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National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Data Summary: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
NTSB Identification: WPR10FA435
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 28, 2010 in Tucson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/2013
Aircraft: REMOS AIRCRAFT GMBH REMOS G-3/600, registration: N268RA
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.
Witnesses observed the airplane taxi to the runway, and the student reported that the pilot spent about 2 minutes performing a preflight check of the engine. Seconds after liftoff, the pilot made a right turn before the intersection of the crossing active runway, about 200 feet above ground level. Witnesses observed the airplane remain at this altitude while flying a close-in downwind leg over airport buildings. The airplane continued a right turning descent onto the base and final approach legs. The airplane overshot the runway, and the bank angle increased to about 45 degrees. The airplane continued to descend, right wing low, and subsequently impacted the ground adjacent to the runway. It is unknown why the pilot flew this type of maneuver over the airport or if he intended to land on the runway. This was the student's first ride in a light airplane, and she recalled that the pilot banked the airplane steeply right, the wing was nearly perpendicular to the ground, and it "did not look right.” A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering at a low altitude.
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On August 28, 2010, about 0822 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GMBH, Remos G-3/600, N268RA, crashed while maneuvering shortly after takeoff at the Marana Regional Airport, Tucson, Arizona. The airplane was owned and operated by Tucson Aeroservice Center, Inc., and was substantially damaged during the impact sequence. The commercial pilot held a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate, and was fatally injured. The student pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from runway 03, about 0817.
The operator reported that the purpose of the flight was to provide a prospective student with an introduction to aviation.
The 16-year-old student reported that the pilot performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and provided an explanation of the flight control system and instruments. Thereafter, the CFI started the engine and taxied for takeoff. This was the student's first ride in a light airplane.
The student recalled that the CFI spent between 1 and 2 minutes near the edge of the runway performing a pretakeoff check of the engine. Thereafter, the CFI increased engine power and the airplane took off. The student stated to the Safety Board investigator that she anticipated the flight would last about 1/2 hour. The student further indicated that seconds after liftoff the pilot made a right turn.
The student's mother, who was filming the flight, reported that the airplane flew over her location at low altitude. She was standing on the tarmac near the operator's hangar.
A pilot-witness who was inbound for runway 12 heard the accident pilot transmit that he was taking off on runway 03, but would not interfere with traffic on the crossing runway 12.
According to another pilot-witness who was departing from runway 12, which was predominantly the active runway, the local traffic pattern was fairly busy at the uncontrolled airport. This pilot-witness estimated that the accident airplane turned onto the crosswind leg before the intersection of runway 12, about 200 feet above ground level, then remained at altitude while on the downwind leg over the airport. The accident airplane turned to the right and subsequently crashed; coming to rest adjacent to runway 03.
A helicopter pilot-witness on the ground thought that the accident airplane might be performing stunts for the benefit of the people filming the flight and estimated that the airplane was about 50 to 75 feet agl when it banked steeply to the right and began to lose altitude. She reported that its wings were nearly perpendicular to the ground, and that the right wing impacted the ground first.
Another witness, who was a commercial pilot observing the accident airplane from the ramp near building 101, first saw the airplane on what appeared to be a "short approach" to runway 3. To this witness it appeared that the airplane's turn exceeded 45 degrees of bank and that the airplane was going to overshoot the runway. The airplane pitched up and then descended to the ground still in the 45-degree bank attitude.
Another witness on this road observed the accident airplane to be very low over the airport buildings, which he described as "very unusual." It turned right and proceeded west, but did not appear to climb. It made another right turn near the approach area, then made a steep right-hand bank, descended sharply, and disappeared from sight. This witness reported he saw no smoke or other indications of fire.
Several additional witnesses similarly reported observing the airplane following liftoff. The airplane commenced a right turn and entered the downwind leg while still over the airport. After flying a close-in downwind leg, the airplane made a circling descent onto the base and final approach legs while continuing in a right wing low attitude until impact.
The student stated to the Safety Board investigator that she recalled the pilot banked the airplane steeply right, the wing was nearly perpendicular to the ground, and it "did not look right."
The pilot, age 45, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane ratings for single engine land, multi-engine land, and instruments. His certificate was endorsed for type ratings in DHC-8 and CA-212 airplanes, limited to second-in-command privileges. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine airplanes and instrument privileges. The certificate was issued January 26, 2009. The pilot held a first-class airman medical certificate issued October 12, 2009, without limitations.
No flight records were located for the pilot. On his most recent airman medical certificate application completed on October 11, 2009, the pilot reported a total time of 2,645 hours, with 340 accrued in the past 6 months.
The airplane, a Remos Aircraft GMBH G3/600, serial number 231, is a light sport aircraft manufactured in 2007. The operator’s records showed that the last condition/annual inspection was endorsed on August 19, 2009, at a recording tachometer reading of 785 hours, which is also the total time on the airframe and engine. The engine is a Rotax 912UL-S, serial number 5.649.795, and its condition/annual inspection corresponded to the airframe date.
The Marana Regional Airport elevation is 2,031 feet msl, and has two asphalt-covered hard-surfaced runways that intersect at a 90-degree angle. Runway 12/30 is 6,901 feet long by 100 feet wide. Runway 03/21 (used by the aircraft on departure) is 3,893 feet long by 75 feet wide. The distance from the end of runway 03 to the point it intersects and crosses runway 12/30 is about 2,800 feet.
The Marana airport is equipped with an Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS). At 0825, the station recorded the weather as clear skies; visibility 10 miles; temperature 25 degrees Celsius; dewpoint 18 degrees Celsius; and wind from 011 degrees at 11 knots. None of the witnesses observed any unusual weather phenomena in the vicinity.
A Garmin 496 global positioning satellite receiver was installed in the airplane's instrument panel. The receiver was not damaged in the accident. The receiver had the capability of recording the airplane's flight track. The data and the plotted flight path were consistent with the witness observations.
In addition, the airplane was equipped with a Rotax FLTdat data recorder that records engine performance parameters. Review of the data showed that it was corrupt and not usable.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest in an upright attitude about 70 feet south-southwest of the airport's windsock for runway 03. This location was about 70 feet west of the runway's left side, in a level dirt field, and nearly abeam runway 03's threshold. There was no fire.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector responded to the accident site and documented the wreckage prior to its removal to a secure location. The FAA inspector reported no evidence of a preimpact flight control anomaly and fuel was noted in the fuel tanks.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The pilot was transported to a hospital; however, later died secondary to injuries received in the accident. An autopsy was performed by the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office. The autopsy did not disclose any evidence of physical incapacitation or impairment that would have adversely affected the pilot's ability to operate the aircraft. The cause of death was attributed to blunt force injuries.
The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for alcohol. Ephedrine was detected in urine and muscle tissue samples. Phenylpropanolamine and Pseudoephedrine were detected in urine.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The fuel supply system was examined, starting with the engine compartment moving aft to the fuel cell. Inspection of the right side carburetor found residual fuel remaining in the bowl. The left side carburetor bowl had separated in the accident sequence. Fuel was also found in the mechanical fuel pump and the fuel filter. No debris was present in the internal screen. Air was blown through the filter and no blockage was present. The electric fuel pump operated normally when energized. The fuel supply line screen filter (finger screen) was found to be free flowing and clear of debris. The fuel cell was inspected and no contamination or debris was noted. Throttle and choke control cables were intact and no anomalies were found with the cables or sheathing. The ACS ignition switch was tested and no discrepancies were found.
The flap control motor extension arm was found in the up position. Electric power was supplied to the flap control motor and the control arm moved full in and out with no discrepancies. The flap drive shaft extension measured at 4 9/16 from center of the bell crank bolt to the end of the actuator housing, which corresponds to 0 degrees of flap extension. The engagement drive pin slots on the flap torque tube was found at 12 and 6 o’clock positions, also corresponding to 0 degrees flap extension, and consistent with flap on wing being in the up position.
The right aileron outboard attach point was found intact and in place. Both wing root pins were installed and safety retention pins were installed. Elevator and rudder control systems were verified from the surfaces to the brake in the tail boom. The left wing aileron and flap control continuity was verified from the surfaces to the wing root. The elevator push-pull tube jam nut at the aft connection rod end was found loose. When turned clockwise, 4 flats were tight.
The left-side seat was in the full forward position. Damage to the right seat mounts was consistent with the seat in the middle position. The right seat separated from the pan and both inboard attach pins.
Left-to-right movement of the control stick in the cockpit moved the push-pull rods at the wing roots. Aileron actuation mechanism inside the cabin compartment appeared completely intact and damage free. All attaching hardware within the cabin area was intact and no damage noted.
The right wing was physically removed from the airframe. The aileron was broken approximately mid-span, with the outboard hinge still attached to the wing structure. The aileron torque tube was found to be sheared within the interior of the wing structure. Partial compression of tubing was noted and a sheared section appeared to be freshly exposed with no perceptible indication of corrosion or prior failure. Attachment of the torque tube to aileron bell crank was complete with all hardware securely fastened. No structure damage to the bell crank mounting gussets, bell crank proper or surrounding surfaces were noted.
Aileron control continuity was established except where damage/destruction was noted above, and freedom of movement appeared to be unimpeded.
The right-side flap was attached at all intact hinge locations. The flap actuating torque tube was intact with the structure and could be manipulated by hand. Engagement mechanism for the right wing flap torque tube studs was intact at the inboard-most position and no damage was noted.
The right wing strut was intact, with the wing internal bracing components undisturbed. All surrounding structure, gussets, and adhesion components were intact and unremarkable with no evidence of loss of structural integrity.
The right-hand strut intermediate vertical support tube (airfoil shaped) was found to be attached to the strut without any damage at the attach point. However, the point of attachment of this strut to the lower surface of the wing appeared to have been fractured and broken.
The under-wing attach socket (recessed) appeared intact and free of obvious damage. Inspection of the interior of the wing construction for this socket showed no signs of degradation of integrity and was sound and intact.
The root area of the right wing where it attached to the wing proper was completely ripped free of the wing itself. This section comprised the full span of the wing and was of various dimensions, being less (span-wise) at the leading edge as compared to the trailing edge area. It should be noted that upon initial examination on the day of the accident and at the crash site, the wing attach rod/pin was found to be completely installed and the safety pin intact.
The left wing aileron torque tube was found intact with no defects noted internally or externally. All hardware was intact with no evidence of binding or rubbing. The attachment mechanism were found intact and damage free along the entire length.
The empennage surfaces were intact and secured to the fuselage boom but the fuselage boom was found fractured and sheared approximately mid-length as observed from the general aft section of the cockpit “pod” to the leading edge of the vertical fin.
Initial examination showed nothing remarkable damage-wise to the vertical fin, horizontal stabilizer, elevator assembly, or rudder. Removal of the tail cone found the quick disconnect for the elevator tube intact and properly installed; however, the jam nut for the torque tube was found unsecured and unscrewed approximately four (4) nut “flats.” All electrical attachment items, i.e., strobe and trim motor, were found to be secured in their respective sockets and undamaged.
The rudder cables were found to be properly installed and secured with continuity verified.
The fuselage tail boom was found to have both the upper and lower seam halves to be split apart for some distance forward and aft of the sheared area. Interior inspection of both halves showed no indication that the structure failed prior to impact. All localized damage appeared to be fresh based on visual observations with strong light and mirror as required.
Bulkhead supports for the elevator push-pull torque tube are intact with no evidence of damage, displacement, or displacement based on visual inspection of the structure exposed except for one free-standing support approximately centered within the length of the tail boom. This support was in close proximity to the boom fracture and found broken free. Close examination indicated this support was broken free upon impact.
The ignition system components were taken to Rotech, a Rotax factory facility for examination and testing under the supervision of a Safety Board investigator.
Rotech technicians measured the electrical resistance of the stator elements (Generator coil, charging coil, and trigger coils). All tested within specification. The ignition coils produced spark on all terminals. Both ignition control modules (07-6227, 07-6209) regulated the start-up timing with in specification in both channels (2 channels per module-top & bottom). Initial spark being produced about 250 rpm (6° lead), and shifted to operating timing (26° lead) between 975-1050 rpm.
No anomalies were identified with the ignition system that would have precluded normal operation.
Photo courtesy of Northwest Fire
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
The National Transportation Safety Board has released dramatic video showing a 2010 fatal plane crash in Marana.
The video was released in advance of an expected report on the cause of the crash at the Marana Regional Airport in August of 2010.
In the video, a single-engine plane flies low over the photographer moments after take off, then banks sharply before crashing.
45-year-old flight instructor Robert Cloutier died in the crash.
A 16-year-old student passenger was seriously injured.
The NTSB factual report finds no mechanical problems or weather issues.
A report on the probable cause of the crash is scheduled to be released next month.