Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Lubbock FSDO-13
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 01, 2016 in Penwell, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/12/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N5679G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The commercial pilot telephoned his wife from his car and told her he was en route to his company’s airplane hangar and was going to kill himself. She alerted her husband's employer, who then alerted the police department. The pilot took the airplane without the company’s permission and then flew it into a 138-ft-tall silo. The autopsy report cited the manner of death as being "consistent with suicide."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s intentional flight into a silo.
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On June 1, 2016, about 2046 central daylight time, a Cessna 150K, N5679G, collided in-flight with a steel silo in Penwell, Texas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by LM Air Patrol Service, Inc., Midland, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas, about 2000.
According to LM Air Patrol Service, the pilot was their employee and had been hired to provide aerial pipeline patrol services. He had flown the airplane on a pipeline patrol mission earlier that day and had secured the airplane about 1500. That evening, the pilot took the airplane without the company's permission. According to the Midland, Texas, Police Department's report, the pilot telephoned his wife and told her he was en route to the hangar and was going to kill himself. She alerted her husband's employer, who in turn alerted the Midland Police Department. The airplane was flying eastbound when it struck a 138-foot tall silo at the Cemex plant, located at 16501 W. Murphy St. in Penwell, Texas.
PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION
The 45-yeard-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single/multiengine and instrument ratings. His last medical certificate, dated February 14, 2015, contained the following: "Medical certificate denied. Multiple alcohol-related events. Certificate surrendered by airman on 04/06/2016."
According to LM Air Patrol Service, the pilot had logged a total of 5,359 flight hours, of which 450 hours were in the Cessna 150 and 2,600 hours were in multiengine aircraft. In the last 90 and 30 days, the pilot had logged about 300 and 100 hours respectively, and had logged 5 hours in the last 24 hours.
N5679G, serial number 15071179, a model 150K, was manufactured by the Cessna Aircraft Company in 1969. According to LM Air Patrol Service, It was modified and powered by a Continental O-320-E2D engine, rated at 150 horsepower, driving a McCauley 2-blade, all-metal, fixed pitch propeller (model number 1C172/TM7458). The last annual inspection was accomplished on June 15, 2015, at an airframe total time of 3,987 hours. The engine had accrued 1,396 hours since major overhaul.
The following pertinent weather observation was recorded at Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas, at 2053 CDT: Wind, 040ºat 18 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, few clouds at 6,500 feet, scattered clouds at 8,000 feet; temperature, 22º Celsius (C.),; dew point 15º; altimeter setting, 29.92 inches of mercury. Remarks: Lightning distant all quadrants.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office. According to its report, death was attributed to "massive blunt force trauma . . . consistent with history of
light aircraft flown into structure (cement plant tower). No notable natural disease" was noted. The manner of death was "consistent with suicide."
Toxicology screens were conducted by both FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office. According to CAMI's report, carbon monoxide and cyanide tests were not performed, but 133 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in brain tissue and 131 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in muscle tissue. In addition, 0.036 (ug/ml, ug/g) alprazolam was detected in liver tissue and lung tissue (no quantity given in the latter), 1.961 (ug/ml, ug/g) butalbital was detected in liver tissue, 0.933 (ug/ml, ug/g) butalbital was detected in lung tissue, and metoprolol detected in Lung and liver tissue (no quantities given). According to the Tarrant County's toxicology report, the pilot's muscle tissue was positive for ethanol (0.030 g/dL), benzodiazepine, and alprazolam (117 ng/mL)
According to FAA's Forensic Toxicology Drug Information and FAA's Research Medical Officer, Alprazolam (Xanax®, Xanax® XR and Niravam®) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of panic and anxiety disorders. It is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. The side effects of alprazolam are typical of benzodiazepines and include sedation, impaired coordination and muscle relaxation, and may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery); therefore, "use could possibly represent a violation of 14 CFR Part 61.53(a), Part 91.17(a)(3) and/or Part 67." Butalbital (Esgic®, Fiorinal®, Fioricet®) is commonly used in combination with other drugs, such as acetaminophen and caffeine, to treat mild to moderate pain, migraines and tension headaches, and may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). "This medication is disqualifying for aeromedical certification; therefore, use could possibly represent a violation of 14 CFR Part 61.53(a), Part 91.17(a)(3) and/or Part 67." Metoprolol (Lopressor®, Toprol® XL) is a prescription medication and beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist, or 'beta blocker,' used in the treatment of hypertension and certain arrhythmias.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 01, 2016 in Penwell, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N5679G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 1, 2016, about 2046 central daylight time, a Cessna 150K, N5679G, collided in-flight with a concrete silo in Penwell, Texas. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by LM Air Patrol Service, Inc., Midland, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas, about 2000.
According to information obtained from local law enforcement agencies, the pilot was flying his company's airplane without authorization and he had telephoned his wife earlier that evening and had told her he was going to kill himself. She alerted her husband's employer. The airplane was flying eastbound when it struck a 138-foot tall silo at the Cemex plant, located at 16501 W. Murphy St. Penwell.
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email email@example.com.
Clayton Ray Chennault
1970 - 2016
Clayton Ray Chennault, 45, passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2016. He is survived by his father, Norman “Sonny” Chennault Jr and wife, Pat; mother, Eileen Mahanay and husband, Gary; grandmother, Norma Jeanne Helpenstill Beers; fiancé, Cathy Mote; sons, Nathan Chennault, Nolan Chennault; daughters, Maegan Chennault, Lauren Chennault; sister, Christel Chennault-Brown; one granddaughter on the way, Brooklyn Grace Chennault; and a host of other family and friends.
Clayton was the epitome of a high energy and adventurous soul. He was truly fun loving and the life of every party he attended and loved entertaining others with his great stories. Clayton was a man of great faith, loved God and read the Bible daily. He was extremely generous and caring when it came to helping others in need. Clayton had an entrepreneurial spirit and owned multiple business throughout his life. His work ethic was unmatched and was often found working seven days a week. Clayton was always up for a challenge and loved getting his pilot’s license. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family. Clayton was an avid Houston Texans fan and enjoyed the sport of horse racing. He will always be remembered for his loyalty and friendship. Clayton will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him.
A Memorial Service for Clayton will be held Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Clayton Funeral Home, 5530 W. Broadway, Pearland, Texas 77581.
The plane crashed by an experienced pilot into the Cemex plant on June 1 was reported stolen to Midland police and investigators are treating the case as a possible suicide, City of Midland officials confirmed Tuesday.
Midland officials have not made the police report public pending a formal open records request but spokeswoman Sara Bustilloz discussed investigators’ findings in a Tuesday interview. She said investigators closed the investigation because the only person suspected of any crime died in the crash.
Police were called at about 9:07 p.m. June 1 to Basin Aviation, a fixed-base operator at Midland Airpark in northeast Midland, 901 Veterans Airpark Lane. Bustilloz said the caller was a woman who said her fiancé might have been in a plane crash.
“She indicated to us that the plane crash could have possibly been a suicide,” Bustilloz said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the pilot at 45-year-old Clayton Ray Chennault of Goldsmith, who died in the crash. No other injuries were reported, and the plant is reportedly online.
The DPS reported the single-engine plane was flying east and for “unknown reasons” crashed into the silo of the Cemex plant sometime during Wednesday night.
Bustilloz said Chennault’s fiancé said she had been in contact with him as late as 8 p.m.
“He might have been up in the air some time at or after 8 p.m.,” Bustilloz said, citing witness statements that estimated the plane crashed at about 8:45 p.m. Bustilloz said there was “no indication of [Chennault] trying to harm anybody else.”
Bustilloz said Chennault’s mother told police she and other family members were in contact with him by phone before the crash and also suspected suicide.
The Odessa American was unable to reach Chennault’s fiancée for comment.
The aircraft, a Cessna 150K, was registered to LM Air Patrol Service in Midland. Reached by phone, owner Larry Mercer declined to comment and hung up. Bustilloz said Chennault was Mercer’s employee.
Bustilloz said Mercer, who was also at Basin Aviation with Chennault’s family the night of the crash trying to find the plane, told police in a follow up interview that Chennault did not have consent to fly the plane outside of work hours or to fly the plane for personal use. Chennault reportedly took the plane from a hangar at Basin Aviation.
Ultimately, Bustilloz said Midland police confirmed with other agencies that Chennault died in the crash and notified his family members, along with crisis counselors.
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said he was familiar with the aircraft, which was used to inspect pipelines. The sheriff’s office was not investigating the case.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration referred all questions to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is heading the investigation and no longer had an investigator in the in the area by Monday.
NTSB spokesmen Peter Knudson declined specific comment on the local police report ahead of a preliminary report expected later this week or early next week.
“We are aware of these reports, we will consider them as part of our investigation and we will work with local authorities,” Knudson said.
Knudson said that the report would outline factual information, while a determination of probable cause can take as long as a year. Many details about the plane crash remain publicly unclear, such as the precise time of the crash and the altitude at which the aircraft was supposed to be flying.
DPS troopers have finished investigating the crash, spokesman Trooper Justin Baker said.
Archives of the trade publication Aviation Business Gazette listed Chennault as certified under the FAA Airmen Certification Database, for pilots “who have met or exceeded the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA.” FAA records showed a commercial pilot certificate had been issued to Chennault on May 20, rating him to fly single-engine, multi-engine and instrument airplanes.
The plane was removed from the Cemex silo during the weekend. Cemex spokeswoman Megan Lawrence declined to discuss any damage caused to the plant or the removal but released a brief statement.
“The issues affecting operations at the plant have been addressed,” Cemex said in a statement sent by Lawrence.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating why the pilot of a single-engine airplane crashed into a cement plant near Penwell, killing the pilot in the process.
But few details were released Thursday from federal authorities about the crash and local and state authorities released few, and sometimes contradicting, information about the airplane that crashed into the Cemex plant Wednesday evening.
The pilot of the Cessna 150K was identified as 46-year-old Clayton Ray Chennault, of Goldsmith. A release from DPS said the plane was flying eastbound and, for “unknown reasons,” the plane crashed into the silo.
Peter Knudson, a spokesman for NTSB, said the first steps federal officials are taking are to document the scene and then try to recover the debris off the top of the silo where the plane crashed.
“The number one priority is the recovery of the aircraft,” Knudson said in a phone interview, adding that at least one official with the FAA was at the Cemex plant working to gather information to work in collaboration with the NTSB.
In aviation crashes, Knudson said, the FAA has more employees and works in connection with the NTSB to gather information for their reports. A preliminary report would be ready within a few weeks, Knudson said.
Details of the crash from local and state agencies were not consistent, with several different authorities reporting the crash happening at different times.
Officials with Odessa Fire/Rescue said the crash was reported around 8:46 p.m. Wednesday while a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened around 10:51 p.m. that evening.
Reports from CBS 7 had officials saying the accident happened around 7 p.m.
Knudson said he did not have the information immediately available because the crash was still under investigation and could not confirm a time for the crash or if employees with Cemex were the ones who reported the crash.
The plane is registered to LM Air Patrol Service, a company out of Midland. A phone number listed for the company was disconnected when called Thursday.
The Texas Comptroller website lists the registered agent name for the company as Larry Mercer. A contact number for Mercer could not be found Thursday.
The Cemex plant itself was opened in some areas, Communication Director for Cemex Sara Bouffard said. The shipping area around the crash remained closed Thursday while the other areas of the plant were open, she said.
No Cemex employees were injured, Bouffard said, adding the cement plant is lit up in the evenings, though she did not have the specific plans for the plant in Penwell.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the pilot,” Bouffard said.
Jennifer Hammond, a waitress and bartender at Bob’s Roadhouse Restaurant in Goldsmith, said Chennault was a regular customer at the establishment in the year since she has been at the restaurant.
She recalled Chennault as being a “good guy,” who everyone liked and described his demeanor has happy and said he had a love of flying planes and talked about it often. Hammond said she was shocked when she heard about his death.
“He was really friendly and funny,” she said.
ECTOR COUNTY New details have just been released in the small plane crash in West Odessa Wednesday night.
According to a news release from DPS, 46- year-old Ray Chennault from Goldsmith died in the accident.
The release states that the plane, a Cessna 150K, was flying eastbound and for unknown reasons crashed into a concrete silo.
The report says it was raining at the time of the crash though weather has not been declared a factor in the accident.
FAA inspectors are on their way to scene and will likely arrive sometime this morning.
The NTSB has been notified and will be the lead agency in the investigation.
Original article can be found here: http://www.cbs7.com