Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Diamond DA 20-C1 Eclipse, Best In Flight, N176MA: Accident occurred May 31, 2013 in Linden, New Jersey

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA259
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Linden, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2015
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 20-C1, registration: N176MA
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 flight instructor was conducting an introductory flight for the passenger. Witnesses reported observing the airplane lift off about two-thirds down the 4,140-ft-long, asphalt runway and then struggle to gain altitude. The passenger reported that, after takeoff, the flight instructor told him that the engine was not “making power.” The flight instructor declared an emergency and was returning to the departure airport when the airplane stalled and impacted the ground about 1/2 mile northwest of the airport. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation.

Weight and balance calculations revealed that the airplane was likely at or above its maximum allowable takeoff weight during the accident flight. Further, the temperature about the time of the accident was about 94 degrees F, and the estimated density altitude at the airport was about 2,200 ft mean sea level. Based on these conditions, if the engine had been operating perfectly, its available power production would have been between about 81 and 85 percent. Therefore, it is likely that these conditions, in combination with the airplane being near or slightly above its maximum allowable weight, reduced the airplane’s climb performance and that, while attempting to return to the airport, the pilot failed to maintain adequate airspeed and flew the airplane beyond its critical angle-of-attack, which led to an aerodynamic stall. 

The flight instructor was ejected from the airplane during the impact after the right seatbelt quick release hook separated from its fuselage anchor. Examination of the quick release hook revealed that it was bent out of the plane of the attachment and twisted. In addition, the hook closure latch was also distorted and deformed. The combined deformations of the hook and latch allowed the hook to disengage. Although it is possible that the deformation occurred during the accident impact, it is more likely that preexisting deformation was present. The airplane had been operated for about 38 hours since its most recent 100-hour/annual inspection, which was performed about 3 weeks before the accident. A condition inspection of the restraint system was required to be performed during this inspection; however, no record was found indicating whether the condition inspection was performed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor's inadequate preflight planning and his decision to take off with the airplane at a high gross weight in high temperature conditions that degraded the engine’s available power and his subsequent failure to maintain airspeed while attempting to return to the departure airport, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.


**This report was modified on May 18, 2015. Please see the public docket for this accident to view the original report.**

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 31, 2013, about 1310 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc., DA20-C1, N176MA, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground, shortly after takeoff from the Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey. The flight instructor was fatally injured and a passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local introductory instructional flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by a limited liability company, and operated by Best-in-Flight, a flight school based at LDJ.

A witness at LDJ reported that the airplane departed from runway 27, a 4,140-foot-long, asphalt runway. The airplane's takeoff roll was longer than other DA-20s he was use to observing and it "struggled" to break ground and gain altitude. The airplane made a right turn at an estimated altitude of between 125 to 150 feet above the ground, and immediately started to lose altitude. It descended behind a building and he heard the pilot radio "mayday" over the airport's common traffic advisory frequency, stating "plane going down." He was then informed by the pilot of another airplane that the airplane had crashed. He further stated that while he could not hear the airplane's engine noise clearly because of a nearby highway, the engine noise was constant and he did not hear any power interruptions until after the impact.

Another witness, the pilot of a Mooney M20K, was holding on the runway when he observed the accident airplane lift off about two-thirds down the runway. The airplane's attitude was flat and it did not seem to be climbing. He began his takeoff roll shortly thereafter and while on the upwind climb, he noted the accident airplane was below his altitude, heading northwest on a 45-degree angle from the runway about 200 to 300 feet above the ground. He heard the accident pilot transmit "mayday-mayday-mayday" and announce either "engine trouble" or "engine out." He then heard the pilot say "turning back to the airport." He immediately thought to himself that the airplane was too low to try to turn back to the airport and that the pilot should have continued straight and attempted to land in one of the surrounding factory lots. He next observed the airplane heading back toward the airport. The airplane was in a nose high pitch attitude, when it "stalled." The right wing dipped, the airplane descended, spun a quarter-turn and impacted railroad tracks.

During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the passenger reported that the flight instructor told him that he had his feet on the brakes during the takeoff roll, and to place his feet flat on the floor, which he did. After takeoff, the flight instructor told him that the engine "wasn't making power." The flight instructor called "mayday" and was trying to return to the airport when the airplane suddenly impacted the ground.

Radar data provided by the FAA for the Newark Liberty International Airport, which was located about 5 miles northeast of the accident site revealed the accident airplane departed runway 27, and made a right turn to the north before radar contact was lost about 1 minute after takeoff. The target identified as the accident airplane did not climb above an altitude of 200 feet.

The airplane struck and came to rest on abandoned railroad tracks on the site of a former automotive factory about a 1/2-mile northwest of LDJ. The site contained several deteriorated asphalt parking lots adjacent to the south-southwest side of the railroad tracks.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The flight instructor, age 58, held a commercial pilot and a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on August 6, 2012.

According to the owner of the flight school, the flight instructor was hired during February 2011 and maintained a fulltime schedule as bookings permitted. The flight instructor's total flight experience at the time of the accident was about 4,400 hours, which included about 640 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight school reported that the flight instructor had accumulated about 200 and 45 hours of total flight experience, which included about 160 and 35 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane, during the 90 and 30 days that preceded the accident; respectively.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear, airplane, serial number C0345, was manufactured in 2005 and primarily constructed of carbon and glass fiber reinforced polymer. It was powered by a Continental Motors Inc. IO-240-B, 125-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-bladed Sensenich wooden propeller. The airplane was certified in the utility category by Transport Canada in accordance with Canadian Airworthiness Manual Chapter 523-VLA.

Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane had been operated for about 1,985 hours since new, and 38 hours since its most recent "100hr/annual" inspection, which was performed on May 10, 2013. At the time of the accident, the engine had been operated for about 2,180 total hours. It was noted that the engine was disassembled, inspected, and repaired for a sudden stoppage during May 2008.

According to the airplane flight manual, the airplane's total fuel capacity was 24.5 gallons. According to the owner of the airplane and flight school, the airplane was "topped-off" with fuel the night before and was flown without incident for 2.6 hours prior to the accident. The airplane consumed between 4.5 and 6.0 gallons per hour (gph); however, he noted that consumption was generally "closer to 4.5 gallons" during flight school operations.

The owner further reported that performing a weight and balance calculation was part of the preflight checklist and that weight and balance forms for the airplane were available on tables in the flight school; however, flight instructors would normally ask passengers their weight and perform the weight and balance calculation mentally.

A weight and balance calculation for the accident flight was performed utilizing an airplane weight and balance form specific to the accident airplane that was available at the flight school. Based on the passenger's reported weight of 290 pounds and the flight instructor's weight during his most recent FAA medical certificate of 235 pounds, the airplane was estimated to be about 30 pounds above its maximum takeoff weight of 1,764 pounds. The airplane's center of gravity was within limits.

When asked if he would fly with a passenger that weighed about 290 pounds, the owner stated that he would not, and would use the opportunity to convince the passenger to fly in the DA-40, which was equipped with a 180-horsepower engine.

The owner felt that the accident airplane was "overpowered" with its 125 horsepower engine. He also stated that he was aware that it was "very hot" at the time of the accident and if the reported temperature at the airport was 93 degrees Fahrenheit (about 34 degrees C), it was likely over 100 degrees F on most of the airport property.

Both cockpit seats were equipped with a four-point safety belt. Each seat was equipped with two inertia reels that were secured to the aft bulkhead for shoulder restraint. The lap belts were connected via a quick release/spring loaded clip-type fitting which hooked to an attach point that was embedded in the floor of the fuselage on their respective outboard sides, and to a center tunnel attach point on their respective inboard sides. Each quick release was secured with a cotter pin. According to a representative of the aircraft manufacturer, at that time of certification, the airplane's seat and seat belt attachments were designed for a 9g forward, 1.5g sideward load, and a 190 pound occupant.

The aircraft maintenance manual, maintenance practices 100 hour inspection checklist requirements included "…Examine the safety belts for general condition and security of the metal fitting in the surrounding composite…."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at LDJ, which was at an elevation of 22 feet mean sea level, at 1315, was: wind 220 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky clear, temperature 34 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 16 degrees C; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury.

The estimated density altitude at LDJ at the time of the accident was about 2,200 feet mean sea level.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airplane was found upright, with the nose down about 45 degrees. The right wing was displaced aft and folded underneath the fuselage. The empennage was separated about 4 feet forward of the rudder and was resting partially on the ground.

Examination of the ailerons, elevator, and rudder control systems did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The flap actuator was found in the takeoff position, and the elevator trim actuator was found in the neutral/takeoff position. An undetermined amount of fuel had leaked on the ground and additional fuel was observed leaking from an area around the engine driven fuel pump, which was separated and impact damaged. Fuel samples obtained from the gascolater and fuel tank sump were absent of contamination. The fuel shutoff valve was in the OPEN position. The mixture control linkage was continuous from the engine to the cockpit. The throttle control linkage was connected at the engine; however, the rod end at the cockpit was impact damaged, bent, and broken.

The engine sustained significant impact damage and remained attached to the airframe primarily by linkages to the throttle quadrant. The lower front portion of the crankcase was fractured consistent with impact with the ground. All of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. The right magneto remained attached. The left magneto was separated and remained attached to the engine via ignition leads. The top spark plugs were removed and exhibited normal operating signatures in accordance with a Champion aviation check-a-plug comparison chart. Their electrodes were intact and dark gray in color. The fuel pump drive coupling was intact and the drive shaft rotated freely when turned by hand. All cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope. The cylinder bores were free of scoring and no evidence of hard particle passage was observed in the cylinder bore ring travel area. Suction and compression were obtained on all cylinders at the top spark plug holes when the crankshaft was rotated by hand at the crankshaft flange.

The propeller hub remained attached to the engine. One propeller blade was fractured at the hub, and the second propeller blade was separated about 2 feet outboard of the hub. Several small propeller blade fragments were observed scattered around the accident site.

Subsequent disassembly of the engine, which included bench testing of both magnetos, the fuel pump, throttle body, manifold valve and fuel nozzles did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation.

The left and right seatpans were attached to the aft cockpit bulkhead wall with seven screws (five along the top of the seatpan, and two screws on the bottom forward edge of the seatpan). The left seatpan contained a fracture on the bottom of the pan under a leather insert, a fracture in the middle of the seatpan, and a crushing damage on the inboard edge of the seatpan. The right seatpan contained a fracture along its outboard edge and a section of separated composite material near the inboard forward corner. The left seat restraint system remained intact. The right seat outboard lap belt was found disconnected from its attach point. The quick release hook was distorted and the cotter pin remained installed. [Additional information can be found in the Survival Factors Factual Report located in the public docket.]

The complete right seat restraint system and portions of the left seat restraint system were subsequently removed and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

First responders reported that the flight instructor, who was seated in the right seat, was ejected from the airplane. He was located next to the wreckage and was unresponsive.

An autopsy was subsequently performed on the flight instructor by the Union County Medical Examiner's Office, Westfield, New Jersey. The autopsy report revealed the cause of death as "blunt impact injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with no anomalies noted.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Examination of the occupant restraint system performed by an NTSB metallurgist revealed the left seat quick release hook was intact and not deformed. The right seat quick release hook was bent out of the plane of the attachment and twisted. In addition, the hook closure latch was also distorted and deformed. The combined deformations of the hook and latch were such that the spring closure on the latch did not function and the throat of the hook was open, which would allow the hook to engage or disengage on the anchor with the properly installed cotter pin in-place. [Additional information can be found in the Materials Laboratory Factual Report located in the public docket.]

A representative from Diamond Aircraft calculated the available engine power during the accident flight based on the airport elevation and the outside air temperature, using flight test data to determine target manifold pressures and the average full power engine RPM. At an RPM of 2,500, and manifold pressures of 27 and 28 inches of mercury, chart brake horsepower was 101.4 (approximately 81 percent power being produced) and 105.9 (approximately 84.7 percent power being produced); respectively. The calculations represented a perfect operating engine and did not take into account engine wear, cylinder compression losses, and fuel system setup conditions.


  http://registry.faa.gov/N176MA 

http://www.bestinflight.net

http://www.bestinflight.net/#

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA259 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Linden, NJ
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 20-C1, registration: N176MA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 May 31, 2013, about 1310 eastern daylight time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc., DA20-C1, N176MA, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground, shortly after takeoff from the Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey. The flight instructor was fatally injured and a passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local introductory instructional flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by a limited liability company, and operated by Best-in-Flight, a flight school based at LDJ. The airplane was "topped-off" with fuel the night before and was flown without incident for 2.6 hours prior to the accident.

A witness at LDJ reported that the airplane departed from runway 27, a 4,140-foot-long, asphalt runway. The airplane "struggled" to break ground and gain altitude. The airplane made a right turn at an estimated altitude of between 125 to 150 feet above the ground, and immediately started to lose altitude. It descended behind a building and he heard the pilot radio "MAYDAY" over the airport's common traffic advisory frequency, stating "plane going down." He was then informed by the pilot of another airplane that the airplane had crashed. He further stated that while he could not hear the airplane's engine noise clearly because of a nearby highway, the engine noise was constant and he did not hear any power interruptions until after the impact.

The passenger reported that the flight instructor told him that he had his feet on the brakes during the takeoff roll, and to place his feet flat on the floor, which he did. After takeoff, the flight instructor told him that the engine "wasn't making power." The flight instructor called "MAYDAY" and was trying to return to the airport when the airplane suddenly impacted the ground.

The airplane struck and came to rest on abandoned rail road tracks located about a 1/2-mile northwest of LDJ. All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airplane was found upright, with the nose down about 45 degrees. The right wing was displaced aft and folded underneath the fuselage. The empennage was separated about 4 feet forward of the rudder and was resting partially on the ground.

The airplane was powered by a Continental Motors Inc. IO-240-B3, 125-horspower engine, equipped with a wooden two-bladed Sensenich propeller assembly. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any catastrophic preimpact mechanical failures. The lower front portion of the crankcase was fractured consistent with impact with the ground. One propeller blade was fractured at the hub, and the second propeller blade was separated about 2 feet outboard of the hub. Several small propeller blade fragments were observed scattered around the accident site. The engine was retained for further examination.

The airplane was manufactured in 2005. According to the operator, it had been operated for about 37 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on May 10, 2013, and the engine had been operated for 1,984 hours since new.



 
Craig MacCallum died a hero, said his wife, Carol Schein.


A flight instructor who died in a plane crash near Linden Airport in Union County last Friday will be memorialized Sunday at a special ceremony at Montclair High School. 

Craig A. MacCallum, 58, was killed when his plane crashed into unused railroad tracks near Routes 1 and 9 just after taking off from the airport. A 19-year-old flight student was also on board; that student appears to be improving, according to a hospital spokesperson.

MacCallum was a native of New Hartford, New York. He was an Eagle Scout as a youth and graduated from New Hartford High School. He went on to earn a degree in economics at Princeton University and an MBA from New York University, ultimately becoming a certified public accountant with a specialty in real estate asset management, turnarounds and banking.

Flying reportedly had long been a passion of MacCallum's. A remembrance in the Star-Ledger noted that he earned his pilot's license before getting his license to operate a car.

Carol Schlein told NJ.com that her husband died a hero, noting that when the plane showed serious problems after he took off on what would turn out to be his final flight, MacCallum tried to land the plane on abandoned train tracks so that he wouldn't hit gas tanks, highways or a nearby shopping mall and hurt many more people.

MacCallum is survived by his wife and their two teenage children, Margaret and James.

A memorial service for MacCallum is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, at Montclair High School, 100 Chestnut Drive. Afterward, there will be a reception in the George Inness Annex.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Craig MacCallum Children Scholarship Fund to provide for college scholarships for his children as well as to a Montclair High School student interested in STEM or aviation.  Details will be available on www.cremationnj.com.  Source: 
http://montclair.patch.com

Flight school student in Linden airplane crash is improving 

 LINDEN — The 19-year-old flight school student, whose plane crash landed on railroad tracks across Routes 1 and 9 from Linden Airport last week, appears to be improving, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Timothy Monticchio, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick is listed in good condition at University Hospital in Newark, according to Tiffany Smith, hospital spokesperson. Police said Monticchio was listed in serious to critical condition immediately following the accident.

A telephone message left at Monticchio’s home was not returned.

Flight instructor Craig A. MacCallum, 58, of Montclair, an instructor with Best in Flight flying school at Linden Airport, was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway shortly after the Friday 1:10 p.m. crash.

The Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse plane crashed shortly after takeoff on Conrail railroad tracks about 300 yards off West Linden Avenue on property next to the vacant former General Motors plant. Witnesses reported the plane failed to gain altitude after taking off.

The plane appears to have crashed in a nose dive, police said. The front end of the plane fell apart and was severely damaged.


The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Police dispatch received several 911 calls about a small plane that went down. A witness standing in the parking of the ShopRite supermarket in Aviation Plaza across Routes 1 and 9 from the GM property, told police the engine didn’t sound right and observed the plane having difficulty gaining altitude.

Paul Dudley, Linden Airport director, said he understood the plane barely cleared the airport building. He believes the pilot was trying to land on the field or get back around to the airport. Dudley said the vacant GM tract in an inviting spot to land in an emergency because it’s away from homes and other structures, offering the greatest chance for survival.


http://www.mycentraljersey.com