual inspection. The logbooks contained an entry for an annual inspection dated September 23, 2008. The tachometer read 4452.3 at the last inspection. The last maintenance entry was on January 22, 2009, with a total airframe time of 5,687.1 hours, and the tachometer read 4471.6, reflecting the replacement of two new Gill 25 batteries.

The left engine was a Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520-B, serial number 176347-R. Total time recorded on the engine at the last 100-hour inspection was 1,481.3 hours, and time since major overhaul was 1,481.3 hours.

The right engine was a Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520-B, serial number 145061-5-B. Total time recorded on the engine at the last 100-hour inspection was 4,452.3 hours, and time since major overhaul was 108.5 hours.

Fueling records at Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) established that the airplane was last fueled on May 22, 2009, with the addition of 62.5 gallons of 100-octane aviation fuel. The lineman reported that on the several occasions when he fueled the airplane, he always filled the main fuel tanks to capacity. He could not remember ever putting fuel in the auxiliary fuel tanks.

Examination of the maintenance records revealed no unresolved maintenance discrepancies against the airplane prior to departure.

According to the Cessna 320D Owner's Manual, the power-off stall speed at maximum gross weight with the landing gear down and 15 degrees of flaps extended at 20 degrees of bank is 82 miles per hour (71 knots); at 40 degrees of bank is 92 miles per hour (79 knots).

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Official weather observations were not available at FLX. Weather observation taken from Naval Air Station Fallon (NFL), which is 5.5 nm south of FLX, at 1856 was: wind 250 degrees at 25 knots gusting to 32 knots; peak winds of 230° at 36 knots were recorded at 1922; visibility 10 statute miles (sm), few clouds at 12,000 feet, ceiling 16,000 feet broken, and 25,000 feet overcast. The temperature was 25 degrees Celsius; dew point was 2 degrees; and the altimeter was 29.88 inches of mercury. Airport elevation for FLX was 3,963 feet.

COMMUNICATIONS

On May 22, 2009, about 1830, the airplane departed Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT), Fresno, under visual flight rules (VFR), en-route to FLX. Air traffic control services provided by FAT, Oakland Center (ZOA), and Reno Approach Control were unexceptional.
At 1927, the pilot informed the Reno approach controller he had FLX in sight and was switching frequency. There were no further communications with the pilot. Radar data indicated the airplane was approximately 25.5 statute miles southwest of FLX when the pilot reported the airport in sight.

A factual report was completed by a NTSB Air Traffic Control Specialist on October 23, 2009. The complete report is attached to the docket.

A review of the radar data for the accident flight revealed that the airplane approached FLX from the southwest and crossed the runway centerlines just south of the airport heading in a northeasterly direction about 700 feet agl. Once the airplane was on the east side of the airport, the airplane made a right descending 270-degree turn to enter the downwind leg for landing on runway 21. The last three radar returns indicated that the airplane was about 240 feet agl.

At 1935:35, the radar return revealed the airplane completed a 270-degree turn and had a ground speed of 93 knots, and was headed in a northeasterly direction. The last radar return was recorded at 1935:47, and the ground speed was 106 knots approximately 1/2 mile southeast of the approach end of runway 21.

The wreckage was located approximately .3 statute miles north of the last radar return.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Fallon Municipal Airport was located approximately 2 miles northeast of Fallon. The airport had two runways: runway 3/21 was asphalt, and runway 13/31 was dirt. The airport elevation was 3,963 feet. Approach and departure service was provided by ZOA when Navy Fallon Approach Control was closed for operations. The official weather observation at the airport was provided by the Naval Aviation Forecasting Component - Weather (NAFCOMP), Naval Air Station, Fallon.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Investigators examined the wreckage at the accident scene. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a ground scar. The debris path was along a magnetic heading of 294 degrees. The orientation of the fuselage was 310 degrees. The airplane impacted the flat terrain in a left wing low, and nose-low attitude.

The approximate 124-foot-long debris path extended along an approximate 338-degree heading with the majority of the airplane on a berm along the south side of Enterprise Way, approximately 1/3 SM east of Indian Lakes Road. The accident site is located approximately 1 SM east of the FLX runway 21 threshold.

The wreckage burned extensively where it came to rest. The cockpit, cabin, right wing, aft fuselage, and tail cone were mostly consumed by fire. Parts of the nose and left wing were fire damaged. All major components of the airplane were accounted for on site.

The landing gear system gearbox and linkage were in the gear extended position. The flap actuation linkage indicated the flaps were extended to approximately 12 degrees.

The left propeller assembly separated from the engine and was found near the initial impact point. The propeller hub had damage at the flange mount area, and interior components had separated and were found nearby. The spinner had crushing and ripping at the tip and blade areas.

-Blade A had a slight S-bend near the tip and chordwise scratches on the chambered face near the tip. The blade had a slight decreased pitch twist.

-Blade B had leading edge and span-wise scratches from the mid-section to the tip and chordwise at the tip. A portion of the deice boot separated from the blade. The blade had S-bending from the shank to the tip with a decreased pitch twist.

-Blade C was loose in the hub and had scuffing at the tip on the chambered face. The blade had leading damage and chordwise scratches on the chambered face. The blade had aft bending from the mid-section to the tip and a decreased pitch twist.

The right propeller assembly was found near the main wreckage forward of the right engine. The propeller hub had damage at the flange mount area. A small portion of the propeller flange remained attached to the hub. The spinner had crushing and ripping at the tip and blade areas.

-Blade A was loose in the hub and was bent aft near the shank and at the midsection. The chambered face had chordwise scratches from the mid-section to the tip. The blade face had span-wise scratches and scuffing near the tip. The blade had a decreased pitch twist from the mid-section to the tip.

-Blade B was loose in the hub and was bent aft at the mid-section. The chambered face had chordwise scratches at the tip and multi directional scratches from the mid-section to the tip. The face of the blade was undamaged.

-Blade C had leading edge damage and chordwise scratches from the mid-section to the tip. The face of the blade had light scratches at the tip. The blade had a slight forward bending from near the shank to the tip.

Examination of the fuel system revealed that the left fuel selector valve was selected to the left main fuel tank. The right fuel selector valve was selected to cross-feed, which would draw fuel for the right engine from the left main fuel tank. The POH calls for the left and right main fuel tanks to be selected for takeoff and landing.

The right main and right auxiliary fuel tanks were consumed by post impact fire. The left main fuel tank was fire and impact damaged and did not contain fuel. The left auxiliary fuel tank was not compromised and contained approximately 2.5 gallons of blue fuel, which tested negative for water contamination. Unusable fuel for one auxiliary fuel tank is 3 gallons. A strong smell of aviation gasoline permeated the area around both fuel tanks.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Washoe County Coroner completed an autopsy on May 24, 2009. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.

Analysis of the specimens for the pilot contained no findings for volatiles or tested drugs. They did not perform tests for carbon monoxide or cyanide.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) personnel examined the engines under the supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board investigator at the factory in Mobile, Alabama, on June 15, 2009. TCM submitted a written report, and the IIC Safety Board investigator who observed the inspection concurred with the facts in the report.

The left engine was noted to have impact damage to the front of the engine cases. It was determined that with minor repairs to the engine cases the engine could be run in the test cell.

The engine was successfully run in the engine test cell. No anomalies were noted that would affect normal operation.

The right engine was thermally damaged, which prevented running the engine in the test cell. The right engine was disassembled and examined. No mechanical anomalies were noted that would prevent normal operation.



An enduring mystery will enshroud the May 22, 2009, plane crash that killed veteran Navy aviator Lt. Commander Luther H. Hook III and his three daughters.

In a long-awaited final report, federal investigators this week concluded Hook's plane crashed because it fatally slowed while landing amidst stiff winds at Fallon, Nev. The precise reason why, though, remains unknown.

"The pilot's inadequate airspeed...resulted in an aerodynamic stall," the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in a final report officially adopted Thursday.

Clovis, Calif., residents Kaitlyn Elizabeth Hook, 15, Rachel Katherine Hook, 12, and Mackenzie Elena Hook, 9, died in the Memorial Day weekend crash, along with the 44-year-old pilot.

The nearly three-year investigation lasted longer than most safety board probes into fatal aviation accidents, which more typically take 18 months to two years. The final report on a fatal plane crash in New Mexico that killed two on the same day as the Fallon accident, for instance, was wrapped up last June.

Despite the extended time, investigators couldn't pin down exactly how it was that one of the Navy's high-speed fighter pilots allowed his civilian plane to stall. The probable cause report made final this week simply noted the available evidence "could be consistent" with a stall and subsequent loss of control.

Investigators, moreover, avoided loaded terms such as "error" or "mistake" in their final report.

"No anomalies or other conditions were found with either engine that would have precluded normal operation," the safety board added.

Hook's fellow Navy aviators, who called him by the nickname "Meat," knew him as someone supremely prepared to handle flight risk.

A 1986 Naval Academy graduate, Hook was serving as the executive officer of Naval Air Station Fallon at the time of the accident. He had accumulated more than 3,235 hours of flight time, many of them in the Navy's screamingly fast F/A-18 Hornet, which can approach twice the speed of sound.

During his career, Hook had served at Naval Air Station Lemoore in the San Joaquin Valley and had deployed on four different aircraft carriers. He had been awarded, among other decorations, the Air Medal for his combat service in Iraq.

On the day of the accident, he had flown his twin-engine Cessna 320 from Nevada to pick up his daughters from Clovis, where they lived with their mother, Brenda Hook, and stepfather, Pat Doles. Hook was living in Fallon at the time with his second wife, Wende, and their two young daughters.

Hook and his daughters took off from Fresno Yosemite International Airport about 6:30 p.m. About an hour later, investigators found, he radioed ground controllers that he had Fallon Municipal Airport in sight. Winds were blowing about 25 knots with gusts up to about 36 knots, which is enough to make trees sway

"He was flying in a good, controlled manner, and I was thinking how much fun it would be to fly one of them," one witness, Fallon resident Hal David Boehm, told investigators.

Witnesses told investigators that they saw the plane make a right turn to establish a downwind approach, then they saw it make a sharp left turn and descend out of sight.

"(I saw) a huge amount of black smoke, and I notified two daughters at my residence to get medical equipment...and call 911," Fallon resident Louis Madraso told investigators.

Champion 7KCAB, N5101X: Metal fatigue caused plane’s landing accident. Accident occurred November 27, 2010 in Rialto, California

Metal fatigue caused a plane's landing gear to collapse shortly after the pilot touched down during a practice flight nearly 1-1/2 years ago at Rialto Municipal Airport, federal crash investigators say.

The two-seat Citabria skidded off the runway and hit a taxiway sign, damaging the plane’s fuselage and left wing during the 10:30 a.m. accident on Nov. 27, 2010. No one was hurt.

Pilot Dustin P. Slater, of Mount Baldy, and instructor pilot Ronald A. Meyer, of San Dimas, had taken off an hour earlier from Cable Airport in Upland and made four practice landings at Rialto, according to National Transportation Safety Board records.

With Slater at the controls, the plane had just touched down for the fifth landing when the left landing gear snapped off the aircraft, Meyer said in a written statement to investigators. Efforts were made to keep the airplane level on its right wheel and tail wheel until the speed decreased and the plane skidded to a stop in a left-hand arc.

The NTSB’s final report on the accident was released Thursday.

NTSB Identification: WPR11LA063
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 27, 2010 in Rialto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2012
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7KCAB, registration: N5101X
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

The certified flight instructor stated that he and the pilot receiving instruction were practicing landings in the tailwheel-equipped airplane. He said that during a wheel landing, with the pilot receiving instruction manipulating the flight controls, the airplane's left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane skidded to the left and contacted a taxiway sign. The instructor reported that the wind was calm at the time of the accident. Postaccident metallurgical examination revealed that the left landing gear fractured at its inboard end due to fatigue cracking and corrosion damage.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Fatigue cracking of the left main landing gear leg, which resulted in a gear collapse during landing.

Fleet of fighter aircraft remain grounded


New Delhi: The fleet of frontline Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft remained grounded on Friday for the fifth day as investigations went on into the two air crashes that occurred within a gap of 11 days.

Two whole fleet of 49 Mirage 2000 aircraft was grounded for preliminary checks after the two crashes of which the first took place on February 24 and the second on March 5.

The aircraft did not fly even today. The investigations by an expert team are going on, IAF officials said here.

The Mirage 2000 has a very good flight safety record as only six of them have crashed since their induction in operational service in the mid 1980s.

The first aircraft crashed while it was being flown by Air Officer Personnel (AOP) Air Marshal Anil Chopra a few minutes after it took off from its home base in Gwalior.

The first aircraft had crashed due to technical snags in the engine and the reasons for it are being ascertained, they said.

The IAF is worried over the occurrence of these problems in the aircraft after over two and a half decades.

The IAF has also recently signed two deals worth over USD 3.2 billion for upgrading the capabilities of the Mirage 2000 with French companies Dassault, Thales and MBDA.

Dassault was recently awarded the contract for supplying 126 Rafale aircraft to the IAF. 

Cirrus SR22 GTS G3, N544SR: Accident occurred February 29, 2012 in Melbourne, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA196 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 29, 2012 in Melbourne, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2012
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N544SR
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Several airplanes and a helicopter were in the traffic pattern at the tower-controlled airport performing simultaneous operations to parallel runways (9L and 9R) around the time of the accident. The accident pilot contacted the tower air traffic controller while south of the airport requesting a full-stop landing; the controller advised the pilot to report when the airplane entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. The controller subsequently cleared the accident airplane to land and expected the pilot complete a "normal" downwind traffic pattern and land behind the airplane already established on final approach for runway 9R; however, the controller did not provide sequencing instructions. The accident airplane proceeded directly to a tight right-base entry into the traffic pattern for landing on runway 9R, contrary to the controller’s original expectation but permissible based on the clearance to land. The controller radioed the accident pilot to confirm that he had visual contact with the airplane on a 1-mile final approach for runway 9R (the traffic was 300 feet below and 1 mile west). This was the first indication by the controller to the accident pilot that there was additional landing traffic sequenced to the same runway he had been cleared to land on. The accident pilot replied that he was on a "real short base" for runway 9R, and the controller responded, "no sir, I needed you to extend to follow the [airplane] out there on a mile final, cut it in tight now, cut it in tight for nine right." The two airplanes had closed within 1/2 mile of each other, but were still separated by 300 feet altitude. The pilot of the airplane on short final for 9R maintained situational awareness throughout, perceived the conflict before the controller or the accident pilot, and responded calmly and benignly to the conflict. The accident pilot needed only to arrest his descent, at a minimum, to avoid any collision. A flight instructor and an airline pilot both described seeing the accident airplane pitch up, bank left, then roll inverted. The flight instructor stated that this action occurred as the controller was "yelling at" the pilot. Both witnesses described what they saw as "an accelerated stall." Data extracted from the multifunction and primary flight displays revealed that the airplane pitched up and rolled inverted to the left at the same time that engine power was increased rapidly. When engine power is increased, a pilot must apply sufficient right rudder to counteract the left-rolling tendency, particularly if the airspeed is slow and the angle of attack is high, as it would be during landing. When instructed by the controller to "cut it in tight," the accident pilot over-controlled the airplane, lost control, and impacted terrain. Contributing to the traffic conflict was the controller’s lack of upfront sequencing instructions or subsequent sequencing instructions when the accident aircraft was cleared to land. Examination of the data and a postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's abrupt maneuver in response to a perceived traffic conflict, which resulted in an accelerated stall and a loss of airplane control at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the air traffic controller's incomplete instructions, which resulted in improper sequencing of traffic landing on the same runway.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 29, 2012, about 1701 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N544SR, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following an uncontrolled descent while maneuvering for landing at the Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of air traffic control information revealed that there were several airplanes and a helicopter in the traffic pattern at MLB, performing simultaneous operations to parallel runways, around the time of the accident. About 1658, the accident pilot contacted the MLB air traffic control tower (ATCT) from a position 5 miles south of the airport, and requested a full-stop landing. The pilot was instructed to report when the airplane was on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 9 Right (9R). Shortly after, a Cirrus SR20, which was on an approximate 5-mile final approach for runway 9R, was cleared for a touch-and-go landing. At 1700:02, the controller advised that the pilot could either land on runway 9R, or extend the downwind leg for approximately 6 miles to follow a Cessna landing on runway 9 Left. The accident pilot responded, “9 right’s fine,” and requested a long landing in order to reduce taxi time to the fixed-base operator (FBO). At 1700:16, the ATCT cleared the accident airplane for landing on runway 9R.

At 1700:47, the ATCT radioed the accident pilot to confirm that he had visual contact with the Cirrus SR20 on a one-mile final approach for runway 9R. The accident pilot replied that he was on a “real short base” for runway 9R. At 1700:57, the ATCT then instructed the accident pilot, “no sir, I needed you to extend to follow the Cirrus out there on a mile final, cut it in tight now, cut it in tight for nine right.”

At the time the accident airplane was advised of the landing traffic on final approach for the same runway, the conflicting traffic was about 300 feet below and 1 mile to its west. At the time the accident airplane was advised to "cut it in tight" to Runway 9R, the two airplanes had closed to within one-half mile of each other, but were still separated by 300 feet of altitude.

A flight instructor and a student pilot were flying the Cirrus SR20 on final approach for runway 9R at the time of the accident. According to the instructor, his airplane was on a one-mile final when he heard the accident airplane announce a "short right base" for runway 9R. He assumed control of the airplane from his student, increased engine power, and began a "shallow climb/turn" to the left towards the grass infield between the parallel runways.

The flight instructor further stated, "[The airplane] was northbound on a right base for 9R. He began a 30-45 degree bank turn to the left in front of us at our one o'clock. I didn't have to make any abrupt maneuvers to avoid the traffic but I continued my turn/climb to the left and started to go-around…[The controller] was yelling at him on the radio. I don't remember the exact words but the more tower yelled, the more the aircraft yanked and banked. I then witnessed an accelerated stall, 90 degree bank angle with a one to two turn spin that ended up nose first into the ground."

The first officer of an airliner witnessed the accident from the cockpit of his airplane while parked on taxiway Alpha, facing west, while waiting for a takeoff clearance from runway 9R. He said the accident airplane was "about 200-300 feet AGL, appeared slightly fast, and in a right turn of 30-40 degrees of bank descending for the runway.” The airplane then made an "abrupt" left turn, while simultaneously leveling or "attempting to climb" and "clearly initiated an accelerated stall" about 150-200 feet above the ground. The airplane continued to roll left until inverted, and then descended nose-down to ground contact.

The first officer, as well as other witnesses who gave similar accounts, observed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) deploy from the airplane prior to ground contact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued on June 24, 2010. He reported 365 total hours of flight experience on that date.

A review of the pilot’s logbook revealed that he had logged 515 total hours of flight experience, of which 296 were in the accident airplane make and model. The logbook showed that the pilot’s last biennial flight review was conducted on April 30, 2009.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2007. It was a four-seat, low-wing airplane of composite construction that was equipped with a Teledyne Continental IO-550-N, 310-hp reciprocating engine. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed in August 2011, at which time the airframe had accumulated 1,250 total hours.

The maximum allowable gross weight for the airplane was 3,400 pounds. Based on occupant weights and the airplane’s fuel load, the estimated gross weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was 3,379 pounds.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1753 recorded weather observation at MLB included wind from 130 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 18 knots, clear skies, 10 miles of visibility, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

An Avidyne Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Multifunction Display (MFD) were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC.

An NTSB recorders specialist downloaded the data from both displays and prepared a Specialist's Factual Report. According to the report, the engine and flight data were consistent with the airplane descending on a northerly heading. During the last minute of the flight, the airplane was descending at about 500 feet per minute, as it slowed to about 100 knots airspeed.

At 17:00:56, engine rpm increased from about 1,500 to 2,000 rpm, and the airplane rolled left until it was inverted. At 17:00:59, the airplane began to pitch down, and reached an approximate 65-degree nose-down attitude and about 2,000 feet-per-minute rate of descent. The last data was recorded on the airplane at 17:01:04. Neither autopilot nor flight director were used during the accident flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was examined at the accident site on March 1, 2012, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage all closely surrounded the initial impact crater. The three-bladed propeller was buried in the crater, and separated from the engine at the propeller. Once unearthed, one blade was found separated, and two blades remained in the hub. All three blades displayed similar aft bending, leading edge gouging, and chordwise scratching. The engine was removed from the crater, separated from the wreckage, and moved to a hangar for examination.

The engine compartment, firewall, instrument panel, and cockpit and cabin area were all destroyed by impact. The empennage and tail section remained largely intact. Control cable continuity was established from the flight control surfaces in the tail to the cockpit area. Control cable continuity could not be established to the control surfaces in the wings due to multiple cable breaks; however, all cable breaks displayed signatures consistent with overload failure.

The CAPS parachute was found deployed, and entangled in the wreckage. Witness statements and the location of the CAPS components at the wreckage site were consistent with a low-altitude deployment.

The engine was examined at MLB on March 3, 2012. The engine was rotated through the secondary alternator drive pad, and approximately 180 degrees of rotation was achieved. Rotation was limited by impact damage to the crankshaft at the propeller flange, and several bent pushrod housings. The crankshaft separation exhibited overload signatures with cracking perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the shaft. Fuel was observed at the fuel pump outlet, and inside the pump. The fuel manifold valve was removed, and disassembly revealed several ounces of fuel inside. All fuel was absent of water and debris.

The upper spark plugs were removed, and the electrodes were intact and ashen in color. A borescope examination of all six cylinders revealed normal wear, and no abnormal deposits. Both magnetos were removed, and the right magneto produced spark at all six towers. The left magneto was impact damaged, and could not be rotated. Disassembly revealed that the magneto driveshaft was bent by impact.

The oil pump displayed normal function when the engine crankshaft was rotated. The pump was removed, and the oil captured was clear and absent of debris. The interior of the oil pump housing did not reveal any evidence of hard particle passage.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Air Traffic Control

On March 5, 2012, an air traffic control group was convened by an NTSB air safety investigator (air traffic) at the MLB air traffic control tower. The NTSB investigator toured the facility, conducted interviews, reviewed voice and radar recordings, and prepared a factual report.

According to the report, the controller expected the accident airplane to report when it entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern as instructed, and subsequently complete a “normal” traffic pattern and land behind the Cirrus SR20 on final approach. However, examination of communications recordings revealed that the controller cleared the accident airplane to land, but did not provide sequencing instructions. The accident airplane then proceeded directly to a right-base entry into the traffic pattern for landing on Runway 9R.

According to FAA-H-8083-25, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

“The effect of torque increases in direct proportion to engine power, airspeed, and airplane attitude. If the power setting is high, the airspeed slow, and the angle of attack high, the effect of torque is greater. During takeoffs and climbs, when the effect of torque is most pronounced, the pilot must apply sufficient right rudder pressure to counteract the left-turning tendency and maintain a straight takeoff path.”

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC-61-67C Stall and Spin Awareness Training:

“Center of Gravity (CG). The CG location has a direct effect on the effective lift and AOA [angle of attack] of the wing, the amount and direction of force on the tail, and the degree of stabilizer deflection needed to supply the proper tail force for equilibrium. The CG position, therefore, has a significant effect on stability and stall/spin recovery. As the CG is moved aft, the amount of elevator deflection needed to stall the airplane at a given load factor will be reduced. An increased AOA will be achieved with less elevator control force. This could make the entry into inadvertent stalls easier, and during the subsequent recovery, it would be easier to generate higher load factors due to the reduced elevator control forces. In an airplane with an extremely aft CG, very light back elevator control forces may lead to inadvertent stall entries and if a spin is entered, the balance of forces on the airplane may result in a flat spin. Recovery from a flat spin is often impossible. A forward CG location will often cause the stalling AOA to be reached at a higher airspeed. Increased back elevator control force is generally required with a forward CG location.

“Weight. Although the distribution of weight has the most direct effect on stability, increased gross weight can also have an effect on an aircraft's flight characteristics, regardless of the CG position. As the weight of the airplane is increased, the stall speed increases. The increased weight requires a higher AOA to produce additional lift to support the weight.

“Accelerated Stalls. Accelerated stalls can occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds due to abrupt and/or excessive control applications. These stalls may occur in steep turns, pullups, or other abrupt changes in flightpath. Accelerated stalls usually are more severe than unaccelerated stalls and are often unexpected because they occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds”


NTSB Identification: ERA12FA196
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 29, 2012 in Melbourne, FL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N544SR
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On February 29, 2012, about 1701 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N544SR, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following an uncontrolled descent while maneuvering for landing at the Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of preliminary air traffic control information revealed that there were several airplanes and a helicopter in the traffic pattern at MLB, performing simultaneous operations to parallel runways, around the time of the accident. About 1658, the accident pilot contacted the MLB air traffic control tower (ATCT) from a position 5 miles south of the airport, and requested a full-stop landing. The pilot was instructed to report when the airplane was on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 9 Right (9R). Shortly after, a Cirrus SR20, which was on an approximate 5-mile final approach for runway 9R, was cleared for a touch-and-go landing. Approximately 1659, the ATCT advised the accident pilot that he would be required to extend the downwind leg for the Cirrus on final approach. The accident pilot requested a long landing on runway 9R in order to reduce taxi time to the fixed-base operator (FBO), and the ATCT cleared the accident airplane for landing on runway 9R.

At 1700:50, the ATCT radioed the accident pilot to confirm that he had visual contact with the Cirrus SR20 on a one-mile final for runway 9R. The accident pilot replied that he was on a “real short base” for runway 9R. The ATCT then instructed the accident pilot to “cut it in tight” to runway 9R. Several witnesses described the airplane as it entered a steep bank, followed by a vertical, uncontrolled descent. The airplane disappeared from view into wooded terrain short of runway 9R.

The airplane was examined at the accident site and all major components were accounted for at the scene. An odor of fuel was present at the site. The wreckage closely surrounded the initial impact crater. The engine compartment, firewall, instrument panel, cockpit, and cabin areas were all destroyed by impact. The empennage and tail section remained largely intact. Control cable continuity was established from the flight control surfaces in the tail to the cockpit area. Control cable continuity could not be established to the control surfaces in the wings due to multiple cable breaks; however, all cable breaks displayed signatures consistent with overload failure. The three-bladed propeller was buried in the crater, and separated from the engine. One blade was found separated, and two blades remained in the hub. All three blades displayed similar aft bending, leading edge gouging, polishing, and chordwise scratching.

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) parachute was found deployed, and entangled in the wreckage. Witness statements, and the location of the CAPS components were consistent with a low-altitude deployment.

An Avidyne Primary Flight Display (PFD),Multifunction Flight Display (MFD), and the airplane's Electronic Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC.

The 1653 recorded weather observation at MLB included wind from 140 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 20 knots, clear skies, 10 miles of visibility, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.



Remnants of the airplane that crashed at Melbourne International Airport last week have been moved to a hangar in Flagler County as the investigation into the accident continues. Three Brevard County men died in the crash.

A memorial service is scheduled Saturday for Robert Kurrus, Jr., 44, who was killed in the Feb. 29 crash. Kurrus founded Melbourne’s Premiere Theaters Oaks Stadium 10. Also killed were two of the theater’s managers, James Franklin, 24, and Justin Gaines, 25, both of Palm Bay.

An initial investigation indicates the plane crashed while attempting to avoid a collision with another plane attempting to land on the same runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded its on-site investigation last weekend. Remnants of the plane, a Cirrus SR22, were moved this week to a hangar in Flagler County by the plane manufacturer’s insurance agency, airport officials said.

Brian Rayner, lead NTSB investigator, said it could take a year to determine what led to the crash, but said several areas of the flight are being reviewed — from the plane’s components to weather conditions to radio communications between the air-traffic tower and the pilot. It still remains a mystery who was piloting the plane, airport officials said. “It’s undeterminable,” airport spokesperson Lori Booker said.

In the past several days, insurance representatives from the plane manufacturer and engine manufacturer visited the crash site, which is in an area on the northwest side of airport property that’s so thick with vegetation rescue personnel had to plow a path to get to the downed plane.

Booker said members of the American Red Cross worked with airport staff to “bring solace and understanding to those among us hardest hit by the realities of this incident.” She said debriefings are also being planned with agencies that were involved with rescue attempts, including Melbourne police and fire officials, Brevard County Fire-Rescue and other area agencies. During a press conference, NTSB officials commended airport workers and the community rescuers for their response efforts.

“It’s usual for them to get together and have a debriefing — ‘What did we learn? Did our systems work well? What do we need to adjust?” Booker said. That debriefing has not yet been scheduled, she said.

Services for Kurrus, president of the National Association of Theater Owners of Florida, are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Chapel, 2955 Minton Road, West Melbourne. In lieu of flowers, Kurrus’ family requests donations to funds established at BB&T for the families of Gaines and Franklin.

Funeral services for Gaines are scheduled for 10 a.m. today in Frankfort, Ky

Cirrus SR22 , N444VR LLC, N444VR: Accident occurred March 09, 2012 in Homestead, Florida

http://registry.faa.gov/N444VR

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA219  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 09, 2012 in Homestead, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2013
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N444VR
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During cruise flight at 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the airplane's engine incurred a total loss of power. The flight instructor and the private pilot looked for a suitable place to land. Their first choice was an airport, but due to the prevailing wind, they were unable to make it to the airport. Their second choice was a highway, but it also proved to be unsuitable due to the amount of automobile traffic. As they descended through 2,000 feet msl, they considered deploying the Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System (CAPS) but noticed a light colored patch of ground, which appeared to be a hard dirt surface; they thought landing there would be a better option than deploying the CAPS. During the final approach, while in ground effect, the flight instructor observed a mound of dirt that was directly in front of the airplane, and he deployed 50-percent wing flaps to "balloon" the airplane over the obstacle. The wheels touched down on a water-filled marshy area, and the airplane slid over a mound of dirt and came to rest in the marshy area.

A review of onboard recorded data showed that fluctuations of the No. 2 cylinder's exhaust gas temperature were present beginning at engine start. Examination of the engine revealed that the engine had a hole in the top of the crankcase and that both magnetos had separated from their mounting locations. Further examination of the engine revealed that the No. 2 connecting rod bearing had been starved of oil and released from the crankshaft. The No. 2 main bearing had shifted and the lock slot in the crankcase was damaged, which indicated that the crankcase through bolts were not properly torqued. The No. 2 main bearing was fractured, and portions were missing from the steel backing, and the No. 2 and No. 3 piston pin bushings were also missing bushing material, which indicated that, during maintenance, a service bulletin had not been complied with. Review of the manufacturer's overhaul schedule also revealed that the recommended time between overhauls was 2,000 hours. At the time of the accident, the engine had accrued 2,978.1 total hours of operation without overhaul.

Review of the airplane and engine manufacturers guidance also revealed that because engine cooling was accomplished by discharging heat to the oil in the engine the engine should not be operated with less than 6 quarts of oil. The flight instructor however, stated that he added oil to the engine during the preflight to bring it up to 5 quarts. He also advised that was the level they always serviced it to, which indicated that in addition to the engine having been inadequately maintained, the engine was also continuously operated below the minimum specified oil level.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The inadequate servicing and maintenance of the engine and the airplane owner and maintenance personnel’s disregard of the manufacturer's recommended engine overhaul schedule and service bulletins by the aircraft owner and maintenance personnel, which resulted in an in-flight internal failure and seizure of the engine.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 9, 2012, about 1034 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N444VR, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Homestead, Florida. The certificated flight instructor, private pilot, and passenger, were not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) Part 91, which departed Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami Florida, destined for Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida.

According to the flight instructor, prior to departure from OPF he had the fuel tanks filled to capacity and he added oil to the engine to bring it up to 5 quarts.

They departed to the east from OPF at approximately 1000, and were given the MIAMI ONE DEPARTURE, MNATE TRANSITION (MIA1.MNATE) then direct to EYW. During the departure they were eventually cleared to 6,000 feet above mean sea level (msl). Once they were leveled off and in the approximate vicinity of Ocean Reef Club Airport (07FA), Key Largo, Florida, the engine incurred a total loss of power. The flight instructor believed however that at the time, the engine was still producing partial power. He then established best glide speed and turned towards 07FA, while the private pilot declared an emergency with Miami Air Traffic Control Center. They "quickly went through the troubleshoot checklist" but could not regain engine power. The airplane was now descending through 4,000 feet msl. The flight instructor then realized that there was a 20 knot headwind, that they were approximately 10 nautical miles from 07FA, and that they were descending at 1,000 feet per minute. He realized that they would not be able to make the airport, so he turned to the left to take advantage of the tailwind and headed for US Highway 1.

He could not recall the exact altitude but as they got lower, he noticed the amount of cars that were on the highway and decided that the risk was too great to attempt to land on it. At approximately 2,000 feet msl, they considered deploying the installed Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System (CAPS) but noticed a light colored patch of ground which appeared to be a hard dirt surface which landing on, seemed to be a better option than deploying the CAPS.

During the final approach while in ground effect the flight instructor then observed a mound of dirt that was directly in front of him and deployed 50 percent wing flaps to "balloon" the airplane over the obstacle. He then heard the stall warning horn, and the wheels touched down on water "like a soft seaplane landing" and slid over a long mound of dirt. The flight instructor then kept the control wheel all the way back and held it till the airplane came to rest in a water filled marshy area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA and pilot records, the flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on August 7, 2009. He reported 2,100 hours of total flight experience.

The private pilot held a certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on July 27, 2009. He reported 480 hours of total flight experience.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2003. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on December 20, 2011. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 2,888 total hours of operation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at Homestead Air Reserve Base (KHST), Homestead, Florida, approximately 10 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 1455, included: wind 110 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 26 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of mercury.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The accident airplane did not have a flight recorder installed nor was one required to be installed under the applicable CFRs. It did however have data recording capability incorporated in the Primary Flight Display and Multi Function Display.

The Primary Flight Display (PFD)

The PFD unit included a solid state Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) and displayed aircraft parameter data including altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and heading. The PFD unit had external pitot/static inputs for altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed information. The PFD contained two flash memory devices mounted on a riser card. The flash memory stored information the PFD unit used to generate the various PFD displays. Additionally, the PFD had a data logging function, which was used by the manufacturer for maintenance and diagnostics. Maintenance and diagnostic information recording consisted of system information, event data and flight data.

The PFD recording contained records of 20 power cycles and approximately 16 hours of data. The accident flight was associated with the 16th power cycle. The duration of the 16th power cycle was approximately 45 minutes.

The Multi Function Display (MFD)

The MFD unit was able to display the pilot checklist, terrain/map information, approach chart information and other aircraft/operational information depending on the specific configuration and options that were installed. One of the options that were available was a display of comprehensive engine monitoring and performance data.

The MFD contained a CF memory card located in a slot on the side of the unit. This memory card contained all of the software that the MFD needed to operate. Additionally, this card contained all of the checklist, approach charts, and map information that the unit used to generate the various cockpit displays.

During operation, the MFD received information from several other units that were installed on the aircraft. Specifically, the MFD received GPS position, time and track data from the aircraft’s GPS receiver. The MFD also received information from the aircraft concerning altitude, engine and electrical system parameters, and outside air temperature. This data was also stored on the unit’s CF memory card.

The MFD CF card contained 103 data files. One data file was identified as being recorded during the accident flight. The data file was approximately 39 minutes in duration.

Review of PFD and MFD Data

Review of the recorded data indicated that the airplane was initially powered up at 09:41:30 and departed OPF at 09:54:36. The airplane then climbed in an easterly direction passing north of North Miami Beach, Florida and out over the Atlantic Ocean, before turning southbound. At 10:13:36 the airplane reached a cruise altitude of 6,000 feet. Then approximately 5 minutes later at 10:18:29, while passing just to the west of Key Largo, Florida, a drop in engine rpm and an oscillation in lateral acceleration was recorded. The airplane then began to descend, turned approximately 180 degrees to the right until it was on a northeasterly heading. Moments later it turned left to a northwesterly heading while still descending, then turned right until it was above the remains of an old drainage canal and touched down with the last recorded position information occurring at 10:25:18.

Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) Data

Examination of the data revealed that from the time that power up occurred at 09:41:30 until the last position information was recorded at 10:25:18 that fluctuations of the No. 2 cylinder's EGT were present with fluctuations reaching a peak of approximately 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane had come to rest in mud and water. The bottom of the airplane was immersed to an approximate depth of 9 inches. No fuel residue was present on the water surrounding the airplane.

Landing Gear

Examination of the left and right main landing gear revealed that they had been separated from their mounting locations. The nose landing gear's fairings were torn off but, the nose landing gear strut and wheel assembly was still intact.

Wings

Examination of the left wing revealed that the left wing outboard leading edge was impact damaged, the TKS panel was dented and the leading edge of the upper and lower wing skins, were buckled aft. The wing flap was impact damaged. The fuel cap was closed and secured, and fuel was present to within1 to 2 inches of the top of the fuel tank. Examination of the right wing revealed that the right wingtip was impact damaged, the right navigation light and strobe were impact damaged, and the wing flap was impact damaged. The fuel cap was closed and secured and fuel was present to within 1 to 2 inches of the top of the fuel tank.

Fuselage

Examination of the fuselage revealed that a hairline crack was present along the aft seam cover over the left front CAPS harness attach point on the left side of the fuselage immediately aft of the firewall. Both cabin entry steps were bent aft, and the cowling was impact damaged.

Empennage

Examination of the horizontal stabilizer and elevators revealed no evidence of impact damage, to the horizontal stabilizer. However both elevators were impact damaged and both the left and right tips were bent and torn off. Examination of the rudder and vertical stabilizer revealed no evidence of damage.

Propeller and Engine

Examination of the propeller and engine revealed that the propeller was undamaged. The engine however, had a visible hole in the top of the engine case near the No. 1 and No. 2 cylinders.

Both magnetos were separated from their mounting locations. The left magneto was impact damaged and would not rotate however, internal examination revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure or malfunction. The right magneto would turn freely and the impulse coupling would engage. Bench testing of the right magneto revealed no anomalies and it would produce spark throughout its rpm range. The ignition harness was impact damaged but exhibited normal operating signatures, and the top and bottom sparkplugs exhibited normal wear signatures.

The fuel pump turned freely and no evidence of any abnormalities was present, and it functioned normally through its full range of operation when tested. The throttle, fuel control/ metering assembly functioned normally through its full range of operation when tested. The fuel nozzles were unrestricted and the fuel lines were intact and undamaged. The fuel lines, fuel nozzles, and fuel manifold valve assembly functioned normally through the full range of operation when tested and no leakage was observed from the fuel manifold valve cover vent port during the testing.

The oil sump exhibited minor impact damage. The oil sump drain plug was not safetied. The sump contained 2.5 quarts of oil. The oil was dark in color and contained fragments of engine components. The oil suction screen contained a small amount of debris. The oil filter contained metallic flakes and slivers. The oil pump cavity exhibited scratches but, the oil pump drive was intact, and the oil pump gear teeth exhibited normal operating signatures. The oil pressure relief valve and seat contained no obstructions and exhibited signatures consistent with proper seating. The oil cooler was undamaged.

Cylinder Nos. 1, 4, 5, and 6, exhibited normal operating signatures however, cylinder Nos. 2, and 3, exhibited mechanical damage to their cylinder skirts.

The pistons, piston rings, and piston pins from cylinder Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, also exhibited normal operating signatures. The piston skirt, piston rings, and piston pin from cylinder No. 2 however, exhibited mechanical damage.

The crankshaft and counterweight assembly exhibited lubrication distress, thermal damage, and mechanical damage concentrated at the No. 2 connecting rod journal. The No. 2 connecting rod journal also exhibited signs of lubrication distress, thermal discoloration, mechanical damage, and displacement of the journal material.

The No.2 main bearings exhibited contamination imbedded in the surface layer. The bearings exhibited wear consistent with high time engines and the Babbitt layer had been worn through. The bearings were also fragmented and extruded from the bearing support. The bearing had shifted in the main bearing support and the lock slot in the crankcase was damaged indicating that inadequate torque of the crankcase through bolts existed.

The No. 2 connecting rod exhibited extreme thermal and mechanical damage and was fractured through at the base of the I-beam, separating both sections of the bearing supports. Fragments of the connecting rod cap exhibited thermal and mechanical damage. Fragments of the connecting rod bolts and nuts were fragmented through and exhibited mechanical damage and thermal signatures. The piston pin bushing exhibited fractured sections and examination of the No. 3 connecting rod also revealed that it was missing portions of its piston pin bushing.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Piston Pin Bushings

According to the owner of a local engine overhaul facility, about 6 weeks prior to the accident, the mechanic who maintained the airplane found a piece of connecting rod bushing (piston pin bushing) in the engine oil sump. When the piece was shown to personnel at the engine overhaul facility, the airplane owner and the mechanic were advised that there was a service bulletin concerning connecting rod bearings and that the engine case should be split for repair. Then when the owner of the engine overhaul shop was advised of the total time of operation that the engine had accrued, he recommended that the owner either get a major overhaul or purchase a new engine. He was then advised by the mechanic that the airplane was expected to be sold as is. Neither the mechanic, nor owner returned to the overhaul shop prior to the accident.

Service Bulletin (SB) 96-7C

According to Continental Motors Incorporated (CMI) SB96-7C, failure to torque through bolt nuts on both sides of the engine can result in a loss of main bearing "crush" with main bearing shift and subsequent engine failure.

Service Bulletin (SB) 07-1

According to Continental Motors Incorporated (CMI) SB07-1, which provided instructions for inspection of the connecting rod piston pin bushing installation, Continental had received reports of piston pin bushing material being found in the sump or oil filter. If piston pin bushing material was recovered from an engine, all of the cylinders, pistons, and piston pins must be removed to allow access for inspection of the connecting rod piston pin bushing. Additionally the piston pin bushing must be inspected for condition each time a cylinder was removed for any reason.

Review of Maintenance Records

Review of maintenance records revealed that on December 1, 2006, the engine had received a propeller strike inspection at 927. 8 hours, and that on September 25, 2008 the engine had received a "top overhaul" utilizing CMI EQ7369 Cylinder kits. The last annual inspection was completed on December 20, 2011. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 2,888 total hours of operation. The last logbook entry was dated February 2, 2012, when an overhauled starter was installed at 2930.8 hours.

No record any other maintenance, or evidence of SB07-1 being complied with, was discovered.

Total time in service for the failed engine was 2,978.1 hours. According to the information contained in CMI SIL98-9A, time between overhauls was 2,000 hours.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

During an interview with the flight instructor, he advised that during the preflight he discovered that the oil level was at 3 and ¾ quarts, so prior to departure, he added oil to the engine to bring it up to 5 quarts. He also advised that was the level they always serviced it to. He stated that this was based on his experience, and recommendations from the Cirrus Owners and Pilot Association (COPA), that anything over 5 quarts would blow out the breather.

The Cirrus Design SR22 Pilot's Operating Handbook and FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual Section 4 (Normal Procedures), stated in part however; "Engine Oil ……… Check 6-8 quarts".

Section 7 (Airplane Description), also contained a "Caution" which stated, "The engine should not be operated with less than six quarts of oil. Seven quarts (dipstick indication) is recommended for extended flights". Further review of section 7 also revealed that "Engine cooling is accomplished by discharging heat to the oil and then to the air passing through the oil cooler".

Review of the CMI, IO-550 Permold Series Engine Maintenance and Overhaul Manual also revealed that, with an 8 quart fill, when the airplane was in a 16 degree nose up attitude, usable oil with an 8 quart fill was 5 quarts. When the airplane was in a 10 degree nose down attitude, usable oil with an 8 quart fill was 4.5 quarts. Supplemental instructions for normal operation in the manual under "Pre-operational Requirements" also advised to; "check the oil level and verify quantity is within specified limits".





NTSB Identification: ERA12LA219 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 09, 2012 in Homestead, FL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N444VR
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 9, 2012, about 1034 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N444VR, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Homestead, Florida. The certificated flight instructor, private pilot, and passenger, were not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, which departed Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami Florida, destined for Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida.

According to the flight instructor, prior to departure from OPF he had the fuel tanks filled to capacity and he added oil to the engine to bring it up to 5 quarts.

They departed to the east from OPF at approximately 1000, and were given the MIAMI ONE DEPARTURE, MNATE TRANSITION (MIA1.MNATE) then direct to EYW. During the departure they were eventually cleared to 6,000 feet above mean sea level (msl). Once they were leveled off and in the approximate vicinity of Ocean Reef Club Airport (07FA), Key Largo, Florida, the engine incurred a loss of power. The flight instructor believed however that at the time, the engine was still producing partial power. He then established best glide speed and turned towards 07FA, while the private pilot declared an emergency with Miami Air Traffic Control Center. They "quickly went through the troubleshoot checklist" but could not regain engine power. The airplane was now descending through 4,000 feet msl. The flight instructor then realized that there was a 20 knot headwind and that they were approximately 10 nautical miles from 07FA and were descending at 1,000 feet per minute. He realized that they would not be able to make the airport, so he turned to the left to take advantage of the tailwind and headed for US Highway 1.

He could not recall the exact altitude but as they got lower, he noticed the amount of cars that were on the highway and decided that the risk was too great to attempt to land on it. At approximately 2,000 feet msl, they considered deploying the installed Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System (CAPS) but noticed a light colored patch of ground which appeared to be a hard dirt surface which landing on, seemed to be a better option than deploying the CAPS.

During the final approach while in ground effect the flight instructor then observed a mound of dirt that was directly in front of him and deployed 50 percent wing flaps to "balloon" the airplane over the obstacle. He then heard the stall warning horn, and the wheels touched down on water "like a soft seaplane landing" and slid over a long mound of dirt. The flight instructor then kept the control wheel all the way back and held it till the airplane came to rest in a water filled marshy area.

Post accident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the landing gear was separated from its mounting location, and the horizontal stabilizer, elevators, wing leading edges, flaps, boarding steps, and fuselage exhibited differing degrees of damage.

According to FAA records, the flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on August 7, 2009. On that date, he reported 1,200 hours of total flight experience.

The private pilot held a certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on July 27, 2009. On that date, he reported 360 hours of total flight experience.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2003. At the time of accident, the airplane had accrued approximately 2,978.1 total hours of operation.

The recorded weather at Homestead Air Reserve Base (KHST), Homestead, Florida, approximately 10 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 1455, included: wind 110 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 26 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of mercury.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for further examination.






A single-engine plane crashed into shallow waters 10 miles away from the Homestead Airport early Friday morning, but the two people aboard weren't injured, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was registered to a Weston-based company called Florida Limited Liability Company.

The plane had departed from Opa-Locka Airport and was headed to Key West, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

It crashed around U.S. 1 and Mile Marker 119.

Aerial footage showed traffic backed up on U.S.1 and emergency personnel and firetrucks lined along the highway.


FLORIDA CITY  – A small plane made an emergency landing south of Florida City Friday morning. Initial reports said the plane came down in shallow water near MM 119 on US1, and that those aboard are unhurt.

The plane is reported by be a Cirrus SR22 single engine plane, registered to a Weston address. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has been sent to the scene.

Preliminary information said two people were aboard the plane, and both were able to exit unhurt.

There is no immediate information about what caused the emergency landing or who was aboard.