Friday, May 22, 2015

Cessna 210F Centurion, N1842F: Fatal accident occurred May 21, 2015 near Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

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: WPR15FA166
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 21, 2015 in Pleasanton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 210F, registration: N1842F
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.

Before beginning the cross-county flight under visual flight rules (VFR), the pilot received a weather briefing that reported VFR conditions at the departure and destination airports but included an airmen’s meteorological information notice for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions along the route of flight. About 8 minutes after departure, recorded radar data showed the airplane’s altitude varying between 321 and 635 ft above ground level (agl) for about 1.5 minutes before the impact. 

Until about 30 seconds before impact, the airplane was tracking south on course along a valley, but it then began to deviate west toward rising terrain. The airplane then began a slow, descending right turn. The last recorded radar target showed the airplane about 0.2 miles from the accident site, at an altitude of about 410 ft agl. 

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A review of weather observations and satellite imagery indicated that IFR conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site due to low clouds and restricted visibility. It is likely that the pilot was varying his altitude to remain clear of the clouds and subsequently entered an area where continued flight on course was not possible and initiated a right turn. During the turn, the airplane collided with rising terrain.  

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s continued visual flight into instrument flight rules conditions, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient clearance from rising terrain.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 21, 2015, about 0857 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 210F, N1842F, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Pleasanton, California. The instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed within the area for the personal cross-country flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California, at 0848, with an intended destination of the Reid-Hillview Airport (RHV), San Jose, California.

The pilot obtained an official weather briefing from Direct Use Access Terminal (DUAT) at 0802. When the airplane failed to arrive at KRHV, a friend of the pilot contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA subsequently issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT). The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and local law enforcement commenced search and rescue operations throughout the area. The wreckage was located by CAP on the morning of May 22, 2015.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

The pilot, age 66, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single engine land, and he was instrument rated. A second-class airman medical certificate was issued on April 13, 2014, with the following limitation: must wear corrective lenses. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated about 1,232.2 hours of total flight time as of May 13, 2015.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, single-engine, high-wing, retractable landing gear airplane, serial number 21058742, was manufactured in 1966. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-520-A engine, serial number 111396-6-A, rated at 285 horse power. The airplane was also equipped with a McCauley three bladed constant speed propeller, model D3A34C402-C. A review of maintenance records showed that the most recent annual inspection was completed May 17, 2015, at a total aircraft time of 3,811.6 hours, and tachometer time of 721.3 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

A NTSB staff meteorologist prepared a factual report for the area and timeframe surrounding the accident.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 0800 depicted a surface trough to the east of the accident site in central Nevada, and oriented from north to south into western Arizona with a surface low pressure center at 1005-hectopascals (hPa). The station models around the accident site and along the California coast depicted air temperatures in the low to mid 50's Fahrenheit (F), with temperature-dew point spreads of 2 degrees F or less, a west-to-northwest wind between 5 and 10 knots, cloudy skies, and areas of fog. The station models east of the accident site and in the central valley of California coast depicted air temperatures in the mid to upper 50's Fahrenheit (F), with temperature-dew point spreads of 8 degrees F or more, variable winds between 5 and 15 knots, and partly cloudy skies. The accident site was located in an area where the marine air was moving onshore and into the terrain helping to produce clouds and some precipitation. The area is favored for widespread low cloud cover.

An Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) located 2 miles west of Hayward Executive Airport (HWD), Hayward, California, elevation of 52 feet mean sea level (msl), reported at 0835, wind from 290° at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, a broken ceiling at 800 feet above ground level (agl), overcast skies at 1,300 feet agl, temperature of 13 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature of 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, rain began at 0822 and ended at 0831 PDT, ceiling varying between 600 and 900 feet agl, one-hourly precipitation of a trace, maintenance is needed on the system.

At 0854, HWD reported wind from 280 degrees at 5 knots, 10 miles visibility, a broken ceiling at 800 feet agl, overcast skies at 2,500 feet agl, temperature of 14 degrees C, dew point temperature of 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, rain began at 0822 and ended at 0831 PDT, ceiling varying between 600 and 1,400 feet agl, sea-level pressure of 1015.3 hPa, one-hourly precipitation of a trace, temperature 13.9° degrees C, dew point temperature of 12.2 degrees C, maintenance is needed on the system.

At 0919, HWD reported wind from 270 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 800 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 1,600 feet agl, overcast skies at 4,700 feet agl, temperature of 14 degrees C, dew point temperature of 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, maintenance is needed on the system.

The Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK), Livermore, California, was located 8 miles east of the accident site, at an elevation of 400 feet msl, also had an ASOS. At 0853, LVK reported wind from 240 degrees at 8 knots, 10 miles visibility, a broken ceiling at 1,500 feet agl, overcast skies at 2,000 feet agl, temperature of 15° C, dew point temperature of 10 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, sea-level pressure 1013.8 hPa, temperature 15.0 degrees C, dew point temperature 10.0 degrees C.

The closest sounding was from Oakland, California. The 0500 sounding indicated a relatively moist environment from the surface to 4,000 feet msl in a conditionally unstable environment. With any lifting mechanism in the area of the accident site, such as a mid-level trough or hilly terrain, the formation of clouds would be expected in the moist conditionally unstable environment. The Rawinsonde Observation program (ROAB) indicated that clouds were likely from the surface through 4,000 feet msl and this is consistent with the observations from HWD and LVK.

Visible and infrared data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite number 15 (GOES-15) indicated abundant cloud cover over and around the accident site at the accident time with that cloud cover moving from west to east. The imagery indicated that the approximate cloud-top heights over the accident site were 7,000 feet at 0845.

Two pilot reports (PIREPs) from unknown types of aircraft were received over San Francisco, California, at 0646; an overcast ceiling at 700 feet msl with tops to 4,300 feet msl during the climb from San Francisco (SFO), and an overcast ceiling at 800 feet msl with tops to 3,000 feet msl during descent into SFO. 

An AIRMET Sierra, issued at 0745, forecasted IFR conditions with ceilings below 1,000 feet agl, visibilities below 3 miles, precipitation, and mist.

An area forecast, issued at 0345, forecasted an overcast ceiling at 2,000 feet msl with tops at 6,000 feet msl. The ceiling was forecasted to become broken at 3,000 feet msl by 0800 with isolated light rain showers.

Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) issued at 0442, and valid at the accident time, forecasted wind from 220 degrees at 5 knots, greater than 6 miles visibility, and a broken ceiling at 2,500 feet agl. This TAF accurately forecasted the weather conditions at LVK at the time of the accident. However, the ceiling and visibility conditions were likely lower at the accident site at the accident time, given the surface observations reported at HWD and the surrounding weather environment.

The DUATs weather briefing that the pilot received prior to the accident flight provided the Area Forecast issued at 0345, AIRMET Sierra for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration, and the two PIREPs from KSFO. TAFs for locations along the route of flight and winds aloft were also provided. The official weather briefing from DUATs specifically mentioned IFR conditions along the route of flight given that the AIRMET was briefed.

The complete weather report is appended to this accident in the public docket.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that it was located on the side of a hill, at an elevation of 1,237 feet msl. The airplane wreckage was spread along a 230-foot-long upsloping debris path through grass on an approximately heading of 044 degrees magnetic. The main wreckage came to rest at an elevation of about 1,257 feet msl. 

The first point of impact is a ground scar about 10 inches wide containing a piece of a green lens, and a piece of a wing structure. The ground scar extended about 17 feet into a large area of disturbed dirt. A propeller slash mark was found about 16 feet from the initial point of impact. About 43 feet northeast-east from the first point of impact were one of the airplane's propeller blade, and a right wing lift strut. Plexiglas, portions of engine cowling, engine mount structure, and fuselage debris were scattered across the ground beginning at the first point of impact, and extended to the main wreckage. Another propeller blade was located about 115 feet from the first point of impact. 

The terrain from the first point of impact to where the airplane's main wreckage came to rest was upsloping, at an angle of approximately 9 degrees. The main wreckage was located 145 feet from the first point of impact, and consisted of the airplane's engine, right wing, right landing gear, aft fuselage, and empennage. The fuselage came to rest upright on a heading of about 300 degrees. Those components were partially charred, melted, and damaged by the impact. The forward fuselage and the cabin were consumed by fire. A burned area of grass surrounded the main wreckage within about 10 feet. 

The left wing was located 165 feet from the first point of impact. The third propeller blade was located at 193 feet, and it was attached to the propeller hub. The horizontal stabilizer, elevators, vertical stabilizer, and rudder remained attached to the empennage. The bulkhead and the bottom of aft fuselage were bent inward. Front seats and center seats were found outside the main wreckage. The two rear seats remained attached to the airframe.

The airplane wreckage was examined at the facilities of Plain Parts, Pleasant Grove, California, on May 24, 2015, by representatives from Textron Aviation, Continental Motors, Inc., and FAA under the supervision of the NTSB IIC. Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation.

The complete engine and airframe examination report is appended to this accident in the public docket.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot May 26, 2015, by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Coroner's Bureau, Oakland, California. The cause of death was determined to be "extensive blunt trauma."

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The specimen used to test for volatiles tested positive for ethanol in muscle but negative for ethanol in liver. The specimen used to test for drugs detected a presence of atorvastatin in liver. Tests for carbon monoxide and cyanide were not performed. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A Garmin GPSMAP 396 unit was recovered from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination. Track log data dated from May 18, 2009, to June 26, 2009, was recovered from the unit. No track log data was identified correlating with the date of the accident. The complete GPS report is appended to this accident in the public docket.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A review of archived Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar data showed the airplane's altitude varied between 1,100 feet msl and 1,225 feet msl from 0849:08 until 0850:13, with a general south-east heading. The radar data was not shown from 0850:14 until 0855. At 0855:16, the airplane was depicted at 1,724 feet msl. From 0855:17 until 0856:12, the airplane's altitude varied between 1,625 feet msl (about 321 feet agl) and 1,774 feet msl (about 438 feet agl), with a south-west heading. At 0856:17, the heading changed to west, and the airplane started a climb. At 0856:38, radar data showed the airplane at 1,850 feet msl (about 635 feel agl). The airplane then began a slow descent with a slight right turn until the collision with terrain. The last observed target on the accident airplane was recorded at 0856:54 about 1,525 feet msl (about 410 feet agl). 

Radar data video and raw data are appended to this accident in the public docket.

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA166
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 21, 2015 in Pleasanton, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 210F, registration: N1842F
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 May 21, 2015 about 0857 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 210F, N1842F, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Pleasanton, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the personal cross-country flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Buchanan Field Airport, Concord, California, at 0848, with an intended destination of the Reid-Hillview Airport, San Jose, California. 

Information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that a friend of the pilot contacted the FAA on the evening of May 21, 2015, and reported that the pilot had not arrived at his intended destination. The FAA subsequently issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT). The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and local law enforcement commenced search and rescue operations throughout the area. The wreckage was located by CAP on the morning of May 22, 2015.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) revealed that the airplane impacted the side of a hill at an elevation of 1,237 feet (ft) mean sea level (msl). The airplane wreckage debris path was about 230 ft in length along upsloping terrain on about a 023-degree magnetic heading. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The fuselage and inboard portions of both wings were mostly consumed by a postimpact fire. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

ANDREW A. MORSE: http://registry.faa.gov/N1842F 




Andrew Morse, 66, was killed Thursday after he crashed a small plane into the hills around the Castro Valley. The Lafayette man was survived by his wife and two adult sons.
 (Photo courtesy of Catherine Goff)



LAFAYETTE -- Andrew Morse was a small-plane pilot with big-time plans.

So when the 66-year-old contractor and residential developer from Lafayette started work on a project in San Jose, the experienced pilot figured he'd cut around the nasty Interstate 680 traffic by flying right over.

"He flew for 20 years and just loved it," said sister-in-law Christine Goff on Saturday. "We're all really in shock right now and we don't have any answers."

Morse was killed Thursday after crashing his single-engine Cessna 210 into a rugged, hilly site two miles south of Interstate 580 in an unincorporated area in Castro Valley.

He was flying from the Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, headed to Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose.

Alameda County Sheriff's officers found the wreckage Friday morning.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Safety Transportation Board were investigating.

Morse, who was flying alone, was killed at the scene.

Goff said Morse had been married to her sister, Jo Ann Morse, for more than 30 years and had two adult sons, Colin and Eric.

Jo Ann Morse was "devastated" and couldn't talk Saturday, Goff said.

The family had no indication of what caused the crash, Goff said. Investigators haven't said whether Morse may have had a medical incident, or if the plane had a mechanical failure.

"He was always such a cautious, responsible pilot. He always checked the weather, that sort of thing, but unfortunately something happened, and we just don't know what," Goff said.

Goff described Morse as an outgoing man who loved fixing things and was active in his community, nicknamed the "Mayor of Stow Lane," the street the family lived on since moving from Oakland in 1988.

Morse was active in the community, a Boy Scout troop leader and a baseball coach, and was an avid skier.

Goff said Morse was on the Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol in Soda Springs until a few years ago and kept in great shape.

"He was very active and healthy," she said.

Morse got his bachelor's degree from UC Davis and his business degree from San Francisco State University, Goff said.

A memorial service hasn't yet been set.

"I think my sister needs some time to deal. I don't think she's ready yet," she said.











CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) — A man is dead after a plane crashed in rural Alameda County Thursday morning, according to the Alameda County coroner’s bureau, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Clara County Airports administration.

Acting Director of Santa Clara County Airports Eric Peterson said investigators found the plane at about 8:30 a.m.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson identified the location as a rural area of hills and trees between Pleasanton, Dublin, Castro Valley and Hayward, near Rowell Ranch Rodeo. Nelson said there are no homes close by and so it’s likely no one heard the crash.

Nelson said the crash started a small grass fire that extinguished itself due to the rain, fog and mist in the area.

Preliminary information today from the Federal Aviation Administration initially said the crash occurred near Livermore.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said that according to preliminary information a Cessna 210F Centurion en route to Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose from Concord was reported as overdue on Thursday. Gregor said he could not confirm the tail number for the aircraft.

Peterson said when pilots file a flight plan they indicate when they will depart and when they will arrive at their destination. When the plane arrives, the pilot usually calls the control tower and the air traffic controllers will close out the flight plan, Peterson said.

If the pilot does not call in, the FAA will initiate a search by calling airports along the plane’s planned route to see if the pilot landed and failed to call the tower, Peterson said.

“And that’s the call we got,” Peterson said.

Gregor said that according to local authorities the pilot was the only person on board. Nelson confirmed that.

Nelson said officials with the coroner’s bureau have retrieved the body.

Gregor said officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash. The NTSB will be the lead investigating agency, Gregor said.

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