Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cirrus SR20, N4252G, Safe Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2016 near Hobby Airport (KHOU), Houston, Texas

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com




Safe Aviation LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N4252G

FAA Flight Standards District Office:FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA211
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 2016 in Houston, TX
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N4252G
Injuries: 3 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 June 9, 2016, about 1309 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR20 single-engine airplane, N4252G, was substantially damaged after it impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb at the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Houston, Texas. The pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Safe Aviation, LLC, Moore, Oklahoma, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The airplane had departed from University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (OUN), Norman, Oklahoma, about 1000 and was destined for HOU.

After arrival at HOU the airplane was on a visual approach for a landing to the northeast on runway 4 when the tower controller directed the pilot to go-around and enter right traffic for runway 35. During the second approach the pilot was again directed to go-around and to expect another approach to land on runway 35. On the last approach the airplane was landing to the north on runway 35 when the pilot radioed they were going around. Witnesses saw the airplane at low altitude when it suddenly turned to the left and began descending. A security camera video image showed that the airplane was spinning to the left and was about 45 degrees nose down in a wings level attitude when it impacted an unoccupied automobile in a hardware store parking lot about one-half mile north of runway 35. The video image also showed the airplane's airframe parachute rocket motor deployed at the moment of impact, however the parachute remained stowed in the empennage and did not deploy.

At 1253 the automated surface observation system at HOU reported wind from 100 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 3,600 feet above ground level (agl), broken clouds at 25,000 feet agl, temperature 32 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 22 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that, at the accident location, at 1309, the altitude of the sun was about 83 degrees above the horizon and the azimuth of the sun was about 158 degrees.

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.

Dana and Tony Gray


Balloons are released at a prayer service Monday at Community Christian School in Norman for Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray, who were killed last week in a plane crash in Houston. All three have children who attend Community Christian. 


Tony and Dana Gray, Jerry Gray


If there’s one thing Tony Gray loved — other than his wife, Dana, brother, Jerry, his roofing business and the company of friends — it was his toys.

Tony and Dana were regulars out at Thunder Valley Raceway Park, where he enjoyed racing dragsters and roadsters, the competition and time with friends. While the engines may not be running heavy the next time competitors take to the track, hearts certainly will be.

“He didn’t care if you were a competitor driving a million-dollar rig or if you were emptying the trash cans at the track, he treated everybody the same,” said Eric Casperson, owner of Boyd’s Racing Engines in Norman, where Tony has been a customer for at least 20 years.

Communities in both Moore and Norman are mourning after Tony, Dana and Jerry died Thursday when the single-engine plane they were flying in crashed while trying to land at William P. Hoby Airport in Houston.

A prayer service was hosted Monday on the Community Christian School football field in Norman, where children of all three attend. More than 450 people attended, said Jill Porter, a family friend.

Balloons were released into the sky at the conclusion of the prayer service.

Tony and Dana owned the family run Statewide Roofing in Moore. The company has not issued a direct statement to the media, but a message on Statewide’s Facebook page was posted June 9: “We were devastated to learn of the tragic accident claiming the lives of 3 of our loved ones today. Tony and Dana Gray touched the lives of everyone around them with their huge hearts. It is a difficult time for us all. We want to thank everyone that has reached out to us with your kind thoughts and prayers. Please keep the prayers coming!”

Statewide also announced that a remembrance service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Church in Oklahoma City for friends and family.

Porter said the group was flying to Houston to see Tony and Jerry’s father, who is receiving cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dana was piloting the aircraft, she said.

The family has been in the Moore-Norman area for many years, Porter said, and is well known. 

Casperson remembers Tony as a fastidious race car enthusiast who always looked for the best.

“He always wanted everything first class,” he said. “He wanted parts from the top shelf, top quality, and he wanted it to look the best, too.”

It wasn’t just Tony that got involved in the effort, either.

“If we were out in the shop working on a car, she (Dana) was bringing sandwiches and drinks out to us,” Casperson said.

The Grays ran their business in similar fashion. In a statement on its Facebook page, Thunder Valley referred to Statewide as a longtime sponsor and supporter of local racing. Many went to the business for its level of service.

“We built a relationship with him over the years,” Casperson said. “He’s put roofs on our business, and every one of our families and extended families have Statewide roofs.”

The value of the Grays and Statewide was even more evident following the 2013 tornado. Casperson said the business was a big help as the community rebuilt.

“It seemed like profit was secondary to him,” he said. “He wanted to have a good job done, and customer satisfaction was the most important issue.”

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the plane crashed on its third attempt to land and came to rest in a business parking lot northwest of the airport.

A spokesman said a preliminary report on the crash is expected to be ready next week, but a full report may take much longer.

The Cirrus SR20 (N42526) is registered with Safe Aviation LLC of Moore, according to FAA registration records. 

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

International Hot Rod Association Family Loses Tony And Dana Gray In Tragic Plane Crash: http://www.ihra.com


Memorial at crash site.


Tony and Dana Gray

Dana Gray is pictured with her son Jared, 21, in the Cirrus SR20.




HOUSTON - For nearly 20 minutes, air traffic controllers at Hobby Airport tried to guide a single-engine plane down safely. Instead, it crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store.  All three people on board were killed. 

Below is a timeline of selected radio traffic transmissions, according to the website liveatc.net: 

12:50 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf, maintain maximum forward speed. If able, proceed directly to numbers. 737 is on a nine mile final following you with an 80 knot overtake.”

12:52 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf, tower.”

Pilot: “42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “Yeah, I got traffic behind you. Just go around and fly runway heading now. Maintain VFR to put you back in a downwind for runway 3-5. The winds are zero niner zero at 1-3. Gusts 1-8. Can you accept runway 3-5?”

Pilot: “We’ll go around and line-up for runway 3-5. Downwind.”

Air Traffic Control: “Fly runway heading for four for right now.”

Pilot: “We’ll fly runway heading for four. 42-52 Golf.”

12:53 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “A 737 on five mile final, runway four. You’re going to be in front of him.

Pilot: “42-52 Golf, turning around for runway 3-5.”

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 52 Golf, let’s just, just enter the right downwind for runway 3-5.

Pilot: “Right downwind for 3-5 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “52-Golf, I’ll call your right base now.”

12:54 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 52-Golf. 737 at your two o’clock and three miles at niner hundred feet inbound for runway four. Advise when you have traffic in sight.”

Pilot: “I have traffic in sight. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “42-52 Golf, make a right base behind that traffic for me, 3-5. Clear to land. You’re going to be following them. They’re going to be landing crossing runway prior to your arrival.”

Pilot: “We’ll make a right base following them. 42-52 Golf for 3-5.”

Air Traffic Control: “Southwest 35-64. Cirrus traffic ahead and to your right. Has you in sight. Going to make a right base behind you. Landing crossing runway behind you.”

Southwest Pilot: “Southwest 35-64.”

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 5-2 Golf. Make a, turn left 30 degrees.

Pilot: “Left heading 30 degrees. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, did you want to follow the 737 runway four?

Pilot: “Yes, that would be great. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, roger.  Follow the 737 and it’s runway four, clear to land.  

Pilot: “So am I turning a right base now 42-52 Golf?”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, roger. Just maneuver back for the straight in. I don’t know which way you’re going now. Just turn back around to runway 3-5.

Pilot: “Turning to 3-5. I’m so sorry for the confusion. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “That’s okay. We’ll get it.”

12:56 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, I need to you, okay, there you go. Straight into runway 3-5. Clear to land.”

Pilot: “Straight into 3-5. Cleared to land. And I don’t believe I’m lined up for that. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 5-2 Golf. Roger. Turn to the right. And climb, maintain 1,600. Right turn.”

Pilot: “1,600 right turn. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Gulf, yes ma’am. Heading about 0-4-0.”

Pilot: “0-4-0. 42-52 Golf.”

12:57 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Okay 5-2 Golf. Let’s do this. Can you do a right turn back to join the straight in to 3-5? Could you do it like that?”

Pilot: “Yes, right turn back to 3-5. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “November 5-2 Golf, okay so you’re just going to make a right turn all the way around to runway 3-5. And now you’re clear to land.”

Pilot: “3-5 clear to land. 42-52 Golf.”

1:05 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Golf, there’s a 747 on short final. Runway four touching down right in front of you. Just caution wake turbulence right at that intersection. “

Pilot: “Okay. I’ve got that in sight. Thank you. 42-52 Golf.”

1:07 p.m.

Pilot: “Runway 3-5 in sight. 42-52 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “5-2 Golf, winds zero niner zero at 13. Gusts at 1-8. Runway 3-5, again cleared to land.”

Pilot: “3-5, cleared to land. Trying to get down again (laughs). 42-45 Golf.”

Air Traffic Control: “No problem.”

1:08 p.m.

Air Traffic Control: “Cirrus 42-52 Golf just go ahead and make the left turn now to enter the downwind, midfield downwind for only four, if you can just give me a nice tight pattern, I’m going to have traffic four miles behind you so I need you to just kind of keep it in tight if you could. And actually I might end up sequencing behind that traffic it’s going four miles a minute, it is going to be a little bit tight with the one behind it, so when you get on that downwind, stay on the downwind and advise me when you have that 737 in site, will either do four or we might swing you around to 3-5.  Uh ma’am, ma’am straighten up straighten up.”

The plane then appeared to flat spin to the ground, landing on a car parked outside the store. Relatives confirm that Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry were on the plane. 

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

Work crews meticulously gathered up every piece of glass or metal from the crash site to be sent with the Cirrus SR20.

Pieces of the Cirrus SR20 and crash debris were put on a trailer to be taken to a secure storage facility for investigation.

Tom Latson, an air safety investigation from the NTSB gave reporters an update on the Cirrus SR20 crash near Hobby Airport.




Here is an assembled track for N4252G. The crash site is marked with a red X. I added runway 04 and 35. Wind was 13-18kt from 090, so on her final left turn, she had a strong tail wind without sufficient ground speed.   -Martin


FULL VIDEO: Deadly plane crash near Hobby Airport (Warning: Graphic video) 





HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Video was just released of a small plane crash near Hobby Airport that killed three members of an Oklahoma family.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm Thursday into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people aboard the plane died immediately.

Police in Moore, Oklahoma, have identified the victims as Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray. Dana and Tony were married; Jerry was Tony's brother. They were flying from Norman, Oklahoma, to Houston to visit the brothers' father, who is a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a family friend. Dana Gray was the pilot.

"Dana was a very safe pilot. She loved flying. She's been flying that plane for a very long time," said Jeremy Lewis, a family friend and also a sergeant for the Moore Police Department. "Pretty much anyone in Moore know who the Grays are. They're very involved with the community. They're just the best people and it's just unbelievable three of them are gone."

The NTSB said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. Gray was trying to land but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. The air traffic controller also warned about wake turbulence from a nearby 737. During a second attempt, the spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground.

Audio released by air traffic control revealed the final moments before the crash: "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"

"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Navisa Artani said.

That model plane is equipped with a parachute. NTSB investigator Tom Latson said the rocket motor deployed but the parachute never did and it's unclear whether the deployment was before or during the crash. There was no mayday call.

In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.

"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How they spit and sputter -- that's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.

That sound was corroborated by others nearby.

As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.

"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.

Houston Fire department Capt. Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.

The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to continue the investigation. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will join federal investigators.

Dana and Tony Gray had four children and owned a roofing business. Some family members traveled to Houston Thursday evening to speak to investigators.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com


HOUSTON - The National Transportation Safety Board continued its investigation Friday into the private plane crash that left three dead near the Hobby Airport.

The aircraft, which investigators said was a Cirrus SR20, left its home base at University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman, Oklahoma around 10 p.m. Wednesday before attempting to land just after 1 p.m. Thursday in the 6800 block of Telephone Road near Airport Blvd. in southeast Houston.

The control tower reportedly told the aircraft it was too high to land and to go around again.

"(The plane) was in a flat spin before the moment of impact," Latson said. As opposed to falling in a nose dive, he said.

Surveillance video from the accident has been released, but KPRC is choosing not to show the impact of the crash due to the graphic nature of the scene and out of respect for the families involved.

Plane Crash Surveillance: http://www.click2houston.com/video


Cirrus SR20, N4252G


Officials released new information on Friday as investigators continue to piece together what caused a small plane to crash into the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store, just blocks from Hobby Airport on Thursday afternoon.  

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Tom Latson said security footage from the store revealed the plane was “relatively wing-level, relatively nose-level and spinning counterclockwise to the left” when it crashed onto a car in the parking lot at 6860 block of Telephone.

Latson told reporters noon Friday that the air traffic controller at Hobby airport directed the pilot to fly around the airport and retry landing a second time. The controller told the pilot that the plane was too high up on the second approach and would have to try re-entry a third time.

"And for some reason, the air traffic controller directed them to go around," Latson said. "The pilot made a right turn, was directed to land on runway 35, to the north. During that second approach to runway 35, the pilot was again instructed to go around because the pilot appeared to be too high." It was during the fly around on the third entry that the plane began to fly slow and low, according to witnesses that spoke to authorities.

"Witnesses saw the plane bank to the left and impact at the 6800 block of Telephone," Latson said. He said that he didn't know the level of the pilot's experience or how the pilot flew. The pilot was also instructed to fly into a different runway on the second attempt. It's unclear to Latson why this instruction was made.

“I have confirmed with the fixed-base operator at the Norman (Oklahoma) airport that the plane was topped, it should give five hours of flight time,” Latson said when asked if the plane crashed due to lack of fuel. The airplane departed from the airport in Norman at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday for the flight to Houston, and crashed approximately 3 hours later. 

Latson noted fuel tanks on the plane were completely disrupted, so officials will have to investigate the fuel lines to see if an empty tank was a factor in the crash.

The  plane, a Cirrus SR20, comes equipped with an Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which did not deploy before the crash.

The parachute, which is activated via a handle in the plane's cockpit, was still in its casing, although the rocket motor used to deploy the chute was ejected on impact.

Investigators do not currently know if the handle was pulled, but a digital record of what happened will be analyzed at a later date, according to the NTSB.

Latson confirmed the pilot was a woman and that he did meet with the family of the three victims.He did not disclose their names or any additional information about them.

However, in a Facebook post on Thursday, the Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla. identified the victims as Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry.

"Everyone at (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gray family. We have no words to describe the loss to the (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) family, as the Gray family have been long time racers, sponsors, and friends at the track," they said in the Facebook post. They ended it with: "Race in Peace."

FAA records list a Dana Frances Gray from Moore, Okla., as having a license to be a private pilot. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane is owned by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Okla.

 An investigator with the NTSB on Thursday said the tower at Hobby Airport told the pilot the airplane was approaching the runway at too high an altitude.

"On the second approach, they were also too high. The air traffic controller again directed the aircraft to go around," said NTSB investigator Tom Latson.

 As it was making a third attempt to land at Hobby, the airplane apparently stalled and lost power. Witnesses saw it dive nose-first toward the ground, Latson said.

The airplane collided with a car but narrowly missed any nearby buildings, power lines and a propane tank. There were no other reported injuries.

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



OKLAHOMA CITY - A family is devastated and "in complete shock" after a plane crash claimed the lives of those they loved most.

Dana Gray, her husband, Tony Gray, and his brother, Jerry Gray, died after their single-engine fixed-wing aircraft came down in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store near Houston's Hobby Airport Thursday afternoon.

Family friends said the trio was traveling to Houston to visit a relative in the hospital fighting cancer.

Dana was at the controls of the Cirrus SR20, a plane friends said she had owned for more than two years and flew frequently.

Experienced pilots call it "one of the safest airplanes on the market."

"They're a fast, powerful airplane, but it's well constructed," said Hal Harris, a flight instructor at AirOne Flight Academy with more than 40 years of experience. "If they have the proper training and just fly the airplane the way it's supposed to be done, it's a safe airplane."

Cirrus is a relatively new company, Harris said, and its products are state of the art, featuring new technology that can get confusing or overwhelming at times.

"It can also be a bit more complicated flying it," he said. "It's like working two or three computers at the same time."

In addition to the 40 hours required for a pilot's license, Cirrus requires additional training in its aircraft, Harris said, because it is considered "technologically advanced."

The NTSB said the initial signs point to stalling as the plane attempted to land.

"Since the witness saw the aircraft had a steep angle of attack and impacted the ground at a steep angle of impact, that is likely the case, yes," said investigator Tom Latson.

Audio transmissions between the cockpit and control tower indicate the pilot was having trouble making her final approach.

Twice, air traffic controllers told her she was coming in too high.

The last communication is a controller telling the pilot to "straighten up."

"That's the most challenging part of flying is landing," Harris said, citing the precision required at high speeds.

Cirrus SR20 planes are equipped with parachutes, but Dana's did not deploy, Houston's KPRC reports.

"It would be extremely rare that you need to use that parachute for anything," Harris said. "You're too low to the ground to use the parachute when you come into land it. You get below a certain altitude, and there's just not enough room for recovery."

Story and video:  http://kfor.com




HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Why did the plane carrying three family members from Oklahoma go down in an Ace Hardware parking lot, killing everyone on board?

That's the question investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hope to answer. They arrived at the crash site around 8:00 Friday morning and immediately began taking pictures and measuring where and how the plane sits in the taped off parking lot.

A spokesperson with NTSB says aircraft and engine specialists will arrive late morning to take notes. Then, the plane will be cut up and loaded onto a flatbed. It will be driven to a warehouse in Dallas where the investigation continues. It could be months before investigators learn what happened.

Investigators are looking for clues as to why a small plane crashed near Hobby Airport, killing three family members.

The crash happened Thursday at 1:12pm at the Gateway Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone Road in southeast Houston.

The plane slammed into a parked car, killing all three people aboard. There was no one inside the car at the time of the crash.

Dana, Tony and Jerry Gray were flying from Norman, Oklahoma to visit Jerry's father, a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dana Gray was the pilot of the Cirrus SR-20, and attempted to land three times before the plane made a fatal spin into the ground. Surveillance video shows the spin just prior to the impact.

Investigators say there was an attempt to deploy a parachute, but it did not launch in time to make a difference.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to give an update later today about their investigation into the crash. A preliminary report may be made available next week on ntsb.gov.

Story and video:   http://abc13.com


HOUSTON - Three people were killed Thursday in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport, according to the Houston Fire Department.

We have been told by friends at the family business in Oklahoma that they believe Jerry Gray, his brother Tony Gray and Tony's wife Dana Gray were all on the plane headed from Norman, Oklahoma, to Houston to visit Jerry and Tony's sick father, who is being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The crash happened just after 1 p.m. in the 6800 block of Telephone Road near Airport Blvd. in southeast Houston. 

Air traffic control audio reviewed by Channel 2 and provided by liveatc.net reveals there was initial confusion between the tower and the pilot about the landing path and which runway to use.

The control tower reportedly told the aircraft it was too high to land and to go around again.

The plane was equipped with a motor to deploy a parachute. The motor did deploy near or at impact, but the parachute never did.

The wreckage will be taken to a secure storage facility in Dallas and will be examined further.

According to Federal Aviation Administration registration records, the plane is a 2012 Cirrus SR20 fixed wing, single-engine plane registered out of Oklahoma.

A witness, Nicole Andrews, told KPRC 2 that she was stopped in traffic on Telephone when she saw the plane on top of what appeared to be a black Honda Accord in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store.

No one was inside the car, fire officials said.

Andrews said as she passed the scene she could see a body inside the plane.

“Witnesses were more shocked than anything. The alarm [in the car] was going off and there was smoke,” she said.

HFD Captain Ruy Lozano said there was no threat of a fuel spill that could cause a fire or explosion. 

All three victims died at the scene. No other injuries were reported, according to Lozano.

“We found out the impact killed all three passengers. It actually struck a vehicle. You can see [it] didn’t strike a building and there was no one in the vehicle," he said.  

Lozano said the plane was equipped with a parachute but it did not deploy.

“A lot of these aircrafts have parachutes that will deploy on impact," he said. "Well that parachute's system is still intact so we’re always worried after impact it could go off spontaneously. That’s why we asked everyone to move back”

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Story and video:   http://www.click2houston.com


Tom Latson, National Transportation Safety Board investigator, walks from a press conference Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Houston. 


NTSB's Tom Latson talks during a press conference Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Houston.






































Dana and Tony Gray


HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three members of an Oklahoma family were killed this afternoon in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people aboard the plane died immediately.

Police in Moore, Oklahoma have identified the victims as Tony, Dana and Jerry Gray. Dana and Tony were married; Jerry was Tony's brother. They were flying from Norman, OK to Houston to visit the brothers' father who is a patient at MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to a family friend. Dana Gray was the pilot.

"Dana was a very safe pilot. She loved flying. She's been flying that plane for a very long time," said Jeremy Lewis, a family friend and also a sergeant for the Moore Police Department. "Pretty much anyone in Moore know who the Grays are. They're very involved with the community. They're just the best people and it's just unbelievable three of them are gone."

The NTSB said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. Gray was trying to land but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. The air traffic controller also warned about wake turbulence from a nearby 737. During a second attempt, the spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground.

"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Navisa Artani said.

That model plane is equipped with a parachute. NTSB investigator Tom Latson said the rocket motor deployed but the parachute never did and it's unclear whether the deployment was before or during the crash. There was no mayday call.

In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.

"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How the spit and sputter. That's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.

That sound was corroborated by others nearby.

As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.

"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.

Houston Fire department Capt. Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.

The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to continue the investigation. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will join federal investigators.


Dana and Tony Gray had four children and owned a roofing business. Some family members traveled to Houston Thursday evening to speak to investigators.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com






HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Three siblings were killed this afternoon in a small plane crash near Hobby Airport.


A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says the plane crashed at 1:12pm into a vehicle parked outside an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone. No one was inside the parked car, but all three people -- two brothers and a sister -- aboard the plane died immediately.


The spokesman said the Cirrus SR-20 plane, a fixed wing single-engine aircraft, was en route to Hobby Airport. The pilot was trying to land in Runway 3 but the plane was too high, so the air traffic controller told them to go around the towers and try again. A second attempt was made but yielded the same results. The spokesman said the plane nose-dived into the ground during the third try.


Audio released by air traffic control revealed the final moments before the crash: "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"


Narissa Artani was watching from below.


"I saw the plane. It was going everywhere, all over the place," Artani said.


In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators.


"You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How the spit and sputter. That's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.


That sound was corroborated by others nearby.


As the plane crashed outside the Gateway Ace Hardware, Ann Maryland was at work inside.


"It was like a transformer had blew, it was real, real loud and it shook the building," she said.


Maryland wasn't sure what happened or what she should do. For a second, she says she froze.


"I just ducked, like it was inside the building itself. It's nothing I could do except stand there in shock," said Maryland.


A family friend tells abc13 the siblings are from a well-known family in the Moore, Oklahoma area. Eyewitness News is not yet reporting their names because family members are still being notified.


The family friend says the victims were in Houston to visit their father, a patient at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.


The sister, according to the family friend, was piloting the plane. She managed to miss a propane tank just feet away from the crash site. Witness Yudel Guajardo thinks that was done on purpose.


"Intentionally avoid a big tragedy," he said. "Chose to crash into the car than the propane tank or the building itself."


HFD spokesman Ruy Lozano says there was no HazMat spill or fire as a result of the crash.


The NTSB plans to return to the crash site Friday to clean up. The aircraft manufacturer and engine manufacturer will be helping the agency investigate the crash.


The crash investigation is not hindering air traffic at Hobby Airport.



Original article can be found here:   http://abc13.com






HOUSTON - Three people were killed when a small plane crashed near Hobby Airport Thursday afternoon. It's a miracle no one on the ground was hurt, investigators say. 

The Cirrus single-engine SR-20 crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware Store just after 1 p.m. It narrowly missed the store full of people. 

The plane went down a few yards from a large propane tank but there was no fire, according to HFD. It also missed power lines in the area.

"Yes, that's remarkable," said NTSB investigator Tom Lathson. 

Lathson said the pilot was "too high" on her first two attempts to land and was told to "go around." 

In a recording from the Air Traffic Control tower just before the crash, a controller is heard telling the pilot, "Ma'am, ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!"  

"After executing a go-around maneuver, the aircraft was seen to descend suddenly nose-first into the parking lot," Lathson said. 

The plane apparently stalled before it nosedived, according to Lathson. 

Relatives told KWTV in Oklahoma City that Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry were on the plane. Dana Gray was piloting the plane. She got her pilot's license in 2014. 

Relatives say they were flying to Houston to see Tony and Jerry Gray's father, who is being treated at M.D. Anderson. 

A witness said the plane just "fell right out of the sky and plummeted to the ground." 

Kendrick Mickens also saw the crash happen. 

"I feel sorrow, I have children, I have a family," Mickens said. "And that family, I pray the best for them. I was thinking all of those things that you think when you get that close to death, because that was pretty close."

An employee inside the store said it sounded like a "loud boom" when the plane hit. She said the car that was crushed by the plane belonged to a store employee.

It happened on Telephone Road near Airport, northwest of the airport. 

The plane is registered in Moore, Oklahoma and was headed from Norman, Oklahoma to Hobby. 

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
































Air traffic controllers at Hobby Airport on Thursday twice ordered the pilot of a small private plane to go around and make another attempt at a safe landing before it crashed into a nearby parking lot, killing the three people who were aboard.

The Cirrus SR20 crashed shortly after 1 p.m., striking a car parked at an Ace Hardware store in the 6800 block of Telephone - about a mile northwest of the airport. The pilot and two passengers were killed on impact.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said the tower at Hobby Airport told the pilot the airplane was approaching the runway at too high an altitude.

"On the second approach, they were also too high. The air traffic controller again directed the aircraft to go around," said NTSB investigator Tom Latson.

As it was making a third attempt to land at Hobby, the airplane apparently stalled and lost power. Witnesses saw it dive nose-first toward the ground, Latson said.

The airplane collided with a car but narrowly missed any nearby buildings, power lines and a propane tank. There were no other reported injuries.

"That is remarkable," Latson said.

The airplane departed from the airport in Norman, Okla. about 10:15 a.m. Thursday for the flight to Houston. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane is owned by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Okla.

Latson did not identify the pilot or passengers, saying that would be up to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla. identified the victims as Tony Gray, his wife Dana and brother Jerry.

"Everyone at (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Gray family. We have no words to describe the loss to the (Thunder Valley Raceway Park) family, as the Gray family have been long time racers, sponsors, and friends at the track," they said in the Facebook post. They ended it with: "Race in Peace."

FAA records also list a Dana Frances Gray from Moore, Okla., as having a license to be a private pilot. But, it wasn't immediately known Thursday whether she was at the controls during the fatal crash.

The airplane was equipped with a unique parachute system that is designed to prevent such crashes. If necessary, the pilot can pull a handle on the cockpit ceiling that will trigger the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. It is designed to provide a crucial extra layer of safety.

When the handle is pulled, a rocket will shoot out and draw out a parachute. The force of the rocket also releases straps once connected to the fuselage that within seconds become part of the harness for the unfurling parachute.

"It appears the rocket motor deployed either immediately before or just after impact," Latson said. "The rocket motor did deploy (but) the parachute did not."

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft could not be reached for comment. Last year, a private plane with the same parachute system successfully set down in a neighborhood cul-de-sac in northwest Harris County after the pilot reported having engine problems. Company officials have said their system works when the plane is at least 500 feet above the ground and flying about 130 knots.

The investigation into Thursday's fatal crash will continue Friday. The manufacturer of the aircraft and the engine will be involved in the inquiry. After that, the aircraft will be taken to Dallas and stored in a secure facility until the investigation continues, Latson said.

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

59 comments:

gretnabear said...

Sadly, total confusion all around, caught in traffic with 737s and a 747, eyes on the panel, eyes outside and maybe spatial disorientation starting to set in as the PIC tried to maintain altitude and direction. Add to that mix the stress of all three on-board.

Anonymous said...

She may have been in over her head experience wise flying into Hobby but ATC basically killed her, they should never have rushed and pulled her off 1st approach. After 1st go around they should have had approach leave some space and time from inbound traffic, if you listen to tape atc really set her up for disaster,

Anonymous said...

Shame on FAA Air Traffic Control! They were obviously not concerned about the three souls onboard . . . rather they just wanted the aircraft to get out of their airspace. Professionalism sure was not evident with these controllers . . . The controller's union, for all they do to lobby congress for protecting their members, should look at what it needs to do to keep their members from screwing up like this. SHAME SHAME!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with ATC not being professional. He was trying very hard to help her get on the ground, even at one point holding back air traffic to give her space. Unfortunately the pilot showed she was not experienced enough to handle the landing. That ATC was trying for nearly 20 minutes to get her safely on the ground. At one point he even says he doesn't know where she is going because she was all over the place.

This was the fault of an inexperienced pilot who shouldn't have been flying that plane if she couldn't even handle a landing.

gretnabear said...

Individual controller(s) yes, the 'controller's union' is a stretch. Bottom line is the PIC is in charge.

Anonymous said...

I have had a similar experience there in an SR22. I will point out that I initially contributed by being slightly confused about which runway they wanted me on after I was adjusted to another runway. I was peeled off and in the stress left my flaps a notch down while talking to them. I was asked to try to catch the next runway (impossible tight turn) which I thought about (in my blazing hot cockpit after a long flight) and said to myself HELL NO (despite wanting to land badly.. an avoid getting sent out and back which I knew might happen).. I was condescendingly told to keep circling the airport and I ignored them while my brain finally noted why I was not flying nicely despite significant power (hey flaps!) my heart rate spiked but I got it around and down. This was a miserable experience and I am a highly experienced cirrus pilot flying alone... A newbie in an underpowered plane getting buffeted by jet turbulence with passengers after a long hot flight and already deteroiating mental performance... game over man, game over. Very very sad. The controllers to their credit on this tape were 'nice' in their tone, but remember.. ANYTIME YOU HEAR THE DEADLY WORDS "KEEP IT TIGHT" you had better decline unless you are on your AAA game and max situational awareness. Anything less, nope the $(*)$ out.

Anonymous said...

Listened to the tape, accountability resides 100% with the PIC. I know it's fun to point the finger but ATC but their job is to facilitate traffic coordination, sequencing and separation. It's the PICs responsibility to say 'unable' if they feel they are unable to comply with instructions and remain in control of the aircraft.

In this particular case it seems the controller recognized a possible stall situation and tried to get her to correct it. The problem was she didn't recognize it in time.

Anonymous said...

The controller did a good job, low time pilots trying to fly with the Big boys get you every time. Besides not declaring a fuel shortage.

Anonymous said...

It is the pilot's responsibility for the safety of the flight. The controllers did the best they could. Reality is, the winds were not appropriate for a light airplane to land on 35. The pilot should have requested to land on 12L or 12R. If the controllers were not able to accommodate the request then the pilot should have diverted to any one of the 5 airports within 15 miles (that are not congested with commercial traffic).

Very tragic accident, we should try to learn as much as we can to not make the same mistakes this pilot did. There is always hesitancy to blame the pilot, but sometimes it is the pilot's fault.

Anonymous said...

I hope by "correct it" and the controller saying "pull your nose up" -- uh, thats not much help. A panic stricken newbie pilot will be trying to pull the controller out of its housing when an unexpected stall occurs...ie worthless advice.

Useful advice would have been "ma'am you want to go out and come back in on xx rwy which has minimal crosswinds? Why don't you do that, I'll get you back in as soon as possible, no worries. Turn to heading... "

THAT would have been helpful advice. You want helpful? Don't ask a government employee thats for damn sure. On any given day you might get a nice thoughtful person, but don't bet your life on it !

gretnabear said...

I missed this ATC's direction, "pull your nose up"; now I understand the STALL.

Robert said...

You know that 737's and 747's can go around also. I've been in a 747 that did a go-around at DFW once, it was a non-event.

Seems to me the plane at the lower altitude on final has the right of way, if the controller can't sequence different speed aircraft perhaps they need some remedial training.

I also wonder if she was running on fumes, perhaps should have changed tanks earlier but got overloaded with the approach and go-arounds and starved the engine at the least opportune moment.

Just a sad situation all the way around.

Anonymous said...

One point I can see, not to be a Monday morning QB, did she really need to go into Hobby? Plenty of small airports in the HOU area. For a newbie, Class B airports are busy. I'd have gone to the nearby GA airports, called Uber for a ride.

Anonymous said...

"The pilot was instructed to fly into a different runway on the second attempt. It's unclear to National Transportation Safety Board investigator Tom Latson why this instruction was made."

Anonymous said...

The control tower kept telling the pilot that she was too high to land and made her go around to different runways three (3) times with airliners all around her. They should have just let her land. The runways are sooooo long to accommodate the huge airliners. She would have had plenty of runway to get her tiny plane down. The controllers should have tried to help her instead harassing her and condescending. After missing two (2) approaches they should have known she was in trouble. The whole episode makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

The tower never should have made her go around the first time, they have a pressure to cater to the airliners, had they made the 737 go around and let her continue her approach this wouldn't have happened, I see GA aircraft I fly vectored because of airline traffic everyday and this one ended badly.

Anonymous said...

ATC is not here to coddle a PIC that is over their head. She got her PPL in 2014 and thus a low time pilot flying a semi High performance aircraft for someone in the 100-200 hr time frame.

She tried three times to land, once lined up on the wrong runway and every time was way too high. Tower tried the best they could and had to mitigate the need for her to land and the need for airliners carrying hundreds to land safely. She stalled her plane all by herself and the NTSB will find pilot error. I dont know if the tower could legally given her vectors out of the area and told her to land at another class C or D airport. The winds werent anything to comment about.....It sounds she was confused, combined with some spatial disorientation.

Me? ATP 9500Hrs 25 years flying everything from 172's to G550's

Anonymous said...

The way I do it, is when ATC says "cleared to land" I acknowledge that and stop talking to them. I own the runway now.

If they say go around, I just say "unable". Because I own the runway.

I've had them threaten me with overtaking traffic, and I just say, "better give them a missed approach, or have them do S-turns, cause I own the runway".

Being from Hooterville, this pilot had no business going into Hobby. They have jet spacing, not prop spacing. Once she let ATC run her out of gas, and take command, she was toast.

Anonymous said...

From what I heard on the ATC audio (and witnesses) this is clearly abuse of power/authority by a federal government employee. Lawsuits will be plentiful from this one.

Anonymous said...

Tight pattern stall - spin in a high performance aircraft with an overworked and apparently low-time pilot in heavy traffic atmosphere at a very busy airport. Even a high-time pilot would have been busy. Unfortunately, air traffic control added to her workload by switching back forth from RW 04 and 35, as well as telling her to keep her pattern tight.

freight dog said...

I also don’t understand why the controller told the pilot she was “too high” on the approaches. No doubt she was trying to stay above the wake of the preceding airliners. A pilot with her level of experience would have been able to determine for herself if the approach was not going to work. The Cirrus is a light airplane that does not require as much runway as a jet. She could have landed halfway down the runway and still had adequate runway to stop. My point is, that’s a judgement call the pilot should be making. not the controller. He should have asked “are going to be able to land from there?” and let her decide.

Also, I wanted to point out, the Cirrus had plenty of fuel on board. In the impact video, you can see several gallons of avgas slosh out of the left wing as it ruptures.

Anonymous said...

ATC should be helpful to pilots, not harmful. No question in my mind (PPL 30 years), the controller contributed to the chain of circumstances leading to this fatal accident.

Anonymous said...

I understand the pros and cons of "Tide" traffic pattern, however I would suggest to FAA issuance of AC regarding this matter. Pilots feel very obligated for successful cooperation with ATC beyond current proficiency state of the pilot during stated maneuver. This isn't easy maneuver and not required during training (if you can call "tide pattern" an actual maneuver).
Cross control stalls nor spins are practiced during initial Private Pilot Training plus flying an airplane which cannot recover from such a stall doesn't make it any safer.
Most likely we will see the words from NTSB "pilot error", "entered flat spin" "close to the ground", "confusion".

Anonymous said...

Holy Bejesus! Just let the Cirrus pilot land! Air traffic controller(s) communicating as if they were flight instructors. "You're too high, this should be easy for you, too high, RW 04-- no, make that 35, left turn, make that a right turn, I'll call right base for you, go around, go around, go around, make it tight, make it tight, straighten up....." It just goes on and on. I can't wrap my head around the ATC logic of it all. The unnecessary maneuvers that they put the Cirrus pilot and passengers through - it surely must have been intimidating for them.

Three souls spinning uncontrollably to the ground --- may they rest in peace.

eglide73 said...

No doubt we'll be reading about this one in the "Aftermath" column in Flying Magazine very soon.

eglide73 said...

Read this and draw your own conclusion.

http://www.stevewilsonblog.com/the-cirrus-airplane-has-serious-problems/

Anonymous said...

Two knucklehead air traffic controllers. In other countries they would be facing some serious jail time.
Just sayin'

texascessna172 said...

Aerodynamic stall, low & slow with a tailwind, then tried to turn-out of runway heading, forget to increase power in third go-around, got behind the airplane, complex a/c, complex airspace, low time pilot, and; too busy too tired. Not ATC's fault

Anonymous said...

ATC aggravated situation with insufficient spacing for piston traffic amongst jets, improper communication, & confusion on third attempt rwy assignment. PIC not assertive enough & experienced enough in this particular non-ideal setup for failure. Cross/tailwind rwy assignment, downwind (not downwind leg) turn with gusty winds creating a "downwind stall" with a spin intolerant wing. Yes, will be a case study in the magazines. Lots to learn from on all fronts. A long accident chain. Yes, ATC could use some additional training since these controllers need to be more than a newbie, just as expected from pilots coming into a demanding airport.

Juan said...

Kathryn,

Your detailed reporting seemed spot on in my view. It seems like you put a lot of time and effort into getting as much information together on this very, very preventable tragedy.

Thanks for posting this.

Juan

Anonymous said...

Hobby Airport, is not a place you should fly into, if you are not experienced with a high density, traffic environment. This pilot had no business being where she was, she quickly got overloaded and lost her concentration. As a result, she forgot the basics of *fly the aircraft*, *stall speed increases with bank angle* and in the end, she killed herself and her passengers. This accident, while regrettable, was fully preventable, if the pilot would have just accepted her limitations and stayed away!

Anonymous said...

"Ma'am, straighten up! Straighten up!" @ @

Bill Mallian said...

Sad anyway you look at it, it is interesting how pilots feel obligated to do what air traffic controllers say. It is very rare that a pilot will say "unable" and ask for simplified/modified instructions.

At what point do you say 4-2-5-2-golf delcaring emergency,
landing runway 4, clear all traffic.
Of course she would have gotten the dreaded phone number to call upon landing (at least 3 lives would be saved with this plan)

Ultimately the PIC is in charge and responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft (FAR 91.3), but I'm not sure why ATC has to warn about 737s and 747s in trail at 4 miles per minute. If sequencing isn't going to be adequate, rushing the cirrus pilot doesn't seem to be the way to correct the situation.

Anonymous said...

As a controller for 32 years (in the United States and the Middle East) I can definitely say there's a disconnect between Hobby ATC and the Cirrus pilot. The Hobby air traffic controllers should have a thorough and complete understanding about GA pilots -- who fly smaller, slower aircraft --- the Cirrus pilot is much, much, much busier flying the aircraft manually compared to the airline pilot who has computers doing most of the work. It's a sad day when ATC doesn't align themselves with GA pilots; when tragedies such as what occurred with the Cirrus pilot and passengers. The closed-circuit camera video of N4252G ----> you're looking at it with your very own eyes <------ this is the end result when air traffic controllers don't align themselves with general aviation pilots.

Anonymous said...

First off, my condolences to the family. When ATC can't seem to get it right - as PIC, just leave the traffic pattern and hold somewhere for a couple of minutes until things settle down. Been there as well and teach my students this scenario. We are all human and make errors. Even air traffic controllers. But please don't let them add to the possible confusion. Stay in command at all times. And yes, once given clearance to land. Just land. That is your pavement now. Southwest can go around. And maybe, just maybe, they will add pressure to the air traffic controllers to provide better spacing! This accident was very preventable.

Pilot over 35 years. ATP CFI, 11,000 plus hours. Flown aircraft from a Piper Cub to an A320.

Anonymous said...

Look, we understand she was a person who had family and loved ones, but who are these people posting here, honestly, trying to blame the controller?

ATC in NO way caused this tragedy. They are a busy bravo and expect competent pilots at the top of their game - if she had said "I need more time to reconfigure" or simply "unable" she would have been treated with even MORE kid gloves.

Listening to the tape, the controllers were extremely accommodating and did not rush her. Try navigating the busy eastern corridor if you want a more tense situation. However, competent pilots appreciate the tight pattern request and being able to cut in front in that sequence. If she couldn't do it, she should say so.

It is up to all pilots to only fly in situations they are comfortable. She stalled the plane and killed her family, unfortunately paying a very high price for an all too common error.

Anonymous said...

Lack of experience in a complex aircraft in a fast paced airport environment caused this accident. I have been flying for 44 years with over 22,000 hours. ATC did their job correctly.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a different perspective of this tragic accident based on their own experience. Jet engine vortex had nothing to do with this unless she was just afraid to decent lower in her attempt to land on 35. (The 737's were landing on 4)

She had plenty of runway in a Cirrus to land past the thresholds and not let any vortex be a factor. The crosswinds on 35 were a bigger issue for her and the Cirrus than the Jets. She just got into the deep end of the pool and couldn't swim well enough. The ATC guys didn't cause this accident. She was unprepared for the approach and panicked.

The bigger issue is why did the plane stall? The missing link here is that the witnesses heard the engine sputter, and there was no fuel spill or post accident fire. This screams that the Cirrus was out of fuel, the engine quit and caused the stall. Happened so fast, and with all the other confusion going on with the runways, she didn't know that fuel was a critical issue.

So, now we have to wonder why it ran out of fuel. The SR20 has a max gross of 3,050 lbs, and an empty weight of 2,150 lbs.
That leaves 900 lbs of useful load. She was maybe 130lbs, husband was 175lbs, and brother was 200lbs. That leaves 395 lbs for fuel (if they had NO luggage), which is approx 49 gallons. Just enough to get to Houston without any reserve. This has to be a factor. If the FBO in Norman says they topped off the tanks (85 gallons), the plane would have been over grossed at departure. If she was a detailed pilot, she wouldn't have had full fuel because it would have over grossed her.

All in all, lot to learn for this sad event. Looks like a beautiful family that ended too soon. I pray they knew their creator.

ATP with 5,500 hrs, Citation driver.

Anonymous said...

It all does point to a perfect storm of mis-everything. Many of lessons have been learned at great costs and sorrow. This is one more. Prayers to the family.

Anonymous said...

"......on runway 4 when the tower controller directed the pilot to go-around and enter right traffic for runway 35. During the second approach the pilot was again directed to go-around and to expect another approach to land on runway 35...."

It appears to me tower had full control and direction of the accident plane, pilot and passengers. In my personal opinion, ATC caused this crash. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed it, but what exactly were the reasons behind the two go-arounds by atc? Did air traffic controllers observe what could possibly be runway excursions with the Cirrus and commercial airliner landing at the same time? I'm confused as to why they sent the Cirrus to maneuver through two go-arounds. Anyone? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Don't know. Sure sounds like they sent them on a wild-goose chase (a hopeless quest to land at Hobby Airport).

Anonymous said...

The jury is (still) out ---- because there's just not enough information from listening to the ATC audio. --- Haven't yet decided if it is good or bad for the controllers. The husband or brother-in-law should have gotten on the radio and said something along the lines of 'we don't give a crap what you say, we'll be landing this plane, whether you like it or not!' Freaking government employees ^#*&##&~!

Anonymous said...

The Good ol' Boys Club comes to mind............

Anonymous said...

Could be lack of stall and spin awareness training. Distracted by one or more tasks, result is improper airspeed management in the Cirrus. Nice aircraft, I would have gladly offered to be the safety pilot on this flight.

Anonymous said...

Low time pilot in a slick airplane at a very busy airport with congested heavy metal sensory overloaded with atc vectoring finals all over the place and finally setting her up for landing with a tailwind.

Accelerated stall to spin on pull up from go around and attempt to "keep it tight".

Recipe for an accident every time.

May the Lord comfort the families and those left behind who knew them.

This can happen to even those of us who are high time - we should at least pay this deceased aviator the tribute of learning from her.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a pilot, but find aviation and Kathryn's Report interesting.

Question for Pilots:

Despite the minimums for effective chute operation on the Cirrus being either 500'/1000' depending on who you read, why didn't the pilot when entering the stall immediately activate it and pray for the best?

...and I don't say 'pray' in a flippant manner.

While she must have known she was below the minimums, she would have had a better chance at a miracle for the chute to work at that low altitude than to have attempted a stall/spin recovery, which to my understanding, if it even could be done on the Cirrus, would have taken many 1000's of feet.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The Cirrus stalled quickly and they never had a chance to pull the chute. Even if they had, it would have been ineffective at that altitude.

And all you guys who are blaming ATC for "making" her go around ..... she was too high to land in the first two attempts, that is pilot error for not being prePared for the approach. All pilots have the right to say "unable" to ATC commands. She never did. ATC isn't at fault here, as much as some of you want to blame them. The pilot was not qualified or prepared to deal with the busy Bravo airspace with strong crosswinds on that day ..... and running out of fuel is the most blatant pilot error.

Terrible loss here that shouldn't have happened.

Anonymous said...

"and running out of fuel"
Really? Fuel exhaustion? I just re-read the NTSB preliminary and no where in their initial report does it state the Cirrus ran out of fuel. Drop the "she"... (if it had been a male let's just see how many here blame the pilot for this accident ... my guess none). Again, the Good Ole Boys Club..... still in this day and age. Shakin' my head.
........Waiting for the family to lawyer or lawyers up.......... Gonna bring plenty of popcorn.
Peace out.

Anonymous said...

The Cirrus did not stall quickly. I believe the Cirrus made three or four full turns in the spin. Retard the power lever, apply full opposite rudder, push hard on the stick. Stall practice is invaluable and spin training is even more invaluable. In Canada it's a requirement to have spin training for PPL.

Anonymous said...

Your opinion is irrelevant unless you endorsed the pilot's sign-off as a flight instructor, FAA examiner, physically witnessed the accident aircraft while in-flight, on approach, in the traffic pattern, observed the plane maneuver downwind, crosswind, etc.

"she was too high to land in the first two attempts, that is pilot error for not being prePared for the approach. All pilots have the right to say "unable" to ATC commands. She never did. ATC isn't at fault here, as much as some of you want to blame them. The pilot was not qualified or prepared to deal with the busy Bravo airspace with strong crosswinds on that day ..... and running out of fuel is the most blatant pilot error."

Anonymous said...

VFR-only completion certificate and High Performance aircraft endorsement were awarded to pilot.

Déjà vu said...

Cirrus SR22 GTS G3, N544SR: Fatal accident occurred February 29, 2012 in Melbourne, Florida. The pilot's abrupt maneuver in response to a perceived traffic conflict, which resulted in an accelerated stall and a loss of airplane control at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the air traffic controller's incomplete instructions, which resulted in improper sequencing of traffic landing on the same runway.

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2012/12/cirrus-sr22-gts-g3-n544sr-contractor.html

Déjà vu

Anonymous said...

This news story isn't over yet.

Anonymous said...

A credible source from the KHOU area has indicated that the fuel tanks were found bone dry.

Anonymous said...

Is this type of communication by ATC standard in the USA? Very unprofessional. Here in Australia all ATC are the same, and follow the CORRECT standard of communication. Everything just seemed so casual, rushed and unprofessional in this case.

Randy White said...

It's real easy to talk crap about ATC, a whole lot different if you are in the hot seat. I was not there so don't know exactly what the traffic picture looked like but from the audio, it sounded busy. It is not easy to keep having to change your picture when things get tight. The controllers might not have had the best plan but never forget that the pilot is PIC of his or her aircraft. Nothing the controllers did put the pilot in a position of an accelerated stall. That was all on the pilot. The first rule of airplanes is "Fly the airplane". She forgot that and 3 people paid the price. I am a 27 year controller in a busy approach control and also an instrument rated pilot. ATC is there to help but the pilot is always in charge of the airplane. Never forget that.

Attorney-In-Fact said...

With all due respect, you may want to browse the numerous NTSB fatal reports - 'contributing to the fatal accident was the air traffic controllers failure to provide ___________ (fill in the blank), as required by the Federal Aviation Administration directives'.

CirrusJoe said...

OK, I 100% disagree with everyone that says the plane was out of fuel. If we believe the report that the plane was topped off before departure, then here are the facts: 354 NM between OUN and HOU. The 20 holds 56 usable gallons, The flight began at 1000 and ended at 1309 that is 3.15 hrs, so 56 gallons/3.15 hrs = 17.78 gallons per hour. The worst I have ever seen at full rich in my 20 is 15 GPH. So, maybe one tank was empty, but not both.