Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pilot blamed in fatal New Jersey crash after plane struck ground in fog

American Champion 8KCAB Decathlon, N469J: Accident occurred January 15, 2014 in Holland, New Jersey 


HOLLAND TWP. – Joseph Borin flew into the ground last year because he kept flying into deteriorating weather he was not trained to handle, federal investigators have concluded.


In a newly released report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the 71-year-old Readington man was ferrying his newly purchased American Champion 8KCAB Decathlon back to New Jersey when he found himself locked in a dense fog, hitting a stand of trees as the terrain below began to rise.


Borin, who died in the crash, was not instrument-rated, according to the report.


The NTSB said an examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any mechanical malfunctions or failure, and found the orientation and length of the wreckage path consistent with a controlled flight into the ground.


The board said the January 2014 crash in Holland Township highlighted the danger of "scud running," a potentially deadly practice in which pilots without instrument training lower their altitude to avoid clouds and continue to fly. As the ceiling continues to lower, so does the pilot, some times with fatal consequences.


An experienced pilot, Borin had logged 4,000 hours of flight time.


Borin had been returning to Alexandria Airport in New Jersey after purchasing his aerobatics-capable, single-engine aircraft in Wisconsin. The plane had basic flight instrumentation, including an altimeter, vertical speed indicator, airspeed indicator, and turn coordinator, but the NTSB said it was not equipped for instrument flight. It carried a single communications radio and transponder, but no navigation radios.


A handheld GPS device recovered from the wreckage had detailed the track of the aircraft, which maintained an altitude of between 2,000 and 3,000 feet for most of the flight until just before the crash.


According to the NTSB, the weather conditions forecast in the vicinity of Alexandria Airport before the Borin's departure had been consistent with visual meteorological conditions safe for him to fly. However, by the time he was within 50 miles of the airport, the forecast and actual weather conditions had deteriorated.


The weather the day of the crash had been marked by light winds, overcast clouds, with visibility restricted in fog. One witness interviewed by the board said she had heard the low-flying airplane pass over her dairy farm and saw the silhouette of an airplane, but could not identify it because of the dense fog. She said the fog was so low, the plane was flying at an altitude less than the height of some nearby high voltage transmission towers.


Moments later, Borin's plane struck the ground.


The crashed aircraft was found by searchers in Holland Township on Jan. 15, about four-and-a-half hours after the witness from across the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pa., called to report hearing the low-flying plane she believed had crashed.


The NTSB said a handheld tablet computer along with a device capable of receiving in-flight weather updates had been recovered from the wreckage, which could have been used to track the changing weather conditions during the flight.


"The pilot also could have used outside visual references and could have tuned the onboard communications radio to weather reporting stations located along the route of flight," said the board, noting that Borin could have diverted his flight to allow weather conditions to improve rather than continuing to his planned destination.


Story and photos:  http://www.nj.com

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA093

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in Holland, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/27/2015
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 8KCAB, registration: N469J
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.


The pilot had recently purchased the newly-manufactured airplane from the factory and was returning to his home airport when the accident occurred. The weather conditions initially forecast in the vicinity of the destination airport before the pilot’s departure generally were consistent with visual meteorological conditions; however, by the time the pilot was within 50 miles of the destination airport, the forecast and actual weather conditions had deteriorated to instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Shortly before the accident, a witness observed the airplane as it flew low above the ground in visibilities of about 150 yards in dense fog. The airplane subsequently impacted the tops of trees located near the peak of rising terrain before impacting the ground. The orientation and length of the wreckage path were consistent with a controlled flight into terrain impact sequence. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. The accident airplane was not equipped for flight IMC, nor did the pilot hold an instrument rating. A handheld tablet computer along with a device capable of receiving in-flight weather updates was recovered from the wreckage. It could not be determined if the pilot had used the device to observe the changing weather conditions during the accident flight; however, the pilot also could have used outside visual references and could have tuned the onboard communications radio to weather reporting stations located along the route of flight and noted that weather conditions ahead had deteriorated to IMC. Upon encountering IMC, the pilot could have diverted the flight to allow weather conditions to improve rather than continuing to the planned destination.


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


The pilot’s continued visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, resulting in controlled flight into trees and terrain.


http://www.ntsb.gov

 http://registry.faa.gov/N469J


Joseph “Joe” Borin




Joe Borin, standing next to a plane during one of Alexandria Field's summer camps, was a mentor to young people interested in aviation. He died January 15, 2014  when his plane crashed in a rural part of Hunterdon County.
 / Photo courtesy Alexandria Field 


Joe Borin, seen here with his granddaughter Annie Rose, was an avid pilot. The Readington Township resident died January 15th when his small plane crashed in Holland Township in Hunterdon County 



The Hunterdon Prosecutor held a press conference at the municipal building in Holland Township on January 16, 2014 following a pilot that died in a plane crash.



Dennis Diaz, air safety inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board, discusses the January 15th, 2014  plane crash in Holland Township in the township municipal building. 






 The Hunterdon Prosecutor held a press conference at the municipal building in Holland Township on Jan. 16, 2014  following a pilot that died in a plane crash.

1 comment:

gretnabear said...

2013 AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 8KCAB pricing $224,500 / $259,900