Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N5295Y, registered to Mike Bravo LLC: Fatal accident occurred October 10, 2015 in Seville, Volusia County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Orlando, Florida
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N5295Y

Location: Seville, FL
Accident Number: ERA16LA008
Date & Time: 10/10/2015, 1400 EDT
Registration: N5295Y
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Windshear or thunderstorm
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The commercial pilot reported that, during a local flight, he encountered a downdraft while maneuvering the airplane between 300 and 600 ft above ground level at an airspeed about 75 knots. He stated that he attempted to recover, but the airplane continued to sink and subsequently impacted trees and terrain. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal evidence of any mechanical any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The conditions reported by the closest weather observation facility, located 23 nautical miles away, included scattered towering cumulus clouds and 6-knot winds. Additionally, towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds were noted near the airport. Atmospheric modeling data noted the potential for strong low-level thermal activity near the accident site about the time of the accident. Given the weather conditions that prevailed about the time of the accident, it is likely that the airplane encountered a downdraft; given the airplane's altitude and airspeed at the time of the encounter, the pilot had insufficient time to regain control of the airplane before it impacted the ground. 

Probable Cause and Findings


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The airplane's encounter with a downdraft, and the pilot's decision to maneuver the airplane at a low altitude and airspeed, which provided insufficient time and altitude to recover before impacting terrain. 

Findings

Personnel issues

Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues

Downdraft - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information 


On October 10, 2015, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5295Y, was substantially damaged after a loss of control during a low altitude maneuver near Seville, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries, and the rear seated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Mike Bravo LLC., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona, Florida at 1300.

According to the pilot, while flying about 600-650 feet above ground level (agl) at a speed of 75 knots with 20° of flaps, the airplane suddenly "fell out from under" him. The airplane lost 300-350 feet of altitude within a few seconds. He applied full power to recover the altitude but the airplane continued to "sink." He maneuvered the airplane towards a clearing to avoid trees, lost control, and collided with the ground.

According to the operator of the airplane, the pilot called twice on the day of the accident. He initially called to apologize for the accident and in the evening, he called to explain what happened earlier that day. The pilot stated earlier that day he brought one passenger and then picked up another. He said that the intent of the flight was to "drop boxes" south of Lake Crescent, at a campsite managed by St. Johns River Water Management District. The pilot said he was aware that dropping objects out of the airplane was prohibited, but assured the operator that he had coordinated with the people on the ground to stay out of the way when the items were dropped. When the pilot reached the campsite, he descended to an altitude between 300 and 600 feet agl, configured the airplane with 20° of flaps, and slowed it to 75 knots. After successfully dropping several boxes, and during the final drop, the airplane encountered a downdraft and lost altitude. The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain.

Examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The 1453 weather conditions reported at DAB included scattered, towering cumulus clouds at 3,500 feet, scattered clouds at 5,000 feet, scattered clouds at 7,500 feet and a broken ceiling at 25,000 feet, and winds from 060° at 6 knots. Additionally, towering cumulus clouds were noted to the south, and cumulonimbus clouds were noted in the distance to the east, southwest, and northwest of the airport. DAB was located 23 nautical miles southeast of the accident site.

The National Weather Service National Radar Mosaic for the period depicted isolated echoes associated with rain showers approximately 5 miles west and 10 miles southwest of the accident site, near Georgetown and Aster, Florida on the ends of Lake George, with a small isolated intense area of echoes immediately east of DAB at the time.

A North American Mesoscale Model sounding for the area of the accident site suggested the potential for strong low-level thermal activity and an unstable atmosphere, with expected clouds developing near 3,000 feet agl. The sounding did not depict the presence of low-level turbulence or windshear.

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying

Windshear or thunderstorm (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Commercial
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/26/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 425 hours (Total, all aircraft), 340 hours (Total, this make and model), 350 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information


Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 24, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/19/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1300 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N5295Y
Model/Series: 172S S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S9236
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/22/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 65 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6119 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: MIKE BRAVO LLC
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDAB, 41 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 114°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3500 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Daytona, FL (DAB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Daytona, FL (DAB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1314 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  29.343056, -81.451944


Jeffrey Luong
April 12, 1988 - October 10, 2015






NTSB Identification: ERA16LA008 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Seville, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N5295Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 10, 2015, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5295Y, was substantially damaged after a loss of control during a low altitude maneuver near Seville, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries, and the rear passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Mike Bravo LLC., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona, Florida at 1314.

According to the operator, who had rented the airplane to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to "drop boxes" south of Lake Crescent, at a campsite managed by St. Johns River Water Management District. After loading the airplane with cargo, the pilot departed on the accident flight with the two passengers. After departing from DAB, the pilot descended the airplane to between 300 and 600 feet above the ground, configured the airplane with 20 degrees of flaps, and slowed it to 75 knots. After successfully dropping several boxes, and during the final drop, the airplane encountered a downdraft and lost altitude. The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site and retained for further examination.

The 1453 weather conditions reported at DAB included scattered, towering cumulus clouds at 3,500 feet, scattered clouds at 5,000 feet, scattered clouds at 7.500 feet and a broken ceiling at 25,000 feet, and winds from 060 degrees at 6 knots. Additionally, towering cumulus clouds were noted to the south, and cumulonimbus clouds were noted in the distance to the east, southwest, and northwest of the airport.

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