Friday, January 22, 2016

Beech K35 Bonanza, N816R: Incident occurred January 22, 2016 near Steamboat Springs Airport (KSBS), Routt County, Colorado

Date: 22-JAN-16 
Time: 20:40:00Z
Regis#: N816R
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 35
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03
City: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
State: Colorado

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD 1.5 MILES FROM THE AIRPORT, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N816R



Steamboat Springs — A woman walked away uninjured after the plane she was flying crashed near Steamboat Springs Airport. 

The crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. Friday in a meadow along Routt County Road 44 about one mile from Routt County Road 129. 

The pilot reported the plane lost power after taking off. At the crash scene north of the airport, it was visible where the plane brushed the snow and came to a stop about 50 yards away.

The pilot was able to shut off the fuel and hike through deep snow to meet airport workers, who gave her a ride back to the airport. There, she gave a statement to police.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine plane is a 1959 Beech K35 Bonanza registered to Mary Ashura-Smith.

The pilot did not want to discuss the incident with the media.

Airport manager Adam Kittinger confirmed the plane is based out of the Steamboat airport.

Kittinger was informing FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials about the crash.

The last significant plane crash in Routt County occurred Jan. 25, 2015.

Mark Darling, of Eaton, was flying his Cessna 172F high-wing airplane alone from Baggs, Wyoming, to Greeley when he crashed on top of Green Creek between Sarvis Creek and Harrison Creek on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Darling said he was overcome with grief thinking about his son, Travis, who had died in a car crash two years before. He said he then wanted to die.

Before that, on Aug. 9, 2014, instructor William Earl Allen, 62, and his student, Terry Stewart, 60, were killed in a crash. Stewart was concluding a mountain flying training course with a five-leg, cross-country flight. The final leg of the flight was from Steamboat to Boulder.

Investigators determined the plane did not have enough altitude to navigate Rabbit Ears Pass.

Story and photo: http://www.steamboattoday.com

Laredo International Airport (KLRD) to receive $13.5 million in federal grants

Congressman Henry Cuellar, along with the City of Laredo and the Federal Aviation Administration, announced Friday $13.5 million in federal funds for improvements at the Laredo International Airport.



Congressman Henry Cuellar announced Friday two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program to the Laredo International Airport totaling $13.5 million.

The first grant is for $6 million and will be used to mitigate airport noise in the residential area adjacent to the airport by providing sound insulation for 60 residences in close vicinity to the airport. The FAA will also purchase 16 residences and acquire aviation easement of 50 residences.

The second grant is for $7.5 million and will be used for full reconstruction of an existing taxiway at the airport, which is over two decades old and poses safety concerns due to decay.

The City of Laredo will add $1.3 million in matching funds for a total investment of $14.8 million.

“In the last five years, aircraft operations have doubled, placing Laredo among the top 10 busiest federal contract tower airports. The increase in air traffic has caused noise concerns for neighboring residences, and these grants will fix many of those concerns,” Cuellar said. “The existing taxiway has also not kept up with the growth and expansion of the airport.

“These funds will allow for a complete reconstruction to be up to par with high demand. I thank Laredo International Airport Director Jose Flores, without whose advice and guidance this project would not have been possible.”

“This is great news for the City of Laredo and for the Laredo International Airport,” said City Manager Jesus M. Olivares. “We are excited to have the FAA here to consider the possibility of having a new air traffic control tower.

“The new tower will bring the tower into the 21st century, serve Laredo for the next 40 years, improve the working conditions for our air traffic controllers, and enhance aviation safety.”

Flores added: “Taxiway ‘G’ is the last remaining pavement section on the airfield needing reconstruction, pavement that dates back to the early 1940s. We thank and appreciate Congressman Cuellar’s support in making our airport a flagship world class airport.”

Kelvin L. Solco, regional administrator of FAA’s Southwest Region, Vaughn Turner, vice president of FAA’s technical operations, and Ignacio Flores, FAA airport southwest region manager, were hosted by Cuellar in Laredo, where they toured the current Laredo air traffic control tower, constructed by the U.S. Air Force in 1970, to take into consideration the possibility of constructing a new tower.

Now more than 40 years old, the tower suffers from a number of structural and other problems that inhibit operations and pose safety risks to air traffic employees, including:
  • Asbestos
  • No emergency escape exit
  • No space to make room for new and modern equipment and technology
  • No back-up power
  • Communication disruptions with aircraft
  • Inadequate air conditioning

The current traffic control tower is located along the flight line, which inhibits aviation development.

To help with this issue, Cuellar successfully included $10 million in additional funding over fiscal year 2015 in the new government funding bill to air traffic contract towers across the country. Air traffic contract towers are staffed by Federal Aviation Administration-certified air traffic controllers who work for private firms.

The additional $10 million in federal funds represents a total of $154.4 million. In addition, he included language encouraging the FAA to focus on improvements to towers that are more than 40 years old, such as the tower at the Laredo International Airport.

Laredo International Airport is home to the brand-new, state-of-the-art Bi-National Federal Inspection Services facility that allows Mexican-bound cargo to be pre-cleared on the U.S. side of the border. Laredo International Airport is among the top 50 airports in the country for cargo and is also the only airport on our southern border with U.S. customs availability 24/7/365.

Source:  http://www.lmtonline.com

Air show officials announce date change for summer show to August 5-7



Organizers of the Oregon International Air Show have changed the dates for this year's show to Aug. 5 to 7.

The date change was announced on Friday, Jan. 22. Officials said the change was to do a scheduling change for the Breitling Jet Team, the 2016 air show headline performers.

The Breitling team recently informed show officials that they have an engagement in Europe that prevents them from arriving in the U.S. in time for the originally scheduled show dates.

The show had originally been set for July 22 to 24.

“At our air show, just like at all shows across the U.S. and around the world, jet teams are the headliners — the stars of the show,” said Oregon International Air Show President Bill Braack. “They draw spectators and put on the biggest, awe-inspiring performances — just like Breitling Jet Team does. This schedule change gives our attendees the best show experience we can offer.”

Customers who have purchased tickets are being contacted by the air show to make arrangements for an exchange, or to receive a refund if unable to attend.

This year is Breitling's first-ever performance at the Oregon International Air Show. The team is known internationally for tight formation flying in seven black and gold Aero L-39 Albatross jets.

Breitling's first-ever tour of North America took place in 2015. This year is the conclusion of the team’s tour across the U.S. and Canada before it returns to Europe full-time at the end of the air show season.

“The Breitling’s performance is compelling and well choreographed and represents a unique opportunity for air show fans to see them before they head overseas,” Braack said.

The theme for 2016 show — “Heroes of the Pacific” — commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the show will feature a number of aircraft that were active in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

The annual air show is held each summer at the Hillsboro Airport. 3355 NE Cornell Road.

Tickets for the air show are on sale at www.OregonAirShow.com.

Source:  http://portlandtribune.com

One Allegiant Air plane had four emergency landings within six weeks



Allegiant Air Flight 815 had just departed North Carolina on Dec. 3 with 94 passengers bound for St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport when an alarming gray haze began to fill the cockpit and passenger cabin.

Pilots declared an emergency, telling the tower to notify fire rescue crews "to roll the trucks." The haze dissipated on landing at Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the problem was traced to a malfunctioning air-conditioning system.

Mechanics knew the aircraft quite well: This was the fourth emergency landing by the same aircraft in little more than a month.

The emergency landings by the MD-88 — tail number 403NV — occurred from Oct. 25 to Dec. 3 on flights headed to Florida, all after reports of smoke or fumes in the aircraft. Some of the incidents may have been because of the same recurring problem, according to interviews and Federal Aviation Administration records.

The aircraft also made an emergency landing in August due to engine trouble that did not involve a report of smoke.

Industry veterans say such a high number of incidents for one aircraft in such a short period of time is exceptionally rare, and the incidents will undoubtedly raise renewed concern about Allegiant's maintenance operations.

During an Oct. 25 emergency landing on a flight departing Youngstown, Ohio for Sanford, outside Orlando, an FAA report filed by Allegiant noted, "Smoke was so thick that the flight attendants in the back of the airplane could not see the front."

John Cox, a St. Petersburg resident who is a former U.S. Airways pilot and a former safety official at the Air Line Pilots Association, said it is rare to see one plane make so many emergency landings.

"To have one aircraft experience a high number of smoke events, that is very, very unusual," Cox said. "I have seen smoke or fume events reoccur. But if they had repeated smoke events in a five or six week period, this would be very unusual and would be right at the edge of anything I've seen in my career."

Allegiant has maintained the Las Vegas-based airline has one of the best safety records in the industry. A spokeswoman with the airline said Friday that company officials could not comment on this story because they were busy dealing with a snow storm in the eastern United States.

Allegiant, a budget airline with a fleet of more than 80 aircraft, was responsible for about 95 percent of the record 1.6 million passengers who used the St. Pete-Clearwater airport last year, making a key player in the area's growing tourism industry.

Allegiant's chief operating officer Steve Harfst abruptly resigned a week ago after just 13 months on the job. Some analysts suggest the resignation was forced and is a result of highly publicized incidents involving Allegiant aircraft. The airline and Harfst will not comment on such speculation.

Those incidents include an additional five emergency landings by Allegiant aircraft during the last week of 2015.

Allegiant announced late Thursday that it was promoting its senior vice president of planning, Jude Bricker, to COO as Harfst's replacement.

Chris Moore, chairman of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition, discovered the four emergency landings for the one aircraft while taking reports from Allegiant crew members on behalf of the pilots' union, the Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224.

The Tampa Bay Times confirmed those four by examining "service difficulty reports," or SDRs, Allegiant filed with the FAA. And the newspaper discovered the August emergency in those records. It does not appear any passengers or crew were injured in the incidents.

Moore is compiling a report on the airline's maintenance issues for the Teamsters, which has been at odds with Allegiant management over bitter contract negotiations. The airline has blamed the union for raising unfounded safety concerns as a ploy in negotiations.

Moore said in an interview that the issues with the one aircraft raise serious questions on how well Allegiant maintains its fleet. Moore said the FAA has placed Allegiant under increased scrutiny due to these issues, though the agency won't confirm that.

"I'm sure the FAA is seeing what we are and asking, 'What's going on?'" Moore said.

He said he believed, though he had not been able to confirm, that the four emergencies may have involved a recurring problem that was not properly diagnosed or which recurred after inadequate repairs.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor declined to comment specifically about the aircraft with the multiple problems, though he said the FAA is investigating incidents reported in the media.

According to Moore and FAA records on the aircraft (all flights landed at the city from which they departed), these are the incidents:

•On Oct. 25, Allegiant Flight 607 departed Youngstown for Sanford when the crew smelled smoke at rotation, the moment when an aircraft begins to lift off the runway. Flight attendants then reported smoke coming from a fan that delivered air into the cabin from the plane's air system. Air-conditioning was turned off and the aircraft safely landed.

• On Oct. 30, Flight 730 had just departed Concord Regional Airport in North Carolina bound for Fort Lauderdale when flight attendants reported smoke in the cabin. Mechanics replaced the oil filter and an O-ring on an auxiliary power unit, and found a leak in the hydraulic system.

•On Nov. 15, shortly after Flight 715 departed Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport in Kentucky for Sanford a bathroom smoke detector alarm began sounding. The FAA report said "there was a haze in the cabin with a smoke smell." The problem was diagnosed as occurring in an air-conditioning system.

• On the Dec. 3 flight to St. Pete-Clearwater, the problem was again tied to the air-conditioning.

• On Aug. 17, the plane suffered engine difficulties at 16,000 feet and made an emergency landing. No report of smoke occurred on that flight, and records do not show where the plane landed, its destination nor city of departure.

FAA records also show the aircraft's crew on Dec. 15 experienced the smell of evaporating oil in the cockpit, but FAA records indicate the crew did not make an emergency landing for that event.

Cox said airlines usually will take an aircraft out of service after repeated problems to conduct a detailed examination. He said mechanics can sometimes fix a problem on an aircraft only to later discover the real issue has been missed.

Greg Marino is an aviation mechanic with more than three decades of experience who said he quit the airline's Sanford maintenance operation in October after just two weeks because of what he viewed as Allegiant's poor maintenance culture. Allegiant disputes his characterization.

Marino said when he worked at US Airways, repeat problems on an aircraft would be quick reason to ground it.

"We wouldn't have gotten three chances," Marino said, referring to the four emergency landings in a month. "We may have gotten two, meaning the airplane would have been grounded ... This is a clear indication of an experience level that is going to cause a big problem for Allegiant."

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

Nearly 300,000 recreational drone owners in U.S. database -Federal Aviation Administration

Nearly 300,000 recreational drone owners have registered their unmanned aircraft in a new federal database intended to help address a surge of rogue drone flights near airports and public venues, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said 295,306 owners registered in the 30-day period after the registry was launched on Dec. 21 and obtained an FAA identification number that must be displayed on their aircraft.


It was not clear how many drones had been registered. The registration applies to drones that weigh between 0.55 pound (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kgs).


Experts have said 700,000 to 1 million unmanned aircraft were expected to be given as gifts in the United States last Christmas alone. People who operated their small unmanned aircraft before Dec. 21 must register by Feb. 19. 


Owners who registered during the first month had the $5 fee reimbursed.


"The registration numbers we’re seeing so far are very encouraging," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.


Federal officials see online registration as a way to address the safety concerns that have arisen as a result of unauthorized drone flights near airports and crowded public venues across the country.


The current system is available only to owners who intend to use drones exclusively for recreational or hobby purposes. The FAA is also working to make the system available for non-model aircraft users including commercial operators by March 21.


Officials say the agency is also working with the private sector to streamline registration including through the use of new smart phone apps that could allow a manufacturer or retailer to register a drone automatically by scanning an identification code on the aircraft. 


Source: http://www.reuters.com

Piper PA-31 Navajo, N997DN: Accident occurred January 22, 2016 near Denton Enterprise Airport (KDTO), Denton County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fort Worth, Texas AFW FSDO-19
Piper Aircraft; Florida 

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N997DN

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA102
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 22, 2016 in Denton, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA31, registration: N997DN
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The commercial pilot reported that, during the postmaintenance test flight, the right engine surged and then behaved consistent with a fuel flow issue. The right engine subsequently lost power, and the pilot prepared to return to the airport. However, before the pilot could secure the right engine, the left engine started to surge and then lost power. The pilot conducted a forced landing to a field, during which both wings and the engine nacelles sustained substantial damage. 

Although a fuel smell was present on scene, there was no visual evidence of fuel in the fuel tanks or in the field. Only a quart of fuel was recovered from the left fuel tank. Further examination of the airframe and fuel system revealed that the fuel tanks were not compromised, and no mechanical anomalies with the airframe, engine, or the fuel system were found that would have precluded normal operation. 

The pilot reported that there should have been about 120 gallons of fuel on board at the time of departure. Additionally, a fuel receipt confirmed that 99.36 gallons of fuel had been added to the fuel tanks before a 36-minute maintenance engine test run conducted 3 days before the accident flight. No other flights were conducted between the test run and the accident flight, which the engine data monitor indicated was about 30 minutes long. 

Based upon calibrations set by the operator, the engine data showed that the engines consumed about 5.6 gallons of fuel during the test run and 19.2 gallons of fuel during the accident flight. Performance information from the manufacturer indicated that the engines should have burned between 10 and 18 gallons of fuel during the test run and between 27 and 50 gallons of fuel during the accident flight. Although it is possible the discrepancy between the recorded fuel consumption and the fuel consumption calculations was due to the operator setting the engine data monitor’s calibrations incorrectly, it could not be determined when or by whom the calibrations were set. The absence of fuel on-scene and the loss of engine power are consistent with fuel exhaustion; however, the investigation was unable to determine why there was no fuel on board at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

On January 22, 2016, about 1530 central standard time, a Piper PA-31 airplane, N997DN, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Denton, Texas. The commercial rated pilot received minor injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight departed Denton Enterprise Airport (KDTO), Denton, Texas, about 1500.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was a routine maintenance flight following maintenance and a 2-year period where the airplane had not flown regularly.

Several days prior to the accident flight, the pilot conducted an extensive preflight of the airplane and supervised the fueling of the airplane. He stated that the inboard tanks were filled to 56 gallons and the outboard tanks had 10 gallons of fuel added . The nacelle tanks were empty. 

Before conducting a flight in the airplane, the pilot performed a maintenance test run of the engines. He stated that he started and shut down the engines on the inboard tanks and conducted the taxi and engine run-ups on the outboard tanks. He estimated that he ran the engines for about 30 minutes. Aside from issues with the fuel boost pumps and the left and right fuel flow indicators, he noted no anomalies with the airframe, engines, or related systems during the taxi and engine run-up.

The airplane sat for three days between the maintenance test run and the accident flight. During the preflight inspection he noted a fuel spot on the floor under the right main fuel tank sump. Further examination revealed that the plug was not seated correctly. He estimated that less than a cup of fuel was lost during that time. For the accident flight the pilot estimated the fuel on board at takeoff was 120 gallons – no additional fuel was added prior to the flight, nor did he visually verify the fuel quantity as no one had flown the airplane or ran the engines since his last engine run three days prior.

The run-up of both engines prior to the flight revealed no anomalies. The pilot departed with the fuel selected to the inboard tanks and then once at altitude switched to the outboard tanks. The fuel flow meters were now working and when he noted the right engine flow start to drop he switched back to the inboard tanks. He climbed to 1,000 feet, checked multiple systems and then conducted a low approach to Bishop Field. He climbed back up to 2,000 feet and was conducting the cruise checklist when the right engine surged. The pilot noted the sound and behavior consistent with no fuel/fuel flow. The pilot checked the fuel selector valves and trouble shot the engine surge without resolve.

The pilot obtained clearance to enter a downwind for runway 36 at DTO at which time the right engine lost power. Before the pilot could declare an emergency and secure the right engine the left engine surged and lost power. During the forced landing to the field both wings and engine nacelles were substantially damaged.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors who responded to the scene, they could smell fuel on scene but found no evidence of fuel. There was no fuel in the fuel tanks and there was no pooling of fuel outside of the airplane in the debris field or where the airplane came to rest. Only a quart of fuel was recovered from the left fuel tank by the airplane recovery team.

An examination of the airframe, wings, and fuel system was conducted under the auspices of the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, inspectors from the FAA, and an investigator from Piper Aircraft. The examination revealed that the fuel tanks and fuel system had not been compromised during the accident. No mechanical anomalies were noted with the engine, airframe, or airframe fuel system that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments EDM-790 that had the capability to monitor and record exhaust gas temperature, cylinder head temperature, oil pressure and temperature, manifold pressure, outside air temperature, turbine inlet temperature, engine rpm, compressor discharge temperature, fuel flow, and battery voltage. The unit contained non-volatile memory for data storage of the recorded parameters.

The recorder was in good condition and data were extracted normally. The EDM contained 2.7 hours of data and 15 power cycles. Both the engine run and the accident flight were captured on the EDM. The engine run captured 36 minutes of engine data. The accident flight captured 30 minutes of data. Based upon the calibrations set by the operator, in the EDM, total fuel consumption for the engine run was 5.6 gallons and total fuel consumption for the accident flight was 19.2 gallons.

Performance data from the airplane flight manual indicate that fuel consumption (at high cruise) to be 54 gallons per hour (gph) for both engines, and 28 gph at maximum endurance. Using data from the pilot's operating manual and airplane flight manual, investigators estimated the fuel burn for the maintenance test run, 3 days prior to the accident flight, to be between 10 and 18 gallons. Further, investigators estimated fuel burn for the accident flight to be between 27 and 50 gallons. Fuel receipts confirmed the addition of 99.36 gallons of fuel, prior to the engine maintenance test run, on January 18, 2016.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA102 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 22, 2016 in Denton, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA31, registration: N997DN
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 22, 2016, about 1530 central standard time, a Piper PA-31 airplane, N997DN, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Denton, Texas. The pilot received minor injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight departed Denton Enterprise Airport (KDTO), Denton, Texas, about 1500.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspectors who responded to the scene, the airplane had not flown for some time and the pilot was taking it on a routine flight following maintenance. During the flight the right engine surged several times before losing power. Shortly after the right engine lost power, the left engine surged and lost power. The wings, engine nacelles, and landing gear were substantially damaged during the forced landing to a field.  




An Aubrey pilot walked away from an emergency landing with only bumps and bruises Friday afternoon.

After experiencing engine trouble in the Piper PA-31 Navajo airplane he was flying, David Kinney landed the plane in a field next to George Owens Road on the south side of U.S. Highway 380, west of Denton. 

Kinney was making a routine maintenance flight and had taken off from Denton Enterprise Airport prior to the emergency.

Skid marks could be seen in the grass. The landing gear was not visible.

Department of Public Safety troopers, Denton County sheriff’s deputies and Krum emergency officials responded to the scene.

Kinney sustained minor injuries and was not transported to a hospital, according to DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel. He said because there was no one seriously hurt, no property damage and no fire, it was not a big incident to DPS, but added that the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating.

FAA officials could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.dentonrc.com

After taking off from Denton Enterprise Airport and experiencing engine trouble, a pilot landed a Piper Navajo just yards away from U.S. Highway 380 west of Denton.


A small plane is down in west Denton County, according to sheriff's officials. 

Denton County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Sandi Brackeen said the aircraft went down off U.S. Highway 380 near the town of Krum at about 3:30 p.m. Friday.


The pilot was experiencing engine trouble and was forced to land, officials said.


The Krum Fire Department said the pilot landed in a field on the south side of 380, then bounced over the highway, while staying low enough to avoid hit power lines. The plane then came to a stop near the intersection of George Owens Road and 380.


The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.


Story and photo: http://www.nbcdfw.com

Boeing 737-924ER (WL), N36444, United Airlines: Incident occurred January 22, 2016 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (KORD), Illinois


CHICAGO (WLS) -- A United plane slid off the runway at O'Hare International Airport upon landing. Some travelers were delayed when they missed connections but there are no injuries.


United Airlines says the Boeing 737 was carrying 179 passengers and six crew members from San Francisco to Chicago. Passengers said most of the window shades were down during landing and they didn't realize something was wrong until the pilot made an announcement.


"They didn't say anything before, it felt like a totally normal landing, and then after we landed they said, oh, we had some brake failure," said Kech Carera.


"I didn't know if it was the brakes or not, but it felt like - there were just a couple little bumps and that was it," said Todd White.


"It started out as a normal landing, plane touched down, he started to apply the brakes and it just started to skid out a little bit, and then we got to the end of the runway and he went to the side a little bit, you know, I think he did a good job," said Brian Clark.


"Everyone is fine and calm. I've flown 2 million miles and never seen this before," Dodge wrote.

Speaking with ABC7 Eyewitness News, Dodge said the landing was very smooth but upon touching down the plane simply did not slow. Instead it began sliding and continued off the runway.

Emergency crews brought stairs and the airport provided buses to bring passengers to the terminal.

For the Patel family, the young travelers found the entire ordeal to be quite an adventure.

"We were about to land at the airport and all of a sudden me and my dad hear a screeching that sound like the wheels were screeching underneath the seats," said Arjun Patel.

"Everyone is safe and sound and that's all that matters," said Bhumi Patel.

The winter storm bearing down on the East Coast is also causing some travel madness in the Midwest. O'Hare is reporting delays averaging 40 minutes due to weather on the East Coast, and over 200 cancellations. Midway International Airport is reporting a handful of delays and over 60 cancellations. Both planes and flight crews have had trouble arriving and departing on time.

There have also been last minute cancellations. One pair of travelers had planned on a one-day business trip from New Jersey to Chicago and now find themselves stuck here.

"The communication, in terms of updates, is still kind of lagging. So the best recommendations from airlines is that we should still come to the airport, stand on line, and wait for the next available opening for a flight. I feel like there's potentially more efficient ways to go about doing that," said Patrick Callahan.

Travelers at O'Hare said that despite the delays and cancellations they're glad to hear airlines are exercising caution considering the winter storm.

Story, video and photos:  http://abc7chicago.com

UNITED AIRLINES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N36444



A United Airlines flight landing at Chicago's O’Hare International Airport slid off the runway Friday afternoon, according to the Chicago Fire Department. 

Fire officials said the Boeing 737 plane skidded into the snow-covered grass while landing at the airport.

United Airlines confirmed United Flight 734 from San Francisco to Chicago "partially rolled" off the runway. No injuries were reported, authorities and the airline said. 

According to United spokesperson Charlie Hobart, 179 passengers and six crew members were onboard the flight.

The airline is using buses to bring customers to their gate and the aircraft will undergo "a full inspection," Hobart said. 

It's not clear what caused the skid, but snow was on the ground at the airport at the time of the incident. 

It's the second United Airlines flight to veer off the runway at O'Hare Airport in the last month. 

On Dec. 30, a United Airlines flight from Seattle skidded beyond the turning point toward its gate. 

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com





Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College suspends composites program

Justin Balsness of Duluth cleans a piece of machinery that he is fixing in the composite class at WITC in Superior on Thursday morning. 



A course launched with Kestrel employees in mind is being shuttered by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College of Superior.

School officials said low enrollment and lack of local employment opportunities led to suspension of the program.

"If we have no students coming in and no large employer on the back end, it creates a stranglehold," said WITC-Superior Administrator Bonny Copenhaver.

Instructor Dave Crockett said the program, the only one of its kind in the state, fills a growing industry need and attracts students from a wide radius. He called the suspension a "slap in Superior’s face."

WITC-Superior’s composite technology program was created with the help of $600,000 in state grant money. It opened its doors to 10 students in May of 2013. A year later, the program was restructured to offer a 1½-year technical degree program instead of just a two-year associate degree. The coursework was also retooled to move from a heavy emphasis on aviation to a well-rounded training that would prepare workers for jobs in other areas, including marine and wind turbine work. No enrollments were taken in the fall of 2014 to allow time to modify the curriculum, according to WITC President John Will. That move cost the campus $50,000 in grant funding, Copenhaver said.

The program currently has seven students, with a maximum capacity for 16 without adding an instructor. No more students will be accepted to the program and it will be shuttered when the last students graduate in 2017.

Ten of the program’s graduates are already placed and working, Crockett said, and most got job offers before they finished the course. Cirrus Aircraft has employed three of them.

"We could potentially hire up to five of these individuals a year," said Vance Okstad, director of organization development for Cirrus. "It’s a strong need for us." The aircraft manufacturer was in talks with the college to provide additional composites training for current employees. WITC offers a well-rounded course, Okstad said, and its graduates were able to walk directly onto the job. Their three WITC graduates are still doing work directly related to what they learned.

"I would love to see it continue on," said Okstad, who serves on the advisory board for the program. He said composite technology is a skill that will be needed in the future, but the course may be ahead of its time. A degree is not required currently for composites work, he said, and Cirrus does much of its composite training in-house.

"I’m sorry to see that they suspended the program," said Mark Ketterer, director of maintenance for AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth. The aircraft maintenance and repair facility has hired two of the WITC’s composites graduates. They came out well-trained and didn’t take long to get "up to speed."

"Their program was good when it started; it got better at the end," Ketterer said, when it expanded to include both fabrication and repair. "On the other hand, our need is not nearly as great as Cirrus or Kestrel. We could get one or two a year, that would satisfy our needs."

The composite technology course was created in response to the 2012 announcement by Kestrel Aircraft that Superior would be the production site for its all-composite, single-engine turboprop Kestrel 350. It was estimated that between 60 and 100 composite technicians would be needed, Crockett said. Currently, Kestrel’s Superior office employs about 30, most of them engineers. Whether more jobs will open is unknown.

"We’ve made no decision as to where we will finally build the Kestrel," said Alan Klapmeier, CEO of ONE Aviation, which builds the Eclipse 500 twin-engine jet and is developing the Kestrel. The business has had problems working with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

"Because the state of Wisconsin has not lived up to its end of the program, we feel it’s an open issue where we will build the plane," Klapmeier said.

The fact that Superior is still being considered as a site is due to the great support the company has had from both the city and Douglas County, he said.

The decision to suspend a program isn’t taken lightly, Copenhaver said, and other administrators weighed in. The assessment went through the president’s cabinet and was supported, according to Will.

"I would love for that program to stay; it’s a wonderful program," Copenhaver said. "They have done an amazing job. It’s just the dynamics that have happened in the community right now."

While it’s nice to see a cutting-edge program like composite technology at the college, she said, it can lead to a risk if the industry doesn’t keep up and there’s a gap.

Other WITC programs that have been suspended since she came to WITC-Superior three years ago include a bricklaying course in Rice Lake and a building performance program.

Programs are reviewed on an annual basis, Will said, often leading to modification. When one is suspended, there is a three-year window to restart it if circumstances change. In his seven years with WITC, first as vice president and then president, he has never seen a suspended program restart.

Crockett said the cost to start up the composite program again would be cost-prohibitive. He’d like to see it stay. The instructor has contacted local legislators, Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Will to express his concerns about the suspension.

"I think this program does a lot for Superior," Crockett said. It’s been written up in Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine and prompted compliments from technical deans throughout the state. Clearwater Composites LLC in Duluth and Wipaire Inc. in St. Paul, Minn., which manufactures aircraft floats, have expressed an interest in hiring graduates from the class. It has untapped potential, from canoe and paddle making classes to providing workers for Boeing, Crockett said.

"It doesn’t need Kestrel to survive," he said.

Some WITC classes, like the marine repair course in Ashland, attract students from a great distance for jobs outside the area. That is an exception to technical college courses, Copenhaver said, not the rule. Their emphasis is on training students for local jobs.

"WITC, and tech colleges in general, does have a focus on local employers," Will said. "We are a public education institution that is primarily funded with state and local levy dollars. Matching our programming to available employment opportunities is an area of emphasis."

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

Blaming Pilots: No More Easy Answers • National Transportation Safety Board



By Tim Maher and Brian Casey
Maher and Casey are lawyers with the firm of Barnes & Thornburg.  


When adding general aviation safety to its list of top priorities for 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) noted that accidents involving general aviation, or private planes, “are almost always a repeat of the circumstances of previous accidents.”


In the five decades since Congress created the NTSB to investigate accidents and make recommendations to prevent their recurrence, general aviation accidents have resulted in the deaths of more than 50,000 Americans — nine times more than airline crashes.


Despite this toll, NTSB’s last chairperson said that general aviation deaths are not numerous enough to warrant NTSB’s attention.


NTSB currently contends that it is not answerable in any court for its failure to investigate and make safety recommendations to prevent the same accident from happening time and again.


As reported in these pages, the system governing general aviation safety is broken.


It lacks oversight, accountability and resources, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths and subjecting private pilots, their passengers – and everyone in their flight paths to undue risk.


General aviation should be as safe as commercial airline travel.


It could be if the agency charged with investigating, assessing and reporting on general aviation crashes, the NTSB, applied the same diligence and resources to general aviation accident investigations as it does to commercial aviation accidents.


Instead, in 86 percent of private plane crashes, the NTSB attributes the accident to pilot error. End of investigation.


Researchers note that blaming the pilot relieves the NTSB as well as the FAA, aircraft and engine manufacturers and airport operators from the time and expense of a thorough accident investigation that could reveal the need for systemic reform or the actual cause of the accident. Worse yet, NTSB claims its findings are not subject to review by any other authorities or by the courts.


This could all change if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear a case we filed on behalf of an Indiana man named Yatish Joshi. Joshi’s daughter, Georgina, died in 2006 when the plane she was piloting crashed outside Bloomington, Indiana. As it almost always does, the NTSB determined that the accident, which also killed the four passengers aboard, was Georgina’s fault.


It’s an easy answer. Blaming pilots, who often aren’t alive to defend themselves, absolves everyone else – air-traffic controllers, regulators, plane and parts manufacturers – and allows the system to carry on without identifying or solving the underlying problems.


Critical deficiencies are thus perpetuated – and accidents continue to happen for the same reasons.


Pilots are people, and can make mistakes. But air traffic controllers are people, airplane designers and manufacturers are people and airplane maintenance workers are people, too.  Yet pilots are disproportionately blamed for airplane accidents.  Making matters worse, if not subject to review, the NTSB’s determinations serve as the final word on the subject – even if they’re wrong. And the truth is never known.


Unsatisfied with the NTSB’s findings about his daughter’s plane crash, Joshi conducted an independent investigation, hiring experts who pored over flight records, examined conditions and interviewed witnesses. They even recreated the flight. The experts found disturbing holes in the NTSB’s report. The agency’s investigators didn’t learn, for example, that the FAA had only one air traffic controller on duty the night of the crash even though FAA regulations required two, or that the controller had received only 10 minutes of final approach control training, or that the radar and weather reporting equipment used by the controller were not appropriate for the services being provided to Georgina. Further, the NTSB never discovered reports of another plane in the area. That plane, which was heard and seen by witnesses immediately prior to the accident, may have flown into Georgina’s path, forcing her to take evasive action – the likely cause of her crash. The NTSB also failed to discover the aircraft damage report prepared by its own investigator.  This report directly contradicts the NTSB’s Probable Cause finding in Georgina’s accident.  Yet, the NTSB continues to say its investigation and findings are complete, accurate and not subject to review.


This isn’t an isolated incident. Similar horrors happen routinely in a system that fails to hold anyone but pilots accountable, leaving safety mechanisms unregulated and often badly outdated. Deployment of the NEXT Gen air traffic control system is more than ten years behind schedule.  That system, which should have been in place by the time of Georgina’s accident, is able to track planes all the way down to the ground, unlike the current radar based system.  When Georgina crashed, the radar covering the Bloomington area could not see planes flying below 1,000 feet; the NEXT Gen technology would have answered many questions about Georgina’s accident, and might have prevented the crash. As a sad testament to the truth of NTSB’s statement that these accidents continue to happen for the same reasons, on April 7, 2015, a near-identical crash occurred in Bloomington, Illinois, killing 7 people.


The NTSB knows it has problems — 15 years ago it commissioned a report by the RAND Corporation that found NTSB lacked the funding, training and investigative prowess it needed to do its job effectively. And yet the agency, operating largely without oversight, has failed to address those shortcomings.


It’s time for the NTSB to be subject to the checks and balances that are faced by other government agencies – that are fundamental to American democracy. That’s why Joshi has taken his case all the way to the Supreme Court. If he’s heard there, it could go a long way toward making the NTSB more effective – and making the skies safer for us all.


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


USA TODAY investigation: Lies and coverups mask roots of small-aircraft crashes 





NTSB Identification: CHI06FA117
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, April 20, 2006 in Bloomington, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Cessna U206G, registration: N120HS
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

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.

The airplane crashed into trees about 1/2-mile from the approach end of runway 35 while the aircraft was conducting a precision instrument approach in night instrument weather. The flight's plotted radar data was consistent with an airplane that was being vectored for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach. The radar track depicted the aircraft flying above glide path and to the right of course until radar contact was lost at 2,000 feet at 2338:34 about two and a half miles from the approach end of the runway. About 2345, the Sheriff responded to telephone calls of a possible airplane crash. A witness described the airplane sounds as an engine acceleration, followed by a thud, and then no more engine sounds were heard. The airport's weather about the time of the accident was: Wind 230 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 1 statute mile; present weather mist; sky condition overcast 100 feet. The published decision height for the approach was 200 feet agl and one-half mile visibility. A post accident inspection of the ILS determined the ILS was operating normally. The tower did not record after hour radio transmissions. An on-scene examination of the aircraft wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies. A review of data from an engine monitor showed a reduction in fuel flow consistent with a descent followed by an increase in fuel flow consistent with a full power setting.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's continued descent below decision height and not maintaining adequate altitude/clearance from the trees while on approach. Factors were the the night lighting conditions, and the mist.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 20, 2006, about 2345 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206G, N120HS, piloted by an instrument rated private pilot, was destroyed on impact with trees and terrain while on approach to runway 35 at the Monroe County Airport (BMG), near Bloomington, Indiana. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was on file and was activated. The pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated from the Purdue University Airport (LAF), near Lafayette, Indiana, about 2245.

The person representing N120HS contacted the Terre Haute, Indiana, federal contract facility automated flight service station (AFSS) to get a weather briefing about 2213. The AFSS briefer at position "PF-3" gave the following brief, in part, to the pilot:

2213:25 PF-3 terre haute flight service

2213:27 N120HS hi i'd like to get a weather briefing

2213:29 PF-3 yes ma'am

2213:30 N120HS um lafayette lima alpha foxtrot and bloomington bravo mike golf and any interesting weather that might be between them

2213:39 PF-3 okay uh what's the aircraft call sign you're using

2213:42 N120HS november one two zero hotel sierra

2213:45 PF-3 and what time are you leaving lafayette

2213:47 N120HS we will probably be leaving in about twenty minutes to half an hour

2213:58 PF-3 okay and is this a v f r flight or i f r

2214:02 N120HS for v f r

2214:03 PF-3 v f r only

2214:05 N120HS *(ho ho) wait i'm sorry go ahead

2214:08 PF-3 is that v f r only

2214:10 N120HS yes yes sir well depending on what the 
weather's like

2214:13 PF-3 okay well we do have an airmet for i f r for the southern portion of indiana now

0214:18 N120HS okay

0214:19 PF-3 and they're saying that that may continue the rest of the evening into early tomorrow morning and

2214:23 N120HS okay

2214:23 PF-3 looking at the bloomington weather they do have i f r ceilings eight hundred broken right now with visibility eight miles

2214:30 N120HS *(okay)

2214:30 PF-3 so i wouldn't recommend v f r 

2214:32 N120HS okay well

2214:33 PF-3 uh

2214:33 N120HS definitely not i'm sorry i got i looked at the *(tafs they) didn't predict that okay can i file an i f r flight plan with you

2214:39 PF-3 sure would you like me to continue with the rest of the weather and and all that

2214:42 N120HS yeah that would that would be great

2214:44 PF-3 okay uh that's the only airmet uh going down that way for you uh looks like a low pressure system we've got uh one in western kentucky tennessee another one's up around the chicago area *(it's a) 
stationary front running from that one across northern indiana and ohio and then uh high pressure over to our east precip uh nothing really along that route there is some in southeastern indiana but it shouldn't affect your flight at all

2215:08 N120HS *(okay)

2215:08 PF-3 at lafayette uh the winds are two eighty at four ten miles skies clear below twelve thousand sixteen and seven and two nine nine one that's an automated report en route looking at a few clouds at thirteen 
thousand with niner miles and then again in the bloomington area winds two forty at three eight miles ceiling eight hundred broken seventeen and sixteen and two nine nine four that's also an automated report at bloomington and i don't see any uh pilot reports right now along that route for you the forecast lafayette was saying the rest of the evening a few clouds at six thousand winds three ten at five en route uh calling for *(uh) it looks like three thousand scattered six to ten thousand broken to overcast they were saying occasional showers in central indiana til zero three hundred though there's nothing really showing except for a little northeast of indy and then uh for the bloomington area uh six hundred broken five thousand overcast visibility better than six winds one sixty at four now they were saying within an hour you might see six hundred scattered five in mist around bloomington four hun four thousand broken and winds one fifty at four but the airmet was calling for i f r to continue the rest of the night into early tomorrow

2216:26 N120HS boy am i glad i called you wow

2216:27 PF-3 and

2216:28 N120HS okay

2216:28 PF-3 and then winds aloft uh would you like three and six for those

2216:32 N120HS um just three please

2216:33 PF-3 three thousand you're looking at light and variable winds at three thousand

2216:37 N120HS okay great

2216:38 PF-3 and notams uh lafayette r c o one two two three five is out of service

2216:44 PF-3 and uh it says the class d surface area and uh tower only available through zero one hundred daily down at Bloomington uh showing tower and class d surface area available through zero one thirty daily and 
three five pilot controlled lighting is out of service at bloomington indiana and otherwise en route i don't see anything else en route for you notam d wise as far as t f rs no unpublished t f rs along that route at this time

2217:15 N120HS *(great)

2217:15 PF-3 *(we'd) appreciate uh pilot reports flight watch is shut down for the evening but any any flight service frequencies along the route for you would you like to go ahead and file then

2217:24 N120HS yes sir

2217:25 PF-3 okay i'm ready to copy

2217:26 N120HS (unintelligible) november one two zero hotel sierra it's a cessna two oh six slash alpha airspeed a hundred and a hundred and thirty knots flying at three thousand feet departing lafayette lima alpha foxtrot lafayette direct bloomington indiana bravo mike golf five on board three hours of fuel the aircraft is based in south bend pilots name ... and aircraft is red white and blue 

2218:12 PF-3 (unintelligible) uh what's your time en route from lafayette to bloomington

2218:15 N120HS time on route forty minutes

2218:19 PF-3 and you say you're leaving in just a few minutes i put that out for zero two thirty that's on the half hour

2218:23 N120HS *(perfect)

The transcript of the weather briefing showed that the pilot did not give an alternate airport to the briefer when the flight plan was filed. The briefer did not ask for an alternate airport and was not required to ask for one.

About 2319, the pilot checked on with the Air Route Traffic Control Center controller working the Shelbyville, Indiana, sector (SHB R). The transcript of their transmissions, in part, stated:

2319:57 N120HS indy center november one two zero hotel sierra is with you at five thousand

2320:01 SHB R november one two zero hotel sierra indianapolis center roger how do you hear center

2320:04 N120HS ah loud and clear

2320:05 SHB R okay and ah what type of approach are you going to shoot into bloomington this morning or this evening

2320:11 N120HS we'd like to go for a runway three five six ah i l s

2320:14 SHB R i l s three five okay you can expect that ah one two zero hotel sierra do you have the ah asos weather

2320:19 N120HS yes sir

2320:20 SHB R all right

2323:11 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra you're one two miles north of bloomington cross bloomington at or above two thousand six hundred cleared for the i l s runway three five approach report procedure turn inbound

2323:23 N120HS oh any way we can have vectors to the---ah final course

2323:26 SHB R not a problem at all ma'am what's your heading

2323:30 N120HS one seven zero

2323:32 SHB R okay turn ah right heading of ah one nine zero it'll be a vector for a left down wind entry for i l s three five straight in

2323:39 N120HS one niner zero for a---right down wind entry ah for three five zero hotel sierra

2323:43 SHB R yes ma'am and maintain five thousand

2323:46 N120HS maintain five thousand

2328:35 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel turn left heading one eight zero

2328:39 N120HS left heading one eight zero

2333:03 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra descend at pilot's discretion maintain four thousand

2333:08 N120HS descend and maintain four thousand for zero hotel sierra

2333:13 SHB R i am going to take you about two miles outside of claye if that's okay with you ma'am

2333: 18 N120HS that's great

2333:50 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra turn left heading zero eight zero

2333:53 N120HS left heading zero eight zero

2334:36 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra three and a half miles south of claye turn left heading zero two zero maintain two thousand six hundred until established on the localizer you're cleared straight in i l s runway three five approach

2334:48 N120HS turn left heading zero two zero---cleared for the approach maintain twenty six hundred til ah established zero hotel sierra

2336:15 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra see you joining up on the localizer now radar service is terminated change to advisory tower frequency of one two eight point zero two is approved---and i'll need you to 
cancel---with ah terre haute tower on that frequency one two eight point zero two they monitor that frequency and they'll relay for ya

2336:35 N120HS radar service terminated and cancel with terre haute on one two eight point zero two thanks (unintelligible) zero hotel sierra

2336:40 SHB R and you can change to that frequency now you have a good night

2336:43 N120HS thanks

A Continuous Data Recording (CDR) airplane radar track data file was obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in reference to the accident flight. The airplane's radar returns along with their respective altitudes and times were plotted. The plotted data was consistent with an airplane that was being vectored for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway (rwy) 35. The plot showed the airplane at about 5,000 feet on a downwind. At 2334:30, the return showed the airplane was about 4,500 feet on base about ten miles from the approach end of runway 35. The airplane's return at 2337 was right of and approaching the outer marker CLAYE at an altitude of 3,300 feet. About 2337, the pilot made an advisory radio call on the Hulman Approach control frequency for BMG (128.025) that the flight was six miles south of BMG and inbound for runway 35. The last plotted return showed the airplane at 2,000 feet at 2338:34 about two and a half miles from the approach end of runway 35. About 2343, the controller from the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field air traffic control tower, near Terre Haute, Indiana, who was working the approach frequency, advised the flight that the BMG common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was 120.77 and the flight responded with "Thank you sir." No further communication was recorded with the accident flight. That plotted chart is appended to the docket material associated with this case.

About 2345, the Monroe County Sheriff responded to telephone calls of a possible airplane crash. About 0400, the wreckage was located in a wooded area about one-half mile from the approach end of runway 35. 

Witnesses in the area stated that they were awakened by a low flying aircraft. A witness said that the airplane noise was like a roar. Another described it as an engine acceleration. A thud was heard and no more engine sounds were heard.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The airplane operator reported that the pilot had completed a flight review or equivalent on July 3, 2005. It was further reported that the pilot had accumulated 379.1 hours of total flight time, 24.5 hours of actual instrument time, 51.1 hours of simulated instrument time, 30.4 hours of total flight time in the previous 90 days, 18.0 hours of total flight time in the previous 30 days, and 1.8 hours of total flight time in the previous 24 hours. 

She held a FAA third-class medical certificate issued on August 19, 2003, with a limitation for corrective lenses. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N120HS, a Cessna U206G, Stationair 6, serial number U20604728, was a six-place, single engine, high-wing, all-metal airplane of semimonocoque construction. The wings were externally braced and each wing contained a standard integral 46-gallon fuel tank. The airplane was powered by a six-cylinder, horizontally opposed, air cooled, fuel injected, marked as a Continental IO-520-F (17) engine, with serial number 812264-R. The engine was rated at 300 horsepower for five minutes and 285 horsepower continuously. Maintenance records showed that the airplane's propeller was a three-bladed McCauley D3A34C404B model, hub serial number 785309. The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate and was certified for normal category operations.

Maintenance records show that the last annual inspection was performed on June 7, 2005, and that the airplane had accumulated 2,125.7 hours at the time of that inspection. An entry in the records showed that the static system was inspected in accordance with Part 91.411 and 91.413 requirements on May 19, 2005.

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments Engine Data Management (EDM) 700 system. According to manufacturer's data, the EDM will monitor up to twenty-four critical parameters in your engine, four times a second, with a linearized thermocouple accuracy of better than 0.1 percent or 2 degrees F, has a user selectable index rate, fast response probes, non-volatile long term memory, records and stores data up to 30 hours, and has post-flight data retrieval capabilities.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 2340, the recorded weather at BMG was: Wind 230 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 1 statute mile; present weather mist; sky condition overcast 100 feet; temperature 17 degrees C; dew point 16 degrees C; altimeter 29.94 inches of mercury.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

There were eight non-precision instrument approaches and one precision approach available at the airport.

The published inbound course for BMG's ILS RWY 35 approach was 354 degrees magnetic, with the published decision height (DH) of 1,045 feet msl. The crossing altitude for the final approach fix (CLAYE) was 2,533 feet msl. The distance between CLAYE and the missed approach point was 5.1 nautical miles (nm). The airport elevation was 846 feet msl. 

The published weather minimums for the ILS RWY 35 approach were a 200-foot ceiling and one-half mile visibility for category A, B, C, and D aircraft. 

On April 21, 2006 the FAA conducted a post aircraft accident technical inspection and found the ILS system was operating normally.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

BMG had two asphalt-surfaced runways, 17/35 and 6/24. Runway 17/35 was 6,500 feet long and 150 feet wide. Runway 35 was equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR) and high intensity runway lights (HIRL). Runways 6,17, and 24 were equipped with visual approach slope indicators (VASI) located on the left side of their respective runways.

The airport was serviced by an Air Traffic Control tower. The tower was attended from 0630 - 2130 local. After hour local traffic communications were accomplished via the published airport CTAF 120.775 megahertz (MHz). The tower did not record the CTAF transmissions made after hours. Indianapolis Approach provided approach/departure control services for the airport.

The pilot controlled lighting function of the approach lights was not operative. The approach lights were turned on before the tower was closed.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest inverted on an approximate 180 degree magnetic heading. Broken and linearly separated tree branches were observed. A tree on a 230 degree magnetic heading from the wreckage and about 6 feet from the wreckage contained embedded aluminum colored metal consistent with the nose wheel rim. The engine was found about three feet below the surface. The propeller hub remained attached to the engine crankshaft propeller flange. The propeller blades separated from their hub. One blade exhibited forward bending and leading edge deformation. All of the blades exhibited chordwise abrasion. The wings were detached from the fuselage. The outboard section of the left wing had separated from the inboard section. The rudder was detached from the empennage and its control cables remained attached.

An on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted. Flight control cables were traced. All breaks in cables were consistent with overload. Flight control continuity was established from the cabin area to all flight control surfaces. The engine's control cables were traced from the cabin to the engine and engine control continuity was established. A blue liquid consistent with 100 low lead aviation gasoline was observed in the left tank.

The wreckage was relocated for a detailed examination and wreckage layout. The right engine driven vacuum pump was separated from the accessory case. The pump's drive coupler was not recovered. The right vacuum pump was rotated by hand and an inspection revealed that its rotor and vanes were intact. The left pump was attached to the accessory case. The pump was crushed and an inspection revealed its rotor was fragmented. The sparkplugs were removed and no anomalies were detected. The engine was rotated by hand and a thumb compression was observed at all cylinders. The right magneto was crushed, deformed, and did not produce any spark when rotated by hand. The left magneto produced spark at all leads when rotated by hand. The engine driven fuel pump's coupler was intact. A blue liquid consistent with 100 low lead aviation gasoline was found in the fuel line from the engine driven fuel pump to the manifold valve. The attitude indicator and horizontal situation indicator rotors exhibited rotational scoring. The rotor housings exhibited witness marks consistent with contact with their rotors. The altimeter's Kollsman window indicated 29.91. The airplane's engine monitor was crushed. The on-scene investigation did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Monroe County Coroner's Office on April 22, 2006.

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Accident Report. The report was negative for the tests performed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine monitor was examined at its manufacturer. The unit and its circuit board were crushed. The data memory chip was removed from its circuit board and installed on a serviceable circuit board. The accident flight's data was downloaded. The downloaded data was graphed. The end of the graph showed a reduction in fuel flow consistent with a descent followed by an increase in fuel flow consistent with a full power setting and the data stopped at that point. The graph of the engine monitor's data is appended to the docket material associated with this investigation.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91.169 IFR flight plan: information required, in part, stated:

(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each person filing an IFR flight plan shall include in it the following information:

(1) Information required under Sec. 91.153(a).
(2) An alternate airport, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Exceptions to applicability of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. 
Paragraph (a)(2) of this section does not apply if part 97 of this chapter prescribes a standard instrument approach procedure for the first airport of intended landing and, for at least 1 hour before and 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the weather reports or forecasts, or any combination of them indicate--
(1) The ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet above the airport elevation; and
(2) The visibility will be at least 3 statute miles.
(c) IFR alternate airport weather minimums. Unless otherwise 
authorized by the Administrator, no person may include an alternate airport in an IFR flight plan unless current weather forecasts indicate that, at the estimated time of arrival at the alternate airport, the ceiling 
and visibility at that airport will be at or above the following alternate airport weather minimums:
(1) If an instrument approach procedure has been published in part 97 of this chapter for that airport, the alternate airport minimums specified in that procedure or, if none are so specified, the following minimums:
(i) Precision approach procedure: Ceiling 600 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.
(ii) Nonprecision approach procedure: Ceiling 800 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.
(2) If no instrument approach procedure has been published in part 97 of this chapter for that airport, the ceiling and visibility minimums are those allowing descent from the MEA, approach, and landing under basic VFR.

The operator's safety recommendation, in part stated:

Even if a tower is closed, as it was in this case, there should be an automatic recording of all pilot transmissions on the common frequency. Such a recording would make available vital information in the case of a fatal accident [for example] did the pilot make a distress call? Does the pilot's voice indicate that they are under duress? Was it the pilot's intention to do a missed approach? Was there anything that may have interfered with the pilot's conduct of the flight? Did the pilot make any announcement indicating what problem they were facing? Was there any other aircraft in the immediate vicinity? The parties to the investigation included the FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Teledyne Continental Motors.  The aircraft wreckage was released to a representative of the insurance company.














MAKE IT HAPPEN AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N789UP

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP
Injuries: 7 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 April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). According to radar data, at 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight began a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach into BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The approach controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the approach controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the approach controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.

At 0000:01, the approach controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the approach controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

According to radar data, at 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before it turned to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the approach controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

According to radar data, at 0003:12, the flight crossed over the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl. The flight continued to descend while tracking the localizer toward the runway. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane continuing on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold.

At 0005, the BMI automated surface observing system reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19








McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage joined by Coroner Kathleen Davis as he reads a statement to reporters.


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


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

Make It Happen Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N789UP

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration  / Flight Standards District Office:  Springfield, Illinois
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
RAM Aircraft; Waco, Texas
Garmin; Olathe, Kansas
Sandel Avionics; Vista, California 

Spoilers, Inc.; Gig Harbor, Washington 

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP
Injuries: 7 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

The is an INTERIM FACTUAL SUMMARY of this accident investigation. A final report that includes all pertinent facts, conditions, and circumstances of the accident will be issued upon completion, along with the Safety Board's analysis and probable cause of the accident.

On April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). At 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight entered a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach to BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.

At 0000:01, the controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading and the pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

At 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before turning to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored airport CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the airport CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

At 0003:12, the flight crossed the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl and continued to descend while right of the localizer centerline. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet msl. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold, and was approximately coincident with the accident site location.

There were numerous individuals who reported being awoken shortly after midnight by the sound of a low-flying airplane over their respective residences. Additionally, several of these witnesses observed dense fog and/or rain after the airplane had overflew their position.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the 51-year-old pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The single engine land rating was limited to commercial privileges. The pilot was type-rated for the Cessna Citation, Learjet 35, Rockwell Sabreliner, Dassault Falcon 10, and Embraer Phenom business jets. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot's last aviation medical examination was on February 2, 2015, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for his current medical certificate, the pilot reported having accumulated 12,000 hours of total flight experience, of which 500 hours were flown within the previous 6 months. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings.

A current pilot logbook was not located during the investigation; the pilot's most recent logbook entry was dated February 15, 2005. A portfolio was found in the airplane wreckage that contained numerous pilot training certificates, fleet management documents, and airplane insurance applications. According to an insurance application that was submitted for the operation of the accident airplane, dated May 12, 2014, the pilot reported having a total flight experience of 12,100 hours, 9,850 hours in multiengine airplanes, 8,575 hours in turbine-powered airplanes, and 1,150 hours in Cessna 414A airplanes. The portfolio also contained documentation for simulator-based proficiency training in the Cessna 414A that was completed on August 14, 2013, at Recurrent Training Center, Inc., located in Savoy, Illinois. According to available information, the pilot's last flight review and instrument proficiency check was completed on March 11, 2015, in conjunction with simulator-based recurrent training for a Dassault Falcon 10 business jet at FlightSafety International, located in Dallas, Texas.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1980 Cessna model 414A (Chancellor), serial number 414A0495. Two turbo-charged Continental model TSIO-520-NB reciprocating engines provided thrust through constant-speed, full-feathering, three blade, Hartzell model PHC-C3YF-2UF/FC7663DB-2Q propellers. The low-wing airplane was of conventional aluminum construction, equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear, and a pressurized cabin that was configured to seat seven individuals. The airplane was equipped for night operations in instrument meteorological conditions. The airplane had been modified by supplemental type certificates (STC) to include winglets, vortex generators, and wing spoilers. Additionally, the maximum continuous horsepower of each engine had been increased to 325-horsepower after a STC modification. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 213.4 gallons (206 gallons usable) distributed between two wing fuel tanks. A review of prior flights, fueling records, and fuel consumption calculations established that the airplane departed on the accident flight with about 133.4 gallons of usable fuel.

According to the current weight-and-balance record, dated November 27, 2013, the airplane had an empty weight of 5,226.6 lbs and a useful load of 1,860.4 lbs. The empty weight center-of-gravity (CG) was 156.52 inches aft of the datum. At maximum takeoff weight, 7,087 lbs, the forward and aft CG limits were 152.2 inches and 159.04 inches, respectively. At maximum landing weight, 6,750 lbs, the forward and aft CG limits were 151.2 inches and 160.04 inches, respectively.

The airplane was originally issued an export certificate of airworthiness on May 22, 1980. The airplane was issued a Canadian registration number, C-GFJT, and was based in Canada until September 1986 when it was imported back into the United States of America and issued a standard airworthiness certificate and a new registration number (N144PC) on October 1, 1986. On April 12, 1993, the registration number was changed to N789UP.

According to an airplane utilization log found in the wreckage, the airplane's hour meter indicated 2,109.7 hours before the previous flight leg (BMI to IND). The airplane's hour meter was not located during the accident investigation; however, postaccident calculations indicated that the airplane had accumulated about 1.9 hours during the final two flights (BMI to IND and IND to BMI).

According to available maintenance documentation, the airframe had accumulated a total service time of 8,390.2 hours since new. The last annual inspection of the airplane was completed on October 1, 2014, at 8,346.9 total airframe hours. The airplane had accumulated 43.3 hours since the annual inspection. The static system, altimeter system, automatic pressure altitude reporting system, and transponder were last tested on December 2, 2013. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues.

The left engine, serial number 503140, had accumulated a total service time of 4,881.5 hours since new and 556.7 hours since being overhauled on March 20, 2008. The left propeller, serial number EB1994, had accumulated a total service time of 6,936.4 hours since new and 165.3 hours since being overhauled on November 23, 2010.

The right engine, serial number 519303, had accumulated a total service time of 5,591 hours since new and 1,699.9 hours since being overhauled on June 13, 2000. The right propeller, serial number EB1993, had accumulated a total service time of 6,936.4 hours since new and 691.3 hours since being overhauled on February 10, 2006.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart, issued at 0100 central daylight time (CDT) depicted a stationary front extending across central Iowa, northern Illinois and Indiana, and immediately north of Bloomington, Illinois. A second stationary front was depicted extending over Kansas, into Missouri, and turning southeastward into Tennessee and Alabama. The station models on the chart indicated northeasterly winds at 10 to 15 knots north of the stationary front located across Illinois, and from the east-southeast at 5 knots or less south of the frontal boundary. The station models also depicted an extensive area of overcast clouds over the region, and with most stations along and south of the front reporting light continuous rain, drizzle, and/or mist. The station model for Bloomington indicated wind from the east-southeast at about 5 knots, surface visibility restricted in mist, overcast cloud cover, temperature and dew point at 13 degrees Celsius, and a sea level pressure of 29.98 inches of mercury. The station models surrounding Bloomington indicated similar conditions with overcast clouds, light continuous rain and/or mist.

A review of weather radar data recorded at 0004 CDT revealed no significant radar echoes greater than 15 dBZ over the greater Bloomington-Normal area. The observed radar echoes were consistent with light rain. The observed radar echoes along the recorded flight track were consistent with the accident airplane operating in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during the approach and at the time of the accident.

At 2156 CDT, about an hour before the accident flight departed, the BMI automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported: wind 150 degrees at 4 knots, an overcast ceiling at 1,200 feet above ground level (agl), 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 14 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

At 2303 CDT, about four minutes before the accident flight departed, the BMI ASOS reported: wind 140 degrees at 6 knots, scattered clouds at 100 feet agl and an overcast ceiling at 800 feet agl, 2 mile surface visibility with light rain and mist, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.

At 0005 CDT, about a minute before the accident, the BMI ASOS reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, the runway visibility range (RVR) for runway 29 was variable 4,000-6,000 feet, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

The terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) issued at 1826 CDT for BMI expected marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions to prevail during the forecast period with a surface visibility greater than 6 miles, an overcast ceiling at 2,500 feet agl, and with rain showers in the vicinity after 0100 CDT. The terminal forecast was amended at 2048 CDT, lowering the overcast ceiling to 1,200 feet agl. At 0038 CDT, an updated terminal forecast indicated that low instrument meteorological (LIFR) conditions were expected, including an overcast ceiling at 200 feet agl, and a 1/2 mile surface visibility with light drizzle and fog.

According to available information, the pilot utilized a commercial weather vendor (FlightPlan.com) to obtain his preflight weather briefing. The vendor logged weather briefings at 1614, 1957, 2117, and 2228 CDT. The briefings included weather reports, forecast, and notice to airmen for the departure, destination, alternate, and selected nearby airports and pilot reports. The final weather briefing, obtained at 2228 CDT, included the TAF for Bloomington that had been issued at 2048 CDT, which forecasted MVFR conditions. The 2228 CDT briefing also provided weather conditions for nearby airports that were reporting LIFR conditions with overcast ceilings ranging between 200 and 300 feet agl. The 2228 CDT briefing did not include the Area Forecast or any in-flight weather advisories. The pilot filed an IFR flight plan from IND to BMI and designated Lambert-St Louis International Airport (STL) as his alternate airport.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

The published inbound course for ILS runway 20 approach was 198 degrees magnetic, the crossing altitude for the final approach fix (EGROW) was 2,459 feet msl, and the distance between EGROW and the runway threshold was 4.8 nautical miles. The touchdown zone elevation was 871 feet msl. The published decision altitude was 1,071 feet msl (200 feet agl) and required 1,800 feet runway visibility range (RVR). The published missed approach procedure was to climb on runway heading to 1,500 feet msl, then make a right turn to a 270 degree magnetic heading and climb to 3,000 feet msl, then join the 214 degree radial from the Pontiac VOR and hold at MCLEN intersection.

In the event of a loss of vertical guidance from the glideslope during an approach, or if a pilot was cleared for the non-precision localizer approach, the missed approach point (MAP) was located 4.8 nm from the final approach fix (EGROW) while established on the localizer. The non-precision localizer approach minimum descent altitude (MDA) was 1,260 feet msl (389 feet agl) and required 2,400 feet RVR. The MDA for a circling approach was 1,340 feet msl (468 feet agl) and required 1 mile surface visibility.

According to air traffic control documentation, at the time of the accident, all components of the ILS were functional, with no recorded errors, and the localizer was radiating a front-course to runway 20. Additionally, a postaccident flight check further confirmed that there were no anomalies with the instrument approach.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), a public airport located about 3 miles east of Bloomington, Illinois, was owned and operated by the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority. The airport field elevation was 871 feet msl. The airport had two runways: runway 2/20 (8,000 feet by 150 feet, concrete) and runway 11/29 (6,525 feet by 150 feet, asphalt/concrete). Although airport was equipped with an air traffic control tower, the control tower was closed at the time of the accident.

Runway 20 incorporated a dual-mode Approach Lighting System II (ALSF-2) and Simplified Short Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (SSALR). The SSALR system was active when the control tower was closed. The runway was also equipped with runway touchdown zone and centerline lighting, and high intensity runway edge lighting.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The accident airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped, with a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in an open harvested corn field, about 2.2 miles east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold and about 1.75 miles east of the localizer centerline. The GPS altitude of the accident site was 854 feet. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane, which was orientated on a 074-degree magnetic heading. The wreckage was in an upright position and there was no appreciable wreckage debris path. All observed airframe structural separations were consistent with impact-related damage. The forward fuselage and cockpit were crushed upward and displaced aft. Flight control cable continuity was traced from the cockpit to the individual flight control surfaces. All observed flight control cable separations were consistent with overstress or were cut to facilitate recovery of the wreckage. There was no evidence of fire damage inside the cockpit, main cabin, aft fuselage, or empennage. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited postimpact fire damage of their respective engine nacelle/locker. Both ailerons were found partially separated from their respective hinge attachments. The aileron trim actuator extension measured 11/16 inch, which corresponded to the trailing-edge of the aileron trim tab being deflected up about 15-degrees. The aileron trim indicator was damaged during impact. The right wing leading edge outboard of the engine nacelle was crushed upward and displaced aft. The right wing deice boot and winglet were damaged by the postimpact fire. The left wing aft structural attachment exhibited features consistent with an overstress separation. The left winglet had separated and was found laying adjacent to the wing. The left wing leading edge outboard of the engine nacelle was crushed upward and displaced aft. The tail section was found separated immediately aft of the aft pressure bulkhead and remained attached through control cables. Both elevators remained attached to their respective horizontal stabilizer. The elevator trim actuator extension measured 1-11/16 inch, which corresponded to the trailing-edge of the elevator trim tab being deflected up about 5-degrees. The elevator trim indicator was damaged during impact. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The rudder trim actuator extension measured 2-1/4 inch, which was consistent with a neutral rudder trim position. The rudder trim indicator was damaged during impact. The nose and main landing gear were found fully retracted and the cockpit selector handle was found in the GEAR UP position. A measurement of the wing flap control chain corresponded with a fully-retracted flap position. The flap selector handle and indicator were damaged during impact. An operational test of the wing spoiler actuators did not reveal any anomalies. The cockpit instrument panel sustained considerable damage during impact. The throttle quadrant was buckled and displaced to the right. Both throttles levers were found in the idle position and bent to the right. Both propeller levers were found full forward and bent to the right. Both mixture levers were found in an intermediate position and bent to the right. The cockpit altimeters had a Kollsman window setting between 29.98 and 29.99 inches of mercury. The stall warning horn and landing gear warning horn were extracted from the cockpit and both horns produced an aural tone when electrical power was applied. Switch continuity for the wing-mounted lift sensor was confirmed. Both engine-mounted vacuum pumps exhibited impact and thermal damage. Disassembly of both vacuum pumps did not reveal any anomalies attributable to a preimpact malfunction.

Both integral wing fuel tanks were breached at their respective wingtips. Fuel was observed to drain from the left wing during wreckage recovery. Both fuel tank caps were found in the secured position. The airplane was equipped with cable-operated fuel selector valves, one for each engine, that were installed inboard of each engine nacelle. Both fuel selector valves were found in the OFF position; however, a reliable determination of the preimpact position was not possible due to impact-related damage to the selector handles. The structure supporting the selector handles, located between the cockpit seats, had been displaced forward into a vertical position during impact. Both auxiliary fuel pumps exhibited thermal damage from the postimpact fire that precluded further testing.

Both engines remained partially attached to their respective nacelles and exhibited impact and postimpact fire damage. The observed thermal damage was concentrated between the airframe firewalls and the rear accessory section of each engine. Both propellers had separated from their respective engine and were found in front of each engine, buried at a depth of about 18 inches. Both propellers retained their respective propeller flange and a fractured portion of their respective engine crankshaft. Both crankshafts displayed a bend in one direction with circumferential cracks observed on the tension side of the bend, a 45-degree sheer lip fracture on the tension side, and an irregular/jagged fracture on the compression side. Mechanical continuity from the engine components to their respective cockpit controls could not be determined due to impact and fire damage. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed when each engine was rotated through the accessory section. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. Teardown examinations of both engines and their respective turbochargers did not reveal any anomalies attributable to a preimpact malfunction. Additional documentation for each engine and turbocharger examination is included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

Each propeller had one blade that was bent aft, one blade that appeared straight, and one blade that exhibited forward bending near the tip. Both propellers had their spinner domes formed around the propeller hub and counterweights. The spinner domes also exhibited a spiral/twisting deformation pattern. The observed blade and spinner dome damage was consistent with both propellers rotating at impact. Neither propeller was found in a feathered position. Both propellers were found on their respective start locks. According to the propeller manufacturer, for the propellers to be found on the start locks, the propeller blade angle at impact was either at or below the start lock angle when engine speed decreased below 700-900 RPM, or the blade forces during impact had moved the blade angle into a start lock position after engine speed decreased below 700-900 RPM. A teardown examination of each propeller did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Additional documentation for each propeller examination is included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On April 7, 2015, the McLean County Coroner Office, located in Bloomington, Illinois, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident. The autopsy also identified an enlarged heart with wall thickening and dilation of the chambers, 60-75 percent stenosis of the proximal left anterior descending artery, extensive interstitial myocardial fibrosis within the left ventricle, and severe atherosclerosis of the basal septum nodal artery. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The testing identified 0.010 gm/dl of ethanol in cavity blood; however, no ethanol was detected in liver or brain samples. Ethanol can be produced by microbial activity after death. Additional toxicology testing did not identify any drugs and medications in cavity blood.

The pilot's wife reported that the pilot had not experienced any major life events or stressors in the days or weeks preceding the accident. She stated that the pilot would typically sleep about 8 hours each night and that he never mentioned having any sleep-related issues. Additionally, she could not recall him being fatigued in the days preceding the accident. She reported that he had no serious health related issues and that he regularly exercised by running. She indicated that the pilot had recently seen a chiropractor for back pain and that he would take Aleve for pain management.

An acquaintance of the pilot reported that he and the pilot had a lengthy conversation during the hours before the accident flight as they waited for their respective passengers to return to the fixed based operator. According to the acquaintance, the pilot appeared very relaxed throughout their conversation and did not appear to be fatigued or ill.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Glideslope Validity

A laboratory examination of the Garmin GNS 530W NAV/COM/GPS receiver, serial number 78410737, established that the active communication (COM) frequency was set to the BMI control tower frequency (124.6 MHz), which also served as the airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) when the control tower was closed. The standby COM frequency was set to Peoria Approach Control (128.725 MHz). The active navigation (NAV) frequency was for the BMI ILS Runway 20 instrument approach (111.9 MHz). The standby NAV frequency was set to the BMI VOR/DME frequency (108.2 MHz). The course deviation indicator (CDI) mode was selected to VOR/Localizer (VLOC). The Garmin GNS 530W did not record any historical flight parameter or navigational data.

A laboratory examination of the Garmin GNS 430W NAV/COM/GPS receiver, serial number 97103703, established that the active COM frequency was set to the BMI control tower frequency (124.6 MHz). The standby COM frequency was set to the BMI automatic terminal information service (ATIS) frequency (135.35 MHz). The active NAV frequency was for the BMI ILS Runway 20 approach (111.9 MHz). The standby NAV frequency was set to the BMI VOR/DME frequency (108.2 MHz). The CDI mode was selected to VLOC. The Garmin GNS 430W did not record any historical flight parameter or navigational data.

The airplane was equipped with a Sandel Avionics SN3500 electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI), serial number 1058. The device performed the basic functions of a traditional horizontal situation indicator (HSI) and radio magnetic indicator (RMI). Additionally, depending on installation, the device can provide RMI navigation to GPS waypoints, weather information, and traffic information. The device was configured to receive navigational data from the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W as NAV Channel 1 and 2, respectively. The device recorded the incoming navigation data once per second to a 24-megabyte circular buffer. The intended purpose of the recorded data was for diagnostic purposes by the manufacturer. The device was sent to the manufacturer to be downloaded and decoded. The recovered dataset included, but was not limited to, the following historic flight parameters: latitude, longitude, ground speed, magnetic heading, ground track, VOR/ILS mode status, localizer and glideslope validity, and localizer and glideslope deviation. The device did not record an altitude data parameter.

A review of the data recorded by the Sandel Avionics SN3500 during the previous flight leg (BMI to IND) established that despite being in ILS mode during the approach phase and having achieved a valid localizer state on both NAV channels, the device did not achieve a valid glideslope state until about 0.6 nm from the approach end of runway 23L at IND. A postaccident review of available weather documentation established that the airplane had landed at IND in day visual meteorological conditions, which consisted of a 10 sm surface visibility and an overcast cloud ceiling at 2,400 feet agl (about 3,200 feet msl).

A review of the recovered data for the accident flight revealed that the Sandel Avionics SN3500 was in the ILS mode during the instrument approach phase and that it had achieved a valid localizer state on both NAV channels; however, the device never achieved a valid glideslope state on either NAV channel during the accident flight.

With the assistance of the manufacturer, the recorded data for the accident flight was replayed back through the Sandel Avionics SN3500 to document the navigational information that was displayed by the device. The replay confirmed that the glideslope did not achieve a valid state on either NAV channel during the accident flight. The device displayed a large "X" through the glideslope scale and did not display a glideslope deviation pointer. According to the Sandel Avionics SN3500 pilot's guide, an "X" through the glideslope scale and the absence of a glideslope pointer indicated a lack of a valid glideslope. According to the manufacturer, the glideslope deviation and validity state are independently determined by the NAV/COM/GPS devices (Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W) before being transmitted, along with other navigational data, to the SN3500 device as NAV Channel 1 and NAV Channel 2 data via a standard avionics data transfer protocol (ARINC 429).

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook, a glideslope signal consists of two intersecting radio signals that are modulated at 90 Hz and 150 Hz. According to Garmin, the operating conditions that would result in an invalid glideslope state include any of the following conditions:

(a) In the absence of a glideslope radio frequency signal.
(b) In the absence of 150 Hz modulation.
(c) In the absence of 90 Hz modulation.
(d) In the absence of both 90 Hz and 150 Hz modulation.
(e) When the level of a standard deviation test signal, as generated during ground maintenance/testing, produces 50-percent or less of standard deflection of the deviation indicator.

A follow-up examination of the airplane wreckage located the glideslope antenna on a small portion of radome structure. The radome had fragmented during the impact sequence. One of the solid wire antennas had separated from the antenna body and was not located during the investigation. The other solid wire antenna remained attached to the antenna body and exhibited minor damage. As found, the glideslope antenna was not connected to the coaxial cable that provided signal to the glideslope signal diplexer. Additionally, the coaxial cable was found crimped around a fuselage bulkhead stiffener. The observed crimp was consistent with damage sustained during the accident. The glideslope signal diplexer remained attached to the fuselage bulkhead and its single coaxial input connector and two coaxial output connectors were found intact and properly secured. The remaining coaxial cable paths were continuous to the cockpit where the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W had been previously removed during the investigation.

The glideslope antenna design incorporated a quarter-turn twist-lock BNC-type connector with the female portion of the connector installed on the glideslope antenna body. The male portion of the connector was attached to the coaxial cable that connected to the glideslope signal diplexer. A laboratory examination of the female portion of the connector revealed that it was intact with some minor deformation and light debris found on the interior and exterior surfaces. The locking pins of the female connector were intact and no corrosion was observed. The male portion of the connector was intact and undamaged except for one of the six shielding/ground fingers. The damaged finger was folded and bent into the connector. The central conductor pin was undamaged and no corrosion was apparent. Although initially found disconnected from the glideslope antenna, the coaxial cable could be reconnected and twist locked with minimal difficulty.

The electrical properties of the glideslope signal diplexer were subsequently evaluated at an avionics repair station. No repairs were made to the crimped portion of the coaxial cable that normally connected the glideslope antenna to the glideslope signal diplexer. A glideslope source signal of 92 decibels (dbm) was transmitted by the test bench through the coaxial cable that was connected to the diplexer. The signal level was measured after it passed through the diplexer at the two output connectors. During the bench test, the diplexer split the original source signal into two signal paths which measured 89.8 dbm and 88.8 dbm for glideslope 1 and 2, respectively. According to the bench technician, the observed differences between the source and output signals was normal and would not have affected glideslope signal transmission to the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W that were located downstream of the diplexer. The operational bench test revealed no anomalies with the glideslope signal diplexer and, although damaged during impact, the coaxial cable remained capable of transmitting a strong glideslope signal to the diplexer.

Weight and Balance

The airplane weight and balance for the accident flight and the preceding flight (BMI to IND) were calculated using the reported weights and seat position for the pilot and the six passengers, maintenance records that established the airplane basic empty weight and moment, fueling receipts/invoices, and recent flight tracking data.

The average fuel consumption rate was estimated to be 47.36 gallons per hour based on the accumulated flight time between known fuel tank top-offs. Based on this estimated fuel consumption rate and fuel receipts/invoices, the accident airplane departed BMI for IND with about 114.5 gallons of usable fuel. After landing at IND, the airplane was fueled with 60 gallons of fuel, and subsequently departed on the accident flight with 133.4 gallons of usable fuel.

Postaccident weight and balance calculations estimated that the preceding flight (BMI to IND) departed 160 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight (7,087 lbs) and aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope. The same calculations estimated that airplane landed 287 lbs over the maximum landing weight (6,750 lbs) and remained aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope.

The weight and balance calculations estimated that the accident flight departed 271 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight and about 4.37 inches aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope. The calculations estimated that at the time of the accident the airplane was 366 lbs over the maximum landing weight and about 3.71 inches aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

During an ILS approach, the localizer provides lateral guidance for the final approach course and the glideslope provides vertical guidance as the aircraft descends towards the runway. For a precision approach, such as an ILS approach, the missed approach point (MAP) is where the aircraft reaches the decision altitude while on the glideslope. If a pilot observes an invalid glideslope indication, such as an "X" displayed through the glideslope scale of an electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI) or a warning flag on an analog course deviation indicator (CDI), they may continue the instrument approach using the lateral guidance of the localizer; however, without the vertical guidance of a glideslope, a higher minimum descent altitude (MDA) is stipulated for the non-precision localizer instrument approach. Further, the location of the MAP for a non-precision approach will be a DME distance from a navigational aid, or a fixed distance (from the final approach fix to the MAP) with an associated elapsed time that is based on the groundspeed of the aircraft, or a specific intersection/waypoint.

According to the FAA Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, if the center of gravity (CG) is maintained within the allowable limits for its weight, an airplane has adequate longitudinal stability and control. However, if the loaded airplane results in a CG that is aft of the allowable limits, the airplane can become unstable and difficult to recover from an aerodynamic stall. Additionally, if the unstable airplane should enter an aerodynamic spin, the spin could become flat making recovery difficult or impossible.




The wife of a pilot who died in a 2015 plane crash near downstate Bloomington has filed a lawsuit against five companies allegedly involved in the maintenance, testing repair and/or manufacture of parts for the plane before it crashed.


The 22-count suit was filed by Ami Hileman on Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court and seeks unspecified damages from Synergy Flight Center; G&N Aircraft; Continental Motors, Inc; RAM Aircraft; and Aircraft Propeller Service, according to court documents.


Ami Hileman’s husband, Thomas, was one of seven people killed when the Cessna 414A he was piloting crashed about 3:15 a.m. April 7, 2015 in a field near Route 9 and McClean County Road, according to court documents and the McLean County sheriff’s office.


The cause of the crash was due to a failure of the plane’s left engine and turbo charger, according to court documents. Further, the pilot was not able to “feather” the Cessna’s left engine propeller, contributing to the crash.


The plane’s left engine, built by Continental Motors, was installed in 2008 by RAM Aircraft, the suit said. Aircraft Propeller Service performed maintenance and repairs in 2010 to the engine’s left propeller. The engine was serviced by Synergy Flight Center and G&N Aircraft at various times in 2013 and 2014.


The suit claims negligence on the part of each company and accuses each of breach of warranties.


Representatives of the companies named in the suit did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.


Original article can be found here:   http://chicago.suntimes.com


























NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation 
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP Injuries: 7 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 April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.
 
According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). According to radar data, at 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight began a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach into BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The approach controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the approach controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the approach controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.
 
At 0000:01, the approach controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the approach controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

According to radar data, at 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before it turned to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the approach controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

According to radar data, at 0003:12, the flight crossed over the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl. The flight continued to descend while tracking the localizer toward the runway. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane continuing on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold.

At 0005, the BMI automated surface observing system reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.