Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kronk-Wolffe P-51 Mustang replica, VH-FWZ: Probe too expensive for Lockyer Valley pilot Terry Kronk


 
Terry Kronk at the hangar which housed his aircraft. 
Inset: Mr Kronk’s beloved replica P51 Mustang and the crash scene.


As police investigations begin into the plane crash that claimed the life of Lockyer Valley identity Terry Kronk, Australia's peak transport investigation authority says it cannot afford to look into the incident.

An Air Transport Safety Board (ATSB) spokesman said it could only investigate a "finite" number of incidents each year, and it will not be investigating the Helidon crash.

"In this instance, because it is amateur-built, it helped to inform our decision," the spokesman said.

Mr Kronk died when his replica P51 Mustang, classed as an "experimental" aircraft, crashed into the ground soon after take-off.

The Queensland Police Service Forensic Crash Unit is conducting investigations to prepare a report for the coroner on the crash of the experimental Mustang P51 replica, which crashed on take-off from the Emu Gully airstrip at 9.25am on Saturday.

The 52-year-old Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley identity appeared to be attempting to return to the Emu Gully airstrip when a mechanical failure sent the plane plummeting to earth.

Close family friend and spokesman for the Kronk family Mark Freeman paid tribute to his long-time friend and expressed shock at his untimely death. "It was all a huge shock and we are all a bit numb," Mr Freeman said.

"He was passionate about aviation and was a great pilot who loved flying.

"He flew every week."

An Air Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said the ATSB had ruled out any investigations into the accident due to budget constraints.

You can read or contribute tributes to Terry Kronk on the Gatton Star's Facebook page.

A Tribute from a Mate

SATURDAY, November 3, 2012 was a sad day for military re-enactors, military vehicle and war bird restorers/collectors, with the tragic death of Terry Kronk.

Terry was a humble, quietly spoken man dedicated to the restoration of WWII fighter aircraft and armoured vehicles.

He and good mate Barry Rogers instigated the largest military re-enactment and display event Australia has seen, the Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular.

Hundreds of re-enactors from all parts of south east Queensland come to Emu Gully each year to re-create famous battles Australian soldiers fought in, ranging from the light horse charge of Beersheba, WW1, WW2, and Vietnam.

Always the event highlight was Terry in his replica Spitfire and fellow pilot Bryce Wolfe in the FW190 German fighter, performing a well rehearsed dog fight in the sky to the awe of the thousands of spectators on the ground.

He was a perfectionist to the point of having the sound of machine guns firing from the spitfire. Many ex-service men and women would be proud of Terry and Barry's quest to honour the Australians who sacrificed their lives in past conflicts.

Terry's passing leaves you with an empty feeling, but I will remember the memories forever.

Your good mate Russel Tattam. 


Story and photo:  http://www.thechronicle.com.au

Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster, Operating for Baron Aviation, Leased from FedEx, N793FE: Accident occurred November 06, 2012 in Wichita, Kansas

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA049
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2012 in Wichita, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration: N793FE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

According to air traffic control records, the pilot reported that the airplane had experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise climb about 4.5 minutes after the cargo flight’s departure. After the loss of engine power, the pilot reported that his forward visibility was restricted by engine oil on the airplane's windshield. The pilot completed a forced landing to an open field, but the airplane impacted a hedgerow during the landing roll.

A postaccident engine disassembly revealed a failure of the gas generator due to a compressor turbine blade separation. The fractured compressor turbine blade released into the engine gas flow path and subsequently impacted adjacent compressor turbine blades and downstream components, which caused the loss of engine power. A metallurgical examination established that the blade had failed in high-cycle fatigue that originated from the blade trailing edge. However, the root cause of the fatigue could not be determined due to secondary damage sustained to the fracture surface. All other mechanical damage to the engine was consistent with collateral damage sustained subsequent to the release of the compressor turbine blade. Engine oil was observed on the downstream side of the power turbine disk; any engine oil that entered the gas flow path at that location would have been discharged through the exhaust ducts and into the outside airstream, and this was likely the source of the engine oil observed on the exterior of the airframe. Recovered engine parameter data indicated normal engine operation until the sudden loss of power. Additional data analysis did not reveal any abnormal engine parameter trends.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power as a result of a fractured compressor turbine blade due to high-cycle fatigue.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 6, 2012, about 0745 central standard time, a Cessna model 208B airplane, N793FE, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hedgerow during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The loss of engine power occurred about 4-1/2 minutes after departing Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Federal Express Corporation and operated by Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cargo flight that had the intended destination of Garden City Regional Airport (GCK), Garden City, Kansas.

According to air traffic control transmissions, at 0734:35 (hhmm:ss), the pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from ICT to GCK. Radar track data indicated that the airplane departed runway 19R approximately 0737:45. At 0738:18, the tower controller told the pilot to change to the departure control frequency. The departure controller then cleared the flight to proceed direct to GCK and to climb to 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued to climb on a westerly heading until 0742:02, at which time the airplane began a left 180-degree turn back toward the departure airport. According to radar data, the airplane had reached 4,700 ft msl when it began the left turn.

At 0742:13, the pilot transmitted that his airplane had experienced a loss of engine power and that he was attempting to return to the departure airport. At 0742:31, the pilot asked if there were any nearby airports because he was unable to reach ICT. The departure controller provided vectors toward an airstrip that was approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the airplane's position. At 0743:46, the pilot advised that he could not see the airstrip because the airplane's windshield was contaminated with oil. At 0744:57, the pilot's final transmission was that he was landing in a grass field. The airplane was located about 2.2 miles south of ICT at 1,600 feet msl, about 300 feet above ground level (agl) at the time of the last transmission. The radar data continued northeast another 1/2 mile before radar contact was lost at 0745:15.

A witness to the accident reported that he was outside his residence when he observed the accident airplane overfly his position. He recalled that the airplane's propeller was not rotating and that he did not hear the sound of the engine operating. He stated that the airplane landed in a nearby agricultural field on a northeast heading. He reported that during the landing rollout the airplane impacted a hedgerow located at the northern edge of the field. The witness indicated that the pilot was unresponsive when he arrived at the accident site and that there was a small grass fire located 8 to 10 feet in front of the main wreckage.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 52, held a commercial pilot certificate with single and multi-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. His last aviation medical examination was completed on April 2, 2012, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses.

The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using information provided by the operator. The pilot had been employed by the operator, Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, since September 2005. On April 11, 2012, the pilot reported having over 15,000 hours total flight experience, of which about 3,900 hours were accumulated in single engine airplanes and 11,000 hours in multi-engine airplanes. Company flight records indicated that he had flown 361.3 hours during the past year, 198.8 hours during the prior 6 months, 117.3 hours in the previous 3 months, and 30.8 hours in the last 30 days. The pilot had not flown during the 24 hour period before the accident.

According to training records, from August 20, 2012, through August 22, 2012, the pilot attended recurrent training for the Cessna model 208 airplane at FlightSafety International, located in Wichita, Kansas. The recurrent training consisted of 15 hours of ground instruction, 4 hours of simulator training, and 2 hours of flight briefing/debriefing. The pilot's most recent FAA Part 135 Proficiency/Qualification Check for the Cessna model 208B airplane was satisfactorily completed on August 22, 2012, following the recurrent training.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1991 Cessna model 208B airplane, serial number (s/n) 208B0291. The cargo airplane had a maximum takeoff weight of 8,750 pounds and was equipped for operation under instrument flight rules and in known icing conditions.

The accident airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on November 27, 1991. The current FAA registration certificate was issued on January 8, 1992. The airplane was maintained under the provisions of a FAA-approved manufacturer inspection program. The last phase inspection was completed on September 28, 2012, at 10,790.6 hours total airframe time. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane hour meter indicated 10,852.2 hours at the accident site.

The airplane was powered by one Pratt & Whitney model PT6A-114A, s/n PCE-17282, 675 shaft horsepower engine with a three bladed constant-speed McCauley propeller. The gas generator featured a three-stage axial, single-stage centrifugal compressor, a reverse annular-type combustion chamber, and a single stage compressor turbine. A single-stage power turbine drives a reduction gear assembly and power output drive flange.

Maintenance service records established that the engine had accumulated 13,466.6 hours since new (TSN) and 12,499 cycles since new (CSN). The last overhaul was completed by the Pratt & Whitney service facility located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, on April 12, 2001. The engine had accumulated 5,516.1 hours and 4,793 cycles since the last overhaul. The compressor turbine disk and blades were inspected by Pratt & Whitney Engine Services on April 13, 2006, at 4,999 TSN and 5,747 CSN. The last borescope inspection was completed on September 28, 2012, with no defects observed. At the time of the accident, the compressor turbine blades had accumulated 7,880 hours and 8,473 cycles since new.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest weather observing station was located at the departure airport, about 2 miles north of the accident site. At 0753, the ICT automated surface observing system reported the following: wind 200 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 6,500 feet above ground level (agl) and scattered clouds at 11,000 and 20,000 feet agl, temperature 4 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

The accident flight was on an activated instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. A review of available ATC information indicated that the accident flight had received normal air traffic control services and handling. A transcript of the voice communications recorded between the accident flight and air traffic control are included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An on-scene investigation was completed by representatives with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the operator Baron Aviation Services Incorporated. The airplane landed in a recently planted field of winter wheat. The dry agricultural field contained depressions consistent with the spacing of the airplane landing gear. These tire tracks began about 518 feet from the hedgerow located on the northern border of the field. The airplane was found entangled with a large tree that was part of the hedgerow. The right side of the forward fuselage, including the right side of the cockpit, had collided with the trunk of the tree. Both wings were found partially separated from the fuselage. There was engine oil observed on the airframe, including the cockpit windshield, from the nose bowl aft to the empennage surfaces. The observed oil contamination was primarily located on the left side of the airframe. The pilot-side storm window was found open. The wing flaps were fully extended according to a measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew. Flight control cable continuity could not be established for the aileron cable circuit due to damage; however, all observed cable separations were consistent with overstress or were cut to facilitate wreckage recovery. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed to the rudder and elevator cable circuits. The emergency engine power lever was found stowed, the propeller lever was in the feathered position, and the both fuel control valves were in the OFF position. The propeller was found separated from the engine and all three blades were in a feathered position.

The engine remained attached to the airplane by one mount, cabling, and tubing. The engine did not exhibit any signatures of an in-flight fire or uncontained engine failure. Engine control continuity could not be established due to damage; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress. The propeller governor control linkage was in the feathered position. The engine was retained for a teardown examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On November 6, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, located in Wichita, Kansas. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries to the head and torso. The autopsy did not reveal any shoulder or chest abrasions that could be attributed to the pilot wearing shoulder restraints during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The postaccident examination revealed that the cabin volume, on the pilot's side of the cockpit, was not reduced and that there was limited structural displacement. The right side of the cabin had been reduced about 5-inches from the firewall aft to the rear door post and right wing root. The cockpit seats were equipped with four-point restraints. The pilot was located in the left cockpit seat and was found secured by the lap belt only (the available shoulder restraints did not appear to have been used during the accident). The lap belt had been cut by first responders.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A disassembly of the engine revealed a failure of the gas generator due to a compressor turbine blade separation. The remaining compressor turbine blades exhibited features that were consistent with secondary damage following the initial blade separation. The power turbine exhibited significant asymmetrical damage with scoring noted on the No. 3 bearing air seal. The power turbine shaft housing was fractured adjacent to the reduction gearbox mating flange. Engine oil was observed on the downstream side of the power turbine disk. As such, any engine oil that entered the gas flow path at that location would have been discharged through the exhaust ducts. The airframe manufacturer was unable to determine another source for the engine oil that was observed on the exterior of the airframe.

A metallurgical examination of the separated compressor turbine blade revealed fracture features that were consistent with a fatigue failure. The fatigue initiated from the blade trailing edge and progressed along the blade chord-line to approximately mid-chord. The remainder of the blade fracture was consistent with tensile overload. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination revealed oxidation of the fracture surface from exposure to hot gases. Additionally, the fracture surface exhibited striations that further established that the fatigue initiated from the blade trailing edge. The observed damage to the blade trailing edge was consistent with secondary impact damage and was similar to damage observed on several other compressor turbine blades. A 0.060-inch section of the blade trailing edge, which included the fatigue initiation point, was missing due to the secondary impact damage. As such, the root cause of the fatigue initiation could not be determined. However, additional analysis established that the fracture was the result of high-cycle fatigue. Metallographic examination of the trailing edge revealed no material anomalies or defects. There was no evidence of hot corrosion on the compressor turbine blades or disk serrations. Energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analysis confirmed that the chemical composition of the separated blade met the manufacturer's design specifications. Additionally, the airfoil thickness, measured at the beginning of the fracture surface, was within the manufacturer's drawing requirements. An examination of the compressor turbine disk revealed no evidence of damage that would have contributed to a fatigue fracture of the blade.

The accident airplane was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Data Acquisition System Plus (ADAS+) engine monitoring system. The engine monitor, model number EMU-A-010-3, serial number 1766, was shipped to the manufacturer for a non-volatile memory download. The recovered engine parameter data indicated normal engine operation until the sudden loss of power. Additional data analysis did not reveal any abnormal engine parameter trends.


NTSB Identification: CEN13FA049 
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2012 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: Cessna 208B, registration: N793FE
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. 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.

On November 6, 2012, about 0745 central standard time, a Cessna model 208B airplane, N793FE, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hedgerow during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The loss of engine power occurred about 4-1/2 minutes after departing Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (KICT), Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Federal Express Corporation and operated by Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cargo flight that had the intended destination of Garden City Regional Airport (KGCK), Garden City, Kansas.

According to air traffic control transmissions, the pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from KICT to KGCK at 0734:35. Radar track data indicated that the airplane departed runway 19R approximately 0737:45. At 0738:18, the tower controller told the pilot to change to the departure control frequency. The departure controller cleared the flight to proceed direct to KGCK and to climb to 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued to climb on a westerly heading until 0742:02, at which time the airplane began a left 180-degree turn back toward the departure airport. At 0742:13, the pilot transmitted that his airplane had experienced a loss of engine power and that he was attempting to return to the departure airport. At 0742:30, the pilot asked if there were any nearby airports because he was unable to reach KICT. The departure controller provided vectors toward an airstrip that was approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the airplane’s position. At 0743:46, the pilot advised that he could not see the airstrip because the airplane’s windshield was contaminated with oil. At 0744:57, the pilot transmitted that he was landing in a grass field. During the pilot’s last voice transmission, the airplane was located about 2.2 miles south of KICT at 1,600 feet msl, about 300 feet above ground level (agl). The radar data continued northeast another 1/2 mile before radar contact was lost at 0745:16.

A witness to the accident reported that he outside his residence when he observed the accident airplane overfly his position. He recalled that the airplane’s propeller was not rotating and that there was no engine noise. He stated that the airplane landed in a nearby agricultural field on a northeast heading. He reported that during the landing rollout the airplane impacted a hedgerow located at the northern edge of the field. The witness indicated that the pilot was unresponsive when he arrived at the accident site and that there was a small grass fire located 8 to 10 feet in front of the main wreckage.

The closest weather observing station was located at the departure airport, about 2 miles north of the accident site. At 0753, the KICT automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 200 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 6,500 feet above ground level (agl) and scattered clouds at 11,000 and 20,000 feet agl, temperature 04 degrees Celsius, dew point 02 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 30.08 inches of mercury.

An on-scene investigation was completed by representatives with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the operator Baron Aviation Services Incorporated. The airplane landed in a recently planted field of winter wheat. The dry agricultural field contained depressions consistent with the tire width of the accident airplane. These tire tracks began about 518 feet from the hedgerow located on the field’s northern border. The airplane was found comingled with a large tree that was part of the hedgerow. The right side of the forward fuselage, including the cockpit, had collided with the trunk of the tree. Both wings were found partially separated from the fuselage. There was engine oil observed on the airframe, including the cockpit windshield, from the nose bowl aft to the empennage surfaces. The observed oil contamination was primarily located on the left side of the airframe. The pilot-side storm window was found open. The wing flaps were fully extended according to a measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew. Flight control cable continuity could not be established for the aileron cable circuit due to damage; however, all observed cable separations were consistent with overload or were cut to facilitate wreckage recovery. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed to the rudder and elevator cable circuits. The emergency engine power lever was found stowed, the propeller lever was in the feathered position, and the both fuel control valves were in the OFF position. The engine was removed from the airframe for a teardown examination. The engine examination revealed a failure of the engine gas generator initiating from a compressor turbine blade separation. The compressor turbine wheel, power turbine shaft housing, and oil-cooler/heat-exchanger were retained for additional metallurgical examination. The engine monitoring system device was retained for a non-volatile memory download.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 793FE        Make/Model: C208      Description: 208 Caravan 1, (Super)Cargomaster, Grand
  Date: 11/06/2012     Time: 1345

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: WICHITA   State: KS   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N793FE CESSNA 208B FEDEX FLIGHT BVN8588 CRASHED IN A FIELD SHORT OF THE 
  AIRPORT, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, NEAR WICHITA, KS

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     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: Business      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: WICHITA, KS  (CE07)                   Entry date: 11/07/2012 




A FedEx pilot is dead after a plane crash south of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.  The Sedgwick County sheriff's department identified the pilot as 52-year-old Brian P Quinn of Lawrence. He was the only person aboard the Cessna Caravan.

Around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, an eyewitness saw the single engine plane flying about 200-300 feet off the ground with a stalled propeller.  Seconds later, it landed in an open field near 47th Street south between Tyler & Maize Road.

"I just hauled down there to see if I could help him.  But I don’t think I could have helped him," said eyewitness Ricky Thome.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says the FedEx plane was experiencing mechanical trouble and was in communication with the airport shortly after take-off.

The pilot was planning to turn around and return to Mid-Continent but didn't make it.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, Tulip City Air Services, N8405E: Fatal accident occurred January 17, 2010 in Holland, Michigan

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: CEN10FA101 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 17, 2010 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N8405E
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The pilot rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to friends and had fueled it to capacity. He told a lineman that he planned to takeoff and, if necessary, would file an instrument-flight-rules flight plan and return to the airport. Witnesses saw the airplane take off and disappear into the overcast. Shortly thereafter, they heard an airplane make four passes over the airport. The sound became progressively louder but they could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, the airplane was seen approximately 50 feet above the ground and it barely cleared a stand of trees. Recorded ATC transscripts revealed that the pilot contacted approach control and told the controller that he was caught in heavy fog and wanted vectors back to the airport. The airplane crashed shortly thereafter in a snow-covered field.

An examination of the airplane showed impact damage consistent with having descended to the ground in an uncontrolled spin. An examination of the airplane's systems showed no anomalies.

Although the pilot was instrument rated, he had not flown with instruments since receiving his rating 2 years ago. He had logged 1.8 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 50.8 in simulated IMC, and 6.7 hours in a flight simulator. Ceiling and visibility at the time of the accident was below landing minimums and was recorded as 200 feet overcast and 3/4-mile in mist. The RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart was found on the pilot’s lap. Although the airplane was IFR certified, it was not RNAV or GPS equipped. Toxicology results indicated the presence of propoxyphene, a prescription narcotic medication. The concentration present was consistent with use at a time outside of 24 hours prior to the accident and would not have caused impairment. Cellular telephone records showed that the pilot had engaged in calls and text message conversations with the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M. the night before the accident, the pilot received or made calls or text messages every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. In one conversation, the passenger told the pilot that he would be in good flying shape for the next day, and the pilot replied that he needed to get 4 hours of rest before he flew. The final outgoing call to the passenger was placed at 7:59 A.M. on the day of the accident.

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

The pilot's decision to take off in known instrument meteorological conditions without instrument currency or recent instrument experience, which led to spatial disorientation resulting in an inadvertent spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of adequate rest prior to the flight.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 17, 2010, at 1004 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N8405E, registered to and operated by Tulip Air Service and piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed when it impacted snow-covered terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Holland, Michigan. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot and passenger on board the airplane were fatally injured. The local flight originated from the Tulip City Airport, Holland, Michigan, approximately 0945.

According to the operator, the pilot had rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to his friends. He and his first passenger arrived at the airport approximately 0800. After checking his file, the front office worker gave the pilot the airplane’s keys. Due to the poor weather conditions, the pilot postponed the flight. While he gave his passenger a tour of the facilities, he had the airplane fueled to capacity. As the lineman fueled the airplane, the pilot told him that he planned to take off and, if necessary, he would file an IFR flight plan with Muskegon Approach Control and return to the airport. He then preflighted the airplane.

Approximately 0945, the lineman and the front office worker saw the airplane take off on runway 08 and disappear into the overcast. The front office worker said he was “very concerned” that they took off without filing an instrument flight plan or receiving an instrument clearance. Shortly thereafter, the lineman heard an airplane make five passes over the airport. The first two passes were in a north-south direction and the sound got progressively louder, but he could not see the airplane. On the third pass, he could not determine the direction of flight. The fourth pass was in an east-west direction and he still could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, he saw the airplane flying from east to west approximately 50 feet above the ground and it “barely cleared the trees.” He then heard the pilot call Muskegon Approach Control.

According to the transcript of radio communications, the pilot contacted Muskegon Approach Control at 1000:22 and told the controller that he was “caught in some fog” and wanted “vectors to runway 8 for Tulip City.” When the controller asked the pilot if he was IFR, the pilot replied that he wanted to “file a quick IFR into Tulip City.” Believing the pilot was on the ground there followed a discussion on what frequencies to contact FSS. At 1003:43, when the controller asked the pilot if he wanted to file a flight plan, the pilot replied, “Caught in some heavy fog and would just like vectors to Tulip City Airport.” Asked if he was VFR, the pilot replied that he “was VFR, and now have to go in for an emergency.” The controller assigned him a transponder code of 0-4-3-0, but the pilot never acknowledged, and there were no further communications. The last radar contact position for the airplane placed it 4 miles south of Tulip City at 1,500 feet agl (above ground level). Shortly thereafter, and ELT (emergency locater transmitter) beacon was detected. Authorities were notified and the wreckage was located approximately 1130.

PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION

The pilot was a 23-year-old foreign exchange student from Nairobi, Kenya, and was a sophomore at nearby Hope College in Holland. He held a U. S. commercial pilot certificate, dated November 13, 2007. In addition to his airplane single engine land rating, he also held an airplane multi engine land rating, dated December 6, 2007, and an instrument airplane rating, dated August 23, 2007. His second class airman medical, dated October 24, 2006, contained no restrictions or limitations.
His logbook contained entries from October 26, 2006, to December 22, 2009. As of the last entry in the logbook, the pilot had accumulated the following flight times (in hours):

Total time: 321.5
Single engine: 306.1
Multi engine: 15.3
Pilot-in-command: 273.1
Dual instruction: 151.1
Solo: 97.3
Cross-country: 135.1
Actual instrument: 1.8
Simulated instrument: 50.8
Night: 16.7

The pilot’s flight time was accrued in the following airplane types (in hours):

Cessna 172: 189.4
Cessna 172RG: 24.9
Cessna 152: 83.9
Cessna 152TW: 7.2
Cessna 205: 1.2
Cessna 550: 8.0
Beech A36: 1.5
Piper PA-20: 1.7
Piper PA-23: 7.3
ATC610 Simulator: 6.7

The last entry in his logbook was dated December 22, 2009, when he took his flight review. It was for one hour and was done in the accident airplane. The last time he logged an instrument flight was on April 8, 2008. It was for 1.0 hours and was done in actual IMC.

The passenger was a 20-year old junior and political science major at Hope College.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, a Cessna Aircraft Corporation model 172N, serial number 17272195, was manufactured in 1979. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine (serial number RL-3557-76T), rated at 160 horsepower, driving a McCauley all-metal 2 bladed, fixed-pitch propeller (model number 1C160/DTM7557), serial number 235928).

According to the maintenance records, the last annual inspection of the airframe and engine was done on November 6, 2009, at a tachometer time of 805.7 hours. At that time, the airframe and engine had accumulated 7,337.4 total hours. The engine was last overhauled on December 8, 2008, at a tachometer time of 471.7 hours. At the time of the last inspection, the engine had accrued 334 hours since major overhaul. The ELT battery was replaced on January 26, 2009. The altimeter, encoder, and pitot-static system were certified for IFR on March 31, 2008.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The following Automated Surface Observing Station (ASOS) observations were recorded at Tulip City Airport (KBIV) approximately the time of takeoff and the time of the accident:

Takeoff: Wind calm; visibility 1/2 statute mile, freezing fog; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees Centigrade (C); dew point -5 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Accident: Wind calm; visibility 3/4 statute mile, mist; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees C; dew point – 4 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Weather conditions remained below VMC and landing minimums for the various instrument approach procedures available from early morning to early afternoon (see “Weather Reports and Records,” EXHIBITS).

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

There were no known difficulties with navigational aids.

COMMUNICATIONS

There were no communications difficulties.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Tulip City Airport (KBIV), situated at an elevation of 687 feet msl, is located 2 miles south of Holland, Michigan at N42-44.59 and W086-06.30. An ASOS is located on the field, and Tulip City Air Service, Incorporated, the sole fixed base operator, offers computerized weather services. The nearest Flight Service Station is in Lansing, Michigan, and Muskegon Approach Control handles all IFR arrivals and departures.

The airport has a rotating beacon and is served by a single runway, 08-26 (6,001 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). There are four published instrument approaches to the airport. The runway is equipped with high intensity runway lights (HIRL), and both runway ends have runway end identification lights (REIL). Only runway 26 is equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system (MALSR) with runway alignment indicator lights.

According to Tulip City Airport officials, all landing approach aids and lights were functioning at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The on-scene investigation was conducted on January 18, 2010. The accident site was located in a corn and soybean field, located one mile northwest of the intersection formed by 58th Street and 136th Avenue in Manlius Township, and about 4 miles south of the Tulip City Airport. The geographic coordinates were N42-40.541 and W086-07.536, and the accident site elevation was 745 feet msl.

Ground scars were consistent with the airplane impacting the ground in a right wing down, nose low attitude. The initial impact point contained red lens fragments, identified as being the right position light. The first scar led to a large ground depression. The wreckage path curved slightly to the right on an average magnetic heading of 250 degrees, and was 225 feet in length. Strewn along the path were the propeller, the nose and right main landing gear, engine oil filter, firewall fuel strainer bowl, and various wing, fuselage and engine cowling fragments.

All major airframe components were located and identified. Both wings were torn off and the fuel tanks were compromised. The distorted primary flight control surfaces remained attached to the structure. Flight control continuity was established. Flap position was not determined although the control handle was in the UP position. The elevator trim jackscrew measures 1.5-inches extension which, according to the airframe manufacturer equated to a 10-degree tab UP setting. The altimeter was set to 29.98 inches of Mercury, but the needles were missing. The transponder code was set to 1200. The vertical speed indicator showed a 1,850 feet-per-minute climb, and the tachometer indication was just below 3,000 RPM. The hour recorder read 846.8. The Hobbs meter was not located. The throttle, mixture control, and carburetor heat controls were full forward, and the magneto switch was on.

The left cabin door and baggage door remained partially attached to the bent structure. Only the right cabin door separated from the airplane. The front seats and seat rails were broken out and fragmented. According to rescue personnel, both occupants were wearing their seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The restraint systems, with exception of the pilot’s shoulder harness, had been cut by rescue personnel to extract the occupants.

Power train drive continuity was established at the scene. The crankshaft was hand rotated and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. The fuel strainer screen was screen. The propeller was broken off torsionally at the mounting flange. The cambered surfaces were polished and the blades were bent in an S-shape.

First responders reported observing no ice on the airframe when they arrived on scene.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on the pilot and passenger by the Sparrow Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Lansing, Michigan. Both deaths were attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicology screens were performed by Sparrow and FAA’s Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to the CAMI report, no cyanide, carbon monoxide, or ethanol were detected in either the pilot or passenger. Norpropoxyphene (0.101 ug/ml, ug) was detected in the pilot’s urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The handling of the accident airplane by air traffic control prompted a special investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Operational Factors Division (AS-30). Their report is attached as an exhibit to this report.

Radar data was examined by the NTSB AS-30. They reported that although two radar “hits” were made by an unidentified airplane, the data was inconclusive and revealed nothing of significance.

During the on-scene investigation, a cellular telephone was heard ringing from within the wreckage. It was located and sent to the service provider, Verizon Incorporated. They reported that the telephone had not been in use at the time of the accident. An examination of the call records indicated that the pilot had sent text messages to the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M., the night prior, the pilot received or made calls or sent text messages, every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. on the day of the accident. In his communications, the pilot told the passenger about some friends that were going out that evening. The passenger responded back, expressing concern that the pilot be in good flying shape for the next day. The pilot replied that he needed to get four hours of rest before he flew, otherwise he’d be grumpy. The passenger said she wouldn’t want that. The final outgoing call was placed by the pilot to the passenger, on the day of the accident, at 7:59 A.M.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) arrived at the scene on the afternoon following the accident. They reported finding a KBIV RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart on the pilot’s lap. The airplane was not RNAV (area navigation) or GPS (Global Positioning System) equipped and only had VOR/ILS (Very high Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range/Instrument landing system) and ADF (automatic Direction Finder) equipment installed. Also on the pilot’s lap was a sheet of paper containing the notations 126.25, 123.05, 128.5, and 310.

According to the FAA inspectors, when the pilot took his flight review on December 22, 2009, he told the instructor that he was not current. The FAA inspectors also determined that at the time of the accident, the pilot was not instrument current as required by Title 14 CFR Part 61.57, and had not been current for the previous two years.



 
Emma Biagioni 
(Photo courtesy Hope College)


 
David Otai, who was flying the plane that crashed Sunday Jan. 17, 2010


Lawsuit in Hope co-ed plane crash death

Emma Biagioni, David Otai killed in 2010 crash

Updated: Monday, 05 Nov 2012, 6:22 PM EST
Published : Monday, 05 Nov 2012, 4:51 PM EST

 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The father of a Hope College student who died in a 2010 plane crash is now suing the federal government, claiming negligence by the Federal Aviation Administration and its employees led to the death of his daughter.

Emma Biagioni of St. Charles, Illinois died in the Jan. 17, 2010 crash. The plane was piloted by classmate David Otai of Nairobi, Kenya.

In the lawsuit, Biagioni's father Peter states Otai called Muskegon Flight Command after getting lost in fog. The first call was not answered because, according to the lawsuit, the controller was away from her duty station.

Otai tried again 30 seconds later and received a response from the controller, at which point the suit says Otai asked for vectors to Runway 8 at Tulip City Airport.

The suit claims the controller didn't understand the request, and instead gave Otai a radio frequency to reach Tulip City Airport. However, the frequency given was wrong. After that frequency failed, Otai asked again and was given a second frequency, which was also wrong.

The suit claims when Otai contacted Flight Control a third time, he was given a frequency for Lansing so he could file a flight plan. Otai reiterated that he was caught in fog and wanted radar vectors to Tulip City Airport.

Otai then declared an emergency and lost contact with Muskegon Flight Control just after 10:04 a.m.


In the recently-filed federal lawsuit, Biagioni's estate claims the FAA air traffic controllers were negligent in their duties in responding to Otai's requests. The suit claims had the controllers responded appropriately, then Otai would have been able to find the runway and land.

The lawsuit accuses the FAA of negligence and gross negligence resulting in wrongful death. The suit seeks financial damages.

The NTSB investigation of the crash found a number of pilot errors, including possible fatigue and a lack of updated certifications. 


Story, photos and comments:  http://www.woodtv.com

Pilot accused of stealing car near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Washington

An airline pilot accused of stealing a man's rental car during a bizarre encounter has been arrested.

The 43-year-old pilot from charter airline Omni Air was arrested Saturday night for investigation of vehicle theft and DUI, King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West said Monday.

A Bainbridge, Wash., man told police he got into his rental car at a hotel near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and a stranger climbed into the back seat. When the victim asked the stranger what he was doing in the car, the man replied, "You know, you know," West said.

The victim pointed a handgun at the intruder and told him to get out, officials said. After a scuffle in which the man struck the intruder several times with the handgun, West said the man got out and the intruder chased him around the car.

The intruder then jumped into the driver's seat and drove off, she said. Officers found the car and a bloody man in a nearby parking lot.

Jeff Crippen, president and CEO of Omni Air, told The Seattle Times he didn't have the full report but planned a thorough investigation. The name of the pilot was not released.

"We want to emphasize that the crewmember was off duty at the time of the incident and was not scheduled to report for duty for 12 hours," airline communications director Jeff Staton told the Associated Press by email. "The crewmember is currently on suspension while the facts are being investigated."

The pilot, from Tulsa, Okla., had been scheduled to fly to Tokyo on Sunday morning, West said. The flight was delayed 24 hours and took off Monday morning for Japan, said airport spokesman Perry Cooper.

Omni Air's Staton confirmed that a replacement crewmember handled the delayed flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating.