Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cessna 177 Cardinal, Eagle Sky Patrol, N2810X: Fatal accident occurred January 31, 2017 in Price, Rusk County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration; Dallas, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Eagle Sky Patrol; Deadwood, South Dakota

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

Eagle Sky Patrol Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N2810X

FAA Flight Standards District Office: North Texas, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA095
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 31, 2017 in Price, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 177, registration: N2810X
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 January 31, 2017, at 1540 central standard time, a Cessna 177 single-engine airplane, N2810X, impacted wooded terrain after striking a cellular tower guy-wire near Price, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Eagle Sky Patrol, Deadwood, South Dakota, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed an unknown location at an unknown time.

According to the operator, the pilot departed from a Houston, Texas, area airport about "sunrise" on the morning of the accident to perform aerial observation of pipelines. After performing a portion of the planned aerial observation flight and prior to the accident, the pilot refueled the airplane at an unknown location. While transiting between two pipelines, which were about 112 miles apart, the airplane's left wing contacted the top guy-wire of a 445-foot tall cellular tower. The airplane impacted terrain and a post-impact fire consumed the airplane. 

A witness, who was located at his residence adjacent to the accident site, reported he heard an airplane engine "rev up", an initial explosion, and a secondary explosion. Two additional witnesses reported observing the airplane "tumbling end over end" and crashing in a wooded area.

Separated sections of the left wing were located between the cellular tower and the main wreckage. Portions of the left wing showed wire strike markings consistent with the diameter of the cellular tower guy-wire. A cellular tower employee who responded to check the condition of the tower, observed white paint marks on the top guy-wire, which were consistent with the paint color of the left wing. The main wreckage came to rest about 820 feet east of the cellular tower in wooded terrain, and consisted of the right wing, a portion of the left wing, fuselage, empennage, and engine. A majority of the main wreckage was consumed by a post-impact fire. The propeller separated from the engine crankshaft and came to rest adjacent to the main wreckage. One propeller blade exhibited twisting at the blade tip, and one propeller blade exhibited S-shape bending.

At 1555, the Rusk County Airport (RFI), Henderson, Texas, automated weather observing system, located about 5.5 miles east of the accident site, reported the wind from 190 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 24 degrees Celsius, dew point 1 degree Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury. 

The U.S. Naval Observatory reported the sunrise on the morning of the accident in Houston was at 0712.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov

RUSK COUNTY, TX  -   Investigators are going through the charred wreckage of a plane crash that claimed the life of its pilot.

Just after 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, officials say the Cessna Cardinal 177 came crashing down near County Road 497, bursting into flames just west
of Henderson, in the community of Price.

The pilot is identified as 25-year-old Cody Stewart of Oklahoma. Investigators are trying to figure out what led to his impact of the guy wires of a cell phone tower.

FAA and DPS investigators were on scene, going through the broken and burned pieces of the aircraft to determine what happened.

"We've got information, we believe we know what it is, but we haven't found the serial number plate to positively identify the aircraft," said Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price.

It was a commercial aircraft, actually making aerial passes.

"It was a company aircraft that flies pipelines and high-lines," Price says.

"We get a call for an explosion. We discovered there was an aircraft down, and that changed the whole game. With a situation like that, you don't know what’s going to happen next," says Carlisle VFD Fire Captain Joseph Avalos.

Authorities say the plane appears to have clipped a guy wire on the tower, which, depending on impact, would have brought it down. What investigators are looking into now is the flight-path, to find out how it happened that the aircraft got so close, to be able to clip the wires of the tower.  Stewart died in the crash.

Investigators say it’s possible Stewart may have missed seeing the tower while he was checking ground level.

"We've got theories, but we don't have anything concrete at this point," says Price.

The pilot's body has been transported to Southwest Forensics Science Center in Tyler for an autopsy. 

Story and video:  http://www.kltv.com

Investigators say a pilot has been killed when his small plane used to inspect pipelines clipped an East Texas cellphone tower guy wire and crashed into some trees.

Rusk County officials say the Cessna 177 Cardinal crashed and burned Tuesday afternoon near Price, about 120 miles southeast of Dallas. The victim's name wasn't immediately released.

Emergency management spokesman Patrick Dooley said Wednesday that the pilot was alone in the single-engine aircraft when the plane hit the wire and part of a wing sheared off. The plane crashed in a residential area about 100 yards from the tower.

A Federal Aviation Administration statement says the aircraft was used for pipeline patrol. Dooley says officials believe the pilot planned to refuel at Rusk County Airport when the accident happened on a clear afternoon.

Update: One person died after Rusk County officials said a small plane clipped a tower and crashed just west of Carlisle on Tuesday afternoon.

The identity of the person and the owner of the plane are still being investigated, Rusk County Office of Emergency Management Public Information Officer David Chenault said.

"Everything was burned," he said. "Everything was burned real bad."

The plane went down at about 3:45 p.m. On County Road 497, and Chenault said the working theory is that the plane hit a wire off of a tall, metal tower. Witnesses who saw the crash reported it was flipping and spinning, Chenault said.

Pedro Garza, speaking through a translator, said he was out feeding his goats when he heard a plane making a funny sound.

"It was just coming straight down," he said.

About 30 seconds after the plane hit the ground, it exploded into flames, Garza said. He ran to a neighbors house to call 911, and by the time they went back out to see if they could help the pilot, the fire had already grown too dangerous.

Ximena Lares was headed home at the time of the crash when her husband texted her to say something had fallen down behind her brother's house and had caught fire.

"Something had fallen, there was booming and a big fire," Lares said.

The plane had crashed about 200 feet behind the house. By the time Lares got there, the plane had begun to spark and boom.

"The fire was going big," she said. "I got scared thinking 'Oh my god, it's going to get the house.'"

Carlisle firefighters, Henderson firefighters, Rusk County Sheriff's Office officials and the Texas Department of Public Safety were at the scene immediately after the crash.

"The plane was on fire; it was a crumpled mess," Chenault said. "There's not a whole lot of it left."

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified, and the incident remains under investigation. FAA and NTSB investigators are expected to be at the scene Wednesday morning to determine the cause of the crash.

Chenault said officials do not yet know where the plane was headed when it crashed.

Rusk County Justice of the Peace Darlene Childress pronounced the pilot dead at the scene. The body was taken to Crawford A. Crim Funeral Home in Henderson.

Previous Story:

One person is dead after a small airplane crashed in Rusk County west of Carlisle, the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management said Tuesday.

The plane went down at about 3:45 p.m.

Rusk County OEM said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and the incident remains under investigation.

Rusk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Roberts said the crash occurred off County Road 497 in a wooded area.

Rusk County OEM spokesman David Chenault said officials do not yet know where the plane was headed. He said officials believe the plane clipped a metal tower and spun out of control before hitting the ground.

Officials have not released the name of the pilot or a plane ID number. Chenault said the aircraft was badly burned when officials arrived on the scene.

Carlisle firefighters, Rusk County Sheriff's Office officials and the Texas Department of Public Safety were at the scene, Roberts said.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive Wednesday morning to investigate. 

Original article can be found here:  https://www.news-journal.com

RUSK COUNTY, TX  -  Local first responders are on the scene of a small airplane crash in Rusk County officials say, near the city of Price. 

The crash happened at around 3:45, the Office of Emergency Management says. It is located on CR 497, west of the intersection of FM 13 and Hwy 42 in the county. 

FAA officials say that the Cessna hit a cell phone tower and then crashed into trees. The pilot was the only person on board the plane, they confirm.

According to officials at the Rusk County Airport, the plane did not take off from there, but was possibly coming in for fuel. 

The FAA will respond to the scene Wednesday, and the National Transportation Safety Board will handle the investigation, according to officials. 

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


Anonymous said...

Also very sad to hear.

Isn't this something that drones would be better suited for? Helicopters are expensive and human lives are precious.

Anonymous said...

Federal Aviation Administration has corrected the tail number to N2810X.

Patrol Pilot said...

YES it would be much better if drones could do this job. It encompassess all of the 3 D's that would be better suited to robots: Dirty, Dangerous, and Dull. I have been told that the cost would be too high for the required technology. I fly patrol now, three hours/360 miles at a time (120 mph) before I have to refuel. So I'm not a drone expert, please correct me if you are: the drones don't have batteries that could carry them for this long along with all of the equipment (GPS, orthographic camera). So you'd essentially have to have a chase crew for the drone to change batteries or refuel and report sightings, which would defeat almost the entire purpose of the patrol in the first place: to replace foot/vehicle patrols.

Patrol Pilot said...

Also I will add that though we have waivers down to 200 ft, there's little reason to go below 500 except in certain cases.

Patrol Pilot said...

Training for these jobs is almost nonexistent. Some sort of industry standards or SOPs could bring down the dismal accident record. Right now we have NO standards, and operate under part 91 rules. Pipeline companies hire the lowest bidder for the patrol, and each company does what they want. While the insurance companies make sure that pilots have a good chunk of hours in their books, even that does not guarantee safety. Timebuilders be warned- if you are a low hours pilot you'd better take every bit of this job seriously and don't be a cowboy.

Anonymous said...

My father is a pipeline patrol pilot and he often comments that tower guy wires are really tough to see and that he wishes they would put the blaze orange balls on the wires so they can me more easily identified.