Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cessna 340A, N6239X, registered to Ninerxray Inc and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred March 18, 2016 at Peter O. Knight Airport (KTPF), Davis Islands, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Louis Caporicci

Kevin Correna


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Ninerxray Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6239X



Location: Tampa, FL
Accident Number: ERA16FA133
Date & Time: 03/18/2016, 1130 EDT
Registration: N6239X
Aircraft: CESSNA 340
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Abrupt maneuver
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed during takeoff when it impacted terrain following a near-miss with a Cessna 172M, N61801, at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the pilot-rated passenger of the Cessna 340A were fatally injured. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger of the Cessna 172M were not injured, and the Cessna 172M was not damaged. The Cessna 340A was registered to Ninerxray, Inc., and operated by the pilot. The Cessna 172M was registered to and operated by Tampa Aviation Club, Inc. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed and activated for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight of the Cessna 340A that was destined for Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola, Florida. No flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight of the Cessna 172M that was destined for Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, Florida.

At the time of the accident, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) Notice to Airmen was in effect at TPF due to an airshow at MacDill Air Force Base, which was located about 5 nautical miles southwest of TPF. The TFR specified that only departures from runways 4 and 36 were authorized.

Earlier that day, the pilot of the Cessna 172M had successfully completed the oral examination and flight test for his private pilot certificate at TPF. The Cessna 172M was departing for its home airport following the flight test. The pilot-rated passenger in the Cessna 172M was the president of the corporation that owned and operated the Cessna 172M.

The president of the corporation that owned the Cessna 340A, reported that, on the day of the accident, one of the principals of the corporation was scheduled to be flown by the accident pilot to Fort Lauderdale, Florida; however, the trip was cancelled. The president further reported that, "without consulting any of the Principals of Ninerxray, Inc., and without their knowledge or consent," the pilot initiated the accident flight.

TPF does not have an air traffic control tower (ATCT). According to a chronological summary of communications with the ATCT at Tampa International Airport (located about 6 nautical miles northwest of TPF), at 1126, an occupant of the Cessna 340A contacted the Tampa ATCT using the remote communications outlet (RCO) at TPF for an IFR departure from runway 4 and was given an IFR clearance, but was held for departure. About 2 minutes later, he was advised to contact Tampa approach control on 119.9 MHz and was released for departure. There was no further contact between the Cessna 340A and Tampa ATCT.

The pilot of the Cessna 172M stated that he and the pilot-rated passenger monitored TPF's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) of 122.725 MHz from their taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36. The pilot-rated passenger stated that the radio transmissions were made by the pilot using the No. 3 radio, which was a Garmin GPS/Com transceiver. The pilot indicated that he initially transmitted on the CTAF that he was taking off from runway 1 but then corrected that he was taking off from runway 36. In separate written statements, both occupants of the Cessna 172M stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the CTAF frequency, and they saw no incoming or departing traffic.

A pilot-rated employee of the FBO at TPF reported that he heard a radio call on the CTAF from an occupant of the Cessna 340A stating that they were taking off from runway 4. About 10 to 15 seconds later, while he was talking to another person, he heard another transmission on the CTAF that "wasn't clear and direct" but indicated that an airplane was departing from runway 1, then corrected to runway 36. The employee asked the person he was talking with if the second radio call was at TPF, to which the individual replied that he did not hear it and did not think so.

The pilot of the Cessna 172M stated that he performed a short field takeoff, and just after liftoff, he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin-engine airplane with full throttle "descending off the right [side] of the airplane." He then heard a crash and saw a fireball at the departure end of runway 36. The pilot-rated passenger stated that, as the Cessna 172M climbed through about 200 ft near the north end of the runway, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340A almost directly below "stall and crash." Because the pilot felt it unsafe to return to TPF, he elected to continue to his planned destination.

The airport was equipped with a security camera that pointed to the intersection of runways 4/22 and 18/36. The security camera depicted the latter portion of the departures of both airplanes. Review of the recorded video revealed that it depicted the Cessna 172M becoming airborne before the runway intersection and continuing in a slow climb straight ahead over the runway until just before the intersection with runway 4. As the Cessna 172M approached the intersection, the Cessna 340A entered the left side of the video just above runway 4 in a wings level attitude with the landing gear extended. The Cessna 340A was observed in a climbing left turn while the Cessna 172M continued straight ahead. The Cessna 340A then continued in a climbing left turn, rolled inverted, and, while in a nose- and left-wing-low attitude, impacted the ground north of the intersection. A fireball occurred almost immediately after impact, and the Cessna 172M continued in a northerly direction out of view of the camera.

A camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel adjacent to the airport also recorded the accident sequence. The left side of the video included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected. In the recording, the Cessna 172M was first seen coming into view airborne over runway 36 and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection of runway 4/22, the Cessna 340A came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately entering a hard-left turn. The Cessna 340A continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172M while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172M's right side. The Cessna 340A almost reached the Cessna 172M's altitude, but continued the left turn to an inverted attitude, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted.

A witness who was on a boat in the shipping channel next to runway 36 stated that he heard a "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that a "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground with an "instantaneous" explosion. He also indicated that the airplanes were so close that he thought they would collide (The figure below shows the airport diagram and accident site location).

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/05/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/12/2015
Flight Time: 5195 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/06/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2014
Flight Time: 375 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, who was seated in the left seat of the Cessna 340A, age 54, held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multi-engine land rating. He also held commercial, flight instructor, and ground instructor certificates. At the commercial level, he held ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument helicopter, and, at the flight instructor level, he held ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument airplane and helicopter. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on June 5, 2014. As of October 2, 2015, the pilot reported a total time of 5,195 hours of which 284 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. His last flight review in accordance with Title 14 CFR Part 61 section 56 was on March 12, 2015.

According to FAA records, the right seat occupant of the Cessna 340A, age 55, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on June 6, 2014. On the application for his last medical certificate, he listed a total flight time of 375 hours.

According to FAA records, the pilot, who was seated in the left seat of the Cessna 172M, age 30, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land rating issued earlier that day. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on December 7, 2015. On the FAA 8710-1 application form for his private pilot certificate, he listed a total flight time of 40 hours of which 21.4 hours were as instruction received and 18.6 hours were solo.

According to FAA records, the right seat occupant of the Cessna 172M, age 69, held airline transport, commercial, and flight instructor pilot certificates. At the airline transport pilot level, he held an airplane multi-engine land rating, and, at the commercial level, he held ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea. At the flight instructor level, he held ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine and instrument airplane. He reported a total flight time of 6,530 hours and about 3,000 hours in a Cessna 172. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N6239X
Model/Series: 340 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 340A0436
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/15/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6390 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3963.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-EBcN
Registered Owner: NINERXRAY INC
Rated Power: 335 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None



Cessna 340A

The six-place, low-wing, retractable-gear Cessna 340A airplane, serial number 340A0436, was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by two 335-horsepower Continental Motors, Inc., TSIO-520-NB engines and equipped with Hartzell PHC-C3YF-2UF/FC7693DFB constant-speed propellers. The airplane was also equipped with RAM Option 3 vortex generators on both wings and tail that were installed in 1996 in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA7975SW. The airplane's maximum allowable gross weight was 6,390 pounds.

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GNS-530W installed in the "pilots view position" that was the No. 1 communication and navigation transceiver. It was connected to the No. 1 position of the audio panel. A Garmin GNS 430 with navigation and communication capability was installed in the center instrument panel.

The maintenance records were reportedly in the airplane at the time of the accident. Review of copies of the Cessna 340A's maintenance record entries indicated that the airplane's last annual inspection was signed off as being completed on February 15, 2016. At that time, the airplane's total time was 3,963.10 hours.

The Cessna 340A's weight at the time of the accident was calculated using the empty weight when the airplane was modified in 1996 (about 4,478 pounds), the weights of the occupants from their most recent FAA medical examinations (208 and 207 pounds), and the weight of full usable fuel in each main fuel tank, each auxiliary fuel tank, and the locker fuel tank (1,098 pounds). The calculations indicated that the takeoff weight was about 5,991 pounds.

The Flight Manual Supplement associated with the 1996 modifications specified that the takeoff and climb speed to 50 ft was 93 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) for weights between 5,990 and 6,390 pounds.

A review of the stall speed chart in the Flight Manual Supplement revealed that at 6,390 pounds, with flaps retracted and landing gear up, the stall speeds at 0°, 40°, and 60° of bank were 81, 93, and 115 KIAS, respectively. There were no published stall speeds for flaps retracted and landing gear down.



Cessna 172M

The four-place, high-wing, fixed-gear Cessna 172M airplane, serial number 17264811, was manufactured in 1975. It was equipped with three communication and navigation transceivers, which included a Garmin GNC-300XL GPS/Com system that was installed and interfaced to the existing audio system after the airplane was manufactured. According to the pilot-rated passenger, in November 2015, there had been static over the intercom, and the audio panel had been replaced. The pilot-rated passenger reported that all three radios were checked after the accident with no discrepancies reported.

Review of the Cessna 172M's maintenance records indicated that an annual inspection was completed on July 8, 2015, at an airplane total time of 9,412.4 hours. The next annual inspection was completed on August 10, 2016, at an airplane total time of 9,601.1 hours. There was no entry between the 2015 and 2016 annual inspection entries related to the airplane's radios. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TPF, 7 ft msl
Observation Time: 1135 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 20°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.001 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tampa, FL (TPF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: PENSACOLA, FL (PNS)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1130 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

The 1115 automated surface observation taken at TPF reported wind from 210° at 9 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies. The temperature and dew point were 27°C and 20°C, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.00 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: PETER O KNIGHT (TPF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 7 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3580 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 ft long and 100 ft wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 ft long and 75 ft wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. A shipping channel was located just east of and parallel to runway 18/36. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  27.919722, -82.447778

Examination of the accident site revealed that the Cessna 340A impacted flat terrain about 40 ft to the right of and 250 ft from the departure end of runway 36. The initial ground scars indicated a magnetic heading of about 10°. The wreckage came to rest upright, and both engines were separated from the wings. The right engine was located between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine was laying on the right wing.

A postcrash fire consumed the majority of fuselage from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were substantially consumed by fire. Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene. Flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and the center cabin and between the tail and the center cabin due to the extensive fire damage. The hardware attaching the elevator trim pushrod assembly to the elevator trim actuator remained intact, and the elevator trim tab actuator was extended 1.4 inches, which equates to 5° tab trailing-edge-down. The rudder trim tab actuator was extended 1.0 inch, which equates to 5° tab trailing-edge-right. The aileron trim tab actuator was extended 1.7 inches, which equates to a neutral setting. Examination of the flap motor revealed the flap chain position correlated to flaps retracted.

The frequencies of the communication transceivers and the configuration of the audio control panel could not be determined due to the postcrash fire, which consumed the cockpit.

Engine crankshaft continuity and cylinder compression were confirmed on both engines. Significant thermal and impact damage were noted to both engines and their accessories. No preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

Both propellers were separated from their respective engines, and both exhibited leading edge burnishing, bending, and twisting of the blades.

The Cessna 172M was examined the day of the accident by several FAA inspectors; no operational testing of the radios was performed. The pilot-rated passenger reported that subsequent testing of all three radios was satisfactory. 

Communications

TPF did not have a control tower, and the CTAF of 122.725 MHz was not recorded, nor was it required to be. Following the accident, equipment that recorded the CTAF was installed at TPF.

There were no reported communication difficulties with Tampa ATCT.

According to an individual who provided oversight for TPF, to their knowledge, there had been no formal or informal complaints about the CTAF pertaining to reception issues related to buildings and/or structures.



Medical And Pathological Information

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department, Tampa, Florida, performed postmortem examinations of the Cessna 340A pilot and pilot-rated passenger, and also toxicological testing. The cause of death for both was listed as blunt impact to head and neck. Toxicology testing or liver specimens of the pilot and pilot-rated passenger revealed the results for both were negative for volatiles, drugs of abuse, comprehensive drug screen, and benzodiazepines.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed toxicological testing of specimens from the Cessna 340A pilot and pilot-rated passenger. The toxicology report for the pilot indicated no ethanol was detected in the submitted muscle and brain specimens. Unquantified amounts of atorvastatin, diphenhydramine, and naproxen were detected in the submitted liver specimen. Atorvastatin is a cholesterol lowering prescription medication commonly called Lipitor. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory analgesic available over the counter and by prescription, often with the names Aleve and Naprosyn. Neither of these drugs are considered impairing. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine that has been shown to impair a driver's ability to safely operate a car. Testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed.

The toxicology report for the pilot-rated passenger indicated no ethanol was detected in the submitted muscle and brain specimens, and no tested drugs were detected in the submitted liver specimen. Testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed.

Drug and alcohol testing was not requested or performed for the occupants of the Cessna 172M.



NTSB Identification: ERA16FA133
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N6239X
Injuries: 2 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 March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during an initial climb following a takeoff at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal flight, to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) Pensacola, Florida, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 feet long and 100 feet wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 feet long and 75 feet wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. There was shipping channel just east of, and parallel to runway 18/36.

Wind, recorded at the airport at 1135, was from 210 degrees true at 9 knots. However, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) was in effect at the time of the accident due to an airshow at nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The TFR extended in a 5-nautical-mile radius from the center of the base, from the surface to 15,000 feet unless authorized by air traffic control. The TFR extended over the southern ends of both runways at TPF. Multiple sources indicated that while the twin-engine Cessna 340 was taking off from runway 4, a single-engine Cessna 172M, N61801, was taking off from runway 36.

The airport did not have an operating control tower, and the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was not recorded, nor was it required to be.

There were two pilots in the Cessna 172; the pilot in command (PIC) who had just passed his private pilot check ride at TPF, and a pilot-rated passenger, who had also been the PIC's flight instructor. The Cessna 172 was departing for its home airport following the check ride. In separate written statements, both pilots stated that the PIC made an advisory radio call indicating they would be taking off from runway 36. They also stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the frequency, with the PIC noting that they monitored frequency 122.725 [the CTAF frequency] from the taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36.

There was also a radio at the FBO, and a witness who was there at the time of the accident stated that he heard a radio call from the Cessna 340, and about 10-15 seconds later, heard what he thought could have been a call from the Cessna 172, but it wasn't as clear, partly because he was speaking to someone else at the time.

Airport and cross-channel security cameras captured the latter part of the accident flight. They partially showed the Cessna 340 taking off from runway 4 and the Cessna 172 taking off from runway 36.

The airport security camera was pointed such that the intersections of runways 4 and 36 were in the upper left quadrant of the video. The video initially showed the Cessna 172 on its takeoff roll. It lifted off the runway well before the runway intersection, continued a slow climb straight ahead, and gradually disappeared toward the upper left portion of the video.

When the video initially showed the Cessna 340, it was already about 20 feet above runway 4. It then made a hard left turn and appeared to pass behind the Cessna 172, still in a left turn, but climbing. It then appeared to briefly parallel the course of the Cessna 172, but the left-turn bank angle continued to increase, and the airplane's nose dropped. The airplane then descended, impacting the ground in an inverted, extremely nose-low attitude. During the impact sequence, the airplane burst into flames.

There was also a camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel. The camera was pointing northward, up the shipping channel. However, the left side of the video also included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected.

In the recording, the Cessna 172 was first seen coming into view airborne off runway 36, and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection, the Cessna 340 came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately beginning a hard left turn. The Cessna 340 continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172 while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172's right side. It almost reached Cessna 172's altitude, but continued the left turn onto its back, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted that initially extended well below and in front of the Cessna 172.

The Cessna 172 pilot-rated passenger, in the right seat, stated that as his airplane climbed through about 200 feet, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340 almost directly below, "stall and crash." The PIC of the Cessna 172, in the left seat, stated that he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin engine airplane, then saw a fireball at the departure end of the runway he just departed.

The videos also recorded a boat heading north, mid-channel, in the waterway next to runway 36 when the accident occurred. A witness on the boat heard "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that the "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground, with an "instantaneous" explosion.

The Cessna 340 impacted flat terrain about 40 feet to right of, and 250 feet from the departure end of runway 36, in the vicinity of 27 degrees, 55.16 minutes north latitude, 082 degrees, 26.87 degrees west longitude. The airplane was mostly destroyed in a post impact fire, and initial ground scars indicated an approximate heading of 010 degrees magnetic. Ground scars were consistent with the airplane having impacted at a high descent angle and inverted. However, the main wreckage came to rest right side up.

The fire consumed the majority of fuselage, from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were also substantially consumed by fire. The engines had separated from the wings, with the right engine found between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine found on top of the right wing.

Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene, but flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and center cabin, and the tail and center cabin due to the extent of fire damage.

Both propellers were found broken off from their respective engines, and both sets of propellers exhibited blade leading edge burnishing, and bending and twisting. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed on both engines, as was compression. Significant thermal and impact damage was noted, but no preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.
National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Ninerxray Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6239X

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA133 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N6239X
Injuries: 2 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 March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during an initial climb following a takeoff at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal flight, to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) Pensacola, Florida, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 feet long and 100 feet wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 feet long and 75 feet wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. There was shipping channel just east of, and parallel to runway 18/36.

Wind, recorded at the airport at 1135, was from 210 degrees true at 9 knots. However, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) was in effect at the time of the accident due to an airshow at nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The TFR extended in a 5-nautical-mile radius from the center of the base, from the surface to 15,000 feet unless authorized by air traffic control. The TFR extended over the southern ends of both runways at TPF. Multiple sources indicated that while the twin-engine Cessna 340 was taking off from runway 4, a single-engine Cessna 172M, N61801, was taking off from runway 36.

The airport did not have an operating control tower, and the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was not recorded, nor was it required to be.

There were two pilots in the Cessna 172; the pilot in command (PIC) who had just passed his private pilot check ride at TPF, and a pilot-rated passenger, who had also been the PIC's flight instructor. The Cessna 172 was departing for its home airport following the check ride. In separate written statements, both pilots stated that the PIC made an advisory radio call indicating they would be taking off from runway 36. They also stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the frequency, with the PIC noting that they monitored frequency 122.725 [the CTAF frequency] from the taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36.

There was also a radio at the FBO, and a witness who was there at the time of the accident stated that he heard a radio call from the Cessna 340, and about 10-15 seconds later, heard what he thought could have been a call from the Cessna 172, but it wasn't as clear, partly because he was speaking to someone else at the time.

Airport and cross-channel security cameras captured the latter part of the accident flight. They partially showed the Cessna 340 taking off from runway 4 and the Cessna 172 taking off from runway 36.

The airport security camera was pointed such that the intersections of runways 4 and 36 were in the upper left quadrant of the video. The video initially showed the Cessna 172 on its takeoff roll. It lifted off the runway well before the runway intersection, continued a slow climb straight ahead, and gradually disappeared toward the upper left portion of the video.

When the video initially showed the Cessna 340, it was already about 20 feet above runway 4. It then made a hard left turn and appeared to pass behind the Cessna 172, still in a left turn, but climbing. It then appeared to briefly parallel the course of the Cessna 172, but the left-turn bank angle continued to increase, and the airplane's nose dropped. The airplane then descended, impacting the ground in an inverted, extremely nose-low attitude. During the impact sequence, the airplane burst into flames.

There was also a camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel. The camera was pointing northward, up the shipping channel. However, the left side of the video also included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected.

In the recording, the Cessna 172 was first seen coming into view airborne off runway 36, and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection, the Cessna 340 came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately beginning a hard left turn. The Cessna 340 continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172 while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172's right side. It almost reached Cessna 172's altitude, but continued the left turn onto its back, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted that initially extended well below and in front of the Cessna 172.

The Cessna 172 pilot-rated passenger, in the right seat, stated that as his airplane climbed through about 200 feet, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340 almost directly below, "stall and crash." The PIC of the Cessna 172, in the left seat, stated that he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin engine airplane, then saw a fireball at the departure end of the runway he just departed.

The videos also recorded a boat heading north, mid-channel, in the waterway next to runway 36 when the accident occurred. A witness on the boat heard "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that the "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground, with an "instantaneous" explosion.

The Cessna 340 impacted flat terrain about 40 feet to right of, and 250 feet from the departure end of runway 36, in the vicinity of 27 degrees, 55.16 minutes north latitude, 082 degrees, 26.87 degrees west longitude. The airplane was mostly destroyed in a post impact fire, and initial ground scars indicated an approximate heading of 010 degrees magnetic. Ground scars were consistent with the airplane having impacted at a high descent angle and inverted. However, the main wreckage came to rest right side up.

The fire consumed the majority of fuselage, from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were also substantially consumed by fire. The engines had separated from the wings, with the right engine found between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine found on top of the right wing.

Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene, but flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and center cabin, and the tail and center cabin due to the extent of fire damage.

Both propellers were found broken off from their respective engines, and both sets of propellers exhibited blade leading edge burnishing, and bending and twisting. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed on both engines, as was compression. Significant thermal and impact damage was noted, but no preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Louis Caporicci

Kevin Correna


As Kevin Carreno made his way through adulthood, he made notes of his life goals and the progress he was making.

He wanted to be a chief executive of a Fortune 500 company and to provide for his family.

And he wanted to learn how to fly.

“He was very driven,” says LeAnn Carreno, 49, who discovered her late husband’s written goals while going through his belongings.

On the morning of March 18, Carreno, 55, and his best friend and Air Force Academy roommate, retired Air Force Col. Louis Caporicci, 54, died together in a fire after a small plane crashed while Caporicci was taking off from Peter O. Knight Airport on Tampa’s Davis Islands.

The twin-engine Cessna 340 was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene, authorities said. As of Monday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting an investigation, had not yet released its preliminary findings.

Carreno says she learned through reading her late husband’s goals what drove him to earn a pilot’s license.

“At one point he wanted to be in the aerospace industry and he wanted to fly,” Carreno says.

When he entered the academy, Kevin Carreno was told officials would waive color deficiency in his vision and allow him to fly, his widow says. But then when he graduated, he was told that there were too many qualified pilots.

“That was when he made the decision to get out of the Air Force at some point,” LeAnn Carreno says.

He later became a pilot, and though he never did work in the aerospace industry, Kevin Carreno put himself through law school, became an attorney, and got a job at Raymond James Financial as a legal counsel, LeAnn Carreno says. He rose to vice president of Raymond James subsidiary Robert Thomas, which led to a move to London to open up Raymond James UK, she says.

The family was there for five years before they came home and Carreno went into business for himself. He set up a company called Experts Counsel, where he offered financial services, expert witnessing and counseling.

“He liked to help out people who were in hot water,” his widow says. “Kevin saved people who were losing their careers. Who were in a bad spot. Kevin always stepped up and found a way to help them survive.”

He and Caporicci also created their own fuel-trading company, called VetsFuels, where they bought and sold fuel through government contracts.

And Kevin Carreno had served a three-year a term as a director for the Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.

About 18 years ago, he moved to cross another item off his list, LeAnn Carreno says.

“Then when Lou and his family moved back to this area, Louis was an instructor pilot, and so he utilized that time with Lou to take lessons,” LeAnn Carreno says. “They would get up Saturday or Sunday morning, and fly to Fort Myers to have breakfast. It was their time to discuss their lives and the world and politics.”

Kevin Carreno was born in Racine, Wisconsin, but spent his youth in Curacao, where his father worked with Snapon tools.

“He learned Dutch in Curacao, then his family moved to Mexico City, where he learned Spanish,” LeAnn Carreno says. “It was not until he moved to Miami in middle school that he learned to read and write English.”

She met her husband in Denver in 1987, through mutual friends, as Kevin Carreno was getting ready to leave active duty.

“But there was no matchmaking intent at all,” she says.

Maybe not, but they fell in love, married in 1989 and stayed together ever since, raising two children along the way.

Kevin Carreno retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel after 27 years, most of it in the reserve, LeAnn Carreno says.

He was a liaison officer, speaking to young men and women who wanted to go to the academy.

The couple moved to St. Petersburg in 1990.

“We got married in Hawaii and he dropped off his resume at the Denver airport,” she says. “When we got back, there was a letter from Raymond James, and we were down there three months later.”

Things have been rough since the accident, she says.

“Kevin was larger than life,” his widow says. “And I think the thing that gets us through all of this, is that there has been such an incredible outpouring of people from every avenue of his life. People who I never met before who are hurting just as much as we are.”

The couple’s daughter, Lyndsay Carreno, is 21, a senior at Auburn University and wants to follow in her father’s footsteps as a lawyer.

Their son Jordan, 25, works with fuel traders.

Carreno says she and her husband often talked about death.

“Kevin always wanted to be fast and furious. He did not want to be sick or have a prolonged death. I can’t think of a more fitting way for him to go than to be with his best friend, flying.”

There was a lighter side to him, too.

“He was very quick-witted. He answered every adversity and problem with a joke.”

That’s why friends looking at possible dates for the funeral zeroed in on April 1.

His widow agreed so the service is set for 2 p.m. Friday at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1955 S. Belcher Road in Clearwater.

“I looked to the heavens and said, ‘I love you honey,’” LeAnn Carreno says. “This is so appropriate.”


- See more at: http://www.tbo.com





TAMPA — Another plane took off at the same time as the twin-engine Cessna that crashed and burned killing two people at Peter O. Knight Airport, officials confirmed Saturday.

The Cessna 340 went down at about 11:30 a.m. Friday and was engulfed by flames when rescuers arrived on scene. Eyewitnesses said they saw another plane, but National Transportation Safety investigators were still determining the crash's cause on Saturday.

"There's evidence that there are two airplanes taking off approximately at the same time," said NTSB investigator Paul Cox during a news conference at the airport. "However, whether the accident occurred coincidental, or as a cause of, I don't know yet and that's one of the reason that we're here … you can't just jump to a conclusion right at the beginning."

Cox said his team has identified the other pilot was and would eventually interview him or her. Cox also said surveillance video from the airport captured the crash, but added his office would not immediately release the video.

Tampa police said Saturday the Medical Examiner's Office would have to positively identify the victims before their names were released.

The plane that crashed was headed to Pensacola. Peter O. Knight will be closed until further notice, a Tampa International Airport spokeswoman said Saturday.

Cox said his investigation was held up due the possibility of lightning Saturday afternoon, but once the weather cleared he would analyze the crash scene. He said Saturday's focus would be on assessing the wreckage.

After his crew photographs, measures and examines the remaining charred parts, the plane will be stored at a facility in Jacksonville, Cox said. The NTSB will release a preliminary report in the next 10 days.

Original article can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A routine flight ended in a fiery crash just moments after takeoff at the Peter O. Knight Airport  on Davis Islands at around 11:30 a.m. Friday.

The crash left two people dead after the plane fell from the sky. The plane was headed to Pensacola but never even had the chance to leave the airport’s perimeter.

Witnesses told News Channel 8 the pilot had to take evasive action and did his best not to hit another plane that was taking off at the same time. Officials have not confirmed a second plane involved in the incident.

The Cessna 340 burst into a ball of flames and witnesses could only watch in disbelief.

“We saw the plane turn over and went directly into the ground and just blew up into flames almost immediately,” Tony Soletti said. “We just got back on a flight last night so when you see a plane go down instantaneously and there are no survivors and it’s something you don’t see again.”

Soletti was right outside the airport with his two sons. One of them called 911. “It was pretty scary because I’ve never seen something so horrible happen before,” his son, Brock, said.

As the investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board shifts into high gear, the tight-knit community of pilots at Peter O. Knight is speechless.

“You know, it’s tragic,” pilot Al Swan said. “We almost don’t even believe it when it happens. We know many of the people that fly around here.”

Swan has flown of the airport for 20 years. Before that, he flew in the Vietnam War.

He says for him and other pilots at Peter O. Knight, it’s all about safety. “What I do, every other year, I go to a flight proficiency course,” he said.

Swan also checks out everything before he takes off on any trip. He, like everyone else, can’t understand why this happened.

“Why does it happen to them and not somebody else?” he asked. “We’ll never know that either.”

Pilots told News Channel 8 there is no tower at the airport and the pilots talk to each other to make sure to keep a safe distance.

Peter O. Knight was closed immediately after the crash. There’s no word on when it will reopen. The airport is located at 825 Severn Ave. in Tampa.

Officials have yet to release the names of the two people killed.

Original article can be found here: http://wfla.com



Two people were killed in a fire after a small plane crashed Friday morning while taking off at Peter O. Knight Airport on Tampa’s Davis Islands, authorities said.

Officials did not identify the bodies found in the wreckage but said they were the pilot and a passenger and that the plane was headed to Pensacola when it crashed right after departure.

The twin-engine Cessna 310 was engulfed in flames as firefighters were called to the scene, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

“The airplane is totally destroyed and was completely engulfed in flames upon arrival, the first arriving units,” said Tampa Fire Rescue District Chief Mark Bogush, who didn’t know if anything was onboard the plane other than the people who died. “We did not dig through the wreckage. That was left intact for the FAA.”

At a news conference, officials could not confirm how the plane caught fire. It was also not known if a second plane was involved.

Bogush said the firefighters received the first call around 11:30 a.m. A fireboat rescue unit training in the Tampa port area arrived in about four minutes and was able to direct firefighters who arrived about two minutes later, he said.

“It was not a very large fire at the time, very easy to get under control,” Bogush said.

Firefighters found the two deceased people inside the plane.

Wreckage could be seen next to Runway 18, which runs north and south at the north end of the airport along Seddon Channel.

Before firefighters arrived, a large plume of black smoke was seen rising from the small airport, a few miles south of downtown Tampa.

The airport was closed due to the crash, according to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

- Original article can be found here: http://www.tbo.com




TAMPA — Two people are dead after a small plane crashed at 11:33 a.m. Friday on the northeast runway at Peter O. Knight Airport on David Islands. 

Rescue crews on scene believe the incident occurred during takeoff and may have involved another plane, though that is unconfirmed. The second plane was "unscathed," an officer said at the scene. Both planes were believed to have taken off at the same time.

Smoke from the plane could be seen from downtown Tampa. The plane sat in several pieces, completely destroyed.

Fire and rescue crews put out the fire around 11:55 am. Some responding fire trucks began leaving the scene shortly after.

The site of the crash was right across the street from were a plane crashed into a house in 2006. That home was later rebuilt on the television show "Extreme Home Makeover."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn arrived on scene shortly after the incident. A briefing is underway now.

Original article can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com



Two people were killed in plane crash at Peter O. Knight Airport, Tampa Fire Rescue said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

Tampa Fire Rescue says it received a call about the plane crash around 11:33 a.m. Their first unit, a fire boat conducting training in the area, arrived at the scene about four minutes later, and confirmed the crash.

Initial reports were that two planes collided, but FAA investigators are still trying to determine what happened.

Tampa Police says the plane, a twin-engine Cessna, was departing at the time of the crash.

The FAA and NTSB are being brought in to investigate.

Peter O. Knight Airport is five minutes from downtown Tampa.


Original article can be found here: http://www.wtsp.com






























They were best friends, business partners and Air Force Academy roommates. 

And Friday morning, Louis Caporicci and Kevin Carreno perished together in a fire after authorities said a small plane crashed while taking off at Peter O. Knight Airport on Tampa’s Davis Islands, a close friend of Caporicci confirmed Sunday.

The twin-engine Cessna 310 was engulfed in flames as firefighters were called to the scene, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. Officials expect to release a preliminary report in 10 days or less, but a complete investigation could last a year.

Friends recalled two people who faithfully served their country, their communities and loved their families. Friends and family members posted condolences on social media sites. Family members of both men declined comment Sunday,

John Alvarez, a close friend of the 55-year-old Caporicci, said that the two men were aboard the Cessna.

State business records show that Carreno, 55, was the registered agent and Caporicci was the manager of a company called Peritas Partners, located at 3001 Executive Drive, Suite 335, Clearwater.

The two men have a long history together, Alvarez said.

They were “classmates and roommates at the Air Force Academy,” said Alvarez, a retired Air Force colonel who lost his left leg during a mission in Ecuador. “Kevin was definitely his best friend and most recently his business partner,” Alvarez said. “Lou and I served together and worked together when he was with Commuter Air and I consider him a brother.”

Caporicci was a retired Air Force colonel who flew air rescue and special ops missions all over the world and last served at U.S. Special Operations Command, responsible for wargaming, experimentation and concept development.

Alvarez said that Caporicci recruited him away from the Joint Special Operations University at Socom.

“He also was active in our local chapter of the Air Commando Association,” Alvarez said. “I’m the local chapter president and along with our other local retired Pave Low crews are taking care of his families needs.”

Among his many other military experiences, Caporicci flew MH-53 helicopters, known as Pavelows.

He also served with Special Operations Command Europe (Soceur), where he was instrumental in handling special operations issues in Bosnia, according to a former commanding officer, retired Army colonel Mark Rosengard.

“He was a great guy,” said Rosengard, who saw the aftermath of the accident from the window of his office on Harbour Island. “He was a great family man and a good friend.”

Caporicci was Rosengard’s deputy at Soceur in 2004 and was played a big role.

“He was a terrific guy, a great communicator,” Rosengard said. “He was capable of very detailed planning.”

Because of his skills, Caporicci was sent on a temporary special operations assignment in Sarajevo, but did such a good job the tour was extended.

“We needed to have a leader,” said Rosengard. “We had a cell forwarded in Sarajevo, and needed to send someone that was capable, He did a superlative job, managing a very amorphous task.”

Because much of the mission remains classified, Rosengard couldn’t go into too many details. But he said that Caporicci dealt with a lot of senior military leaders “and had to make them comfortable about what special operators were prepared to do, and how they executed their missions. He was great. He was super at that. Super at a lot of things, and that solved a great many problems for what was a turbulent time in Soceur.”

It was Caporicci’s job to make problems non-problems, said Rosengard. “He was a no-worry” officer who commanders thought of “as an unspeakable value. A treasure. His wife Val is a super lady, his daughters are beautiful and it is a loss. We lost a treasure there.”

Stu Bradin, a retired Army colonel who replaced Caporicci at Soceur, also valued the man.

“There is nobody who didn’t like him, which is why we called him ‘Sweet Lou’, said Stu Bradin, a retired Army colonel who knew Caporicci for more than a decade.

Bradin took over for Caporicci as the deputy director of plans for Special Operations Command Europe sometime around 2003.

He was an avid private pilot and flew the MH-53 Pavelow helicopter for Air Force Special Operations Command, said Bradin.

“He was just a good man,” said Bradin. “Funny as hell and if he couldn’t do something, he was very straight up and tell you, so there were no delusions of grandeur. He was just a good egg.”

According to his Linkedin page, Carreno was General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at International Assets Advisory and was also servicing a three-year term as a director for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Board of Governors.

On Facebook, Sam Ayers recalled Carreno as a loving family man.

“Kevin Carreno was a good man, and a good husband and father,” Ayers wrote. “I know personally that he loved and cared for his family in a way that is rare by today’s standards. I will miss Kevin but know for a fact that he is with the Lord and is waiting for us to join him there. My heart bleeds for LeAnn and the Carreno family. Know that we love you all and are very sad for your loss.”

Also on Facebook, Lisa Lovelace Smith recalled both men.

“83’ Air Force Academy Brothers! RIP Kevin and Lou, You both will be missed!,” she wrote. “Both were Godly Men, Family Men, Military Men! Oh how we loved them! Both Private Pilots that flew everywhere together. So the only positive thing I can think about their deaths is that they died “together” doing one of their most Favorite Hobbies in the whole wide world “Flying”! Now I believe they are Flying in Heaven! I believe if we just look up in the sky they are Flying High with God on their Wings. But I tell you the hole that they have left for us back on earth hurts. Ricard and I were “just” their friends and it hurts. ... please be in prayer for their families as I can only imagine the pain that both families are feeling. I ask if and when you go to church ask your Church family to pray for these two sweet and loving families. Thank You!”

The airport was closed after the crash and reopened Saturday evening.

The plane was engulfed in flames when firefighters were called to the scene, and was completely destroyed in the crash. The names of the two dead people, who were taking off from the airport and headed to Pensacola, had not been released by Tampa police.

Paul Cox, a senior air safety investigator with the NTSB, said he expected a preliminary report on the crash would be released in 10 days or less, but the full investigation could take up to one year to complete.

“At this point we’re just gathering the facts,” he said.

Another plane was taking off at about the same time as the Cessna 310, but investigators don’t know if it had any role in the crash, or if that plane’s pilot saw anything significant, Cox said.

“Whether the accident occurred coincidental or as a cause of, I don’t know yet,” he said. “You can’t just jump to a conclusion right at the beginning.”

Original article can be found here:  http://www.tbo.com

Louis Caporicci

Kevin Correna


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Ninerxray Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6239X



Location: Tampa, FL
Accident Number: ERA16FA133
Date & Time: 03/18/2016, 1130 EDT
Registration: N6239X
Aircraft: CESSNA 340
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Abrupt maneuver
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed during takeoff when it impacted terrain following a near-miss with a Cessna 172M, N61801, at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the pilot-rated passenger of the Cessna 340A were fatally injured. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger of the Cessna 172M were not injured, and the Cessna 172M was not damaged. The Cessna 340A was registered to Ninerxray, Inc., and operated by the pilot. The Cessna 172M was registered to and operated by Tampa Aviation Club, Inc. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed and activated for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight of the Cessna 340A that was destined for Pensacola International Airport, Pensacola, Florida. No flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight of the Cessna 172M that was destined for Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, Florida.

At the time of the accident, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) Notice to Airmen was in effect at TPF due to an airshow at MacDill Air Force Base, which was located about 5 nautical miles southwest of TPF. The TFR specified that only departures from runways 4 and 36 were authorized.

Earlier that day, the pilot of the Cessna 172M had successfully completed the oral examination and flight test for his private pilot certificate at TPF. The Cessna 172M was departing for its home airport following the flight test. The pilot-rated passenger in the Cessna 172M was the president of the corporation that owned and operated the Cessna 172M.

The president of the corporation that owned the Cessna 340A, reported that, on the day of the accident, one of the principals of the corporation was scheduled to be flown by the accident pilot to Fort Lauderdale, Florida; however, the trip was cancelled. The president further reported that, "without consulting any of the Principals of Ninerxray, Inc., and without their knowledge or consent," the pilot initiated the accident flight.

TPF does not have an air traffic control tower (ATCT). According to a chronological summary of communications with the ATCT at Tampa International Airport (located about 6 nautical miles northwest of TPF), at 1126, an occupant of the Cessna 340A contacted the Tampa ATCT using the remote communications outlet (RCO) at TPF for an IFR departure from runway 4 and was given an IFR clearance, but was held for departure. About 2 minutes later, he was advised to contact Tampa approach control on 119.9 MHz and was released for departure. There was no further contact between the Cessna 340A and Tampa ATCT.

The pilot of the Cessna 172M stated that he and the pilot-rated passenger monitored TPF's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) of 122.725 MHz from their taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36. The pilot-rated passenger stated that the radio transmissions were made by the pilot using the No. 3 radio, which was a Garmin GPS/Com transceiver. The pilot indicated that he initially transmitted on the CTAF that he was taking off from runway 1 but then corrected that he was taking off from runway 36. In separate written statements, both occupants of the Cessna 172M stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the CTAF frequency, and they saw no incoming or departing traffic.

A pilot-rated employee of the FBO at TPF reported that he heard a radio call on the CTAF from an occupant of the Cessna 340A stating that they were taking off from runway 4. About 10 to 15 seconds later, while he was talking to another person, he heard another transmission on the CTAF that "wasn't clear and direct" but indicated that an airplane was departing from runway 1, then corrected to runway 36. The employee asked the person he was talking with if the second radio call was at TPF, to which the individual replied that he did not hear it and did not think so.

The pilot of the Cessna 172M stated that he performed a short field takeoff, and just after liftoff, he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin-engine airplane with full throttle "descending off the right [side] of the airplane." He then heard a crash and saw a fireball at the departure end of runway 36. The pilot-rated passenger stated that, as the Cessna 172M climbed through about 200 ft near the north end of the runway, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340A almost directly below "stall and crash." Because the pilot felt it unsafe to return to TPF, he elected to continue to his planned destination.

The airport was equipped with a security camera that pointed to the intersection of runways 4/22 and 18/36. The security camera depicted the latter portion of the departures of both airplanes. Review of the recorded video revealed that it depicted the Cessna 172M becoming airborne before the runway intersection and continuing in a slow climb straight ahead over the runway until just before the intersection with runway 4. As the Cessna 172M approached the intersection, the Cessna 340A entered the left side of the video just above runway 4 in a wings level attitude with the landing gear extended. The Cessna 340A was observed in a climbing left turn while the Cessna 172M continued straight ahead. The Cessna 340A then continued in a climbing left turn, rolled inverted, and, while in a nose- and left-wing-low attitude, impacted the ground north of the intersection. A fireball occurred almost immediately after impact, and the Cessna 172M continued in a northerly direction out of view of the camera.

A camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel adjacent to the airport also recorded the accident sequence. The left side of the video included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected. In the recording, the Cessna 172M was first seen coming into view airborne over runway 36 and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection of runway 4/22, the Cessna 340A came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately entering a hard-left turn. The Cessna 340A continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172M while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172M's right side. The Cessna 340A almost reached the Cessna 172M's altitude, but continued the left turn to an inverted attitude, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted.

A witness who was on a boat in the shipping channel next to runway 36 stated that he heard a "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that a "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground with an "instantaneous" explosion. He also indicated that the airplanes were so close that he thought they would collide (The figure below shows the airport diagram and accident site location).

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/05/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/12/2015
Flight Time: 5195 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/06/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2014
Flight Time: 375 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, who was seated in the left seat of the Cessna 340A, age 54, held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multi-engine land rating. He also held commercial, flight instructor, and ground instructor certificates. At the commercial level, he held ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument helicopter, and, at the flight instructor level, he held ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument airplane and helicopter. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on June 5, 2014. As of October 2, 2015, the pilot reported a total time of 5,195 hours of which 284 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. His last flight review in accordance with Title 14 CFR Part 61 section 56 was on March 12, 2015.

According to FAA records, the right seat occupant of the Cessna 340A, age 55, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on June 6, 2014. On the application for his last medical certificate, he listed a total flight time of 375 hours.

According to FAA records, the pilot, who was seated in the left seat of the Cessna 172M, age 30, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land rating issued earlier that day. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate with no limitations was issued on December 7, 2015. On the FAA 8710-1 application form for his private pilot certificate, he listed a total flight time of 40 hours of which 21.4 hours were as instruction received and 18.6 hours were solo.

According to FAA records, the right seat occupant of the Cessna 172M, age 69, held airline transport, commercial, and flight instructor pilot certificates. At the airline transport pilot level, he held an airplane multi-engine land rating, and, at the commercial level, he held ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea. At the flight instructor level, he held ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine and instrument airplane. He reported a total flight time of 6,530 hours and about 3,000 hours in a Cessna 172. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N6239X
Model/Series: 340 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 340A0436
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/15/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6390 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3963.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-EBcN
Registered Owner: NINERXRAY INC
Rated Power: 335 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None



Cessna 340A

The six-place, low-wing, retractable-gear Cessna 340A airplane, serial number 340A0436, was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by two 335-horsepower Continental Motors, Inc., TSIO-520-NB engines and equipped with Hartzell PHC-C3YF-2UF/FC7693DFB constant-speed propellers. The airplane was also equipped with RAM Option 3 vortex generators on both wings and tail that were installed in 1996 in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA7975SW. The airplane's maximum allowable gross weight was 6,390 pounds.

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GNS-530W installed in the "pilots view position" that was the No. 1 communication and navigation transceiver. It was connected to the No. 1 position of the audio panel. A Garmin GNS 430 with navigation and communication capability was installed in the center instrument panel.

The maintenance records were reportedly in the airplane at the time of the accident. Review of copies of the Cessna 340A's maintenance record entries indicated that the airplane's last annual inspection was signed off as being completed on February 15, 2016. At that time, the airplane's total time was 3,963.10 hours.

The Cessna 340A's weight at the time of the accident was calculated using the empty weight when the airplane was modified in 1996 (about 4,478 pounds), the weights of the occupants from their most recent FAA medical examinations (208 and 207 pounds), and the weight of full usable fuel in each main fuel tank, each auxiliary fuel tank, and the locker fuel tank (1,098 pounds). The calculations indicated that the takeoff weight was about 5,991 pounds.

The Flight Manual Supplement associated with the 1996 modifications specified that the takeoff and climb speed to 50 ft was 93 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) for weights between 5,990 and 6,390 pounds.

A review of the stall speed chart in the Flight Manual Supplement revealed that at 6,390 pounds, with flaps retracted and landing gear up, the stall speeds at 0°, 40°, and 60° of bank were 81, 93, and 115 KIAS, respectively. There were no published stall speeds for flaps retracted and landing gear down.



Cessna 172M

The four-place, high-wing, fixed-gear Cessna 172M airplane, serial number 17264811, was manufactured in 1975. It was equipped with three communication and navigation transceivers, which included a Garmin GNC-300XL GPS/Com system that was installed and interfaced to the existing audio system after the airplane was manufactured. According to the pilot-rated passenger, in November 2015, there had been static over the intercom, and the audio panel had been replaced. The pilot-rated passenger reported that all three radios were checked after the accident with no discrepancies reported.

Review of the Cessna 172M's maintenance records indicated that an annual inspection was completed on July 8, 2015, at an airplane total time of 9,412.4 hours. The next annual inspection was completed on August 10, 2016, at an airplane total time of 9,601.1 hours. There was no entry between the 2015 and 2016 annual inspection entries related to the airplane's radios. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TPF, 7 ft msl
Observation Time: 1135 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 20°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.001 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tampa, FL (TPF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: PENSACOLA, FL (PNS)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1130 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

The 1115 automated surface observation taken at TPF reported wind from 210° at 9 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies. The temperature and dew point were 27°C and 20°C, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.00 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: PETER O KNIGHT (TPF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 7 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3580 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 ft long and 100 ft wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 ft long and 75 ft wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. A shipping channel was located just east of and parallel to runway 18/36. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  27.919722, -82.447778

Examination of the accident site revealed that the Cessna 340A impacted flat terrain about 40 ft to the right of and 250 ft from the departure end of runway 36. The initial ground scars indicated a magnetic heading of about 10°. The wreckage came to rest upright, and both engines were separated from the wings. The right engine was located between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine was laying on the right wing.

A postcrash fire consumed the majority of fuselage from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were substantially consumed by fire. Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene. Flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and the center cabin and between the tail and the center cabin due to the extensive fire damage. The hardware attaching the elevator trim pushrod assembly to the elevator trim actuator remained intact, and the elevator trim tab actuator was extended 1.4 inches, which equates to 5° tab trailing-edge-down. The rudder trim tab actuator was extended 1.0 inch, which equates to 5° tab trailing-edge-right. The aileron trim tab actuator was extended 1.7 inches, which equates to a neutral setting. Examination of the flap motor revealed the flap chain position correlated to flaps retracted.

The frequencies of the communication transceivers and the configuration of the audio control panel could not be determined due to the postcrash fire, which consumed the cockpit.

Engine crankshaft continuity and cylinder compression were confirmed on both engines. Significant thermal and impact damage were noted to both engines and their accessories. No preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

Both propellers were separated from their respective engines, and both exhibited leading edge burnishing, bending, and twisting of the blades.

The Cessna 172M was examined the day of the accident by several FAA inspectors; no operational testing of the radios was performed. The pilot-rated passenger reported that subsequent testing of all three radios was satisfactory. 

Communications

TPF did not have a control tower, and the CTAF of 122.725 MHz was not recorded, nor was it required to be. Following the accident, equipment that recorded the CTAF was installed at TPF.

There were no reported communication difficulties with Tampa ATCT.

According to an individual who provided oversight for TPF, to their knowledge, there had been no formal or informal complaints about the CTAF pertaining to reception issues related to buildings and/or structures.



Medical And Pathological Information

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department, Tampa, Florida, performed postmortem examinations of the Cessna 340A pilot and pilot-rated passenger, and also toxicological testing. The cause of death for both was listed as blunt impact to head and neck. Toxicology testing or liver specimens of the pilot and pilot-rated passenger revealed the results for both were negative for volatiles, drugs of abuse, comprehensive drug screen, and benzodiazepines.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed toxicological testing of specimens from the Cessna 340A pilot and pilot-rated passenger. The toxicology report for the pilot indicated no ethanol was detected in the submitted muscle and brain specimens. Unquantified amounts of atorvastatin, diphenhydramine, and naproxen were detected in the submitted liver specimen. Atorvastatin is a cholesterol lowering prescription medication commonly called Lipitor. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory analgesic available over the counter and by prescription, often with the names Aleve and Naprosyn. Neither of these drugs are considered impairing. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine that has been shown to impair a driver's ability to safely operate a car. Testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed.

The toxicology report for the pilot-rated passenger indicated no ethanol was detected in the submitted muscle and brain specimens, and no tested drugs were detected in the submitted liver specimen. Testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed.

Drug and alcohol testing was not requested or performed for the occupants of the Cessna 172M.



NTSB Identification: ERA16FA133
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N6239X
Injuries: 2 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 March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during an initial climb following a takeoff at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal flight, to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) Pensacola, Florida, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 feet long and 100 feet wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 feet long and 75 feet wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. There was shipping channel just east of, and parallel to runway 18/36.

Wind, recorded at the airport at 1135, was from 210 degrees true at 9 knots. However, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) was in effect at the time of the accident due to an airshow at nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The TFR extended in a 5-nautical-mile radius from the center of the base, from the surface to 15,000 feet unless authorized by air traffic control. The TFR extended over the southern ends of both runways at TPF. Multiple sources indicated that while the twin-engine Cessna 340 was taking off from runway 4, a single-engine Cessna 172M, N61801, was taking off from runway 36.

The airport did not have an operating control tower, and the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was not recorded, nor was it required to be.

There were two pilots in the Cessna 172; the pilot in command (PIC) who had just passed his private pilot check ride at TPF, and a pilot-rated passenger, who had also been the PIC's flight instructor. The Cessna 172 was departing for its home airport following the check ride. In separate written statements, both pilots stated that the PIC made an advisory radio call indicating they would be taking off from runway 36. They also stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the frequency, with the PIC noting that they monitored frequency 122.725 [the CTAF frequency] from the taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36.

There was also a radio at the FBO, and a witness who was there at the time of the accident stated that he heard a radio call from the Cessna 340, and about 10-15 seconds later, heard what he thought could have been a call from the Cessna 172, but it wasn't as clear, partly because he was speaking to someone else at the time.

Airport and cross-channel security cameras captured the latter part of the accident flight. They partially showed the Cessna 340 taking off from runway 4 and the Cessna 172 taking off from runway 36.

The airport security camera was pointed such that the intersections of runways 4 and 36 were in the upper left quadrant of the video. The video initially showed the Cessna 172 on its takeoff roll. It lifted off the runway well before the runway intersection, continued a slow climb straight ahead, and gradually disappeared toward the upper left portion of the video.

When the video initially showed the Cessna 340, it was already about 20 feet above runway 4. It then made a hard left turn and appeared to pass behind the Cessna 172, still in a left turn, but climbing. It then appeared to briefly parallel the course of the Cessna 172, but the left-turn bank angle continued to increase, and the airplane's nose dropped. The airplane then descended, impacting the ground in an inverted, extremely nose-low attitude. During the impact sequence, the airplane burst into flames.

There was also a camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel. The camera was pointing northward, up the shipping channel. However, the left side of the video also included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected.

In the recording, the Cessna 172 was first seen coming into view airborne off runway 36, and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection, the Cessna 340 came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately beginning a hard left turn. The Cessna 340 continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172 while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172's right side. It almost reached Cessna 172's altitude, but continued the left turn onto its back, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted that initially extended well below and in front of the Cessna 172.

The Cessna 172 pilot-rated passenger, in the right seat, stated that as his airplane climbed through about 200 feet, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340 almost directly below, "stall and crash." The PIC of the Cessna 172, in the left seat, stated that he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin engine airplane, then saw a fireball at the departure end of the runway he just departed.

The videos also recorded a boat heading north, mid-channel, in the waterway next to runway 36 when the accident occurred. A witness on the boat heard "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that the "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground, with an "instantaneous" explosion.

The Cessna 340 impacted flat terrain about 40 feet to right of, and 250 feet from the departure end of runway 36, in the vicinity of 27 degrees, 55.16 minutes north latitude, 082 degrees, 26.87 degrees west longitude. The airplane was mostly destroyed in a post impact fire, and initial ground scars indicated an approximate heading of 010 degrees magnetic. Ground scars were consistent with the airplane having impacted at a high descent angle and inverted. However, the main wreckage came to rest right side up.

The fire consumed the majority of fuselage, from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were also substantially consumed by fire. The engines had separated from the wings, with the right engine found between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine found on top of the right wing.

Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene, but flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and center cabin, and the tail and center cabin due to the extent of fire damage.

Both propellers were found broken off from their respective engines, and both sets of propellers exhibited blade leading edge burnishing, and bending and twisting. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed on both engines, as was compression. Significant thermal and impact damage was noted, but no preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Miami FSDO-19

Ninerxray Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6239X

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA133
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Tampa, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N6239X
Injuries: 2 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 March 18, 2016, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N6239X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during an initial climb following a takeoff at Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal flight, to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) Pensacola, Florida, was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

TPF had two runways, runway 4/22, which was 3,580 feet long and 100 feet wide, and runway 18/36, which was 2,687 feet long and 75 feet wide. The runways intersected near their northern ends. There was shipping channel just east of, and parallel to runway 18/36.

Wind, recorded at the airport at 1135, was from 210 degrees true at 9 knots. However, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) was in effect at the time of the accident due to an airshow at nearby MacDill Air Force Base. The TFR extended in a 5-nautical-mile radius from the center of the base, from the surface to 15,000 feet unless authorized by air traffic control. The TFR extended over the southern ends of both runways at TPF. Multiple sources indicated that while the twin-engine Cessna 340 was taking off from runway 4, a single-engine Cessna 172M, N61801, was taking off from runway 36.

The airport did not have an operating control tower, and the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was not recorded, nor was it required to be.

There were two pilots in the Cessna 172; the pilot in command (PIC) who had just passed his private pilot check ride at TPF, and a pilot-rated passenger, who had also been the PIC's flight instructor. The Cessna 172 was departing for its home airport following the check ride. In separate written statements, both pilots stated that the PIC made an advisory radio call indicating they would be taking off from runway 36. They also stated that they did not hear any other airplane on the frequency, with the PIC noting that they monitored frequency 122.725 [the CTAF frequency] from the taxi start point in front of the fixed base operator (FBO) to runway 36.

There was also a radio at the FBO, and a witness who was there at the time of the accident stated that he heard a radio call from the Cessna 340, and about 10-15 seconds later, heard what he thought could have been a call from the Cessna 172, but it wasn't as clear, partly because he was speaking to someone else at the time.

Airport and cross-channel security cameras captured the latter part of the accident flight. They partially showed the Cessna 340 taking off from runway 4 and the Cessna 172 taking off from runway 36.

The airport security camera was pointed such that the intersections of runways 4 and 36 were in the upper left quadrant of the video. The video initially showed the Cessna 172 on its takeoff roll. It lifted off the runway well before the runway intersection, continued a slow climb straight ahead, and gradually disappeared toward the upper left portion of the video.

When the video initially showed the Cessna 340, it was already about 20 feet above runway 4. It then made a hard left turn and appeared to pass behind the Cessna 172, still in a left turn, but climbing. It then appeared to briefly parallel the course of the Cessna 172, but the left-turn bank angle continued to increase, and the airplane's nose dropped. The airplane then descended, impacting the ground in an inverted, extremely nose-low attitude. During the impact sequence, the airplane burst into flames.

There was also a camera at a berth on the opposite (eastern) side of the shipping channel. The camera was pointing northward, up the shipping channel. However, the left side of the video also included part of the airport where runways 4 and 36 intersected.

In the recording, the Cessna 172 was first seen coming into view airborne off runway 36, and climbing straight out over the runway. As it neared the intersection, the Cessna 340 came into view, just lifting off from runway 4 and almost immediately beginning a hard left turn. The Cessna 340 continued the turn, passing behind the Cessna 172 while climbing and closing on the Cessna 172's right side. It almost reached Cessna 172's altitude, but continued the left turn onto its back, and descended into the ground. A fireball then erupted that initially extended well below and in front of the Cessna 172.

The Cessna 172 pilot-rated passenger, in the right seat, stated that as his airplane climbed through about 200 feet, he heard another airplane. He looked out the right window and saw the Cessna 340 almost directly below, "stall and crash." The PIC of the Cessna 172, in the left seat, stated that he heard but did not see what he thought was a twin engine airplane, then saw a fireball at the departure end of the runway he just departed.

The videos also recorded a boat heading north, mid-channel, in the waterway next to runway 36 when the accident occurred. A witness on the boat heard "screaming engine noise," which caused him to look toward the two airplanes. He saw that the "twin engine plane was behind and below the single engine plane." The twin engine airplane was in a left turn; it then caught a wing and slammed into the ground, with an "instantaneous" explosion.

The Cessna 340 impacted flat terrain about 40 feet to right of, and 250 feet from the departure end of runway 36, in the vicinity of 27 degrees, 55.16 minutes north latitude, 082 degrees, 26.87 degrees west longitude. The airplane was mostly destroyed in a post impact fire, and initial ground scars indicated an approximate heading of 010 degrees magnetic. Ground scars were consistent with the airplane having impacted at a high descent angle and inverted. However, the main wreckage came to rest right side up.

The fire consumed the majority of fuselage, from the nose of the airplane to the beginning of the empennage. Both wings were also substantially consumed by fire. The engines had separated from the wings, with the right engine found between the beginning of the wreckage path and the main wreckage, and the left engine found on top of the right wing.

Remnants of all flight control surfaces were found at the scene, but flight control continuity could only be confirmed between the wings and center cabin, and the tail and center cabin due to the extent of fire damage.

Both propellers were found broken off from their respective engines, and both sets of propellers exhibited blade leading edge burnishing, and bending and twisting. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed on both engines, as was compression. Significant thermal and impact damage was noted, but no preexisting anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.



Kevin Carreno

Louis Caporicci


TAMPA — The widow of a man who died in a March plane crash at Peter O. Knight Airport filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week against several parties, including her husband's best friend who was piloting the plane. The lawsuit accused pilot Louis Caporicci of being unfit to fly and causing the death of Kevin Carreno.

The suit was filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court by Leann Carreno. Also named in the lawsuit are the two pilots of another aircraft that was taking off at the same time as Carreno's plane, and the owners of both planes.

On March 18, Kevin Carreno joined friend and former U.S. Air Force Academy classmate Louis Caporicci on a flight aboard a Cessna 340 from Peter O. Knight Airport to Pensacola.

When Caporicci began to takeoff around 11:30 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board, a Cessna 172 started its takeoff from a different runway. The two planes converged above the runways' intersection point shortly after take-off.

Caporicci maneuvered to avoid striking the other plane, according to the NTSB, but stalled his own aircraft and crashed. Both men died.

The pilots of the Cessna 172 were David Lopez, who had just passed his private pilot certificate check ride, and his flight instructor, Dave Garner. Neither was injured.

The lawsuit said Caporicci, Garner and Lopez all operated their planes negligently and were unfit to fly. It also named Paul Gallizzi and Tampa Aviation Club Inc., the owners of the Cessna 172, and Ninerxray Inc., the owner of the Cessna 340, and said they're also liable for Kevin Carreno's death.


Original article can be found here:  http://www.tampabay.com
































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