Friday, July 31, 2015

Cessna 337F Super Skymaster, N1732M, Wireless Systems Engineering Inc: Accident occurred May 27, 2015 at Melbourne International Airport (KMLB), Florida


NTSB Identification: ERA15LA224
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Melbourne, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 337F, registration: N1732M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 27, 2015, at 1625 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 337F, N1732M, was substantially damaged when it struck a building and a communications antenna while taxiing at Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was destined for Dayton Ohio. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a police report, the pilot requested a taxi clearance from the north ramp area to runway 9L. The tower controller advised the pilot that his clearance to Dayton, Ohio had expired, and instructed him to return to the ramp. According to the controller the pilot's speech was "slurred" and he did not follow any of the tower's instructions. The pilot then taxied west on taxiway kilo toward the departure end of runway 9L. Photographs of tire marks show that the aircraft veered off the left edge of taxiway kilo about 250 feet before the taxiway end. The airplane then went off the end of the taxiway and immediately turned right toward a building that was located about 200 feet away and abeam the taxiway end. The airplane impacted the building and an adjacent communications antenna. At 1626 the controller contacted the airport police and urged them to respond quickly because he "felt that the pilot may be intoxicated and they heard the screams of a young child onboard". The police arrived on scene at 1640 and detected an odor of alcohol from the pilot. A search of the airplane revealed an unopened bottle of wine, one opened bottle of liquor about 2/3 full and an opened "water" bottle that contained a clear liquid with an odor of alcohol. After the pilot refused to take an alcohol breathalyzer and field sobriety test he was taken into custody and charged under Florida State Statute with "Operation of an aircraft while intoxicated or in a careless or reckless manner".

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest against a small building located along the airport perimeter fence. The leading edge of the left wing sustained substantial damage, and the front propeller tips were bent forward and gouged. The aircraft examination was completed by an airframe and powerplant mechanic and supervised by the airport operations director. Examination of the flight control systems, nosewheel steering, and brake system revealed no anomalies that could have precluded normal operation.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land (limited to centerline thrust) and instrument Airplane. He also held a third-class medical certificate, which was issued on November 13, 2014 with a limitation of "must wear corrective lenses". At that time he reported 1,238 total flight hours experience.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

New details are emerging in the case of a 57-year-old pilot from Satellite Beach who is charged with operating aircraft under the influence of alcohol and child neglect without great bodily harm in connection to an incident at Melbourne International Airport on May 27.

Police say Christopher John Hall was intoxicated when he attempted to taxi off a runway at the airport in his Cessna 337F Super Skymaster aircraft, skidded into a ditch and hit a communications shed near the runway. They also say his underage son was a passenger in the plane at the time of the incident.

In an offense incident report put together by the Melbourne Airport Police Department and released by the state attorney’s office, the air traffic controller on duty told police that the pilot did not respond to any instructions and that his speech was slurred as he communicated with them. They further asked that police arrive quickly due both to Hall’s believed intoxication and what sounded like screams from a child heard on the radio.

After the plane crashed, a certified flight instructor, Amon Modine, told police that Hall’s breath smelled of alcohol and that he appeared flushed, and was sweating and disoriented. Modine also arrived as fire-rescue did and had to shut down the plane’s engines and help take the pilot and boy out of the plane.

The plane, according to a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, sustained damage to the leading edge of its left wing and the front propeller tips were “bent forward and gouged.” It also stated there was nothing wrong with the control systems, nosewheel steering or brake system “that could have precluded normal operation.”

The investigation also found the plane was set to travel to Dayton, Ohio.

When queried by police if he had consumed any alcohol or medication that would serve as an impediment to his ability to fly the plane, Hall refused to answer and also refused to take a blood-alcohol test or participate in a standard roadside sobriety exercise.

An evidence report shows that a nearly half-empty bottle of cognac and an unopened bottle of wine were found on board in addition to a water bottle that had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on it.

Hall was also released from the Brevard County Jail after he posted $2,000 bond on May 28. The next step in his trial proceedings is a docket sounding that will take place on Aug. 17.

Original article can be found here:

Christopher John Hall

FOX 35 News Orlando

The pilot of the Cessna 337F Super Skymaster was taken from the airport around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 27th and was headed to be booked at the Brevard County Jail.

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