Monday, April 17, 2017

Cessna 170, N4244V: Fatal accident occurred April 15, 2017 at Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Levy County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 
Textron; Wichita, Kansas 

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

Nathan J. Enders: http://registry.faa.gov/N4244V

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA155
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 15, 2017 in Williston, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 170, registration: N4244V
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On April 15, 2017, about 1523 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 170, N4244V, impacted terrain shortly after departure from Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Williston, Florida. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Inverness Airport (INF), Inverness, Florida. The airplane was owned and operated by the commercial pilot as a personal flight in accordance with the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane was based at Eagles Landing Airport (5GA3), Williamson, Georgia, and departed for a flight to INF earlier in the day. Fueling records showed that the airplane stopped at Thomaston-Upson County Airport (OPN), Thomaston, Georgia at 1131. An airport security video at X60 showed the airplane fueling again, about 1448. The video then showed the airplane as it taxied onto runway 5 at intersection C and took off. Video from another security camera at the airport showed the airplane immediately after takeoff as it climbed to about 600 ft. The video then showed the airplane level off just below the clouds, and shortly afterwards the nose of the airplane pitched down. The airplane descended about 100 feet and leveled off again. Several seconds later, the airplane again pitched down and disappeared from view.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site, which was located 543 feet left of runway 5, near its departure end. The airplane displayed signatures consistent with nose-first attitude impact with the ground. The wing leading edges were crushed aft by impact forces and the engine was submerged in the dirt about 1ft. The airplane came to rest on a magnetic heading of 050°.

The propeller was attached to the engine. The propeller blades were bent aft. The engine and propeller were pushed into the instrument panel and upwards at a 45° angle.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, glider, and instrument airplane. He held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multiengine and instrument airplane. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate, issued March 27, 2017. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported 2,350 total hours of flight experience.

The four-seat, high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane, was manufactured in 1948. It was powered by a Continental C-145-2H, 145-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade McCauley propeller.

The recorded weather at X60, at 1519 was, wind from 080° at 8 knots, gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 30° Celsius (C), dew point temperature 14° C, altimeter 30.23 inches of mercury.

A digital video camera and two handheld GPS devices were recovered from the wreckage and retained for further examination.

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.



Williston police have identified the four people killed in a plane crash Saturday at Williston Municipal Airport as members of a family from Williamson, Georgia.

Police Chief Dennis Strow said in an email late Tuesday that those aboard the plane included pilot Nathan J. Enders, 37, his wife Laura, 42, and two sons Jaden, 7, and Eli, 5.

The vintage plane wasn’t noticed by more than 20 pilots who flew out of the same airport later that day and was reported to emergency responders 21 hours later.

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. The 1948 Cessna 170 was registered to Nathan Enders, an air traffic controller at a radar control facility in Peachtree City.

The airport hosted a fly-in barbecue event from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The plane had refueled in Georgia before arriving at the Williston airport Saturday at 2:48 p.m., according to Williston police. The plane attempted to take off at 3:10 p.m. and crashed about 150 feet before the tree line at the north end of the taxiway.

The weather at the time was fair, with winds steady at 8 mph, gusting to 14 mph, from the east, according to a nearby weather station.

A jet pilot leaving the airport Sunday afternoon first alerted authorities to the crash. Williston police were notified at 1:12 p.m. Sunday.

A GoFundMe account was set up to help with memorial expenses and college costs for a surviving son who was not on the flight. It had raised nearly $28,000 of its $30,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.

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

The Cessna 170 that crashed Saturday afternoon at the Williston Municipal Airport, killing all four people aboard, wasn’t noticed by more than 20 pilots who flew out of the same airport later that day and was only reported to emergency responders 21 hours later.

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene early Monday. The identities of those who died have not yet been confirmed. The 1948 Cessna 170 was registered to Nathan Enders.

Enders was an air traffic controller in Georgia. “He worked at a radar control facility in Peachtree City,” according to a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

The airport hosted a fly-in barbecue event from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The plane had refueled in Georgia before arriving at the Williston airport Saturday at 2:48 p.m., according to Clay Connolly, Williston’s deputy chief of police. He said the plane attempted to take off at 3:10 p.m. and crashed about 150 feet before the tree line at the north end of the taxiway.

The weather at the time was fair, with winds steady at 8 mph, gusting to 14 mph, from the east, according to a nearby weather station.

Between 20 and 30 aircraft took off from the airport after the crash Saturday, but it was a jet pilot leaving the airport Sunday afternoon who first alerted authorities. Williston police were notified at 1:12 p.m. Sunday.

“For all that traffic, no one thought to call us,” Connolly said.

While it is possible that pilots looking toward the landing strip or climbing on takeoff might not have seen the bright, crumpled wreckage, the Cessna was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter that continued to send a radio signal that should have been noticed by pilots within 2 or 3 miles, even if its antenna was snapped off, Connolly said.

“Everything went wrong at once,” he said. “This is really a huge complacency issue.”

The airport has a full-time manager and two part-time employees, but it wasn’t clear if any of them were on duty Saturday. Airport manager Wayne Middleton was meeting with city officials Monday afternoon and wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Connolly said it would be at least a week before a preliminary report was available from the NTSB.

Enders is a former flight instructor, living in Williamson, Georgia, according to his Facebook page.

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






WILLISTON, Fla. -- The National Transportation Safety Board has more information about the investigation into how a small plane crashed at the Williston Municipal Airport over the weekend. 

"The front end was badly crushed. I don't think it came in at an angle or skipped on the landing or anything, it pretty much angled straight in," said Deputy Chief Clay Connolly with the Williston Police Department. 

The crash left four people from Georgia dead. 

Dan Boggs with the National Transportation Safety Board said, "From what we know right now, it fueled at about 11:30 in Georgia and it's about a 2, 2 and a half hour flight down here." 

The pilot landed at the Williston Municipal Airport around 2:50 on Saturday. 

"We have video here that shows him coming in, refueling, and then heading back out maybe 20 minutes later. We think he crashed around 3:10," said Connolly.

According to WPD, the plane crashed on the Northeast end of the landing strip. 

One viewer reported he saw a similar looking plane doing aerobatics in Morriston at around noon, but the NTSB said it was not the 1948 Cessna 170 involved in this weekend's crash.

"This aircraft isn't designed for aerobatics," said Boggs. 

Police report there was heavy air-traffic Saturday with more than 30 pilots flying in and out of the Williston Airport. "It's a close community. It's aviators, and they'll come in and have a pig roast and fly out later in the afternoon," Connolly said. 

NTSB has not released identities of those on the plane but they said two kids were on-board. 

"The aircraft is going back to Jacksonville where it's going to be dissected and investigated and they're going to try to figure out what the cause of the crash was," said Connolly. 

Police do not know where the plane was headed yet. Next of kin is being notified.

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



PRESS RELEASE FATAL PLANE CRASH

At 1:12 PM Sunday April 16, 2017 the Williston Police Department received a report of a plane crash at the Williston Airport. Upon arrival of the police officers, Williston Fire Rescue and Levy County EMS they discovered the crash located on at the tree line on the north side of the taxiway at the eastern most part. The responders checked the wreckage and determined that all four passengers of the plane were deceased. The plane is a 1948 Cessna 170 “tail dragger” and registered in Texas. Representatives from the F.A.A. and N.T.S.B are responding and will be responsible for the investigation into the tragedy.

14 comments:

DFWTA said...

The owner of this aircraft is an air traffic controller currently assigned to the Atlanta TRACON. He had a wife and three young children. There is still no word on who all were in the airplane at the time of this tragic accident.

Anonymous said...

Sad....very sad. Prayers for them and the remaining family and friends. We live our lives...we take our chances every day.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see the loss of this sweet family. I remember seeing this airplane often the last year or so when it was based at the Aero Country airport here in Mckinney, Texas.

DFWTA said...

Authorities now report the accident happened after a BBQ fly-in on Saturday and the airplane wasn't noticed for 21 hours! Terrible.

Jim B said...

Very few actively listen to 121.5 MHz anymore. There is so much abuse of the frequency nowadays I scan it only occasionally or keep the audio down low. The pilot community can only blame itself.

Some need understand that after take-off there are blind angles under the airplane toward the ground one cannot see. Fixating at the ground is not a priority either. If the crash site was to the right of departure the crash site is easily missed. I am sure the entire group of visiting pilots and the airport personnel are terribly upset.

The crash orientation shows the airplane went in nose first, nearly vertical and not in a glide. No one survives that kind of impact.

Lord please give me the nerve to glide all the way to the ground after an engine failure.

Anonymous said...

We are all friends in aviation and we watch out for one another.

Anonymous said...

Since 9-11 the FAA issued an FDC NOTAM (!FDC 4/4386) that aircrew shall monitor Guard frequency on 121.5 MHz. Of course this means an aircraft must have more than one radio available, as the jet surely had. A sad event, my thoughts go out to the family and friends of the victims.

Anonymous said...

I was being checked out Saturday in a rental. We were south of the airport and were not eyewitnesses. However we were aware when it happened because of radio traffic warning us to stay clear in anticipation of a rescue effort. That traffic caused us to believe authorities had been notified. Someone knew.

May the peace of Heaven rest with the family. Deeply sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering when they will have some idea of what happened. I knew this young man years ago and I'm still stunned.

Anonymous said...

I'm a close family member. So far, we have a lot of things it wasn't, but still no indication of what happened.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Every couple of days I search for updates and nothing.

Anonymous said...

Why have there been no findings posted about this accident yet? It's been over 4 months....

Anonymous said...

good question...wondering that myself

Anonymous said...

The final report could take between a year and two years.