Monday, February 5, 2018

Cessna T303 Crusader, N303TL, registered to and operated by Pegasus Aviation Inc: Accident occurred February 04, 2018 at Walter J. Koladza Airport (KGBR), Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley, Connecticut

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Pegasus Aviation Inc:

Location: Great Barrington, MA
Accident Number: GAA18CA134
Date & Time: 02/04/2018, 1655 EST
Registration: N303TL
Aircraft: CESSNA T303
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, while taxiing onto the snow-covered runway for departure, he was unable to see the runway markings. He added that he decided to cancel the flight and return to the ramp, but when the airplane exited the runway, it went down an embankment.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see the taxiway when returning to the ramp from the snow-covered runway, which resulted in the airplane rolling down an embankment.


Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snow/slush/ice covered surface - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight


Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, 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: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/05/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1427 hours (Total, all aircraft), 223 hours (Total, this make and model), 1205 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N303TL
Model/Series: T303 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: T30300286
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/07/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2650 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-AE3B
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPSF, 1194 ft msl
Observation Time: 2149 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Snow; Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: FARMINGDALE, NY (FRG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Great Barrington, MA (GBR)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1215 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Snow
Airport Elevation: 739 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Snow
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2579 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.184444, -73.406667 (est)

GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Walter J. Koladza Airport is temporarily closed to all air traffic except in an emergency after a plane overshot the west end of the runway upon takeoff Sunday evening and crashed into a hayfield on a neighbor's land.

It appears there were no injuries; according to the town police incident log, the occupants of the plane refused medical treatment. The number of passengers is still unclear. 

The plane was still sitting upright Monday morning in the ice-encrusted field below the end the 2,600-foot runway, where an investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration was seen climbing out of the twin propeller aircraft. 

He declined comment, citing the investigation.

The airport's business manager, Mark Roggen, told The Eagle he had not yet heard of the incident but was about to call the airport.

At about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police received a call for a "plane crash," and soon fire and rescue trucks were sent to the scene, and the National Transportation Safety Board was contacted, according to the police incident log.

Claudia Shapiro and Daniel Bell own the land beyond the runway, and their home sits about 100 feet from where the plane came to a rest.

Shapiro declined to speak to The Eagle, but gave permission to take photographs from her property.

Holly Hamer, who lives near the airport, is again raising concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration-required "Runway Safety Area" at Koladza. 

"The pilot bailout shouldn't be someone's backyard," she said.

In Massachusetts, only 49 percent of airports meet this Federal Aviation Administration standard, according to a state Department of Transportation report.

The small airport off Route 71 and Seekonk Cross Road has, over the last two years, been the center of zoning and environmental controversies after filing for a permit to build three hangars. 

The runway safety area has been just one of many issues of concern to the airport's neighbors.

Original article and photo ➤


Anonymous said...

Neighbors are complaining, yet I'm sure the airport was already there when they bought the house.....

CFI-II-G said...

That's a short runway for that aircraft - wonder if it was contaminated.