Thursday, September 22, 2016

General aviation crashes, fatalities down last year, National Transportation Safety Board reports

Accidents and fatalities in general aviation declined in 2015, according to new statistics released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

There were 1,209 general aviation accidents last year and 376 fatalities, compared with 1,223 accidents and 424 fatalities in 2014. Both numbers are the lowest in 20 years.

Still, the NTSB put improving general aviation safety on its “Most Wanted” list earlier this year.

“While lower, these numbers are still too high,” NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said in a statement.

Overall, the numbers are vastly improved from 1996, when the board recorded 1,908 general aviation accidents and 636 fatalities.

The rate of accidents per 100,000 flight hours also declined, from 6.23 to 5.85. In 1996, the rate was 7.65.

Commercial U.S. airlines recorded no fatalities in 2014 or 2015, the NTSB noted.

Between 2008 and 2014, 47 percent of fixed-wing general aviation accidents involved pilots losing control of their aircraft, and more than 1,200 people died in such crashes.

Last October, the NTSB held a forum in Washington focused on common causes of loss-of-control crashes in general aviation, including pilot inattention, distraction or complacency.

Among other things, advised pilots to install cockpit technology that could help them avoid such crashes.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com

Airline Passenger Bangs on Cockpit Door, Diverts Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport-Bound Flight

Jerry Ba Nguyen, 24, of San Jose has been charged with allegedly interfering with crew members on Flight No. 2542 that departed Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County early Thursday morning, which made an emergency landing at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas. Courtesy photo from the Lubbock County jail.



A  San Jose man who allegedly made threats and exhibited unruly behavior on an American Airlines flight that left Southern California on Thursday was arrested in Texas where he appeared in federal court Friday.

Jerry Ba Nguyen, 24, has been charged with allegedly interfering with crew members on Flight No. 2542 that departed Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County early Thursday morning. The flight made an emergency landing at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, to remove him from the plane, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Texas.

Nguyen appeared in the 364th District Court in Lubbock when he was detained until he’s scheduled for a detention hearing, federal prosecutors said. Online Lubbock County jail records indicate he’s from San Jose, though federal prosecutors identify the man as a Las Vegas resident. Nguyen remains in custody and will be held for the U.S. Marshal Service, according to online jail records.

Flight attendants first noticed Nguyen who appeared agitated as he walked to the front of the plane as it was about to depart from Ontario and were able to calm him down before takeoff, prosecutors said.

Once the plane was on its way to the Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport, Nguyen made suicidal statements and muttered that someone stole his SIM card from his phone, according to prosecutors. Nguyen also said he wasn’t friends with police and the federal government was to blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they said.
Crew members repeatedly asked Nguyen to stay seated, but he refused, also kicking and banging on the cockpit door as the plane was making its final approach, prosecutors said.

The flight crew sought help from other passengers to physically restrain Nguyen, who was placed in flex cuffs given by attendants, according to prosecutors.

The captain announced an emergency on board and safely landed in Lubbock, roughly 300 miles west of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where Nguyen was taken off the plane and placed in custody, prosecutors said.

The flight left Ontario shortly before 1:30 a.m. and landed at Lubbock around 5:15 a.m. CDT. The plane had 142 passengers, an infant and six crew members on the flight when it left Southern California, according to American Airline officials. The plane then continued to Dallas an hour behind its originally scheduled arrival time.

Nguyen has been charged with knowingly attempting to interfere with duties of a flight crew member or attendant, assaulting and intimidating the flight attendant or flight crew member by not following their instructions and attempting to force entry into the cockpit, prosecutors said. If convicted of interfering with a flight crew, Nguyen faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, they said.

Source:   http://www.eastbaytimes.com



A passenger on an American Airlines flight has been charged with making a terroristic threat, causing the flight to divert Thursday morning, officials say.

Jerry Nguyen, 24, is jailed in Lubbock County, Texas, after he allegedly began banging on the cockpit door on Flight 2542 from Ontario, California, to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Another passenger on the plane told NBC 5 the man was acting strange and suddenly got out of his seat, went to the cockpit and began yelling. Flight attendants tried to calm the man, but then several nearby passengers forced the man to the ground and held him.

The Boeing 737 landed in Lubbock at 5:17 a.m. Passengers said police escorted the man off the plane.

Airline officials said the remaining 142 passengers and one infant departed on a flight from Lubbock about an hour later. The flight arrived at D/FW Airport at 7:12 a.m.

Nguyen, of San Jose, California, did not have an attorney listed with his booking information Thursday afternoon.

Source:   http://www.nbcdfw.com

ITC high-voltage transmission tower inspections to commence in northern Michigan



ITC’s aerial inspections of high-voltage transmission towers and lines will take place in northern Michigan between Sept. 26 and Oct. 7.

The semi-annual patrols conducted in northern Michigan will span the approximate area between U.S. 10 north and the tip of the Lower Peninsula. Helicopter patrols will assess the overall status of the overhead transmission system, meeting the requirements established by the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) for ITC’s vegetation management program.

The inspections will cover systems operated by two ITC operating entities – ITCTransmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC. The endeavor affirms ITC’s model for operation excellence, evaluating the condition of steel towers, wood poles, conductors, insulators and other equipment, ensuring that the system is free from vegetation hazards and risks caused by damaged or worn equipment.

Residents of the area in which patrols will be taking place are reminded that there is no need for concern if a low-flying helicopter is spotted near transmission lines. Inspection flights frequently require low-altitude visual inspections of equipment, as crews check for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems.

ITC inspection flights will conclude on approximately Nov. 4 after covering nearly all of the Lower Peninsula over the course of more than two months.

Source:   https://michiganpeninsulanews.com

Parachutes didn’t open in Lodi tandem skydiving deaths last month

Sheriff's Sgt. Brandon Riley confirmed the deaths of two men this morning during a tandem jump at the Parachute Center in Acampo. 

Tyler Nicholas Turner



A skydiving instructor and a first-time jumper plummeted to their deaths after the instructor’s main and emergency parachutes failed to open during a tandem jump near Lodi last month, the Federal Aviation Administration has found.

The problems started when a small parachute used to pull out the main chute did not fully inflate, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in a written statement this week. A backup parachute also failed to open, he said.

The one-page statement is an account of what FAA investigators have learned so far about the Aug. 6 fatalities near the Parachute Center in Acampo, Gregor said. The instructor, Yong Kwon, 25, of South Korea, and the young man he was carrying on the tandem jump, Tyler Nicholas Turner, 18, of Los Banos, crashed to the ground.

The agency is still trying to determine what actions, if any, to bring against the Parachute Center and its owner, Bill Dause. Gregor said it’s not clear when the FAA will complete its investigation.

Kwon and Turner jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet without problems until the small starter parachute, called a drogue, failed to fully inflate, Gregor said.

The two had descended approximately 10,000 feet before Kwon released the backup parachute. The backup parachute became tangled with the drogue for the main parachute, and did not properly deploy, Gregor said.

It’s not clear what caused the drogue for the main parachute to fail, he said. Both the main and backup parachutes appear to have been packed correctly, Gregor said.

While there is no official count of fatalities, a review of news stories shows that at least 17 people have died flying out of the center since Dause started there in 1981.

Kwon did not have proper certification for tandem skydiving, according to the United States Parachute Association. The person who trained Kwon had had his teaching license suspended by the association.

The lack of proper training for Kwon led the association to notify 140 instructors around the world to update their training credentials, because they received instructor from the same person as Kwon or another instructor at the Parachute Center.

The association is conducting an investigation of the center, separate from the FAA investigation.

The FAA sought to fine Dause almost $1 million for alleged mechanical violations several years ago, but Dause refused to settle the claims and it's unclear what happened after the FAA forwarded the claims to the U.S. attorney's office.

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

Tweed Airport survey to zero in on usable length of runway

NEW HAVEN >> The little airport that desperately needs more runway length to be successful may some day soon by able to reclaim an additional 400 feet of long-ago paved runway that’s already there.

For years, Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, with a relatively short 5,600-foot main runway, has been further constrained by various obstructions in the take-off and landing path that have caused authorities to artificially limit the length of the runway even further.

Because of the obstructions, which have resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration giving Tweed’s runway a “displaced threshold” designation, that 5,600-foot runway effectively is an even shorter 5,200 feet for landings.

But after years of working with airport neighbors and utility companies to address that issue, Tweed now is getting close hopefully to being able to resolve it, officials say.

This week, the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority gave its management company, AFCO AvPORTS Management, unanimous approval to spend up to $250,000 for design and construction of a project to finally address the issue.

It would include a necessary aeronautical survey to determine where Tweed stands.

AvPORTS would front the money, to be repaid from Tweed’s annual $140,000-per-year passenger facility charge.

Also on Wednesday, the authority unanimously approved the hiring of Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, which has an existing agreement to provide engineering services for other Tweed projects, to do work on the displaced-threshold project for “an amount not to exceed $143,240.”

Airport Manager Diane Jackson called it an important first step, telling the Tweed authority, “This is extremely critical for the forward movement of the airport ... We have to prove to FAA that we’ve removed the obstructions ... so they can move the threshold back,” she said.

“It’s the first step to show” potential airlines, as well as American Airlines, which already serves Tweed with American Eagle service to Philadelphia — and which Tweed has been trying to persuade to fly jets on Tweed routes — “that effectively we’re doing everything,” Jackson said Thursday.

“We’re optimistic that it will improve performance for our existing carrier,” she said.

“Basically, we’re hiring Hoyle Tanner & Associates to go out and perform an aeronautical survey,” she said. The last time such a survey was done was 2007 “and we’ve been working since then” to try to remove obstructions to address the displaced-threshold issue, she said.

Jackson and Tweed authority Executive Director Tim Larson both said they expect the survey to find that Tweed’s obstructions are down to “a couple” of trees and utility poles.

“Effectively, we’re going to do a survey to see what we’ve done and what still needs to be done,” Larson said.

Larson said eliminating the displaced threshold, unlike physical runway extension — which the authority also has considered — “is not going to change the pavement” that’s already there. “It’s going to change the landing markings.”

The obstructions essentially “are trees that have grown up in the neighborhood,” as well as “some utility poles.” Tweed is owned by New Haven but located both in New Haven and East Haven. The obstructions are in both.

To get this far, “I’ve negotiated with roughly 250 property owners on either end,” Larson said.

In addition, the authority convinced United Illuminating to lower the height of some of its utility polls, including six along one string of power cables on South End Road, which is in New Haven but very close to the East Haven border, he said.

At this point, “we’re down to a handful of folks that I’m working with,” he said. “We haven’t settled on a number.”

But just in case the negotiations don’t work out, “we’re looking at possibly a state process that would require them to do that,” Larson, referring to allowing Tweed to pay them in order to trim or remove their trees.

Asked how that might happen, and whether it might include seeking to pass any new state statutes, Larson said, “there are rules on the books. We’ve already contacted the state.”

The state “has asked us to try to work this out on a volunteer basis, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Larson said. “But once we’re done with this survey,” there is “a state process that would allow us to compensate them and cut their trees,” he said.

Source:  http://www.nhregister.com

Piper PA-31-310 Navajo, Clearwater Aircraft Inc., N93DC: Accident occurred August 21, 2003 near Clearwater Air Park (KCLW), Pinellas County, Florida

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



Brad Kendell 




TAMPA (FOX 13) - Clearwater's Brad Kendell, who was the sole survivor of a 2003 plane crash that took the life of his dad and a friend, returned a silver medalist from the Rio Paralympics.

On Thursday, dozens of friends, family members and fellow sailors packed a terminal at Tampa International Airport to welcome home the local sailor. 

"This means so much to me right now, just to have so many of my family and friends here," Kendell said while fighting back tears.

"Stop crying daddy!" Kendell's 6-year-old daughter, Piper, joked.

Kendell began sailing at an early age, but his dream of becoming an Olympian came later in life. His first dream was to become an airline pilot, but those plans were dashed when he was just 22.

In 2003, the Kendell family's twin-engine Piper Navajo plane crashed into a Clearwater neighborhood. Kendell's legs were crushed and would have to be amputated, but he made it out alive. The others inside, Kendell's father, Bruce, and his flight instructor, Daniel Griffith, Jr., both died in the crash.

As he recovered, Kendell soon began chasing a dream passed down to him by his father. Bruce Kendell was a prolific sailor and long-time member of the Clearwater Yacht Club. Kendell embraced his father's passion for sailing, and after years of work, he and his teammates finally earned the right to represent the U.S. at this summer's Paralympic Games in Rio.

Because sailing will not be a part of the 2020 games in Tokyo, Kendell and his crew only had one shot to make their Olympic dreams come true.

"Every day I pretty much woke up thinking about dad over there," said Kendell.

On Saturday, Kendell and teammates Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.),  and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) captured a silver medal in the final race of the Sonar class. For Kendell, it was the perfect tribute to the father he lost 13 years ago.

"[I received] a lot of text messages and emails after we won the medal [saying], 'you know your dad was watching down on you'," said Kendell. "I know he's here and it's awesome. It really is."

Story and video:   http://www.fox13news.com




NTSB Identification: MIA03FA167
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, August 21, 2003 in Clearwater, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-31, registration: N93DC
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 experienced an in-flight loss of control and crashed into a residential area. The flight departed VFR and when near the destination airport flew between areas with VIP Level 5 reflectivity. There was no record of a preflight weather briefing. The flight continued towards the destination airport and encountered lesser intensity reflectivity. An individual at the destination airport reported hearing an occupant of the airplane ask, "...for an advisory for the field", and "...what the weather was like." The individual at the airport advised that the winds appeared to be in favor for runway 16, which was left hand traffic, the runway was wet, and the rain seemed to be letting up. There were no further communications from the accident aircraft. A pilot-rated witness located north of the destination airport, and nearly due west of the accident site reported seeing the airplane on what he thought was final approach to runway 16, but the airplane was "very low." The witness reported the airplane made a, "sudden, sharp turn to the left [flying eastbound]." He then lost sight of the airplane and proceeded to the accident site. Another pilot-rated witness who was located in a vehicle approximately 1/4 mile west-northwest of the accident site reported observing an airplane flying from the northwest. The airplane banked to the left flying eastbound at a, "...very slow airspeed and banking and yawing left and right." While flying eastbound it appeared to him that whomever was flying the airplane was executing a go-around as evidenced by the landing gear retracting, followed by the flaps. The airplane then appeared to climb which appeared very unstable, again yawing left and right. The airplane then banked to the right, stalled, and entered a spin impacting the ground. Still another witness who was located approximately 1/10th of a nautical mile east-southeast from the accident site reported he came out of his house after the rain ended and was facing west. He saw the accident airplane from the northwest and thought it had descended lower than normal. The airplane was flying above the tops of nearby trees and while flying in a southeasterly direction, pitched up, "darn near got 90 degrees", rolled to the left, and descended straight down. He reported that he did not hear the engines, and thought he should have been able to hear them if the pilot had "revved them up." He estimated his view of the flight lasted approximately 10-15 seconds, and couldn't tell if the landing gear was extended. He did not see any smoke trailing the airplane, and after the impact he ran into his house, called 911, got into his car, and drove to the scene. He heard an explosion, and saw flames. He got to the airplane and helped rescue a passenger who was beating on the aircraft's door. The airplane descended nearly vertical in a residential area and damaged trees approximately 30 feet above ground level. A postcrash fire consumed the cockpit, cabin, portions of both wings, and portions of both engines. Examination of the flight controls, both engines, propellers, and propeller governors revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction. Accessories of both engines including the magnetos were destroyed by the postcrash fire. Additionally, both servo fuel injectors were heat damaged which precluded bench testing. During disassembly of the right servo fuel injector, the hub stud was found separated from the hub at the fuel diaphragm. No determination was made whether this occurred during disassembly or occurred preimpact. No determination could be made as to who was operating the controls at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the flightcrew to maintain airspeed (Vs) resulting in an inadvertent stall, uncontrolled descent, and in-flight collision with the ground.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 21, 2003, about 1648 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31, N93DC, registered to Clearwater Aircraft, Inc., experienced an in-flight loss of control and crashed into a residential area near Clearwater Air Park, Clearwater, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the reported 14 CFR Part 91 business flight from St. Augustine Airport, St. Augustine, Florida, to Clearwater Air Park. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire, and the commercial-rated pilot and pilot-rated right front seat passenger were fatally injured. A pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated about 1547, from St. Augustine Airport.

According to a partial transcription of communications with St. Augustine Air Traffic Control (ATC)Tower, at 1537:38, an occupant established contact and advised the controller they would be departing to the west, and requested taxi clearance; the flight was cleared to taxi to runway 13. At 1545:23, an occupant contacted the tower and advised the controller that the flight was ready to depart. The controller questioned the direction of flight and the response was, "westbound towards tampa." At 1546:28, the controller advised, "niner three delta charlie ah roger vfr runway one three cleared for takeoff make your turnout to the ah southwest." An occupant acknowledged the takeoff clearance and southwest departure route and at 1548:43, the tower controller advised the flight frequency change to Jacksonville Approach was approved. An occupant advised the controller that a change in heading was needed for weather avoidance, which the controller approved. An occupant acknowledged the controller approval to the heading change. There were no further communications with the accident airplane with any ATC facilities; the flight proceeded towards the destination airport.

According to an individual located at Clearwater Air Park (destination airport), before the accident occurred, he heard an occupant of an airplane whose registration he could not recall ask, "...for an advisory for the field", and "...what the weather was like." He advised that the winds appear to be in favor for runway 16, which was left hand traffic, the runway was wet, and the rain seemed to be letting up. At a point when the airplane should have landed and had not, he was alerted to the crash by an unknown individual. He called 911, and informed the dispatcher that an airplane had crashed on the runway. He subsequently learned the airplane had not crashed on airport property.

A pilot rated witness located north of the Clearwater Air Park (destination airport), and nearly due west of the accident site reported seeing the airplane on what he thought was final approach to runway 16, but the airplane was "very low." The witness reported the airplane made a, "sudden, sharp turn to the left [flying eastbound]." He then lost sight of the airplane and proceeded to the accident site. Another pilot-rated witness who was located in a vehicle approximately 1/4 mile west-northwest of the accident site reported observing an airplane flying from the northwest. The airplane banked to the left flying eastbound at a, "...very slow airspeed and banking and yawing left and right." While flying eastbound it appeared to him that whomever was flying the airplane was executing a go-around as evidenced by the landing gear retracting, followed by the flaps. The airplane then appeared to climb which appeared very unstable, again yawing left and right. The airplane then banked to the right, stalled, and entered a spin impacting the ground. He called 911 and drove to the Clearwater Air Park. He further reported seeing both propellers rotating during all phases of flight.

Still another witness who was located approximately 1/10th of a nautical mile east-southeast from the accident site reported he came out of his house after the rain ended and was facing west. He saw the accident airplane from the northwest and thought it had descended lower than normal. The airplane was flying above the tops of nearby trees and while flying in a southeasterly direction, pitched up, "darn near got 90 degrees", rolled to the left, and descended straight down. He reported he did not hear the engines, and thought he should have been able to hear them if the pilot had "revved them up." He estimated his view of the flight lasted approximately 10-15 seconds, and couldn't tell if the landing gear was extended. He did not see any smoke trailing the airplane, and after the impact he ran into his house, called 911, got into his car, and drove to the scene. He heard an explosion, and saw flames. He got to the airplane and helped rescue a passenger who was beating on the aircraft's door. Fire rescue arrived and he was told to leave the area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The left seat occupant was the holder of a FAA commercial pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He also was the holder of a FAA certified flight instructor certificate with airplane single engine, airplane multi-engine, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a first class medical certificate on July 24, 2002, with the restriction, "must wear corrective lenses." A review of the application for the medical certificate revealed he listed a total time of 600 hours.

The right seat occupant (pilot-in-command) was the holder of a FAA private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, instrument airplane, and glider ratings. He was issued a second class medical certificate on July 18, 2002, with the restriction, "must wear corrective lenses and possess glasses for near & intermediate vision." A review of the application for the medical certificate revealed he listed a total time of 760 hours.

No determination could be made as to who was manipulating the controls at the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured by Piper Aircraft Corporation as a model PA-31, and designated serial number 31-7712017. It was certificated in the normal category and equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540-A2C engines rated at 310 horsepower at 2,400 rpm, and two constant speed, manual feathering Hartzell HC-E3YR-2ATF propellers with FC8468B-6R propeller blades.

A review of the airplane maintenance records revealed the airplane was last inspected in accordance with an annual inspection that was signed off as being completed on August 5, 2002. The airplane total time on that date was 6,019.8 hours. The last entry in the airframe logbook was dated February 8, 2003. The entry indicated replacement of the directional gyro; the airplane total time was 6,042.3 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

There was no record that the pilot obtained a preflight weather briefing for the intended flight.

According to the NTSB Meteorological Factual Report, the closest airport with a surface weather observation was the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE), St. Petersburg, Florida, which was located approximately 134 degrees and 6 nautical miles from the accident site. A METAR taken at the airport at 1653, or approximately 5 minutes after the accident, indicates the wind was from 120 degrees at 16 knots gusting to 23 knots. The visibility was 10 statute miles, the present weather-thunderstorms; broken clouds existed at 4,300 feet and 5,500 feet, and overcast clouds existed at 8,000 feet. The temperature and dew point were 24 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.02 inHg. The remarks section of the METAR indicated lightning was noted in all quadrants, and rain ended at 1645.

The NTSB Meteorological Factual Report also indicates that the surface analysis chart for 1700 hours, or approximately 12 minutes after the accident does not show any fronts over Florida. A pilot report (PIREP) over PIE at 2,500 feet on the day of the accident at 1615, or approximately 33 minutes before the accident, indicates overcast clouds existed at 2,500 feet. A plot of the flight path of the airplane overlaid onto a image of visible data for the time 1645, or approximately 3 minutes before the accident, indicates at the end of the flight path, clouds were visible. Additional plotting of the flight path of the airplane overlaid onto Tampa Bay Weather Surveillance Radar (TBW WSR-88D) radar images revealed that at 1633:39, the airplane was in an area of NWS/FAA Intensity Level (VIP) 1 reflectivity. Another image at 1638:45, indicates the airplane was between reflectivity of VIP level 5. The reflectivity were approximately 2-3 miles either side of the airplane's ground track. Still another image at 1643:52, indicates the airplane was in an area of VIP level 2 reflectivity.

COMMUNICATIONS

The communications to and from the Clearwater Air Park Airport were not recorded. There were no reported communication difficulties.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Clearwater Air Park Airport is equipped with one runway designated 16/34. The asphalt runway is 3,300 feet long by 75 feet wide, and is equipped with a 4-box visual approach slope indicator (VASI) on the left side of runway 16.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in the front yard of a house located at 1840 Greenlea Drive, Clearwater, Florida. The residence was not damaged and there were no ground injuries. The accident site was located at 27 degrees 59.189 minutes North latitude and 082 degrees 45.664 minutes West longitude, or 003 degrees and .34 nautical mile from the approach end of runway 16 at Clearwater Air Park (destination airport).

Examination of the accident site revealed the majority of the wreckage came to rest in the driveway of the residence near a road; separated portions of the airplane were located on the ground adjacent to trees in the front yard of the residence. The wreckage was upright on a magnetic heading of 278 degrees. Tree contact associated with the right wing was noted 30 feet above ground level. Parts associated with the right wing were noted near the base of the contacted tree. A tree contact approximately 30 feet above ground level was noted to a tree located immediately adjacent to the location where the main wreckage came to rest. Several tree limbs with diameters of 1.25 inches, 2.5 inches, and 4 inches were found on the ground adjacent to the main wreckage. Examination of the tree limbs revealed several exhibited smooth, 45-degree angle cuts to the long axis of the limb with black/gray colored transfer on the cut surface.

Examination of the wreckage revealed the postcrash fire consumed the cockpit, cabin, sections of both wings, and portions of both engines. All components necessary to sustain flight remained attached or were in close proximity to the main wreckage. Both wings remained secured to the airframe; the outer 7 feet of the left wing remained secured by the aileron flight control cables. The outer 7 feet section of the right wing was separated from the airplane. A section of the leading edge of the right wing was found embedded in the fork of a tree immediately adjacent to the main wreckage. The leading edge skin piece exhibited a semi-circular indentation that was consistent with tree contact. The nose section of the airplane was crushed aft to the instrument panel. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the airframe and the rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. A section of the rudder and rudder counterweight were separated but found in close proximity to the main wreckage. Both horizontal stabilizers remained attached to the airframe and both elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizers. The lower door of the main cabin door was found secured; post accident the latch mechanism was found to operate normally. The landing gear was retracted, and both flap actuators were symmetrically extended 6.25 inches which equates to near full extension. Flight control continuity was confirmed for rudder and elevator. The turnbuckle of the right aileron flight control cable near the control surface was bent and fractured, and the aileron balance cable exhibited tension overload approximately 3 feet inboard of the right aileron bellcrank. The right aileron trim tab actuator was extended 1.25 inches, which equates to full trailing edge tab down, or right wing down trim. The rudder trim tab actuator was extended 1.25 inches, which equates to trailing edge neutral, and the elevator trim tab actuator was extended .625 inch, which equates to 14 degrees trailing edge tab down, or aircraft nose-up.

Examination of the left wing revealed the leading edge exhibited impact and fire damage, and the wing was damage by fire. The aileron remained attached at both attach points, and the aileron balance weight remained attached to the aileron. The aileron push/pull rod was attached at the bellcrank near the control surface and also at the control surface. The flap remained attached at all three attach points. Examination of the crossfeed valve revealed the arm was in the "up" position which correlates to the position found in the cockpit, or the "off" position. Also, the fuel selector valve was found positioned approximately 1/4 inch from the full "off" position, while the left fuel selector handle in the cockpit was found in the "off" detent. The fuel selector valve operationally tested satisfactory. The firewall shutoff valve was found positioned midrange; the valve was operational. The fuel strainer screen was examined and found to be clean. The engine remained secured to the airframe and the propeller remained secured to the engine; the engine and propeller were buried in the ground. The firewall was nearly separated from the airframe.

Examination of the right wing revealed the leading edge exhibited impact and fire damage, and the wing was damage by fire. Semi-circular indentations were noted on the leading edge 19 and 67 inches outboard of the inboard aileron root. The wing remained attached at the front attach point and the main spar locations. The upper spar cap of the main spar and 1/2 of the spar web was fractured. The aft spar was burned and separated at the wing root. The aft wing attachment was separated; the attachment bolt remained in position. The flap remained attached at all three attach points. A 19 inch length of aileron remained attached at the inboard hinge to the structurally separated section of the wing. The aileron push/pull rod was bent and fractured near the aileron attach point. The fuel selector valve was positioned to the outboard tank, and the firewall shutoff valve was in the "open" position. The fuel strainer was examined and found to be clean. The propeller remained secured to the engine, but the engine mount was broken and the firewall was separated from the airframe.

Examination of the cockpit revealed the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all forward, and the throttle friction was tight. Examination of the pilot's and co-pilot's seats revealed both were attached to the seat tracks. The forward portion of the pilot's seat was crushed upwards and aft, and the seat pan of the co-pilot's seat was displaced to the right. The left fuel selector was found in the "off" detent, while the right fuel selector was found in the "inboard" detent. The crossfeed selector valve was in the "off" detent. Examination of the combination manifold pressure gauge revealed the left needle was indicating 38 inHg, and the right needle was indicating 42 inHg. Examination of the dual tachometer revealed both needles were off scale low. Both fuel quantity gauges were indicating approximately 3/4 capacity. The airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, and pilot's altimeter were destroyed by the postcrash fire. The vertical speed indicator was indicating 2,600 fpm ascent, and the heading bug on the directional gyro was set to 150 degrees. The radios were destroyed by the post crash fire, and the compass was unreadable.

Examination of the left engine was performed by a representative of the engine manufacturer with FAA oversight. The examination revealed heat damage to the engine and engine accessories which precluded an operational test of the engine. Rotation of the engine crankshaft by hand revealed crankshaft, camshaft, valve train continuity, and continuity to the accessory drives and accessory drive pads. Suction and compression was noted at each cylinder during rotation of the engine crankshaft. Boroscope examination of the tops of each piston and the upper portion of each cylinder revealed no evidence of anomalies. Examination of the servo fuel injector revealed the throttle was at midrange position, and the mixture control was in the rich position. The inlet screen at the servo fuel injector was clean and free of obstructions. The engine compartment flexible fuel lines were fire damaged. Examination of both magnetos revealed heat damage with burned remains of both magnetos attached to the rear of the engine; the steel drive gears of both magnetos were not failed. The ignition harness was destroyed by fire. Examination of the spark plugs revealed the electrode wear was moderate, and the gap settings were normal. The spark plugs from all cylinders with the exception of the bottom plugs from cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 exhibited dry gray color combustion deposits, while the bottom spark plugs from cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 had oil deposits. Examination of the propeller governor revealed the control arm was positioned approximately 1.25 inches from the high rpm stop, and the gasket screen was clean. Examination of the engine-driven vacuum pump revealed heat damage but the pump drive shaft, rotor, and rotor vanes were not failed. The oil filter and oil suction screens were clean; no pre-impact lubrication system anomalies were noted. Examination of the turbocharger components revealed heavy fire damage. The waste-gate was 1/2 open, and the actuator was destroyed. The servo fuel injector, and fuel injector nozzles were retained for further examination.

Examination of the right engine was performed by a representative of the engine manufacturer with FAA oversight. The examination revealed heat damage to the engine and engine accessories which precluded an operational test of the engine. Rotation of the engine crankshaft by hand revealed crankshaft, camshaft, valve train continuity, and continuity to the accessory drives and accessory drive pads. Suction and compression was noted at each cylinder during rotation of the engine crankshaft. Boroscope examination of the tops of each piston and the upper portion of each cylinder revealed no evidence of anomalies. Examination of the servo fuel injector revealed the throttle was at the full-open position, and the mixture control was in the mid-range position. The inlet screen at the servo fuel injector was clean and free of obstructions. The engine compartment flexible fuel lines were fire damaged. Examination of both magnetos revealed heat damage with burned remains of both magnetos attached to the rear of the engine; the steel drive gears of both magnetos were not failed. The ignition harness was destroyed by fire. Examination of the spark plugs revealed the electrode wear was moderate to advanced, and the gap settings were normal. The spark plugs from all cylinders exhibited dry gray or brown color combustion deposits. Examination of the propeller governor revealed the control arm was positioned approximately 1. inch from the high rpm stop, and the gasket screen was clean. Examination of the engine-driven vacuum pump revealed the drive shaft was heat damaged; the rotor and rotor vanes were not failed. The oil filter and oil suction screens were clean; no pre-impact lubrication system anomalies were noted. Examination of the turbocharger components revealed heavy fire damage. The waste-gate was found open, and the actuator was destroyed. The servo fuel injector, and fuel injector nozzles were retained for further examination.

Examination of the left propeller and propeller governor was performed by a representative of the propeller manufacturer with NTSB oversight. The results of the examination of the propeller revealed heat/impact damage which precluded cycling of the propeller pitch change mechanism. Only a portion of the composite spinner dome remained attached to the spinner bulkhead. Propeller blade Nos. 2 and 3 could be manually turned in the hub. The No. 1 propeller blade exhibited a large radius aft bend of approximately 20 degrees when measured midblade, and was bent aft approximately 55 degrees when measured approximately 8 inches inboard from the blade tip. The blade also exhibited forward and aft bending with no twisting on the outer 1//3 span of the blade. The No. 2 propeller blade was heat damaged with the outer 1/2 span missing, and was bent aft approximately 15 degrees when measured midspan. No indication of blade twisting was noted on the remaining blade section. The No. 3 propeller blade exhibited forward and aft bending. The blade was bent aft approximately 45 degrees when measured at the outboard end of the anti-ice blade boot. Further examination of the blade revealed it was bent aft 12 inches from the blade tip and was bent forward approximately 5 inches from the blade tip. The blade was twisted towards low pitch. Disassembly of the propeller revealed the start locks were not damaged, and the pitch change knob for propeller blade Nos. 2 and 3 were fractured with no evidence of preexisting cracks. The inner feather spring was fractured with evidence of preexisting cracks. Based on impact mark on the "preload plate" of the No. 2 propeller blade, the mark equated to a blade angle of 5 degrees. No impact mark was noted on the "preload plate" of the No. 1 propeller blade, and an impact mark on the "preload plate" of the No. 3 propeller blade was determined to have occurred with the propeller blade at a low blade angle. The left propeller governor which exhibited heat damage was placed on a test stand and the feather rpm occurred at 1,250 (specification is 1,700 rpm). The pressure relief valve occurred at 285 psi (specification is 275-300 psi), and the maximum rpm attained was 2,370 (specification is 2,435 + or - 10 rpm). The pump capacity was 10 quarts-per-minute (specification is 8-12 quarts-per-minute).

Examination of the right propeller and propeller governor was performed by a representative of the propeller manufacturer with NTSB. The results of the examination of the propeller revealed heat/impact damage which precluded cycling of the propeller pitch change mechanism. The spinner assembly was missing, and the No. 1 propeller blade could be manually turned in the hub. The Nos. 2 and 3 propeller blades were at or near the low pitch position. The feather stop was "intact and unremarkable." The No. 1 propeller blade was bent aft approximately 45 degrees at 1/4 span, and was slightly twisted towards low pitch. Rotational scoring was noted on the cambered side of the blade. The No. 2 propeller blade was heat damaged with the outer 1/3 span missing. The outboard end of the blade was bent forward, but the remaining portion of the blade did not exhibit indication of twisting. The No. 3 propeller blade was bent aft approximately 5 degrees when measured near the blade tip; no blade twisting was noted. Disassembly of the propeller revealed the start locks were not damaged, both feather springs were not failed, and the pitch change knob for propeller blade No. 1 was fractured with no evidence of preexisting cracks. Based on impact mark on the "preload plate" of the No. 1 propeller blade, the mark equated to a blade angle of 7 degrees. No impact marks were noted on the "preload plates" of the Nos. 2 and 3 propeller blades. The right propeller governor was not bench tested. Examination of the governor revealed movement of the control arm did not result in movement of the pilot valve. Disassembly of the right propeller governor revealed oil sludge under the head. The pilot valve/speeder spring and rack assembly did not move freely. The control shaft was not failed/fractured. The flyweights, pressure relief valve, relief valve spring, and pump gears were satisfactory. An "old" style relief valve was noted to be installed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examinations of the pilot and passenger were performed by the District Six Medical Examiner's Office. The cause of death for both was listed as multiple blunt trauma.

Toxicological analysis of specimens of the pilot was performed by the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory (CAMI), and the District Six Medical Examiner's Office (M.E.'s Office). The results of analysis of specimens of the pilot by CAMI was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs. The results of analysis of specimens of the pilot by the M.E.'s Office was negative for ethanol, and the drug screen. Caffeine was detected in the urine specimen, and less than 10 percent carbon monoxide saturation was detected in the heart blood specimen.

Toxicological analysis of specimens of the right front seat occupant was also performed by CAMI, and the M.E.'s Office. The results of analysis by CAMI was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs. The results of analysis of specimens of the passenger by the M.E.'s Office was negative for ethanol, and the drug screen. Caffeine was detected in the urine specimen, and less than 10 percent carbon monoxide saturation was detected in the chest blood specimen.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Review of the airplane maintenance records revealed the servo fuel injector (S/N 71338) which was installed on the right engine at the time of the accident, was overhauled on November 3, 1998, by an "FAA Approved Station #NK2R034L" named D & G Supply. According to the president of the company that last overhauled the servo fuel injector, they purchase fuel and air diaphragms from three separate vendors depending on stock availability. Their records of the overhaul were not available as the FAA only requires them to keep records 2 years. Following overhaul, it was first installed on the left engine of the accident airplane on July 15, 1999. The servo remained installed on the left engine of the accident airplane for 105.4 hours time in service, at which time the left engine was removed for overhaul on October 15, 1999. On that date the maintenance records reflect a different engine by serial number was installed on the left position of the accident airplane. The servo (S/N 71338) which had 105.4 hours time since overhaul was installed on the right engine position of the accident airplane on November 18, 2000. There was no record that the servo installed on the right engine was removed from that date to the date of the accident.

Examination of both servo fuel injectors and the fuel injector nozzles from both engines was performed with NTSB oversight. Heat damage to both servo fuel injectors precluded bench testing. Disassembly of the left servo fuel injector revealed the upper stem fuel regulator nut was in position, the membrane of the fuel and air diaphragms were destroyed by fire, and the fuel diaphragm stem was not fractured or failed. The mixture packings were also destroyed by fire. Examination of the right servo fuel injector revealed the regulator cover which was noted to be safety wired was removed and the upper stem fuel regulator nut was in position. The membrane of the air diaphragm was destroyed by fire. The upper stem fuel regulator nut removed easily during disassembly. The lower fuel stem adjustment nut was in-position and also removed easily during disassembly. The remaining parts of the regulator assembly were removed and following removal of the center body assembly, the fuel diaphragm hub stud was unthreaded from the hub of the fuel diaphragm. The membrane of the fuel diaphragm was destroyed by fire. The remains of the fuel diaphragm and the separated hub stud were retained for further examination. Visual examination of the fuel injector nozzles from the left engine revealed the nozzle from the No. 1 cylinder was a 2-piece nozzle and the nozzles from the remaining cylinders (2-6) were 1-piece nozzles. All nozzles satisfactory passed the vaporization check. Fluctuation was noted in the spray pattern of nozzles from cylinders 1, 2, and 3. The spray pattern for nozzles from cylinder Nos. 4 and 5 were satisfactory, and the spray pattern from the No. 6 nozzle was noted to be erratic. Testing of all nozzles with respect to flow rate (specification is 31.5 to 33.5 pounds-per-hour (pph)), revealed the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 nozzles tested 33, 22.5, 34, 32, 32.5, and 28.5 pph, respectively. Visual examination of the fuel injector nozzles from the right engine revealed all were a 2-piece nozzle. All nozzles satisfactory passed the vaporization check and nozzle Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 exhibited a satisfactory spray pattern. Nozzle No. 3 exhibited a spray pattern to one side. Testing of all nozzles with respect to flow rate (specification is 31.5 to 33.5 pounds-per-hour (pph)), revealed all tested 33 pph with the exception of No. 4, which tested 32.5 pph.

The remains of the fuel diaphragm and separated hub stud from the right servo fuel injector, and a Goode Engineering Corporation fuel diaphragm part number (P/N) GE2541801, were submitted to the NTSB Materials Laboratory located in Washington, D.C. The remains of the accident fuel diaphragm and separated hub stem were submitted in an attempt to determine whether the hub stud was threaded into the fuel diaphragm hub at the time of the post crash fire, or separated during disassembly of the servo fuel injector. The P/N of the fuel diaphragm of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is 2541801. The examination of the remains of the fuel diaphragm from the accident servo fuel injector revealed that although unreadable, the markings on the accident hub plate were of the same size, overall length, and in the same position as the provided exemplar fuel diaphragm. The accident submitted components were darkened and slightly sooty which is consistent with high temperature exposure. Examination of the threads of the hub stud that thread into the hub revealed had darker gritty and white powdery deposits in the roots of the threads. Energy dispersive x-ray spectra identified that all the deposits were mostly silicon with different minor constituents. Magnified examination of the internal threads of the hub revealed a shiny brass color contact pattern was observed on the visible flanks of the threads. No deposits were visible on the shiny area. No determination could be made whether the hub stud was or was not threaded into the fuel diaphragm hub at the time of the post crash fire.

According to the General Manager of the company that has all rights to the FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (FAA PMA) formerly held by Goode Engineering which is no longer in business but had manufactured fuel and air diaphragms, during manufacture of the fuel diaphragm, the hub stud and hub are prepared for assembly using a primer, and during assembly of the hub stud to the hub, a liquid locking compound is utilized which provides high-strength permanent locking of small diameter components.

Examination of the directional gyro and attitude indicator was performed with NTSB oversight at an FAA certified repair station. Heat damage to both components precluded bench testing of either unit. Examination of the directional gyro revealed the inlet filer was heat damaged but clear of obstructions. Disassembly of the rotor and rotor housing revealed no evidence of rotational scoring on either component. Rotation of the rotor revealed the bearings were not smooth. Examination of the attitude indicator revealed the bezel, mast, and silhouette were missing. A portion of the case was consumed by fire. The rotor was noted to rotate freely inside the rotor housing. No evidence of rotational scoring was noted on either the rotor or rotor housing. Rotation of the rotor revealed the bearings were not smooth.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage minus the retained components was released to Al Sharp, of Aviation Consultant Services on August 24, 2003. All NTSB retained components were released to David Gourgues, insurance adjuster with CTC Services Aviation (LAD, Inc.) on January 24, 2006.

Short Tucano T1, N206PZ, Tucano Flyer LLC: Fatal accident occurred June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, Kern County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California 
Honeywell; Phoenix, Arizona
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
RS Warbirds; Phoenix, Arizona 

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

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

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

Tucano Flyer LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N206PZ

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: SHORT BROTHERS PLC S312 TUCANO T MK1, registration: N206PZ
Injuries: 1 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 private pilot was performing airwork and was in contact with an air traffic controller. The pilot informed the controller that he would be performing airwork between 2,500 and 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller explained that he would probably lose radio contact and would not be able to provide flight following below 7,000 ft msl. About 1 hour later, the pilot advised the controller that he would be descending, then would climb to 9,000 ft msl and return to the airport, and the controller acknowledged. Subsequently, the controller made several attempts to contact the pilot, but no further response was received from him. Shortly thereafter, an airplane flying in the area of the accident site reported to air traffic control that a small fire was located in a river bed. Local authorities responded to the fire and confirmed that it was the accident site.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration radar data showed the airplane performing multiple turns and rapidly changing altitude and airspeed while performing the airwork. At one point, the airplane descended to less than 100 ft above a mountain ridgeline. The last radar targets showed the airplane heading eastbound about 1,600 ft agl while approaching the area of the accident site. Two witnesses located near the accident site stated that, as the airplane flew overhead, they noted no engine anomalies.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with a high-energy high-angle impact with terrain. It is likely that as the pilot continued to perform low level airwork, he did not properly gauge the airplane's distance from terrain and failed to control the airplane in time to avoid impacting terrain.

The pilot's high cholesterol and the medications he was using to treat it likely did not cause any acute symptoms. Limited samples were available for toxicology testing; therefore, it could not be determined whether the ethanol detected in the pilot's muscle tissue was due to ingestion or postmortem production nor whether impairment due to ethanol contributed to the accident. The testing also detected butalbital and codeine, both of which are impairing. The butalbital was within the therapeutic level, indicating that he was likely impaired by it. The presence of both codeine and butalbital indicates that the pilot had likely recently used a combination product that contained at least these two medications. Therefore, it is likely that the pilot's mental and/or physical abilities required for the duration of the high workload flight performance was impaired by the combined effects of butalbital and codeine and that this impairment contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain during low-level airwork, which resulted in uncontrolled collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment from the combined effects of butalbital and codeine.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 22, 2015, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, exhibition-category Short Brothers PLC S312 Tucano T MK 1 airplane, N206PZ, impacted terrain about 16 miles south of Maricopa, California. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Tucano Flyer LLC and was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, at 0810.

According to the air traffic control (ATC) communications, the pilot was in contact with the Southern California Air Route Traffic Control Center and was receiving advisories while performing airwork. At 0823, the pilot informed the controller that he would be performing airwork between 2,500 and 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller explained that he would probably lose radio contact and would not be able to provide flight following below 7,000 ft msl. The pilot replied that he understood and would be performing airwork for about 1 hour before returning to CMA. The controller continued to monitor the airplane during the flight. At 0924, the pilot advised the controller that he would be descending and that he may lose him for a few minutes. He added that he would then climb to 9,000 ft msl and return to CMA, and the controller acknowledged. Subsequently, the controller made several attempts to contact the pilot, but no further response was received from him.

Review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, performing multiple turns and rapidly changing altitude and airspeed. At 0845, the airplane was traveling on an eastbound heading at 3,400 ft above ground level (agl), and during the next 2 minutes, it climbed over rising terrain. Over the next 8 minutes, the airplane's speed varied and reached 325 knots and continued to make multiple turns and rapid changes in altitude and descended to within less than 100 ft above a mountain ridgeline. The airplane then continued to the northwest over lower terrain before turning southbound. During the next 18 minutes, the airplane performed multiple turns at altitudes between 2,000 and 3,000 ft agl. During the last 6 minutes of the flight, the airplane performed a 360° descending right turn near a residence at the lower entrance of Quatal Canyon at an altitude of about 3,600 ft, descending to 1,600 ft agl. The airplane headed westbound for 3 minutes and then returned to the lower entrance of Quatal Canyon. At 0924, the last radar targets showed the airplane heading eastbound above the canyon's dry river bed about 1,600 ft agl. 

At 0925 radar contact was lost. Shortly after, an airplane in the area of the accident site reported to ATC that a small fire was located in a river bed. Local authorities responded to the fire and confirmed that it was the accident site.

A witness, located about 1 1/2 miles west of the accident site, reported seeing the airplane circle near her house about 500 to 800 ft agl. She stated that the engine sound was "loud and consistent." She added that she last saw the airplane fly eastbound, parallel to Quatal Canyon Road, and that shortly after saw dust and smoke rise high above a nearby mountain.

Another witness, located about 2 3/4 miles west-southwest of the accident site, reported seeing the airplane fly directly over his house in straight-and-level flight between 500 and 750 ft agl. He added that the engine sounded different than other airplanes that fly in the area but that it did not sound like anything was wrong. The airplane continued to fly straight and level in an easterly direction toward Quatal Canyon Road.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and rotorcraft ratings. He held an FAA second-class airman medical certificate, issued on June 19, 2015, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses.

According to the pilot's logbooks, he had accumulated 891.2 total flight hours in fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft. He had accumulated 76.9 hours in the accident airplane make and model, 27.8 hours of which were in the previous 6 months. The pilot successfully completed his most recent flight review on January 14, 2015, in the accident airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, low-wing airplane, serial number (S/N) T31, was manufactured in 1989. It was powered by a Honeywell (Garrett) TPE331-12B-703A engine, S/N P-65617, rated at 1,100 shaft horsepower at a propeller speed of 2,000 rpm. The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell propeller, model HC-D4N-5C. Review of the maintenance records showed that an annual inspection was completed on October 20, 2014. The airplane was produced to meet stringent military requirements and was designed for high-g landing loads; advanced fatigue testing; and spin tests, including inverted spins, at all altitude.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Data recorded by the Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, California, automated weather observation station, located about 41 miles northeast of the accident site, included winds from 180° at 4 knots, visibility clear, temperature 24°C, dew point 3°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane was destroyed by high-impact forces and postimpact fire, which was observed along the debris path; the fire burned about 1 acre of land surrounding the accident site. The wreckage, including all major structural airplane components and primary flight controls, was located in a dry creek bed and was contained within a debris path that was about 641 ft long and 355 ft wide.

The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a trough of disturbed ground about 2 ft wide, 20 ft long, and 1 ft deep, consistent with an airplane attitude of 45-degrees nose down and right wing downward about 90-degrees from level flight. The wreckage debris path was oriented along a magnetic heading of about 360° from the FIPC to the main wreckage. A green light emitting diode navigation light was found near the FIPC. At the end of the trough was a crater, about 11 ft in diameter and 5 ft deep. Two separated propeller blades, a landing gear strut with the wheel attached, and distorted pieces of sheet metal were found in and near the crater. The dirt in the crater was discolored and smelled of fuel. A third propeller blade, the wing and fuselage sections, and the engine bull gear assembly were found between the crater and the main wreckage.

The main wreckage was located about 180 ft from the FIPC and included the empennage, aft fuselage, firewall, and engine, and the wreckage was twisted and distorted. Wire bundles and cabin instrumentation were found with the main wreckage, and all of it was burned and crushed. The fourth propeller blade was located about 80 ft past the main wreckage. All four propeller blades revealed S-type bending, chordwise scoring, and leading-edge gouging near the tips.

The attached parachute and canopy were found in several sections past the main wreckage and in line with the center of the debris field. A single-point refueling port was found 641 ft from the FIPC and was the last piece of wreckage found along the debris path.

The aft fuselage and tail section structure were partially intact, and cable control continuity was confirmed to the midsection of the fuselage. The aileron control cables were found with the main wreckage. All primary flight controls were found in the debris field.

The engine exhibited thermal discoloration and impact damage. The first stage of the compressor section was visible, and all of the blades exhibited rotational signatures. The third stage was also visible from the damaged housing and exhibited rotational signatures.

Follow-up Examination

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility where a layout examination took place. The examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The wing sections exhibited leading edge crush damage. The main spar was found in several sections with bending near the midsection. Each of the ailerons were found in two 3-ft sections. The wing flaps exhibited signatures suggesting that they were in the retracted position during impact. Both elevators and horizontal stabilizers were impact damaged and crushed. The trim actuator shaft had separated midspan, and 45° shear lips were observed on the separation surfaces. The trim actuator shaft was measured from the shaft bolt to the rubber seal and was 3.845 inches long, which equated to about a 0.5° (near neutral) pitch trim position. The rudder and vertical stabilizer sustained impact damage and remained attached via the rudder control cables. The vertical stabilizer and aft fuselage remained secure at all the attachment points.

The propeller assembly, which had separated from the engine during the accident sequence, was impact damaged. The cylinder, piston, feathering spring, and hub were found separated into numerous sections. Hub sections were removed from two of the four blade shanks. The blades revealed leading edge gouging and chordwise scoring from the shank areas to the tips. Two of the blades were bent rearward from the midsection to the tip and had a decreased pitch twist from the midsection to the tip. Another blade had a slight rearward bend, and the last blade was bent forward from the midsection to the tip. For further information, refer to the Hartzell Propeller Teardown Report in the public docket for this accident.

The engine was found separated in three major sections: the bull gear, second-stage compressor housing and impeller, and the turbine stator outer vane support housing. Other loose engine parts were found in the debris field. The engine exhibited damage signatures consistent with the engine operating during impact. For further information, refer to the Honeywell Aerospace Engine Wreckage Examination Notes in the public docket for this accident.

The cabin instruments had separated from the instrument panel and were impact damaged. The rpm gauge face had separated from the instrument housing and was bent; white paint transfer marks were visible near the '100' displayed on the face. The torque gauge face had white paint transfer marks between the '80' and '100' displayed on the face.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot was ejected from the airplane during the accident sequence. The Ventura County Coroner's Office did not conduct an autopsy on the pilot because of the condition of the body. The pilot had reported high cholesterol and the use of the prescription drugs rosuvastatin and fenofibrate to treat it to the FAA.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory performed toxicology testing of the pilot's muscle tissue. The testing detected 0.046 gm/dl of ethanol, 2.033 ug/g of butalbital (the therapeutic range is between 1 and 10 ug/ml), and 0.033 ug/g of codeine.

Ethanol may be detected due to ingestion, or it may also be produced by postmortem microbial activity in the body. Ethanol significantly impairs pilots' performance even at low levels. FAA regulations prohibit any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 gm/dl or more ethanol in the blood.


Butalbital and codeine are frequently combined with acetaminophen, aspirin, and/or caffeine in prescription medications to treat pain or headaches. The combination of the two drugs carries the following warning: "Butalbital, Acetaminophen, Caffeine, and Codeine Phosphate Capsules may impair mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Such tasks should be avoided while taking this combination product. Alcohol and other CNS [central nervous system] depressants may produce an additive CNS depression when taken with this combination product and should be avoided."

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA195
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 22, 2015 in Maricopa, CA
Aircraft: SHORT BROTHERS PLC S312 TUCANO T MK1, registration: N206PZ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On June 22, 2015, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, an experimental exhibition category Short Brothers PLC S312 Tucano T MK1 airplane, N206PZ, was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 16 miles south of Maricopa, California. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to Tucano Flyer LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, at 0810. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was in contact with the SoCal Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and was receiving advisories while maneuvering over the Chumash Wilderness area. Radar reviewed by NTSB investigators depicted multiple turns, rapid changes in altitude, and airspeed. At 0925 radar contact was lost and no other communication was received from the pilot. 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage was located in a dry creek bed. The airplane was destroyed by high impact forces and a postimpact fire. The debris field was 641 feet in length and 355 feet wide. A large crater about 11 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, was found at the beginning of the debris field. Postimpact fire was observed along the debris path and throughout the surrounding terrain. About 1 acre of land was burned. All major structural components and primary flight controls were located within the debris path. 

A witness stated that the airplane flew directly over his house in straight and level flight between 500 and 750 feet above ground level (agl). He further stated that the sound was different than other airplanes that fly in the area, but it didn't sound like anything was wrong. The airplane continued to fly straight and level in an easterly direction towards Quatal Canyon road. 

Another witness located at her residence on Quatal Canyon road, was about 1 mile northeast from the first witness's location. She was outside when she saw the airplane circle her home and depart eastward paralleling Quatal Road and proceeded to fly up the canyon. She further stated that the airplane was about 500 feet agl. The engine sound was loud and consistent. After losing sight of the airplane behind a small hill, smoke and dust was seen rising from the canyon. 

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility for further examination.










James Horner in 2011. The composer, responsible for more than 100 film scores over 40 years, died in a plane crash in 2015.


Tomorrow, two final works from composer James Horner will reach American ears: a concert piece being released on CD, and his score for the remake of the Western adventure The Magnificent Seven. The composer died a little more than a year ago in a plane crash, after creating more than 100 film scores over nearly 40 years.

Horner's score for Titanic is one of the best-selling orchestral soundtracks of all time. He won an Oscar for that score and another for the film's theme song, Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." But his career began much more modestly: He started out scoring pulpy B-movies, including Humanoids from the Deep for Roger Corman. His wife, Sara Horner, remembers meeting James when they were both students at UCLA.

"He took all of the money he made on Humanoids from the Deep, and then dumped it into the next score — he didn't take any money out," she says. "He used it to make the music as good as he could and lived off the money he made as a TA at UCLA."

She adds, laughing, "We just lived on nothing, just nothing."

Back then, one of her late husband's colleagues at Corman's New World Pictures was a young model builder named James Cameron. Both men's careers took off, and the composer earned his first Oscar nomination for his score to Cameron's movie Aliens. Horner went on to score such hits as Glory, Apollo 13, Braveheart, and Avatar.

To Cameron, the talent that led to Horner's success was about more than just technical skill.

"He was a sensitive guy. He had a huge heart," Cameron says. "I think the depth of his emotion and his sensitivity is what gave him a lot of his musical talent. I mean, sure, he was classically trained and he was a pianist and all that, and he knew what he was doing technically. But I think it was that he, himself, was a very emotional person."

Horner had already begun work on the score for The Magnificent Seven remake when he died flying a small plane on June 22 of last year. Horner's longtime arranger and score producer, Simon Franglen, took the themes Horner had written, worked up an orchestral suite, and presented it to director Antoine Fuqua. Franglen recalls telling Fuqua, "This was the score as James would have liked it to have sounded."

Fuqua was taken with the project. "You know, he was crying when he was listening, obviously," says Franglen. "He then said, 'Well, I want you to finish this. I want you to take this forward' — which was a really gutsy call for a $100 million movie."

Franglen and the rest of the composer's team got together and used those themes to craft a score in the most James Horner-like way they could.

It really was unusual for Fuqua to accept Horner's unfinished score — because, Franglen says, the business of film music has changed. "The idea that a director would say to him, 'Here's my film — go and do your best,' which is what used to happen ... no longer happened," he says.

Franglen says Horner was increasingly being asked to emulate music that directors had already used to edit their films. Towards the end of his career, Horner had two scores thrown out and replaced. But, Franglen notes that Horner's style remains relevant — and worth fighting to maintain — for him as an artist.

"James understood where the soul in a film was, better than almost anybody I've come across," Franglen says. "That sense of melody is something that I want to hold onto, in terms of film scores. I think often it's now become almost just this background noise, and it might as well be a sound effect."

In recent years, partly out of frustration, Horner returned to his first love: the concert hall. In 2014, he wrote a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra. He followed this project with another concerto for four French horns and orchestra. One of the players on this horn concerto was James Thatcher, a veteran on the Hollywood scoring stages, and the composer's principal horn player since 1985. Thatcher, too, emphasized the power of Horner's emotional attachment to his work.

"I could see his eyes watering up a bit when we were playing some really beautiful stuff that he'd written," Thatcher says. "It was more than just, you know, being a famous composer or having the honors of men. It was something that came from deep, deep within the man himself."

The horn concerto, titled Collage, got its world premiere in London three months before Horner died. And the response was, in many ways, the story of his life.

"The music critics actually really panned the piece, you know. 'Oh, this sounds like Titanic' — you know, that type of stuff," Thatcher says. "But the audience loved it. And he came out for three bows. James was never ashamed of what he wrote. He stayed true to himself, and that's why the audiences love it."

Thatcher says Horner supervised the recording just weeks before his fatal crash. And its release on disc, the same day The Magnificent Seven opens, will likely be the last new music by James Horner we'll ever hear. But his widow Sara says what we hear in all of Horner's music was his true voice.

"He could write music that expressed something inside of him that, in everyday real life, it was very difficult for him to communicate," Sara says. "And I think that part of it, the emotional connection that he had with his audience, was, for him, the whole point of it."

Source:  http://wrti.org