Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, N82806: Fatal accident occurred August 02, 2016 near Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (KFLG), Coconino County, Arizona -and- Incident occurred October 19, 2012 at Phoenix Goodyear Airport (KGYR), Maricopa County, Arizona

Homer 'Mac' McClure in 2012 receives a volunteer award with Flights for Life Marketing Director Jane Tellier. 

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

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


Homer 'Mac' McClure


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Accident Number: WPR16FA158
Date & Time: 08/02/2016, 2122 MST
Registration: N82806
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200T
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 2, 2016, about 2122 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II airplane, N82806, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain shortly after takeoff from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona. The airline transport pilot received fatal injuries. The personal flight was being conducted as a medical delivery mission for the volunteer organization Flights for Life (FFL) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at FLG at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that was destined for Falcon Field (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona.

The pilot owned the airplane and based it at FFZ. Commercial flight tracking data indicated that the airplane departed FFZ about 0945 and landed at Show Low Regional Airport (SOW), Show Low, Arizona, about 1030. The airplane then departed SOW about 1055, arriving at FLG about 1140. According to the line service technician at FLG who met the airplane at the time of its arrival, it was "pouring" rain. The technician, who was an employee of Wiseman Aviation, a FLG fixed base operation (FBO), reported that the pilot did not want any fuel, and that the pilot unloaded some of his personal items about 30 minutes after landing, once the rain had stopped. The pilot then spent the day in the FBO, generally working on his computer, while awaiting a United Blood Service (UBS) delivery that was expected about 2100.

About 1900, the pilot and technician relocated the airplane closer to the terminal, and the pilot began "cleaning" and/or rearranging some contents in the airplane to make room for the expected cargo. The technician later asked the pilot again if he needed fuel, and he declined. He and the FBO owner reported that it was a "dark night" and that it was cloudy, but not raining, when they left the airport, which was before the accident airplane departed.

The UBS employee who delivered the cargo reported that the total load was four "large" boxes and two "small" boxes. She stated that full large boxes weigh about 30 pounds (lbs) each; small boxes weigh about 10 lbs each; and two of the large boxes were not full. The pilot loaded all the boxes via the aft left-side cargo door(s). He placed the large boxes on the floor of the aft cabin and the two small boxes on top of them. The UBS employee reported that the pilot then closed the door(s) and that he did not restrain the boxes with a net or by any other means.

The FLG air traffic control tower was closed by the time the pilot was ready for engine start and departure. While the airplane was still on the ground, the pilot contacted Phoenix approach control by radio, and requested visual flight rules (VFR) flight following services for a flight to FFZ. The controller provided altimeter and transponder information, and shortly thereafter, the airplane departed.

At 2119:44, the pilot radioed Phoenix approach that he was "off [runway] two one" and climbing to 11,500 feet. At 2120:17 the controller advised the pilot of "radar contact one mile south" of FLG and instructed him to maintain VFR. At 2120:21 the pilot radioed his acknowledgement; this was the last radio transmission from the flight. At 2122:57, the controller advised the pilot that radar contact had been lost and instructed him to report leaving 9,000 feet. There was no response from the pilot to that instruction, nor were there any distress calls or other abnormal communications from the pilot. The controller attempted multiple times to contact the flight, and also had Albuquerque ARTCC (ZAB) attempt contact. There was no response by the flight to either facility.

The first ground-based tracking radar return was acquired at 2119:49. At that time, the airplane was located approximately midfield, with a transponder-indicated altitude of 7,300 feet. The radar location and heading data were consistent with a departure from runway 21. The radar track indicated that the airplane initially maintained the approximate runway heading. The track then turned right about 30°, and then nearly 90° left, to a southerly track. The track then made a near-180° right turn to the north before radar contact was lost. The last radar return was received about 2122:19 and showed the airplane descending through an altitude of 7,400 ft.

The radar returns indicated that, for about the first 60 seconds of the flight, the airplane climbed at a rate of about 1,000 feet per minute (fpm). This climb rate was consistent with the airplane's normal, two-engine climb rate. The climb rate then decreased to and remained about 400 fpm the next 60 seconds. By the end of that period, the airplane reached a maximum transponder-indicated altitude of 8,400 ft. It then descended about 3,000 fpm during the next 20 seconds, when the radar data ended at an altitude similar to the terrain elevation. The final segment of the radar track and the position of the last radar data target were consistent with the observed orientation and location of the debris field.

The impact site was located adjacent to a road, about 2.6 miles southwest of FLG. The airplane was highly fragmented, and earwitnesses reported that the engines were operating at high power just prior to impact. Ground scar and propeller signatures were consistent with both engines operating at impact. Initial post-recovery evaluation of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomalies, including fire, that would have precluded continued normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 76, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  
Flight Time: (Estimated) 11858 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The 76-year-old pilot held multiple certificates and ratings, including an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate dated March 1, 2016, with the limitation that he must have glasses available for near vision. On his application for the medical certificate, the pilot reported a total flight experience of 11,858 hours, including 77 hours in the previous 6 months.

According to the pilot's son, who was a pilot for a major US airline, the pilot flew 4 to 5 FFL missions per month, and about 200 hours per year. The son reported that the pilot usually hand-flew the airplane to cruise altitude before engaging the autopilot and would hand-fly the descents as well. The son reported that, in addition to the autopilot's wing leveling/navigation functions, the pilot also used the autopilot altitude hold function. Finally, the son stated that the airplane "was a very stable platform." To the son's knowledge, the pilot only operated VFR, in part because FFL "did not allow [instrument flight rules] IFR." The pilot's instrument and night currency were unable to be determined. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N82806
Model/Series: PA 34-200T 220T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 34-8170021
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/02/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4751 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7453 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1980 and was equipped with two Continental Motors TSIO-360-series engines. The engines rotated in opposite directions; when viewed from behind, the left propeller rotated clockwise, and the right propeller rotated counterclockwise.

The pilot purchased the airplane in March 2015. Maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was completed in May 2016, when the airframe had a total time (TT) in service of about 7,453 hours. The left engine had a TT of about 3,993 hours, with about 342 hours since overhaul. The right engine had a TT of about 353 hours since new.

According to the pilot's son, the airplane was equipped with a KFC 200 two-axis autopilot and a flight director, and both "worked very well." All annunciators worked normally, and the horizontal situation indicator had recently been overhauled. The son reported that the pilot was "a stickler" for ensuring that all mechanical items were in proper working condition, and that he "was not aware of [any] vacuum [gyro instrument air] issues."

Review of the maintenance records for the 16 months preceding the accident did not reveal any uncorrected maintenance deficiencies, or any entries that warranted additional investigation. Review of the weight and balance records and the loading data indicated that the airplane was within its weight and balance envelope for the accident flight. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: FLG, 7000 ft msl
Observation Time: 2057 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 56°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 10000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.35 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Mesa, AZ (FFZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2119 MST
Type of Airspace:

Flagstaff Information

The 2057 FLG automated weather observation included calm winds, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 10,000 ft above ground level (agl), temperature 15°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.35 inches of mercury. The 2157 observation included winds from 240° at 3 knots (kts), visibility 10 miles, a broken cloud layer at 11,000 ft, with unchanged temperature, dew point, and altimeter setting.

The National Weather Service (NWS) surface analysis chart station model for Flagstaff for 2000 indicated a light westerly wind about 5 kts, clear skies, temperature 16°C, and dew point 12°C.

The NWS national composite radar image at 2125 for the Flagstaff area depicted only very light intensity echoes associated with a dissipating area of echoes. Data from the NWS Flagstaff Weather Surveillance Radar-1988, Doppler (WSR-88D), which was located 41 miles southeast of the accident site, indicated the absence of any significant weather echoes.

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite number 15 (GOES-15) data indicated that a broken to overcast layer of altocumulus to altostratus type clouds extended over the Flagstaff area and the accident site. The measured cloud top temperatures corresponded to cloud tops near 29,000 ft above mean sea level (msl) in that region.

The terminal area forecast (TAF) for FLG, which has a coverage area radius of 5 statute miles, called for light and variable winds at 5 kts or less, visibility better than 6 miles, scattered clouds at 6,000 ft agl, broken ceiling at 10,000 ft agl, with a temporary period (between 1700 and 2000) of light rain showers and a broken ceiling at 7,000 ft agl.

The area forecast for northern Arizona for the period of the accident was for a broken ceiling between 12,000 and 14,000 ft msl, cloud layers to 25,000 ft msl, with widely scattered light rain showers and thunderstorms.

Solar and Lunar Illumination Information

Local sunset occurred at 1928, and civil twilight ended at 1756. The moon rose at 0527 and set at 1922; the phase of the moon was new (unilluminated disk).

Enroute and Destination Weather Information

The 12-hour surface prognostic chart valid for 0500 on August 3, 2016, depicted a high-pressure system over northern Arizona with a thermal low-pressure system over southeastern California and a trough extending southward. A large area of scattered thunderstorms and rain showers was depicted over almost all of Arizona.

No TAFs are issued for the destination airport, FFZ. The closest airport to FFZ that issues TAFs was Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), located about 10 miles south of FFZ. The IWA forecast, valid from 1900 August 2 to 1700 August 3 was as follows:

- Wind 350° at 18 kts with gusts to 30 kts, visibility 6 statute miles, thunderstorms in the vicinity, scattered clouds at 6,000 ft agl, scattered cumulonimbus at 10,000 ft agl, and broken ceiling at 12,000 ft agl

- Temporary (from 1900 to 2100): wind variable direction at 20 kts with gusts to 40 kts, visibility 3 statute miles, thunderstorms and rain, broken cumulonimbus ceiling at 8,000 ft agl, overcast at 12,000 ft agl

- From 2200 on: wind 120°, visibility 6 statute miles, showers in the vicinity, scattered clouds at 10,000 ft agl, and broken ceiling at 20,000 ft agl

The 2125 NWS national composite radar image depicted a band of light to moderate echoes extending from eastern Arizona southwestward through the Phoenix area. The GOES-15 satellite image depicted a large area of cumulonimbus clouds over the Phoenix and Mesa areas, with the anvil extending northward to the Sedona area.

Airport Information

Airport: Flagstaff Pulliam (FLG)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 7000 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

FLG was situated at an elevation of 7,014 ft msl, about 3 miles south of the city in semi-rural, mountainous terrain. The surrounding terrain for several miles to the east, south, and west was sparsely populated, with little ground lighting.

FLG was equipped with a single paved runway, designated 3/21, which measured 8,800 ft by 150 ft. The runway was lighted. The airport was equipped with an air traffic control tower, but the tower had closed for the night at 2100. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  35.106389, -111.724167

The accident site was located on Coconino National Forest property on the east side of Arizona Hwy 89A, about 2.6 nautical miles (nm), on a true bearing of 236º, from the FLG runway 3 threshold. The elevation of the accident site was about 6,950 ft msl. The wreckage trajectory/debris field was oriented on a true heading of 042º. The debris field site terrain was level, with moderately spaced trees (primarily pines, about 60 to 100 ft tall) and generally sparse undergrowth. A residential neighborhood, with widely-spaced homes and an integral golf course, was situated about 1/3 of a mile east of the accident site.

The wreckage was highly fragmented. The debris field measured about 60 ft by 600 ft. The airplane cut/broke the tops off eight trees; these tree locations, and their remaining heights, were catalogued. Some of the fractured tree trunks were 12 to 15 inches in diameter at their separation points. Some tree limbs, up to about 4 inches in diameter, displayed clean angular cuts at their ends, consistent with being severed by a rotating propeller.

The largest wreckage elements included the mid-forward fuselage, the right-wing root and aft nacelle section, and a section that included the left firewall, engine mount, wing spar section, and left main landing gear (LMLG) assembly. These three elements comprised the main wreckage. The engines had separated from the airplane, and the propellers had separated from the engines. Each propeller hub retained all three blades, and all three blades in each hub were significantly damaged. This damage was consistent with both engines developing power at impact. A few flight and engine instruments were identified in the wreckage. Damage to the flight gyroscopic instruments precluded determination of their functionality, or whether they were operating during the flight or impact.

Several hundred pages of maintenance records and other airplane documentation were scattered throughout the debris field. Some pages were loose, and some were partially- or wholly-contained in notebooks. Multiple computers and other portable electronic devices were present at the accident site. Some were intact and in flight/travel bags, and some were extensively damaged and/or not contained in any cases.

The debris field was mapped. Left-side airplane/engine components were generally located towards the left side of the debris field, and right-side airplane/engine components were generally located towards the right side of the debris field; overall, this was consistent with the airplane not being inverted at impact. Refer to the separate "Debris Field" document in the NTSB public docket for this accident for detailed information.

The wreckage was recovered and transported to a secure facility. A two-dimensional layout of some of the wreckage was conducted, and all flight control surfaces were accounted for. The flap setting at impact could not be determined. Damage precluded determination of flight control system continuity, or the condition or airworthiness of the pre-accident airplane.

All major airframe, engine, and propeller components were accounted for, and their damage patterns were consistent with all components being present and intact at the time of impact. No evidence of any pre-impact mechanical deficiencies or failures of the airframe, engines, or propellers was observed. No evidence consistent with in-flight or post-impact fire was observed.

Refer to the NTSB public docket for this accident for additional details. 

Medical And Pathological Information

On his FAA medical certificate applications, the pilot reported using amlodipine and valsartan to treat hypertension, and levothyroxine for hypothyroidism, and aspirin. None of these medications are considered impairing.

The Coconino County (Arizona) Office of the Medical Examiner, Arizona, performed an autopsy of the pilot and determined that the cause of death was "multiple injuries due to aircraft accident." Examination of the body for natural disease was significantly limited by the severity of the pilot's injuries; neither the brain nor heart were available for examination. The autopsy report did not contain any findings (either positive or negative) on the pre-impact health of the pilot.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing and identified metoprolol in muscle and lung tissue. Metoprolol is a prescription blood pressure medication often marketed with the names Lopressor and Toprol.

Metoprolol is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain), and to improve survival after a heart attack. Metoprolol also is used in combination with other medications to treat heart failure. Metoprolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. Metoprolol is also sometimes used to prevent migraine headaches and to treat irregular heartbeat and movement disorders caused by medications for mental illness. It is not generally considered impairing.

In addition, ethanol was identified in muscle tissue, but was not detected in kidney tissue. When ethanol is ingested, it is rapidly distributed throughout the body's tissue and fluids fairly uniformly. Ethanol may also be produced in the body after death by microbial activity. In such post-mortem cases, the amount of ethanol identified in different tissues may vary widely. 

Additional Information

Flights for Life Information

According to its website, FFL is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free air transportation to transport blood for UBS. FFL works in cooperation with hospitals, blood banks, health-care agencies, and private individuals, and flies scheduled and on-demand missions, primarily within Arizona. The pilot was a well-known, long serving, and active member of FFL. The pilot became a member in 2006. He spent 4 years as the FFL Mission Safety Officer and then became the FFL President. At the time of the accident, the pilot had been the president for 3 years.

The January 2016 edition of the FFL Member Handbook, which was current at the time of the accident, specified the particular conditions, requirements, limitations, and recommendations for the FFL pilots and the conduct of the mission flights. The pilot's status as the FFL President did not relieve him from complying with any of the guidance in the FFL Member Handbook. Comparison of the Member Handbook guidance with the known circumstances of the accident flight revealed several instances of non-compliance.

The following two paragraphs, excerpted from the FFL Member Handbook, list the pilot requirements for day and night cargo flights.

Pilot Requirements for Day Cargo Flights.

1. 100 Hours minimum [pilot-in-command] PlC time.
2. 5 Hours minimum time in aircraft make and model to be flown, or 10 Hours minimum if in high performance aircraft.
3. 25 Hours minimum time flying cross-country.
4. Be in an "Active" pilot status.

Pilot Requirements for Night Cargo Flights.

1. Same requirements as for day Cargo flights, except as listed below:
a. 300 Hours minimum PlC time, or 200 hours minimum with Instrument Rating.
b. 50 Hours minimum time flying cross-country.
c. 30 Hours minimum night flight, or 15 hours with an Instrument Rating.

The handbook did not specify any instrument currency requirements for either day or night flights.

The handbook stated, "All FLIGHTS FOR LIFE, INC., flights will be conducted in accordance with Visual Flight Rules (VFR), except [that] Marginal VFR and IFR [instrument flight rules] to VFR on Top flights are permissible, but are restricted to daylight hours only." The forecast and observed weather conditions were consistent with the potential for IFR conditions enroute to FFZ.

The handbook also stated, "It is strongly recommended that flight plans be filed for all flight distances greater than 50 nautical miles." The straight-line distance between FLG and FFZ was about 101 nautical miles (nm), but the pilot did not file a flight plan for the accident flight.

The handbook recommended two pilots for night flights. In contrast, the pilot was the only pilot planned for, or onboard, the airplane. The accident flight was not the first occurrence of such a situation for this pilot; review of FFL flight records as far back as 2008 indicated repeated occurrences of solo night flights.

Gyroscopic Flight Instruments

The airplane manufacturer's Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) included the following information about the airplane's flight instrumentation. "The directional gyros and attitude indicators are driven by positive air pressure. The pressure system consists of a pressure pump on each engine, plus plumbing and regulating equipment. Check valves and a pressure air manifold…allow pressure instruments to function during single-engine operation, or in the event of malfunction of one of the pressure pumps.…Operation of the gyro pressure system can be monitored via a pressure gauge on the instrument panel, to the left of the copilot's control wheel shaft. The two warning indicators mounted on the gauge serve to alert the pilot should one of the engines be producing less than sufficient pressure to operate the gyro instruments. Additional warning of a possible malfunction in the gyro pressure system is provided by a light in the annunciator panel."

There was no specific POH procedure for failure of an instrument air pressure pump; the only related POH procedures were for a decrease in instrument air pressure below the minimum allowable limit of 4.5 inches of mercury, which would not typically occur with the failure of one pump. The POH guidance stated that, if the pressure decreases below the minimum limit, engine speed should be increased to 2,575 rpm, and the airplane should be descended to an altitude at which a pressure of 4.5 inches of mercury can be maintained.

The investigation did not locate any records of any recent pre-accident problems or anomalies with the flight instruments. Damage to the flight gyroscopic instruments precluded determination of their functionality, or whether they were operating during the flight or impact.

The instrument air pressure pumps were recovered and shipped to the manufacturer (Tempest) for examination. The pump installed on the left engine was model number AA3215CC, and the pump installed on the right engine was model AA442CW-6. The pumps were examined in late June 2017 at the Tempest facility, with FAA oversight. According to the manufacturer's report, the vanes in the left pump were found to be "worn well beyond" their service limits. Powdery residue found inside that pump indicated that the left pump was inoperative at the time of impact. The internal condition of the right pump was consistent with it operating at the time of impact. Impact damage to the air system lines, check valves, and other components precluded determination of the pre-accident functionality of the system.

Detailed information regarding the instrument air system and the pump examinations is contained in the NTSB public docket for this accident.


 http://registry.faa.gov/N82806 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA158
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2016 in Flagstaff, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200T, registration: N82806
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 2, 2016, about 2122 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, N82806, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain shortly after takeoff from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona. The airline transport pilot received fatal injuries. The personal flight was being conducted as a medical delivery mission for the volunteer organization Flights for Life (FFL), under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at FLG at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

According to its website, FFL is "a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free air transportation to transport blood for the United Blood Service (UBS) of Arizona." FFL works in cooperation with hospitals, blood banks, health-care agencies and private individuals, and flies scheduled and on-demand missions, primarily within Arizona. The pilot was a well-known, long serving, and very active member of FFL.

The pilot owned the accident airplane, and based it at Falcon Field (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona. Commercial flight tracking data indicated that the airplane departed FFZ about 0945, and landed at Show Low Regional Airport (SOW), Show Low, AZ about 1030, and then departed SOW about 1055, arriving at FLG about 1140. According to the line service technician at FLG who met the airplane, at the time of its arrival, it was "pouring" rain. The technician, who was an employee of Wiseman Aviation, a FLG fixed base operation (FBO), reported that the pilot did not want any fuel, and that the pilot unloaded some of his personal items about 30 minutes after landing, once the rain stopped. The pilot then spent the day in the FBO, generally working on his computer, while awaiting a UBS delivery that was expected about 2100. About 1900 the pilot and technician re-located the airplane closer to the terminal, and the pilot began "cleaning" and/or re-arranging some contents in the airplane to make room for the expected cargo.

About 2000, a Beech King Air operated by Tri-State Care Flight arrived at FLG for a patient pickup, and the line service technician tended to that airplane. About 2040, the FBO owner stopped by and spoke briefly with the Seneca pilot, whom he had known for about 5 years. Shortly thereafter the FBO owner left, and the technician asked the pilot again if he needed fuel, and he again declined. The technician then left the airport. Neither he nor the FBO owner witnessed the loading of the Seneca, or saw the King Air or the Seneca depart. Both FBO personnel reported that it was a "dark night" and that it was cloudy, but not raining, when they left.

The UBS employee who delivered the cargo reported that the total load was four "large" boxes and two "small" boxes. She stated that full large boxes weigh about 30 lbs each, small ones weigh about 10 lbs each, and that two of the large boxes were not full. The pilot loaded all the boxes via the aft left-side cargo door(s). He placed the large boxes on the floor of the aft cabin, and the two small boxes on top of them. The UBS employee reported that the pilot then closed the door(s), and that he did not restrain the boxes with a net or any other means.

The FLG air traffic control tower closed at 2100. Sometime after that, while still on the ground, the Seneca pilot contacted Phoenix Approach control, and advised them that he was requesting VFR (visual flight rules) flight following for a return trip to FFZ. At 2119:44, the Seneca pilot radioed to Phoenix Approach that he was "off [runway] two one" and climbing to "eleven thousand five hundred" feet. At 2120:17 the controller advised the pilot of "radar contact one mile south" of FLG, and advised him to maintain VFR. At 2120:21 the pilot radioed his thank you; this was the last radio transmission from the flight. At 21:22:57, the controller advised the pilot that radar contact had been lost, and thereafter made repeated, unanswered calls to the flight.

Ground-based Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar tracking data first detected the airplane at 21:19:49. The radar returns indicated that the airplane climbed at a rate of about 1,000 feet per minute (fpm) for about 60 seconds, and then the climb rate decreased to and remained at about 400 fpm for the next minute. The airplane reached a maximum radar altitude of 8,400 feet, and then descended to ground impact during the next 20 seconds.

The impact site was located about 2.6 miles, on a true bearing of 236º, from the threshold of FLG runway 3, at an elevation of about 6,950 feet above mean sea level (msl). The airplane was highly fragmented; the debris field measured about 80 feet wide by about 500 feet long, and was oriented on a true heading of 042º. Earwitnesses reported that the engines were operating at high power. Ground scar and propeller signatures were consistent with both engines operating at impact. Initial post recovery evaluation of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical anomalies, including fire, that would have precluded continued normal operation.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1980, and was equipped with two Continental Motors TSIO-360 series engines. The pilot purchased the airplane in March 2015. Maintenance records indicated that its most recent annual inspection was completed in May 2016, when the airframe had a total time (TT) in service of about 7,453 hours. The left engine had a TT of about 3,992 hours, with about 342 hours since overhaul. The right engine had a TT of about 353 hours.

The 76 year old pilot held multiple certificates and ratings. On his most recent application for an FAA second-class medical certificate in March 2016, he reported a total flight experience of 11,858 hours.

FLG was situated at an elevation of 7,014 feet msl. It was equipped with a single paved runway, 3/21, which measured 8,800 feet by 150 feet.

The 2057 FLG automated weather observation included calm winds, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 10,000 ft, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.35 inches of mercury. The 2157 observation included winds from 240 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, a broken cloud layer at 11,000 feet, with unchanged temperature, dew point, and altimeter setting.










The pilot who was killed when his twin-engine plane crashed south of Flagstaff on Tuesday night had been transporting donated blood, officials said.

Coconino County sheriff's officials have identified the pilot as Homer "Mac" McClure, 76, of Mesa.

A Sheriff's Office Facebook post said McClure picked up donated blood from United Blood Services and took off from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport around 9:14 p.m. Soon after, residents in Kachina Village and Forest Highlands reported hearing unstable airplane engine sounds followed by a large crash.

The wreckage was located east of State Route 89A and milepost 395 in a forested area about 5 miles southwest of the airport, according to information from the Highlands Fire District. The smell of fuel helped lead authorities there.

Erika Wiltenmuth, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said tops of trees that had been sheared off, showing the plane's path to impact. The debris field was 200 yards long.

What caused the crash was not immediately known.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office, county Medical Examiner's Office, FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Source:  http://www.azcentral.com

The former director of Oklahoma City’s Federal Aviation Administration center died in a plane crash in Arizona Tuesday.

The Coconinio County Sheriff’s Office said Mac McClure’s twin-engine plane crashed near Flagstaff while he was transporting donated blood to Scottsdale. Authorities said the plane may have had engine trouble shortly after it took off. It then crashed into a wooded area.

During his time in Oklahoma City, McClure volunteered with the Boy Scouts and United Way. His successor Lindy Ritz told The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt that McClure embraced Oklahoma as soon as he got here:

She was head of the human resources office when he came to Oklahoma City, and Ritz said one of the first things McClure did was to walk around the building to meet employees. He was a mentor to the FAA workers there, and a role model to the community, she said.

“He was a motivator and an inspirer,” said Ritz. “He was just an outstanding leader in the way he was able to reach down and have people feel like they were capable of doing things they didn’t think they were able to do.”

She recalled that one time during his tenure, repairs to Southeast High School kept students from coming back to class. He let them have class at the FAA’s building instead.

Tuesday night’s flight was on behalf of his organization Flights for Life. The volunteer organization is made up of more than 100 pilots who transport blood donations across the state. McClure flew nearly 900 missions.

Flights for Life Mission Coordinator Jerry Kapp said McClure trained the volunteer pilots so well that the organization will keep going. He had plans to expand Flights for Life to other states.

In a 2014 interview about his work with Flights for Life, McClure told the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association magazine that he’s done every type of volunteer work.

“Nothing is as fulfilling as this work because I know I’m saving lives,” McClure said.

The 76-year-old McClure is survived by his wife and two sons.

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - One person was killed in a plane crash Tuesday night near Flagstaff, according to the Highlands Fire District.

Homer "Mac" McClure, 76, was killed in the crash. He was from Mesa.

McClure was transporting a blood donation from the United Blood Services in Flagstaff. He left from Pulliam Airport around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Residents in the area of Kachina Village, and Forest Highlands reported hearing unusual airplane engine sounds followed by a large crash. 

Officials said via their Facebook page that the wreckage was located just east of Highway 89A at milepost 395.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Piper PA 34 crash under unknown circumstances. The crash happened around 9 p.m., 5 miles southwest of the airport. The debris field of the crash if over 200 yards long.

According to the FAA, the aircraft was completely destroyed.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Medical Examiners Office, the FAA, and the NTSB will be investigating. 


Story and video:  http://www.abc15.com

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, N82806: Incident occurred October 19, 2012 at Phoenix Goodyear Airport (KGYR), Maricopa County, Arizona

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:   SCOTTSDALE, AZ (WP07) 

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 82806        Make/Model: PA34      Description: PA-34 Seneca
  Date: 10/19/2012     Time: 1530

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Minor

LOCATION
  City: GOODYEAR   State: AZ   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, GEAR COLLAPSED, GOODYEAR, AZ

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
# Crew:   1         
# Pass:   2     

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A pilot was able to walk away unharmed after an incident at Phoenix Goodyear Airport Friday morning. 

While it's not clear what happened, aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed the twin-engine airplane what appeared to be collapsed landing gear near the end of the runway.

There was no fire and the damage looked relatively minor.

"It's good to see people walking around the aircraft," Bruce Haffner said. The fire department had already cleared the scene.

It's not known if the plane was landing or taking off. No information about the pilot was immediately available.

Phoenix bought and started operating Phoenix Goodyear Airport, which is classified as a general aviation reliever airport for Sky Harbor International Airport, in July 1968. Before that it was U.S. Naval Air Facility used to test fly and deliver aircraft. It was decommissioned after the Korean War ended in 1953.

1 comment:

gretnabear said...

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n82806#a8b5644 indicates the flight was from SOW to Flagstaff.