Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tecnam P92 Echo Super, Houston Light Sport Aviation LLC, N323BR: Fatal accident occurred February 01, 2016 at Houston Southwest Airport (KAXH), Texas

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

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA094
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2016 in Arcola, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2017
Aircraft: COSTRUZIONI AERONAUTICHE TECNA P92 ECHO SUPER, registration: N323BR
Injuries: 1 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 flight instructor and a student pilot, who had flown about 5 flight hours with the instructor, were conducting an instructional flight in the light sport airplane. The student pilot reported that he was conducting the takeoff with the instructor assisting, and about 200 ft. above ground level, the airplane began to drift off the runway centerline. The student said that he attempted to correct, but it felt like the airplane was losing engine power and the nose was dropping. He added that he was pulling back on the controls and that the instructor was also pulling back, in an attempt to recover. A witness reported seeing the airplane climbing after takeoff in a nose high attitude when the left wing dropped, and the airplane entered a descending left turn. The airplane then impacted two parked airplanes on a ramp adjacent to a parallel taxiway. A postcrash fire consumed the majority of the airplane. Due to the fire damage, only a limited examination could be conducted; however, no preimpact abnormities were noted with the engine and airframe. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with a power-on departure stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's loss of control after exceeding the airplane's critical angle-of-attack, which lead to a power-on, aerodynamic departure stall. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's inadequate oversight of the student pilot.

Johnny Johnson
Flight instructor Johnny Johnson, 68, was fatally injured and student pilot Thomas Nezabian, 20, was seriously injured. 



Nezabian Thomas, 20, is in the Air National Guard and took up flight lessons in January 2016 as a hobby.



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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Houston, Texas

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

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

Light Sport Aviation, LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N323BR




NTSB Identification: CEN16FA094 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2016 in Arcola, TX
Aircraft: COSTRUZIONI AERONAUTICHE TECNA P92 ECHO SUPER, registration: N323BR
Injuries: 1 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 1, 2016, about 1015 central standard time, a Tecnam P92 light sport airplane, N323BR, impacted terrain near Arcola, Texas. The flight instructor was fatally injured; the student pilot was seriously injured; and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Houston Light Sport Aviation, LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the airplane was not on a flight plan. The local flight was originating from the Houston Southwest Airport (AXH), Houston, Texas, at the time of the accident.

A witness reported that the airplane departed on runway 9, and when it was about midfield, the airplane was in a nose-high attitude. The airplane's left wing dropped, and the airplane entered a descending left turn. 

The airplane then collided with two airplanes that were parked by a hangar adjacent to a parallel taxiway. The accident airplane came to rest on one of the parked airplanes, and a post-crash fire consumed the majority of the accident airplane and one of the parked airplanes.

The student pilot was interviewed while he was recovering in the hospital. He stated that he and the instructor completed some ground school training. The plan was then to conduct traffic pattern work including downwind and base legs. Before taxiing out, they saw an airplane depart from runway 27; however, they noted that, based on the current wind condition, the runway in use should have been runway 9. The student pilot added that he was conducting the takeoff with the instructor assisting. He applied full power, and, about 200 ft above ground level, the airplane started to drift left. He attempted to correct the drift to stay on the runway centerline. According to the student pilot, it felt like the engine was losing power, and the nose was dropping. He stated that he was pulling back on the controls and that the instructor was also pulling back. At that point, he knew they were going to crash, and there was nothing they could do to prevent it. 

PILOT INFORMATION

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. Additionally, he held a ground instructor certificate and a flight instructor certificate with airplane single- and multi-engine and instrument airplane ratings. The flight instructor was issued a special issuance first class medical certificate on July 27, 2015. At the time of the exam, the instructor reported he had 6,161.1 total flight hours and 30.5 hours in the previous six months. A review of flight club records revealed that he had 6 flight hours in the Tecnam P92.

The student pilot had four previous flights with the flight instructor and did not hold a student pilot certificate. A review of club records revealed that the student had approximately 5.1 total flight hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a Tecnam P92, a high-wing, single-engine, light sport airplane, with fixed landing gear. It was powered by a 100-horsepower, 4-cylinder, reciprocating Rotax 912 engine, and a fixed pitch propeller. The airplane's airworthiness certificate is in the Special, Light Sport (S-LSA) category. The fuselage was a semi-monocoque construction with a mixture of thin aluminum covered tube structure. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the last condition inspection was completed October 22, 2015, at an airplane and engine total time of 2,385.57 hours. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1015, the automated weather observation facility (AWOS) located at AXH recorded, wind 120 at 6 knots, 7 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 1,500 ft with a ceiling at 2,000 ft, temperature of 68 F, dew point 64 F, and an altimeter setting of 29.88 inches of mercury. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Houston Southwest Airport (AXH) is a public-use, non-towered airport, located 15 miles southwest of Houston, Texas. Pilots use ommon raffic dvisory requency (CTAF) for communications. The airport has a single asphalt runway; runway 9/27, measuring 5,002 ft. long by 100 ft. wide. The airport is at an elevation of 68.9 ft mean sea level and has an AWOS station located on the field. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The on-site examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane impacted a parked Cessna 172, and came to rest on a Gulfstream American AA5A airplane. A survey of the area did not reveal any ground scars between the runway and the ramp area where the airplane impacted the Cessna. A postcrash fire consumed much of the AA5A, the accident airplane, and limited the examination of the accident airplane. 

The wreckage came to rest facing the runway. The right wing had extensive thermal damage with the inboard section of the wing and flap consumed by the fire. The left wing was consumed by the fire and its remnants were indistinguishable from the remnants of the AA5A. The main cabin was consumed by fire with only a tubular type frame remaining; the empennage had thermal damage but was largely intact. The engine compartment and forward fuselage were mostly consumed by fire. The propeller and nose cone were thermally damaged, and only a piece of the two-bladed propeller was located outside the fire damage area. 

Aileron continuity was established at each of the wing bellcranks; however, sections of the push-pull tubing were consumed by the fire. Additionally, the control cable connection points were separated; each fastener was either consumed or melted by the fire. The elevator push-pull tube was consumed forward of the empennage. Rudder control continuity was established to the cockpit rudder pedals. The flap actuator position was compared to an exemplar actuator on a similar airplane; the actuator position corresponded to a flap retracted position. 

The firewall and part of the instrument panel were consumed by the fire. The engine also received extensive fire damage. The engine intake/carburetors and fuel pump were in place but were partly consumed by the fire. Fire damage prevented the engine from being rotated by hand. The engine's propeller speed reduction unit (PSRU) was dissembled; a visual inspection revealed no discrepancies with the internal gears. The top sparkplugs were removed and exhibited light colored combustion deposits and the electrodes exhibited normal signatures.

No preimpact abnormalities were noted during the airframe or engine examinations.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office, Texas City, Texas, conducted an autopsy on the flight instructor. The cause of death was determined to be "blunt force trauma and thermal injury".

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the flight instructor. The specimens were not tested for cyanide. The tests were negative for ethanol and carbon monoxide. The tests were positive for lipizide in urine and blood, and alicylate in urine.

Glipizide is a prescription medication typically used to treat type 2 diabetes. 



NTSB Identification: CEN16FA094
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 01, 2016 in Arcola, TX
Aircraft: COSTRUZIONI AERONAUTICHE TECNA P92 ECHO SUPER, registration: N323BR
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 February 1, 2016, about 1015 central standard time, a Tenam P92, light sport airplane, N323BR, impacted terrain near Arcola, Texas. The airplane was destroyed, the flight instructor was fatally injured and the student pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Houston Light Sport Aviation, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the airplane was not on a flight plan. The local flight was originating from the Houston Southwest Airport Houston, Texas at the time of the accident.

A witness reported that the airplane departed on runway 09; about midfield the airplane was in a nose high attitude. The airplane's left wing dropped and the airplane entered a left turning descent.

The on-site examination of the wreckage revealed the airplane impacted a parked Cessna 172, and came to rest on a Gulfstream American AA5A airplane. A post-crash fire consumed much of the AA5A and accident airplane. After the initial on-site documentation of the wreckage, the airplane was recovered for further examination.

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