Saturday, August 11, 2012

Berard RV-6A, N134CE: Accident occurred August 11, 2012 in Westfield, Indiana

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA540
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Westfield, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: James H Berard RV-6A, registration: N134CE
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he noticed the airplane being pushed to the left side of the runway by the wind. He started to correct then noticed that the right wing was getting close to the ground. The pilot stated that there were no problems with the airplane prior to that point. He did not recall any subsequent events. The airplane came to rest inverted about 1,000 feet from the departure end of runway 36. Examination of the accident site found a 45-foot-long ground scar from the initial point of impact leading to the accident airplane. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preaccident mechanical malfunction or failure. The local weather observation indicated that a left crosswind of 8 knots or less existed at the time of the accident takeoff. The pilot later stated that he believed he inadvertently stalled the airplane on takeoff.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane after takeoff.

On August 11, 2012, about 1330 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Berard RV-6A, N134CE, impacted terrain after takeoff from Westfield Airport (I72), Westfield, Indiana. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and vertical stabilizer. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the owner/builder under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that after takeoff, the wind caused the airplane to drift toward one side of the runway. He started to correct, but then noticed that the right wing was getting close to the ground. He did not recall any subsequent events. The pilot reported that there were no problems with the airplane prior to that point in time. In his report, the pilot noted that he believes he inadvertently stalled the airplane.

A postaccident examination conducted by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors revealed left wingtip damage was consistent with initial ground contact by the left wing. A ground impact mark about 45 feet long was observed leading to the accident site. The airplane came to rest inverted about 1,000 feet from the departure end of runway 36. Flight and engine control continuity were confirmed. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were observed.

Between 1235 and 1335, the recorded wind condition at the Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ), located about 4 miles west of the accident site, varied from 260 degrees to 300 degrees at 5 to 8 knots.

The pilot held a sport pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane endorsement. Individuals holding sport pilot certificates may operate light sport aircraft within the limitations of the regulations. The accident airplane was being operated on an experimental category, special airworthiness certificate, and not a light sport airplane airworthiness certificate. The accident airplane did not meet FAA requirements to be operated as a light sport airplane because the gross weight exceeded 1,320 pounds. The pilot reported a maximum gross weight of 1,600 pounds. The pilot reportedly acknowledged to FAA inspectors that he was aware that the accident airplane did not qualify as a light sport airplane.

 
 NTSB Identification: CEN12LA540 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Westfield, IN
Aircraft: BERARD JAMES H RV-6A, registration: N134CE
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 August 11, 2012, about 1245 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Berard RV-6A, N134CE, impacted terrain after takeoff from Westfield Airport (I72), Westfield, Indiana. The pilot and sole passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and vertical stabilizer. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the owner/builder under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that after takeoff, the airplane drifted to the right due to the crosswind. He started to correct, but then noticed that the right wing was getting close to the ground. He did not recall any subsequent events.

A preliminary postaccident examination revealed damage and ground impact marks consistent with initial contact by the left wing. The nose subsequently impacted the ground and the airplane slid about 50 feet before coming to rest inverted.





WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – A plane crash in Westfield has sent one to the hospital Saturday.

A man escaped serious injury after his plane flipped over during take-off today.

The crash happened just after noon at the Wheeler Airport located at 18036 Dartown Road, according to a release.

The plane was heading down the runway when a gust of wind made it difficult to handle. The man tried to keep the plane on the ground but it suddenly flipped over.

Fellow pilots rushed over to help the man out of the plane.

Paramedics arrived shortly after. The patient was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration arrived and began their investigation around 4 p.m.

Sources:  

http://www.wishtv.com

http://westfieldfire.wordpress.com

Gage Midget Mustang MM-1, N41831: Accident occurred August 11, 2012 in Erie, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA537
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Erie, CO
Aircraft: GAGE MIDGET MUSTANG MM-1, registration: N41831
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

The pilot reported that he had just purchased the single-seat airplane and that he had discussed the operation of the airplane with the previous owner. The pilot stated that this was the first flight in the airplane for him; the wind was calm when he lined up for takeoff and as he started the takeoff roll, a left quartering wind blew the airplane off the runway. The pilot further stated that once the airplane’s wheel got onto the grass he was unable to correct the turn. The airplane continued off the runway, impacted a ditch, and nosed over, coming to rest inverted. The airplane received substantial damage to its vertical stabilizer and fuselage during the accident.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 41831        Make/Model: EXP       Description: MIDGET MUSTANG MM-1
  Date: 08/11/2012     Time: 2000

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: ERIE   State: CO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON TAKEOFF, FLIPPED OVER, ERIE, CO

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 08/13/2012
 
 http://registry.faa.gov/N41831

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skyhawkpc/4917149905/



ERIE — A pilot escaped serious injury when a wind gust caused loss of control of a plane preparing for takeoff from Erie’s municipal airport on Saturday afternoon, according to Erie Police Cpl. Robert Vesco. 

Vesco said the plane rolled into a ditch separating two taxiways and was flipped upside down. He said the pilot — whose name Vesco said he couldn’t release — refused medical attention.


Source: http://www.timescall.com

Beechcraft G18S, Mid America Sport Skydive Club, Barron Aviation, N697Q: Fatal accident occurred August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, Illinois

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -   National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA534
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2014
Aircraft: BEECH G18 - S, registration: N697Q
Injuries: 1 Fatal,12 Uninjured.

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.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) with 12 parachutists seated inside the airplane on two rear-facing “straddle benches.” The airplane was flying at an indicated speed of 100 mph with the flaps retracted. The operator’s written guidance for “skydiving jump runs” indicated that the airspeed should be maintained at 110 to 120 mph and that the flaps should be set at 30 degrees. As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and moved farther aft in the airplane to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned aft of the straddle benches and were hanging onto the outside of the airplane, several of the other parachutists were standing in the door, and the remainder of the parachutists were standing in the cabin forward of the door. According to instructions on the operator's skydiver briefing card, no more than four jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area during exit. 

Several parachutists heard the sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system, and the airplane then suddenly rolled and began to descend. All 12 parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning and descending in an inverted nose-down attitude and then appear to briefly recover, but it then entered a nearly vertical dive, which is consistent with a loss of control event as a result of an aerodynamic stall and subsequent entry into a spin. 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidance indicates that the pilot-in-command (PIC) must know the weight and location of jumpers during each phase of the flight to assure that the aircraft stays within center of gravity (CG) limits and that the PIC must remain aware of CG shifts and their effects on aircraft controllability and stability as jumpers move into position for exiting the aircraft. Further FAA guidance indicated that, if a stall recovery is not promptly initiated, the airplane is more likely to enter an inadvertent spin, which can degenerate into a spiral. It is likely that the number of parachutists near the door area during exit shifted the CG aft and contributed to the aerodynamic stall/spin. The pilot suffered a serious traumatic brain injury in September 2005 as a result of colliding with a truck while bicycling; however, he did not report that injury during all subsequent FAA medical certificate applications. Persons with an injury of this severity will likely have long-term issues with cognition, attention, executive functioning, sleep disturbance, and impulsivity. However, without the results of any postinjury neuropsychological testing, the status of the pilot’s cognition and decision-making during the accident flight could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and use the appropriate flaps setting during sport-parachuting operations, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin and a subsequent loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to follow company guidance by allowing more than four passengers in the door area during exit, which shifted the airplane’s center of gravity aft.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 11, 2012, about 1124 central daylight time, a Beech Aircraft Company G18S multi-engine airplane, N697Q, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in a residential neighborhood in Taylorville, Illinois. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. Twelve parachutists on-board the airplane exited and were not injured. No persons on the ground were injured. The airplane was registered to Barron Aviation, LLC; Perry, Missouri, and operated by Barron Aviation Private Flight Services, LLC; Hannibal, Missouri, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a sport parachuting flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Taylorville Municipal Airport (TAZ), Taylorville, Illinois, about 1100.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and the parachutists were seated inside the airplane on two rear facing "straddle benches". As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and moved further aft in the airplane in preparation for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned hanging on to the outside of the airplane with several others standing in the door and the remainder were standing in the cabin forward of the door. Several parachutists reported that they were almost ready to jump when they heard the sounds of the airplane's stall warning system. The airplane then suddenly rolled and all twelve parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several of those who were last to exit reported that the airplane was inverted or partially inverted as they went out the door. The pilot, seated in the left front cockpit seat, did not exit the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning and descending in an inverted attitude when the airplane appeared to briefly recover, but then entered a nearly vertical dive.

The airplane impacted a tree and terrain in the back yard of an occupied residence. Emergency personnel who first responded to the accident scene reported a strong smell of gasoline and ordered the evacuation of several nearby homes. There was no postimpact fire.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 30, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His private pilot certificate was initially issued on December 1, 1999, and his first rating as a commercial pilot was initially issued on January 7, 2003.

The pilot's two logbooks showed entries beginning on August 7, 1999, with the last entry in pilot's logbook number two on July 22, 2012. An endorsement showed a flight review was completed on June 26, 2012. A high-performance airplane endorsement was entered on March 11, 2000. A tail wheel airplane endorsement was entered on October 28, 2001. A complex airplane endorsement was entered on December 21, 2002. On December 8, 2003, the pilot successfully completed a practical test and was issued an additional rating for airplane multi-engine land on his commercial pilot certificate.

A review of the logbooks showed that as of August 22, 2012, the pilot had logged 1,425.1 hours of total flight experience in airplanes, with 33.7 of those hours in multi-engine airplanes, and a total of 255.1 of those hours in single engine airplanes with conventional gear. There was no record that the pilot had any experience prior to August 20, 2012, in any multi-engine airplanes with conventional gear.

The pilot's logbook showed that his most recent flight instruction in multiengine airplanes was logged on June 10, 2005. As of March 7, 2006, the logbook showed a total of 27.8 hours of experience in multiengine airplanes. During the period from 2006 until August 20, 2012, the pilot logged two flights in multiengine airplanes. On August 23, 2008, the logbook showed 1.3 hours of pilot-in-command experience in a Piper PA-23 multiengine piston airplane with the notation that it was a "check-out flight". Another flight, estimated to be in 2008, showed 1.0 hours of pilot-in-command experience in a Beech 99 multiengine turboprop airplane with the notation "fly right seat for multi/turbine time".

There were no other flights logged in multiengine airplanes until the pilot's first flight in the accident airplane, which was logged as a "familiarization and skydive checkout flight" of 0.5 hours of pilot-in-command experience on July 20, 2012. The last pilot logbook entry on July 22, 2012, showed the pilot flew the accident airplane for 3.1 hours on six skydiving flights.

Based on conversations with family members, the aircraft owner, skydiver load records, and billing records from the operator, it is estimated that the pilot flew the accident airplane for an additional 2.0 hours on August 10, 2012, and an additional total of 1.5 hours on August 11, 2012.

The pilot's flight experience in the accident airplane at the time of the accident was estimated as a total of 7.1 hours. There were no logbook entries or endorsements from a flight instructor, or any other evidence to show that the pilot had ever received any flight instruction in the accident airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The low-wing, retractable conventional landing gear, multi-engine airplane, serial number (s/n) BA-468, was manufactured in 1959. It was powered by two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney model R-985-AN-14B engines; s/n 89634, and s/n 203495. Each engine drove a Hamilton Standard; model 22D30, 2-blade metal alloy full feathering propeller.

The cockpit had a pilot station on the left seat and a co-pilot station or passenger seat on the right side, with each seat equipped with a 3-point shoulder harness system. The passenger cabin had been modified with two "straddle benches" which provided aft facing seating for a total of twelve parachutists.

The main cabin door had been modified for sport parachuting operations with the installation of an upward opening "roll-up" door. With the door in the open position it stowed on the inside surface of the cabin ceiling and the upper right side wall.

The original maintenance records were not recovered. The aircraft owner reported that all aircraft maintenance records and logbooks had been onboard at the time of the accident and were destroyed. After the accident, the aircraft owner provided unsigned copies of reconstructed maintenance record entries which showed that an annual inspection was completed on August 5, 2012, at an aircraft total time of 13,833.0 hours. Entries on that date also noted that both engines had accumulated a total of 46.9 hours since the most recent engine overhaul.

The operator estimated that the airplane had been operated for about 10 hours or less since the annual inspection was completed on August 5, 2012.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1115, the automated weather observation station at TAZ reported wind from 330 degrees at 9 knots; skies clear of clouds, temperature 24 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature 9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of Mercury.

A review of pilot reports (PIREPs) for the area showed no suggestion of turbulence in the altitudes below about flight level (FL) 290. A review of the wind aloft reports also did not suggest significant shearing of the horizontal flow below about FL300, and there were no thunderstorms nearby for gravity wave generation.

Further review of winds aloft reports for the area showed the wind at 10,250 feet pressure altitude was from 347 degrees true at 19 knots; the wind at 9,309 feet pressure altitude was from 348 degrees true at 22 knots; and the wind at 12,221 feet pressure altitude was from 348 degrees true at 27 knots.

COMMUNICATIONS AND RADAR AND ON-BOARD VIDEO

Following is a timeline of selected communications between the pilot of N697Q and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC). A summary of the FAA ATC radar contacts is included. Also included are selected observations from the three on-board parachutist helmet mounted video cameras.

1104: N697Q made initial contact with the ATC controller, and radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 2,200 feet.

1120: parachutist video camera panned toward the cockpit, the altimeter indicated 10,400 feet, the flap handle was up, the landing gear handle was up, and the indicated airspeed was about 100 miles per hour. The pilot was sitting in the left pilot seat, and was wearing glasses, a parachute, and a headset with a boom microphone. The pilot was wearing a single shoulder harness over his left shoulder. The pilot's feet were both flat on the floor.

1121:45: N697Q reported to the ATC controller "… one minute prior to jumper release"

1121:50: the ATC controller instructed N697Q to report jumpers away, and N697Q responded.

There were no further transmissions heard from N697Q.

1122:02: parachutist video camera showed a parachutist pointing at the aft bulkhead and a parachutist said "green light", two parachutists adjacent to the door rolled the jump door to the open position.

1122:17: parachutist video camera showed the left flap was retracted and the left aileron was neutral.

1123: parachutist video camera showed two parachutist started to move outside the airplane, three other parachutist were moving toward the door and all parachutists had started to stand up.

1123:09: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,200 feet.

1123:12: parachutist video camera showed the left flap deflected downward to an estimated deflection of less than 10 degrees.

1123:14: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,300 feet.

1123:18: parachutist video camera captured the sound of the engines decreasing, the propeller sound remained synchronized.

1123:19: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,400 feet.

1123:21: parachutist video camera showed the left flap returned to a zero deflection, five parachutists were on the exterior jump platform, and seven parachutists were still in the airplane.

1123:25: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,300 feet.

1123:29: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,200 feet.

1123:33: parachutist video camera captured the sound of a warbly, high pitch tone, similar to stall warning and several parachutists began to yell "go go go" "get out" … "go go go" "get out".

1123:33: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 10,700 feet.

1123:34: parachutist video camera showed parachutists began to jump with the airplane in a steep left bank, the left aileron was deflected down, and the left flap was zero.

1123:38: radar showed N697Q moving northeast at a transponder reported altitude of 9,600 feet.

1123:39: parachutist video camera showed the last parachutist exited the airplane. The airplane was in a left hand turn past inverted with the nose oriented nose down approximately 40 to 60 degrees.

1123:43: radar showed N697Q moving northeast – the transponder reported altitude was missing.

1123:43: parachutist video camera showed the airplane was oriented nose down of about 40 to 70 degrees and then exited the field of view of the camera.

1123:48: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 7,400 feet.

1123:54: the last radar return from N697Q – the transponder reported altitude was missing.

Radar contact was then lost.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage location was about 1 and 1/2 miles northeast of TAZ, in the back yard of a private residence at an estimated elevation of about 620 feet mean seal level (msl). The residence about 30 feet east of the impact location, and several other buildings about 50 feet in all directions did not display substantial damage from the wreckage impact.

The large tree impacted by the wreckage had numerous broken branches and evidence of paint smearing on the branches and on the east side of the main trunk of the tree. The paint smears on the tree were the same color as the reddish orange color of the wreckage, and parts of airplane wreckage were lodged in several forks of the tree. A main impact crater about ten feet in diameter was immediately adjacent to the north edge of the trunk of the tree. Piles of impact compressed and fragmented aircraft wreckage were located on and next to that impact crater. Extensive impact crushing damage and fragmentation was observed on most of the components of the wreckage.

A prominent ground scar on the north side of the tree was oriented on a bearing of 197 degrees. Fragmented parts of the wing tip and broken pieces of red glass were found in the north end of that ground scar. Impact compressed and fragmented parts of the leading edge of the left wing were located nearby and corresponded to the ground scar. The ground scar and damage to the wreckage was consistent with the airplane being in nearly vertical nose down attitude with the top of the airplane oriented to the east at the time of impact.

The left wing was fragmented and was found at the main crash site with the left flap and aileron. The leading edge displayed compression impact damage and fragmentation along the entire leading edge that penetrated aft to the trailing edge of the wing.

Both wings, both flaps, both ailerons, both vertical fins, both rudders, the elevator, and all three landing gear legs were all observed at the scene. The position of the flaps, and the position of the landing gear could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage. The position of the trim tabs on the control surfaces could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage. Flight control continuity could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage.

Useful documentation of cockpit instruments could not be determined because of fragmentation and impact damage. An emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was not identified at the scene.

Fragmented portions of the right wing were found with the main wreckage and displayed impact compression damage from the leading edge aft. Fragmented portions of the main fuselage and empennage were observed at the scene and displayed impact compression damage.

The fuselage was substantially compressed and fragmented. Both engines and both propellers were observed at the scene and had penetrated into the impact crater immediately north of the large tree.

During on-scene examination of the wreckage the main impact crater was excavated to a depth of about six feet and to a diameter of about eight feet. Both engines and both propellers were recovered from the impact crater. The position of the two engines in the crater was consistent with the airplane being in a slightly sideways attitude at the time of impact. Both engines were fragmented and impact compressed. Both propellers, including both spinners, both hubs and all four propeller blades were observed in the impact crater adjacent to the engines. Fragmentation and impact damage prevented a useful examination of the propellers.

During the retrieval and excavation of the main impact crater all retrieval participants had been briefed in advance to be particularly alert for the presence of any aircraft maintenance documents or for the presence of any personal effects. No aircraft maintenance documents and no personal effects were found at the scene.

Most of the wreckage components were observed within about a 25 foot radius from the main impact crater, however about 25 pounds of numerous pieces of small fragmented wreckage components were recovered as far away as about 300 feet to the west. An additional few other pieces of lightweight materials from the wreckage were recovered from about 100 feet to the northeast.

The on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the McLean County Coroner's Office Regional Autopsy Facility; Bloomington, Illinois. The cause of death was listed as "multiple injuries due to an airplane crash".

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA, Aeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The toxicology report stated that tests were not performed. Submitted samples were not suitable for analyses.

FAA records showed the pilot's most recent second class airman medical certificate, was issued on May 10, 2010, with a restriction: "must wear corrective lenses".

Personal medical records reveal the pilot had suffered a traumatic brain injury in September, 2005, as a result of colliding with a truck while bicycling. The pilot failed to report that injury during all subsequent FAA medical certificate applications.

The head injuries in 2005 included fracture of the frontal bone and bilateral temporal lobe contusions. The pilot had an initial Glasgow Coma Score of twelve (of a possible 15) but was combative as a result of the brain injury and required several days of a medically induced coma. After about a week in the hospital, he spent more than three weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation unit and several months in outpatient rehabilitation for his brain injury. In addition to balance and endurance problems, while in rehabilitation he had issues with attention, concentration, and executive functioning and the family reported impulsive, sometimes unsafe, behaviors.

Three months later, he had not been cleared to drive as a result of his impaired judgment. The available records incompletely document the outcome from the traumatic brain injury as the pilot moved away approximately three months after his injury. No records regarding follow up in-depth neuropsychological testing were identified by the investigation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the Beech Aircraft Corporation Model G18S Landplane Airplane Flight Manual; Part No. 18-001020, Revised: January 30, 1961: "… Stalling Speed with power at zero thrust is 89 mph with gear and flaps up and zero degrees angle of bank; maximum pitch angle during recovery is 25 degrees … maximum altitude lost during a stall is 600 feet … stall warning indicator is triggered at a minimum of 6 mph above stall speed".

According to the operator's cockpit checklist instructions for "Skydiving Jump Run"; the engine power should be slowly decreased to idle, the airspeed should be maintained at 110 – 120 MPH, and the flaps should be set at 30 degrees. While the jumpers are exiting the speed should be maintained at 110 – 120 MPH.

According to instructions on the operator's "Skydiver Briefing Card"; during exit no more than 4 jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area.

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC No: 105-2D; Subject: Sport Parachuting; Section 8. c. "The PIC is solely responsible for assuring that the aircraft being flown is properly loaded and operated so that it stays within gross weight and CG limitations. The PIC must ensure that the aircraft is operated within the aircraft W&B limitations ... The PIC is also responsible for reviewing these records and the flight manual to be familiar with an aircraft's W&B procedures and flight characteristics.

Section 8. d. Computing W&B. "The PIC must include the following factors:

(4) The weight and location of jumpers during each phase of the flight in order to assure that the aircraft stays within CG limits. The PIC must remain aware of CG shifts and their effects on aircraft controllability and stability as jumpers move into position for exiting the aircraft and as they exit."

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC No: 61-67C; Subject: Stall and Spin Awareness Training: Chapter 1: " … The possibility of inadvertently stalling the airplane by increasing the load factor (i.e., by putting the airplane in a steep turn or spiral) is much greater than in normal cruise flight … Excessively steep banks should be avoided because the airplane will stall at a much higher speed … If the nose falls during a steep turn, the pilot might attempt to raise it to the level flight attitude without shallowing the bank. This situation tightens the turn and can lead to a diving spiral. …

The Center of Gravity (CG) … location 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 …

If recovery from a stall is not made properly, a secondary stall or a spin may result. A secondary stall is caused by attempting to hasten the completion of a stall recovery before the aircraft has regained sufficient flying speed ...

The primary cause of an inadvertent spin is exceeding the critical AOA while applying excessive or insufficient rudder and, to a lesser extent, aileron. Insufficient or excessive control inputs … could aggravate the precipitation of a spin … If a stall recovery is not promptly initiated, the airplane is more likely to enter an inadvertent spin ...

The spiral mode is an autorotation mode similar to a spin. The center of rotation is close to the centerline of the airplane but the airplane is not stalled … Many airplanes will enter a spin but the spin will become more vertical and degenerate into a spiral (and) the airspeed will increase as the nose goes down to near vertical. The side forces on the airplane build very rapidly and recovery must be effected immediately before exceeding the structural limits of the airplane".


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA534
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, IL
Aircraft: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation G18S, registration: N697Q
Injuries: 1 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 August 11, 2012, about 1224 central daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation G18S airplane, N697Q, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in a residential neighborhood in Taylorville, Illinois. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The twelve parachutists were not injured and no persons on the ground were injured. The airplane was registered to Barron Aviation, LLC; Perry, Missouri, and operated by Barron Aviation Private Flight Services, LLC; Perry, Missouri, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a sport parachuting flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Taylorville Municipal Airport (TAZ), Taylorville, Illinois, about 1200.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and the 12 parachutists were seated inside the airplane on two rear facing “straddle benches.” As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and began to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned hanging on to the outside of the airplane with several others standing in the door and the remainder were standing in the cabin forward of the door. Several parachutists reported that they were almost ready to jump when they heard the sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system. The airplane then suddenly rolled and at least one of the parachutists yelled a “go, go, go” command. All 12 parachutists successfully exited the airplane and several of the last to exit reported that the airplane was at least partially inverted as they went out the door. The pilot did not exit the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane descending in an inverted attitude when the airplane appeared to briefly recover, but then entered a nearly vertical dive.

The airplane impacted a tree and terrain in the fenced back yard of an occupied residence. Emergency personnel who first responded to the accident scene reported a strong smell of gasoline and ordered the evacuation of several nearby homes. There was no postimpact fire.

Several of the parachutists on-board the flight had been equipped with helmet mounted video cameras and they have provided to the NTSB their video recordings which may have captured the accident event. The original recording media for those videos have been sent to the NTSB vehicle recorders laboratory and will be reviewed.




AUGUSTA, Ill. -- Brandon Scott Sparrow, 30, of Augusta, died Saturday (Aug. 11, 2012) in Taylorville as the result of an airplane accident.

He was born May 17, 1982, in Macomb to Terry and Rhonda Norris Sparrow. He married Angela Ellefritz on Oct. 22, 2009, in Negril, Jamaica. She survives.

Brandon was a 2000 graduate of Macomb High and attended Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, majoring in aviation flight. He was employed as a driver and planner for Burlington Trailways in Burlington, Iowa, and was an aircraft mechanic apprentice studying for his Airframe and Powerplant tests. He was building and approaching the covering phase of his Pitts S1-SS, which he hoped to complete and fly next year.

Brandon's love for flying began with his first air show at the age of 6. At a young age he was a member of the Bushnell "Flying Fools" radio controlled airplane club. He was a flight student of Roger Smith of Macomb, earning his private pilot's license at the age of 16. He was an avid skydiver and a member of the Mid-America Sport Parachute Club of Taylorville. He enjoyed golf and photography, and volunteered for HUGS of Hancock County, a cancer support group. He attended Augusta Christian Church. 


Continued ... read more here:  http://www.legacy.com


Guest Book:  http://www.legacy.com/guestbook


SERVICES: Cremation rites have been accorded. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Augusta Christian Church, Augusta, with the Rev. Ryan Derr conducting.

 VISITATION: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and because of Brandon's love for flying it will be held at Smith Airport, located on the east side of Macomb on U.S. 67, just south of Ill. 136.

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Brandon Sparrow Memorial Fund, at Bank of Advance, Bowen Banking Center, in care of Bev Leasman, 415 W. Fifth St., Bowen, IL 62316.

ARRANGEMENTS: Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta. 


 Autopsy Results for Fallen Pilot Brandon Sparrow:
 Autopsy results for 30 year old Brandon Sparrow of Augusta, IL the lone casualty and pilot from the recent plane crash in Taylorville were announced. According to Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans

Preliminary autopsy shows that Mr. Sparrow died from multiple injuries of the entire body due to an airplane crash, reportedly sustained as the pilot and sole occupant of the plane that crashed into the ground at a very high rate of speed.

The accident occurred on Rich Street in Taylorville at 11:25 on Saturday morning.

Source:  http://www.taylorvilledailynews.com





Brandon Sparrow, shown here before a flight July 20, was killed when the plane he was flying crashed into a Taylorville backyard. 
(Photo courtesy of State Journal-Register/Brian Blythe)


 
Brandon Sparrow, pilot


 Roger Smith was not surprised when he learned Brandon Sparrow sacrificed his life by staying with the crashing airplane he was piloting to ensure it didn’t hit any houses.

For the 15 years he knew Sparrow, Smith, who manages a small, rural airport in Macomb, where Sparrow served as an apprentice, said the 30-year-old pilot had always put others first.

There’s also no doubt in Smith’s mind that the reason the plane went down in the backyard of a home at 801 W. Rich St. in Taylorville Saturday was out of Sparrow’s control.

He described Sparrow, who was from Augusta, a small town southwest of Macomb, as a talented pilot with hundreds of flights under his belt, including dozens of flights taking skydivers up for a jump.

The twin-engine Beechcraft 18 Sparrow was piloting Saturday morning was carrying 12 skydivers, who all jumped and landed safely before the plane crashed.

Sparrow was the lone fatality.

Ultimate sacrifice


Smith said the No. 1 responsibility of any pilot is to ensure the passengers make it to the ground safely, which is what Sparrow did.

But even more impressive about Sparrow’s action, and the reason why many people in Taylorville are calling him a hero, is that he decided not to use his parachute, which he would have been required to have, Smith said.

Instead, Sparrow stayed with the plane and steered it into the backyard of a home in a residential neighborhood in west Taylorville, narrowly missing any houses.

Witnesses said the backyard was not even 75 feet wide, leaving little room for error.

For Smith, 65, it was another example of what type of person Sparrow was.

 “He would have given you the shirt off his back if you asked,” Smith said. “I’ve never known anyone who met Brandon that didn’t like him.”

Avid pilot

According to his resume posted online at Linkedin.com, Sparrow also worked as a driver and planner for Burlington Trailways in Iowa.

Sparrow described himself as “an active pilot and aircraft mechanic apprentice, studying for my (Airframe and Powerplant) tests while pursuing career employment in the west-central Illinois region.

“I am currently building, and approaching the covering phase, of my Pitts S1-SS, which with any luck, will be test flown next year.”

Smith said Sparrow had been flying since he got his initial pilot license at age 16 or 17.

For the last five years, he said Sparrow served as an apprentice for him at Smith Aviation in Macomb, but had helped out longer.

“It was easy to teach him because things came natural to him,” Smith said.

Like an adopted son


Although what exactly happened in the sky shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday is still unknown, some of the people closest to Smith used Sunday to reflect on the life of young man’s life cut short.

A group of friends and family gathered in Macomb to prepare for visitation and funeral services. Dates and times have not been made public. A family member did not have any comment.

Judy Smith, the wife of Roger, said Sparrow was like an adopted son to the couple.

When her husband’s father died in October 2009, she said Sparrow was at the airport nearly every day helping Roger out.

She said her last memory of Sparrow was Tuesday, when he visited her for her 66th birthday.

She said she was lying on the couch battling an illness when Roger told her to look outside. Sitting in her classic Ford Thunderbird was Sparrow.

He had hooked up a wireless speaker to an iPod and was playing “Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys.

“You don’t find many young guys like that anymore,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a better kid.”

Source:   http://www.sj-r.com


 TAYLORVILLE — Authorities say the 30-year-old pilot of a small aircraft ferrying skydivers that crashed in a Taylorville neighborhood Saturday morning saved the lives of residents by steering the plane to avoid hitting any houses. 
 
The pilot, Brandon Sparrow of Augusta, was the lone fatality.

Sparrow was piloting the plane, which took off from the Taylorville airport and was carrying 12 skydivers, before it crashed in the back yard of a home at 801 W. Rich St. at 11:25 a.m. All of the skydivers jumped out of the plane before it went down, and all landed safely, Taylorville police and fire officials said.

Mayor Greg Brotherton, who went to the crash site, said the back yard the plane landed in was not even 75 feet wide, leaving little room for error.

 “It was either an act of God, or the pilot himself put the plane down in the back yard,” Brotherton said. “We should be thankful because that plane could have hit a house and harmed others.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, which described the plane as a twin-engine Beechcraft 18, and other federal agencies were investigating. A cause of the crash won't be known for at least several weeks, authorities said.

Skies were clear at the time, with winds from the northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

Skydiving dangers

Saturday’s crash was believed to be the fourth fatal skydiving-related incident in or near Taylorville since 1997. In the last one, William “Bill” Jensen Jr., 38, of Springfield was killed in October 2004 when his parachute prematurely deployed and got tangled in the plane's tail.

Saturday morning’s jump was part of a special skydiving event hosted by the Mid-America Sport Parachute Club. The event was supposed to carry on today but was canceled, according to the club’s website.

No one from the club could be reached for comment after Saturday’s accident.

The plane tore a 20- to 30-foot-wide hole into the back yard of Jerry Dobyns Sr., who lives at 801 W. Rich St.

Dobyns said he was lying on his bed watching television when he heard the loud boom, which reportedly could be heard all across Taylorville. He said pieces of the plane ended up about 30 feet from his bedroom window.

The force of the crash caused windows to shatter and pictures to be knocked off the wall, he said. The plane also crushed a doghouse in the back yard. The  Dobyns' daughter, Rhonda Tester, 48, was standing in the back yard just prior to the crash, but she happened to go inside. Dobyns said he feels fortunate to be alive.

 “If it was another 10 feet closer, it could have killed both of us," he said.

Silence, then a boom


With pieces of the plane scattered throughout the neighborhood, authorities ordered the evacuation of several blocks around the crash site. Some residents would likely have to stay out of their homes until today, police said.

The crash brought out many onlookers, with each person telling stories of what they were doing when the plane came down.

One man said it looked as if the plane was doing a nosedive stunt often seen at air shows.

James Welge Jr. said he was outside with his son when he heard the plane glide by. He said he heard the plane’s engine rev up extremely loud before a moment of silence, which was followed by a loud boom after it hit the ground two or three seconds later.

 “It’s so sad that there was a tragedy,” Welge said.

http://www.sj-r.com

  
 Taylorville, IL (KSDK) - A 30 year old pilot from Augusta, Illinois, is dead after a skydiving plane crashed early Saturday afternoon in Taylorville, Illinois. 

Twelve people plus the pilot were on board the airplane. The 12 passengers were able to jump from the plane before it crashed. 

Family members identify the deceased pilot as Brandon Scott Sparrow, an accomplished pilot and aircraft mechanic who was married and went to school at Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  Brandon and Angela Sparrow had no children.

 Family members say Sparrow was a longtime aviation enthusiast who was left in a coma six years ago after being struck by a truck while bicycling in Carbondale.   Despite lingering injuries from that accident, he was able to climb back into airplane cockpits.

The plane crashed in a residential area of the 800 block of W. Rich Street around 11:30 a.m. Debris from the crash is spread across two or three blocks. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene, and the National Transportation Safety Board is enroute. 

Taylorville is located in Christian County, approximately 90 miles northeast of St. Louis.

TAYLORVILLE — A small plane crashed in a backyard in Taylorville late Saturday morning, and neighbors are calling the pilot a hero for sparing their lives and homes at the cost of his own life.

The pilot was identified as 30-year-old Brandon Sparrow of Augusta by a relative, who confirmed his death.

Neighbors were evacuated from nearby homes. Those who were standing in groups watching emergency personnel said planes regularly fly skydivers out of the Taylorville airport on weekends. Some witnesses who were acquainted with the pilot understood that the plane had been carrying skydivers, but authorities did not release any information regarding possible passengers on the plane.

Jerry Dobyns lives in the house where the plane came down. He said he was inside and his daughter was on the back porch when they heard the plane’s engine, and both knew something sounded wrong. The daughter ran indoors, and the crash was so violent it broke all the windows in the house.

“I looked out, and there’s a crater in my backyard,” Dobyns said. “It’s nothing but debris. You can’t even tell it was a plane.”

Neighbor Sandra Fisher heard the engine overhead, and living close to Taylorville’s airport, is used to hearing planes, so she knew something sounded wrong when she heard this one.

“It was too loud,” she said. “I saw it coming down (nose first) and just ran. That was too close.”

No official statement was immediately available as to the possible cause of the crash.

Emergency personnel from the Taylorville police and fire departments, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, and Assumption Police Department were on the scene most of the day. The immediate area was evacuated, and some residents were only allowed to take medication with them due to fears of fire from the crash site. Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were summoned to the scene, said Taylorville Fire Chief Jeff Hackney, and were in charge of the scene upon their arrival.

“We were fortunate (the plane) missed the houses and missed the power lines,” he said.

No further information was available Saturday.

TAYLORVILLE -- The pilot of a small aircraft was killed Saturday morning after the plane, which had been carrying 12 skydivers, crashed into a residential neighborhood, narrowly missing at least one home. The name of the pilot was not immediately released. The skydivers jumped out of the plane before it went down and all landed safely, Taylorville police and fire officials said. 

 The FAA and other federal agencies were investigating Saturday. A cause of the crash wouldn't be known for several weeks.

The plane, which took off from the Taylorville airport and crashed about 11:25 a.m., tore a 20- to 30-foot-wide hole into the back yard of Jerry Dobyns Sr., who lives at 801 W. Rich St.

Dobyns said he was laying on his bed watching television when he heard the loud boom, which was reportedly heard across the entire city. He said the pieces of the plane landed about 30 feet from his bedroom window.

Dobyns' daughter, Rhonda Tester, 48, was standing in the back yard just prior to the crash, but she happened to go inside. Dobyns said he feels fortunate to be alive.

“If it was another 10 feet closer it could have killed both of us," Dobyns told a State Journal-Register reporter.

The force of the crash caused windows to shatter and pictures to be knocked off the wall, he said. The plane also crushed a dog house in the back yard. The dog was inside with Dobyns at the time.

With pieces of the plane scattered throughout the area, authorities ordered the evacuation of several blocks around the crash site. Dobyns, who also was evacuated, said police allowed him to retrieve his medication before he left. Some residents would likely have to stay out of their homes until Sunday, police said.
 
Sources:   





  
TAYLORVILLE — A Beechcraft 18 airplane crashed into a backyard at 801 W. Rich Street in Taylorville at around 11:25 on Saturday morning, causing one fatality, who authorities have confirmed as the pilot. Authorities also confirmed that 12 jumpers inside the aircraft made it safely to the ground before the plane crashed. The details of the cause of the crash were still under investigation at press time. 


 
 Officials including Christian County Coroner Amy Winans stand outside Jerry Dobyns home on Rich St. where a plane landed in his back yard.


KWIATKOWSKI MATTHEW A LONG EZ, N213MK: Aircraft force landed on a road, Martinton, Illinois


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 213MK        Make/Model: EXP       Description: LONG EZ
  Date: 08/12/2012     Time: 2007

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: None

LOCATION
  City: MARTINTON   State: IL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, MARTINTON, IL

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: WEST CHICAGO, IL  (GL03)              Entry date: 08/13/2012
 
 http://registry.faa.gov/N213MK


http://lisasimpson.homelinux.com/gallery2/v/LongEZ/IKK/N213MK-4770L.jpg.html


An airplane landed on U.S. Route 52 in Will County following an engine failure around 3 p.m. Friday, but no injuries were reported.

Ken McCabe, deputy chief for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office, said the airplane landed near Elwood.


 

AMERICAN AA1, N5718L: Aircraft force landed on a road, Cameron Park, California

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 5718L        Make/Model: AA1       Description: AA-1 Trainer, Tr2, T-Cat, Lynx
  Date: 08/10/2012     Time: 2000

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: None

LOCATION
  City: CAMERON PARK   State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, CAMERON PARK, CA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SACRAMENTO, CA  (WP25)                Entry date: 08/13/2012

A 1969 Grumman American AA-1 Yankee aircraft made an emergency landing on La Cienega Way off of La Canada Drive at about 12:40 Friday afternoon.

The pilot, who owns the plane, was flying with his flight instructor when they encountered an engine problem, said CHP Officer I.M. Hoey. The flight instructor took over and landed the plane, which, according to the Federal Aviation Administration Registry, is registered to Arlen G. Butler of Sacramento.

Dave Teter, a spokesmen for Cal Fire, said the flight instructor, Sean Chopelas of Fair Oaks, made a textbook emergency landing.

“He told me he landed it exactly as he was trained to do and how he trained people to do it,” Teter said.

Teter said Chopelas and the pilot were concerned about being an inconvenience to motorists as the small plane blocked the road.

The FAA waited for approval from the National Transportation Safety Board before moving the plane back to the Cameron Park Airport via Oxford Road, Teter said. The NTSB, Teter said, “is calling it an “aircraft incident” rather than an “aircraft accident” because there was no property damage or damage to the plane.”

Beech V35B Bonanza, N11JK: Accident occurred August 11, 2012 in Effingham, South Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA500 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Effingham, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2015
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N11JK
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he was conducting a cross-country instrument flight rules flight, and, during the cruise portion of the flight, he intermittently encountered areas of instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). About 1 hour 50 minutes into the flight, an air traffic controller advised the pilot of an area of moderate-to-extreme precipitation 20 miles ahead, extending along the intended route of flight for 100 miles. Eight minutes later, the pilot contacted an air traffic controller and requested a descent from 12,000 to 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl) “for weather,” but he did not receive a reply to the request, and the airplane continued on-course. After an additional 8 minutes, the pilot reattempted to contact a controller but was interrupted by another pilot, and he again received no response. The pilot attempted to contact a controller a third time and requested a turn to get out of the weather. This time a controller responded and advised the pilot to turn left, but, just as the pilot initiated the left turn, the airplane encountered an area of severe turbulence. The pilot reported that, while in the turbulence, the airplane encountered an updraft that put the airplane in a 4,000 ft per minute climb and that the airspeed reached 253 knots, which exceeded the airplane’s never-exceed airspeed. 

The airplane then encountered a downdraft, which caused the airplane to lose 3,000 ft of altitude, and the primary flight display simultaneously “went black.” When the display returned, it showed a message advising the pilot to “level the wings” while the attitude and heading reference system realigned. The pilot subsequently used the standby instrumentation to control the airplane while he initiated an emergency descent. The airplane exited the turbulence and IMC about 4,000 ft msl, and, shortly thereafter, the propeller separated from the engine. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a cornfield, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The pilot reported that he received a weather briefing before departing on the accident flight. According to audio recordings of the briefing, the weather briefer advised the pilot of the adverse conditions along his route of flight; the pilot replied, “Ok, I guess we’ll deal with that when we get there, if we have to go around it or stop, that’s fine.” An air traffic controller again advised the pilot of the severe weather conditions at least 20 miles ahead of the encounter. It is unlikely that the pilot’s initial unanswered request to descend to 10,000 ft msl would have prevented the weather encounter, and the pilot’s second and third unsuccessful attempts to contact the controller occurred more than 15 minutes after he was first advised of the weather conditions. The pilot was clearly made aware that severe weather conditions existed along his route of flight, but he waited until too far into the flight to try and avoid them, which ultimately led to the flight’s encountering the conditions that resulted in the in-flight loss of control.

The air traffic controller complied with the Federal Aviation Administration’s minimum requirement for “additional services” by providing the hazardous weather information to the pilot when he first checked in, but additional information by the controller would have been valuable. For example, as the flight continued tracking directly into known heavy-to-extreme precipitation that other aircraft were deviating around, the controller should have realized that the pilot was not taking action to avoid the weather and either suggested a deviation or at least updated him about the proximity of the hazardous weather that the airplane was rapidly approaching. Regardless, it was ultimately the pilot’s responsibility to avoid the severe weather. The propeller hub was found detached from the airplane due to a failure caused by reverse bending fatigue of the mounting bolts connecting the hub assembly to the engine crankshaft mounting flange. 

All of the bolts exhibited features consistent with fatigue cracking in a circular direction along the same direction as the wear marks on the hub case aft face. The reverse bending failure of the hub mounting bolts was indicative of a loose connection between the hub and the crankshaft. None of the airplane’s documented maintenance indicated that the propeller hub was removed during the year before the accident. The engine’s fractured connecting rod exhibited a small thumbnail fatigue crack on one side. However, this small amount of fatigue likely occurred after the fatigue cracking had begun on the propeller bolts. Cracking in the propeller bolts would likely have created unbalanced loading in all of the connected components, including the crankshaft and connecting rod. Once the propeller separated from the crankshaft, the crankshaft absorbed the entire load exerted by the engine, and this increased loading likely in turn increased the friction at the contact surfaces beyond the capacity of the lubrication. Without sufficient lubricating capacity at the journals, the material would begin to heat excessively, creating local material deformation. The underlying reasons for the loose connection between the propeller hub and the crankshaft could not be determined, but it is likely that the extreme forces encountered during the flight’s weather-induced upset and loss of control resulted in the ultimate failure of the connecting bolts.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to avoid an encounter with known adverse weather conditions, which resulted in an in-flight upset, temporary loss of control, and loading of the airframe, engine, and propeller that led to the in-flight separation of the propeller and the subsequent forced landing. The root cause for the separation of the propeller could not be determined based on the available information.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 11, 2012, about 1310 eastern daylight time, a Beech V35B, N11JK, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Effingham, South Carolina. The private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight departed Manassas Regional Airport (HEF), Manassas, Virginia at 1052, and was destined for Flagler County Airport (XFL), Palm Coast, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, prior to departing on the accident flight, he used a computer-based application to receive a textual weather briefing, and checked the weather conditions on the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He also contacted Lockheed Martin Flight Services, and after filing his IFR flight plan, briefly discussed weather conditions with the briefer. Review of the archived audio from the contact showed that the pilot was subsequently advised of two current convective SIGMETs, in the vicinities of central South Carolina and northern Florida. The pilot replied that he was aware of the SIGMETs. The briefer further advised that a line of weather was 130 miles west of the destination, and that the flight would likely arrive there before the adverse weather conditions did. The briefer then advised the pilot, "Probably the stuff in South Carolina could be the one that actually impacts your route of flight." The pilot responded, "Ok, I guess we'll deal with that when we get there, if we have to go around it or stop, that's fine." The briefer concluded the exchange, "…that's only about 50 miles off to the west." He then advised that the weather conditions at the destination airport, as well as locations further south, were generally favorable.

The flight departed from HEF about 1052 and proceeded uneventfully until approaching the northern South Carolina border, about 1240. The flight was given a frequency change by air traffic control (ATC), and first attempted to contact Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZJX) at 1243; however, due to frequency congestion at the time, the controller did not hear the transmission. The pilot subsequently checked-in with ZJX, and reported that the airplane was level at 12,000 feet. The controller acknowledged and issued the local altimeter setting as well as an advisory for moderate to extreme precipitation 20 miles ahead extending to the south for 100 miles, which the pilot acknowledged. At 1244, the controller issued a broadcast to all aircraft that stated AIRMET "Tango" for Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and coastal waters was available on HIWAS , flight watch, or flight service frequencies.

At 1252, the pilot requested to descend to 10,000 feet, "for weather". This transmission was not acknowledged by the controller and at 1300:12 the pilot re-attempted contact but was interrupted by another aircraft calling, and again received no response. At 1300:32 the accident pilot called again and requested a turn to get out of the weather. The controller instructed the pilot to deviate left and then proceed direct to CHS VOR, Charleston, South Carolina, when able. At 1302:49, the controller informed the pilot that he thought he would be in the weather for another minute, and the weather would then be clear to Charleston. At 1302:56, the pilot reported that he had encountered heavy turbulence and was unable to maintain altitude. The controller acknowledged, informed the pilot that he was almost out of the weather, and instructed him to continue flying his present heading.

At 1303:56, the accident pilot attempted to contact ZJX and the transmission was cut off by another aircraft calling. The controller then instructed all aircraft to stand by, and instructed the accident pilot to retry his transmission. The accident pilot again reported that he was losing altitude and had also "lost" his attitude and heading reference system (AHRS). The controller then asked the pilot if he could level the airplane and instructed him to fly heading 090. At 1304:56 the controller asked the pilot to verify his altitude, and the pilot responded that he was at 4,000 feet and was underneath the weather. The controller then asked the pilot if he was stabilized and level at 4,000 feet. At 1305:18 the pilot stated he was at 3,000 feet and then his transmission was cut off.

At 1305:29, the controller instructed the pilot to contact Florence Regional Airport (FLO), Florence, South Carolina, approach control and at 1305:35 the pilot responded stating that the airplane had lost engine power. The controller instructed the pilot to make a left turn to heading 360 toward Florence, and the pilot acknowledged. At 1306:03 the controller informed the pilot that FLO was 15 miles from the airplane's position, on an approximate heading of 20 degrees. At 1306:48 the controller informed the pilot about the available landing runways at FLO, along with the current weather conditions. At 1307:51 the controller asked the pilot if he could change radio frequencies or if he would rather remain with him, and the accident pilot responded stating "…let me stay with you, I'm a little busy right now". At 1308:08 the controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway at FLO.

At 1308:51 the pilot stated that he did not think he was going to make the airport, could not see it, and was going to have to land in a field. At 1309:05 the accident pilot stated "Jacksonville, one one juliet kilo can't make the airport" which was the last recorded transmission received from the pilot. At 1312:05 another airplane relayed to ZJX that they were in contact with the accident pilot, and that he was on the ground and they were okay, but that the engine was on fire and they needed fire and rescue to respond.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was manufactured in 1973. It was originally equipped with a Continental Motors IO-520-BA engine. In May 2001 and May 2009 the engine was disassembled, cleaned, and inspected following two separate propeller strike/sudden stoppage incidents. Following the propeller strike event in 2009, an MT Propeller MTV-9-D/210-58, three-blade composite propeller was installed onto the engine. In July 2011, the engine was removed and modified with the installation of a turbo-normalizing system in accordance with Western Skyways STC SA8676SW. Maintenance log entries documenting the modification of the engine also noted the removal and reinstallation of the propeller, and no subsequent entries in any of the maintenance logs documented additional removal or reinstallation of the propeller. An annual inspection of the airframe, engine, and propeller was completed in December 2011, at which time the airframe and engine had accumulated 2,847 total hours of operation, 908 hours of which were accumulated since the engine's last major overhaul in 1987. The airplane's most recent maintenance log entry detailed an engine oil and oil filter change on March 15, 2012, at an airframe total time of 2,878 flight hours.

According to FAA aircraft registration records, the pilot purchased the accident airplane in September 2008. Review of maintenance records showed that in October 2008, the airplane's avionics were reconfigured to include the installation of a Garmin GNS 430W and a Garmin MX-20 MFD at an airframe total time of 2,613 hours. In June 2009, an Aspen Pro 1000 EFIS and a Garmin GDL-90 UAT (ADSB) Data Link Sensor was installed, at an airframe total time of 2,636 hours. In June 2010, the Aspen Pro 1000 EFIS and the Garmin GDL-90 were removed and a Garmin G-500 system was installed, at an airframe total time of 2,701 hours. In September 2010, a Garmin GDL-69 (satellite) Weather Data Link system was installed, at an airframe total time of 2,723 hours. In June 2011, a Garmin GTN-750 navigation/communication/GPS receiver was installed, at an airframe total time of 2,783 hours.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 28, 2010. He reported that at the time of the accident he had accumulated about 800 total hours of flight experience. Additionally, he reported that he had received about 40 hours of dual flight instruction in the accident airplane as required by his insurance carrier, and had since accumulated 150 total hours of flight experience in the airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1400 depicted a stationary front stretched northeastward from central Georgia up the East Coast. A cold front stretched southwestward from central Georgia into Alabama. Several outflow boundaries were located across South Carolina and Georgia; these outflow boundaries, along with the frontal boundaries, acted as lifting mechanisms to help produce clouds and precipitation. The station models around the accident site depicted a southwest to south wind between 5 and 20 knots, partly cloudy skies, and thunderstorms. The low-level environment surrounding the accident site was warm and moist, conducive to the creation of moderately unstable conditions which, when combined with the lifting mechanisms, resulted in clouds, rain showers, and strong thunderstorms.

The Area Forecast issued at 0718 forecasted a broken ceiling at 1,000 feet msl with the cloud tops at 10,000 feet msl. The ceilings were forecast to rise to 3,000 feet msl between 1100 and 1300. Scattered light rain showers and thunderstorms were forecast across central South Carolina with tops to FL380.

Florence Regional Airport was the closest official weather station to the accident site, and had an Automated Surface Observing System whose reports were supplemented by the air traffic control tower. FLO was located 4 miles north of the accident site, at an elevation of 147 feet. The following observations were taken and disseminated during the times surrounding the accident:

FLO weather at 1253 included wind from 220 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 3,400 feet agl, scattered clouds at 11,000 feet agl, temperature of 29 degrees C, dew point temperature of 23 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.92 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, sea-level pressure 1012.9 hPa, temperature 29.4 degrees C, dew point temperature 22.8 degrees C.

FLO weather at 1330 included wind from 220 degrees at 8 knots with gusts to 25 knots, 1 and three-quarter miles visibility, heavy rain and mist, few clouds at 3,300 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 4,900 feet agl, temperature of 22 degrees C, dew point temperature of 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, peak wind from 260 degrees at 33 knots at 1314, rain began 1314, one-hourly precipitation of 0.08 inches.

FLO weather at 1333 included wind from 250 degrees at 4 knots, 2 miles visibility, a thunderstorm and rain, few clouds at 3,400 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 4,900 feet agl, broken skies at 11,000 feet agl, temperature of 22 degrees C, dew point temperature of 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.96 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, peak wind from 260 degrees at 33 knots at 1314, rain began 1314, thunderstorm began at 1333, one-hourly precipitation of 0.09 inches.

The observations from the airports surrounding the accident site at the time of the accident indicated thunderstorms and lightning prevailed. Surface winds at the airports were variable and gusty around the accident time, likely due to the strong winds initiated by the area of thunderstorms.

A North American Mesoscale (NAM) model sounding was generated for the accident site for 1400. The model sounding depicted a moist, conditionally-unstable vertical environment and a freezing level of 14,612 feet. The environment would generally have been supportive of cloud formation, rain showers, and thunderstorms. The sounding identified the possibility of clouds between the surface and 24,000 feet, and indicated the possible presence of clear-air turbulence and low-level wind shear from the surface through 10,000 feet.

Visible data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite number 13 from 1302 and 1315 revealed cumuliform clouds at the accident site with the line of cumuliform clouds moving eastward with time. Inspection of the infrared imagery indicated cooler (higher) clouds tops at and just to the west of the accident site at the accident time. Based on the brightness temperatures above the accident site and the vertical temperature profile provided by the 1400 NAM sounding, the approximate cloud-top heights over the accident site were 35,000 feet at 1315.

The radar summary image from 1315 depicted reflectivity in the vicinity of the accident site with 45 to 55 dBZ values, and indicated the presence of very strong to extreme echoes around the accident time.

The closest NWS Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-88D) was located near Wilmington, North Carolina (LTX), approximately 65 miles east of the accident site at an elevation of 64 feet. The reflectivity image for the 1.3-degree elevation scan initiated at 1301, and the base reflectivity image for the 0.5-degree elevation scans initiated at 1305 and 1310 showed that 50 to 65 dBZ values occurred along the airplane's ATC radar-recorded flight track, indicating that the airplane likely encountered very strong to extreme precipitation. Lightning flash data from 1245 to 1305 was plotted and revealed that lightning encompassed the airplane's flight track, with over 1,800 individual lightning flashes occurring during that period. Given the base reflectivity and lightning data, the airplane likely encountered very strong to extreme precipitation.


Figure 1 - LTX WSR-88D reflectivity for the 1.3 degrees elevation scan initiated at 1301 with lightning flash data from 1245 to 1305
A 3-dimensional view of the LTX WSR-88D base reflectivity for the elevation scans initiated at 1301 and 1305 showed the accident flight encountering greater than 50 dBZ values at both time points. Much like the base reflectivity discussed previously, the flight likely encountered intense to extreme precipitation while flying through a line of thunderstorms.


Figure 2 - 3-dimensional LTX base reflectivity from the scan initiated at 1301 and the ATC Flight Track
SIGMETs 26E and 23E were valid at the accident time along the accident route of flight. These SIGMETs advised of a line of thunderstorms and an area of thunderstorms moving from 250 degrees at 25 knots with tops above FL450. The thunderstorm line was 35 miles wide.

A special weather statement was issued by the NWS in Wilmington, North Carolina, at 1229 for the line of strong thunderstorms the accident aircraft would encounter. These thunderstorms were moving northeastward at 40 mph with pea-sized hail and gusty winds of 40 to 50 mph possible at the surface.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the airplane's propeller was separated from the engine at the propeller flange, and was later recovered about 6 nautical miles southwest of the accident site. The airframe came to rest in a corn field. The right main and nose landing gear had collapsed during the forced landing, and the forward portion of the fuselage and right wing were substantially damaged. The engine was subsequently disassembled and examined. Components from the engine including the crankshaft, as well as the number 4 and 6 connecting rods, and the propeller were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for detailed examination.

According to the Materials Laboratory Factual Report, two of the blades had broken off of the propeller hub assembly, while the third remained attached and intact. The hub spinner shell exhibited a small dent in an area adjacent to the engine, showing cracking in the surface plating on the shell (but not the shell itself). Except for the aft hub section that mated to the crankshaft flange, no other indications of damage were observed externally on the hub assembly. The crankshaft exhibited material deformation and heat tinting on two of the connecting rod journals. A connecting rod had fractured approximately 2.5 inches from the small end with the rod bushing.

The aft side of the propeller hub separated from the forward side of the crankshaft due to the failure of eight hub-mounting bolts. The fractured mounting bolts were labeled 1 through 8. Both the mating faces of aft of the hub and forward flange of the crankshaft showed pairs of hemispherical-shaped wear marks at each bolt hole. The hemispherical marks were 180 degrees from each other at each respective hole, located along a circular path relative to each other. All eight bolts exhibited two thumbnail crack features located 180 degrees from each other, corresponding with the hemispherical wear marks on the hub case aft surface. The thumbnail cracks exhibited crack arrest marks emanating from the surface of the bolts. The regions of the fracture surfaces between the thumbnail cracks were generally rougher and of lower luster than the thumbnail regions. These fracture characteristics were consistent with failure from reverse bending fatigue. In this failure mode, fatigue cracks developed on opposite sides of the part until the cracks penetrated deep enough for the remaining cross-section in between to succumb to overstress. In general, the thumbnail portions of the bolt fracture surfaces were approximately half the bolt cross-sections. Bolt 7 exhibited the deepest fatigue crack penetration in the bolt cross-section.

The hub assembly was disassembled, and none of the internal hub components, including the piston rod, spring, and plastic bushings, exhibited any indications of preexisting damage such as cracking or deformation. The internal parts appeared to be well greased, showing no signs of wear or excessive temperature exposure.

The engine crankshaft number 6 connecting rod bearing journal showed plastic deformation in the form of smearing, batter, and cutting into the surface. Circumferential wear marks were present on the journal. The areas on the journal outside the plastically-deformed center displayed indications of rust-colored oxidation. These features were consistent with high temperature exposure and wear due to interaction with an adjacent component, the connecting rod.

The number 4 piston connecting rod journal surface showed circumferential wear, heat tinting, and oxidation consistent with high temperature exposure. The number 4 piston connecting rod exhibited rust-colored oxidation on the rod cap, I-beam, and rod bolts adjacent to the crankshaft. These features were consistent with high temperature exposure.

The number 6 connecting rod had fractured along the I-beam approximately 2.5 inches from the small end of the rod. Most of the fracture surface exhibited a dark color, with tortuous fracture surface. The fracture surface exhibited indications of heat tinting near one edge. This tinted area showed crack arrest features consistent with a small thumbnail crack. The fracture surface was examined in a scanning electron microscope. While most of the fracture surface had been damaged, isolated areas within the thumbnail region exhibited features consistent with fatigue striations. No indications of other failure modes were found in this area. The fatigue thumbnail region had been oxidized enough to obscure much of the fracture features. All the areas outside of the thumbnail region exhibited dimple rupture features consistent with failure by overstress. Across the entire fracture surface, small lead-based particles were found. These particles were consistent with additives found in leaded aviation fuel.

Electronic Devices

Several components of the airplane's G-500 system were forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for detailed examination. The Garmin G-500 system was comprised of several sub-units, including a Garmin GDU-620, GRS-77, and GIA-63. The GDU-620 was a panel-mounted primary flight/multi-function display (PFD/MFD) utilizing two side-by-side color displays. The PFD function of the unit was designed to display flight performance data such as airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, aircraft attitude, and navigation data. The MFD function of the unit could display data stored on data-cards inserted in the front panel, and from other sources, including custom maps, IFR charts, VFR charts, terrain, traffic information, lighting, and weather radar. The Garmin GRS-77 was an Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS) designed to provide attitude and heading information to Garmin Integrated Flight Decks (G1000, G1000H, G950, G900X, G500, G500H, G600). The GRS-77 employed accelerometers and rate sensors, together with GPS data from the Garmin GIA-63, to compute aircraft heading and attitude, and sends this information to the flight display using an ARINC 429 digital interface. The Garmin GDL-69 was a remote datalink receiver designed to receive and distribute data from an XM WX Satellite Weather subscription to a compatible PFD / MFD.

According to the manufacturer, the GDU-620 unit was a display only, and did not record any information. Upon arrival at the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, an exterior examination revealed the unit had no visible damage. According to the manufacturer, GDU-620, GRS-77, and GIA-64 only recorded internal fault codes. Multiple requests for manufacturer support in downloading and interpreting these fault codes ultimately met with no response.

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments (JPI) EDM-700, a panel mounted instrument that enabled the operator to monitor and record up to 24 parameters related to engine operations. Depending on the installation, engine parameters monitored include: exhaust gas temperature (EGT), cylinder head temperature (CHT), oil pressure and temperature, manifold pressure, outside air temperature, turbine inlet temperature (TIT), engine revolutions per minute, compressor discharge temperature, fuel flow, carburetor temperature, and battery voltage. The unit contained non-volatile memory for data storage of the parameters recorded and calculated. The rate at which the data was stored could be selected by the operator between ranges of 2 to 500 seconds per sample. The memory was able to store up to 20 hours of data at a 6 second sample rate. The data was available for download by the operator using the J.P. Instruments software.

Download of the airplane's EDM-700 showed data applicable to the accident flight that began recording at 1035:43. After 1130:43, all recorded parameters remained fairly steady until about 1258, when engine values began to change. At 1259:53, CHT began to decrease. At 1300:48, EGT decreased rapidly, and TIT began to decrease. Between 1301:30 and 1307:49, EGT values fluctuated. At 1307:49, all recorded values changed from prior trends. The EGT and TIT values began a steady decrease until the end of the recording. The voltage (Batt-1) decreased from a prior steady value of 14.2 Volts to about 11.5 Volts. The oil temperature also increased. The number 6 CHT (CHT-6) value began to report invalid data; the other CHT values began to decrease. Between 1308:25 and 1308:49, the unit did not record any data. When the recording resumed at 1308:49, the number 3 CHT (CHT-3) and number 5 CHT (CHT-5) began reporting invalid data. The recording ended at 1313:38.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Air Traffic Controller Interviews

Each of the four air traffic controllers working the airspace surrounding the accident events was interviewed separately. The Radar Associate Controller (RA) stated that when he assumed his position, the accident pilot already on frequency and recalled that there had been a lot of deviation requests by other aircraft as a result of the weather. He next observed the accident flight had lost approximately 800 feet of altitude and had passed that information along to the Radar Controller (RC) to ensure he was also aware. He said the RC then instructed the Radar Developmental (RD) controller to ask the pilot what his altitude was, and the accident pilot replied that he had encountered heavy turbulence and advised he was unable to maintain altitude. The RA then initiated a "point out" with FLO approach control and advised them that the accident flight was unable to maintain altitude. According to the RA, the FLO approach controller then, after referencing other traffic, approved the point out and stated that the accident flight was radar contact. The RA also stated that he continued to relay the status of the accident flight with FLO throughout the event.

When asked, the RA did not recall seeing the accident flight tracking towards the adverse weather, and did not recall the accident pilot requesting to deviate around weather until he had already encountered the heavy turbulence. He felt that, often, the weather information displayed on the radar display was not accurate, or was very slow to update. When asked to elaborate, he stated that he believed there was a 15 minute delay for Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) data to update on the radar display screen. Because of the delay, he stated it was not common to suggest deviations around weather or to suggest headings without a pilot's request to deviate. He stated that he did not recall the cloud tops at the time, nor did he remember the accident pilot being asked for a pilot report (PIREP). As he recalled, the accident flight was the only low flying aircraft in the sector around the time of the accident. He stated that he did not know what type aircraft the flight was, but assumed it was a single engine prop based on the speed.

The RD controller recalled that upon initial check in, he issued the accident pilot the current weather. He remembered there being heavy precipitation along the west side of the sector. He recalled the accident flight encountering weather and the accident pilot requesting to deviate. He thought he had issued a turn to a heading of 090, at which point the pilot stated he had encountered severe turbulence. He then noticed that the pilot had lost several thousand feet very quickly and the pilot stated he had lost his AHRS. He stated that the RC controller then assumed responsibility of the position and training was discontinued. He recalled the RC controller asked the pilot if he could maintain altitude and it was shortly after that the pilot reported he had lost engine power. He said the RC controller then issued the pilot a heading to FLO, and after the flight had turned toward the airport, the pilot reported that he was not going to reach the airport, and would have to put it down in a field.

The RD controller further stated that there had been airliners diverting around the adverse weather for quite some time. He felt the deviations correlated accurately with the weather being displayed by WARP at the time, but said pilots do not always request to deviate so he generally did not ask pilots if they would like a deviation around weather. He stated that general aviation pilots would routinely fly through weather that was displayed on radar, so he did not find it odd that the accident flight was continuing toward the displayed weather even though airliners were deviating around it. He said that WARP data really "wasn't that great," but that it was better than nothing. He estimated WARP latency to be 5-10 minutes. When asking for updated weather, he stated that he would ask pilots rather than the front line manager since he felt pilots had a better idea of current weather conditions than someone on the ground did.

The RC recalled that when the accident pilot checked in, the RD controller advised the pilot of the precipitation being shown via WARP and also read the current AIRMET to him. The next time the RC recalled hearing from the accident pilot was when he asked for a vector out of the weather. The RD controller instructed the accident pilot to make a left turn and, when able, proceed direct to CHS. The RC then noticed the accident flight had lost altitude and asked the pilot if he was able to maintain his altitude. When the accident pilot advised he was unable to maintain his altitude, he discontinued training on the position and took over for the RD controller. He stated that he then issued the pilot a heading to FLO, and the pilot stated he would not be able to make it to the airport and would be landing in a field.

The RC said it was common for airliners to deviate around weather, but that some typically general aviation pilots would still fly through, so he did not find it unusual that that the accident flight was flying opposite direction of all the deviating airliners. He said that by the time the accident pilot called for a heading to get out of the weather he was already visibly in it according to displayed WARP data. He said he had not heard the accident pilot request a descent to 10,000 feet and if he had, stated he would have approved it. He initially issued a frequency change to the accident pilot once he had reported out of the weather and felt that he was in stabilized flight and FLO had reported that he was visible on radar. He said that due to frequency limitation at low altitude in that area, he felt it would be better to put the pilot in contact with the receiving facility in order to maintain communications with him until landing.

Pilot Interview

During a post-accident interview, the accident pilot stated that the airplane's G-500 received automatic updates from NEXRAD, and that the typical latency was between 1 to 200 minutes. The G-500 indicated the displayed data was three minutes old just prior to entering the thunderstorm. He said he used the Garmin information as a "situational awareness tool." On the MFD (Multi-Function Display) he could access winds aloft and METARS, which he used for flight planning. The aircraft was also equipped with traffic advisories, but he was not monitoring it at the time. The aircraft previously equipped ADS-B, but he generally was not satisfied with the information it provided. He was pleased with the G-500 and felt that the manuals were user friendly and easy to understand. He generally had more confidence in the weather data that ATC had than what was available to him in the aircraft.

Prior to the flight he filed his flight plan online, checked the weather on the NOAA website, and received a weather briefing from the Lockheed Martin Flight Service. He thought he had an hour to make it to his destination before weather moved in and was prepared to divert and wait out the weather if he needed to. He stated that enroute, the 48 knot actual headwinds were much greater than the forecasted headwinds of 25 knots. He had planned a fuel stop at XFL, but did not have an alternate because the weather at his destination did not require one. He had 74 gallons of fuel onboard, which would have given him a five hour range, for the four hour flight.

He said that in general he received good service from ATC in previous trips along the same route of flight, although that was mostly in VFR conditions. He usually requested and received flight following because of all of the warning areas along that route of flight. On the day of the accident his initial attempt to contact ZJX went unanswered; when he called a second time ATC advised him there was light to moderate precipitation 20 miles ahead of him. He did not think that the clouds looked any different than what he had been flying through. As he got closer to the system he was apprehensive about what he saw, but he believed that ATC would continue to advise him of the any adverse conditions, and "wouldn't put me in weather."

The NEXRAD was displaying light precipitation 10 miles from his position. He compared the cloud coverage displayed on his G-500 with what he was seeing out of his window, but not with NEXRAD. He had been in and out of clouds for 20 miles and felt that the clouds in front of him looked benign. He normally stayed 10 miles from NEXRAD weather returns, and he also had lightning advisory capability via his XM weather service subscription, but it was not displaying any lightning at that time. Just prior to entering the clouds, several SIGMETs appeared on the screen, and he was surprised as he had never seen SIGMETs pop up on the G-500 before. The SIGMETs indicated that the cell was moving east towards his projected flight path. He asked ATC for a deviation for weather, but did not get a response.

When he entered the clouds there was light drizzle and smooth air. Shortly after that he experienced heavy precipitation and extreme turbulence. He advised ATC that he needed to deviate; ATC issued him a left turn but did not specify how many degrees to turn. He began the left turn, and then experienced an updraft that put the aircraft in a 4,000-foot per minute climb and the airspeed indicated 253 knots, exceeding the airplane's never exceed speed. He experienced a tumbling backward sensation when he reduced power in an attempt to control the airspeed. He encountered a downdraft and lost 3,000 feet, and simultaneously the G-500 system "went black." When the display returned it displayed a message advising the pilot to "level the wings" while the attitude and heading reference system realigned. The standby attitude indicator also tumbled, and eventually corrected itself. He reported to ATC that he had lost his AHRS, but did not know if they understood what he was stating. The pilot subsequently utilized the standby instrumentation to control the airplane while he initiated an emergency descent.

When he broke out of the clouds at 4,000 feet, he assessed the airplane and attempted to maintain level flight. At 3,500 feet the propeller separated from the engine, and he informed ATC that he had lost engine power and needed to land. ATC gave him a heading towards FLO, but he was unable to make it to the airport and executed an emergency landing in a field five miles south the airport.

When reflecting about the events leading up to the accident, he felt frustrated that ATC issued a left turn without specifying how many degrees. He also felt that generally, general aviation aircraft were sometimes neglected by ATC, and that additional weather training would be beneficial for private pilots.

Federal Aviation Administration Order 7110.65, "Air Traffic Control."

According to the FAA Order 7110.65:

1-1-1 PURPOSE OF THIS ORDER
This order prescribes air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by persons providing air traffic control services. Controllers are required to be familiar with the provisions of this order that pertain to their operational responsibilities and to exercise their best judgment if they encounter situations that are not covered by it.

The FAA addressed the providing of "additional services" within order 7110.65. There was a minimum requirement that a controller must comply with in many situations, and then there was the capability of air traffic control to provide "additional services" when necessary. The 7110.65 stated in part:

2-1-1 ATC SERVICE
The primary purpose of the ATC system is to prevent a collision between aircraft operating in the system and to provide a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of traffic, and to provide support for National Security and Homeland Defense. In addition to its primary function, the ATC system has the capability to provide, with certain limitations, additional services. The ability to provide additional services is limited by many factors, such as the volume of traffic, frequency congestion, quality of radar, controller workload, higher priority duties, and the physical inability to scan and detect those situations that fall in this category. It is recognized that these services cannot be provided in cases in which the provision of services is precluded by the above factors. Consistent with the aforementioned conditions, controllers must provide additional service procedures to the extent permitted by higher priority duties and other circumstances. The provision of additional services is not optional on the part of the controller, but rather is required when the work situation permits.


NTSB Identification: ERA12LA500 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Effingham, SC
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N11JK
Injuries: 2 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.

On August 11, 2012, about 1310 eastern daylight time, a Beech V35B, N11JK, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Effingham, South Carolina. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight departed Manassas Regional Airport (HEF), Manassas, Virginia at 1052, and was destined for Flagler County Airport (XFL), Palm Coast, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that during the cruise portion of the flight he had been intermittently encountering areas of instrument meteorological conditions, and after being advised of an area of precipitation ahead by air traffic control, requested to deviate around the weather. The pilot did not receive a reply to the request and after a second request to deviate, air traffic control advised the pilot to, "turn left." Just as he initiated the left turn, the pilot encountered an area of severe turbulence, and the pilot's primary flight display temporarily "went black." When the display returned it displayed a message advising the pilot to "level the wings" while the attitude and heading reference system realigned. The pilot subsequently utilized the standby instrumentation to control the airplane while he initiated an emergency descent.

The airplane exited the turbulence and instrument meteorological conditions at an altitude of about 4,000 feet msl, and just about that time the pilot heard a "bang." The airplane's windscreen then became obscured with engine oil and the engine lost power. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a corn field below and the airplane incurred substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the airplane's propeller was separated from the engine at the propeller flange, and was later recovered about 6 nautical miles southwest of the accident site.

An examination of the airplane's avionics, engine, and propeller was scheduled for a later date.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 11JK        Make/Model: BE35      Description: 35 Bonanza
  Date: 08/11/2012     Time: 1710

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: EFFINGHAM   State: SC   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD, NEAR EFFINGHAM, SC

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: COLUMBIA, SC  (SO13)                  Entry date: 08/13/2012 









 

 

 

FLORENCE, S.C. -- A single-engine plane with at least two people on board crashed near Poor Farm Road south of Florence Regional Airport Saturday afternoon shortly after 1:15 p.m.

Florence County Emergency Management Agency Director Dusty Owens said everybody on board the plane walked away from the crash and onto Poor Farm Road.

The plane's two passengers are not seriously injured and are assisting Howe Springs firefighters and Florence County Sheriff's deputies locate the plane's wreckage, Owens said.

The pilot and passenger were transported to a Florence medical center for treatment of their non-life threatening injuries, Capt. Mike Nunn, Florence County Sheriff's Office, said.

  Names of those on the plane have not been released.

The plane is a Beechcraft Bonanza that was manufactured in 1973 and was registered to John M. Kennedy of Bandy Run Road in Herndon, Va, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's tail number registration database.

The plane had a valid certificate through 2015.

Air traffic controllers at Florence Regional Airport were notified of a plane that had been damaged by turbulence and may have lost an engine that was 10 miles out and trying to make the airport shortly after 1 p.m.

Shortly after that residents west of US 52 near Old No. 4 Highway reported either a plane crash or falling debris and the tower reported the plane had disappeared from radar three-miles south of the airport.

Units from South Lynches and Howe Springs Fire Departments along with Florence County EMS, Florence County Sheriff's Office and Florence Police Department searched different areas for the crash before an EMS crew located the passengers.

FLORENCE, S.C. -- A single-engine plane with at least two people on board crashed near Poor Farm Road south of Florence Regional Airport Saturday afternoon shortly after 1:15 p.m. 

Florence County Emergency Management Agency Director Dusty Owens said everybody on board the plane walked away from the crash and onto Poor Farm Road.

The plane's two passengers are not seriously injured and are assisting Howe Springs firefighters and Florence County Sheriff's deputies locate the plane's wreckage, Owens said.

Air traffic controllers at Florence Regional Airport were notified of a plane that had been damaged by turbulence and may have lost an engine that was 10 miles out and trying to make the airport shortly after 1 p.m.

Shortly after that residents west of US 52 near Old No. 4 Highway reported either a plane crash or falling debris and the tower reported the plane had disappeared from radar three-miles south of the airport.

Units from South Lynches and Howe Springs Fire Departments along with Florence County EMS, Florence County Sheriff's Office and Florence Police Department searched different areas for the crash before an EMS crew located the passengers.