Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cirrus SR22, N451TD, registered to CPD-JJD LLC and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred April 19, 2018 in Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Cirrus SR22, N451TD, Accident Site

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Williamsburg, PA
Accident Number: CEN18FA144
Date & Time: 04/19/2018, 0843 EDT
Registration: N451TD
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 19, 2018, at 0843 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N451TD, impacted terrain near Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. The private rated pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed and a postimpact fire consumed most of the wreckage. The airplane was registered to CPD-JJD, LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed. The airplane departed Lancaster Airport (LNS), Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at 0734 and was en route to South Bend International Airport (SBN), South Bend, Indiana.

A review of the air traffic control (ATC) communication and radar data revealed that the airplane was en route to SBN on a heading about 284° and 6,000 ft mean sea level (msl). At 0828 the pilot requested to divert to John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (JST), Johnstown, Pennsylvania, due to ice accumulation on the airplane. The controller advised the pilot that the clouds at JST were overcast at 200 ft and the clouds at Altoona-Blair County Airport (AOO), Altoona, Pennsylvania, were overcast at 500 ft. At 0830 the pilot requested vectors to AOO for an instrument approach. The pilot then requested to descend to 4,000 ft and the controller cleared him to 4,500 ft, which was the lowest altitude he could descended to in that area. At 0842 the controller advised the pilot that he passed through the localizer for the ILS approach to runway 21 at AOO and the pilot requested radar vectors to intercept the localizer again. At 0843 radar contact was lost and there were no additional communications from the pilot.

The pilot received a weather briefing and filed an IFR flight plan via Foreflight. At the time of the accident there were active AIRMETs for moderate icing, IFR/mountain obscuration, and low-level turbulence.

The airplane impacted a field in the backyard of a residential property 9.5 miles northeast of AOO. The wreckage debris path was about 200 ft long on a heading of 150°. 

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) activation handle remained in its holder with the safety pin installed and the CAPS rocket had fired after impact. The parachute was found deployed from the airplane and extended along of the debris path. A majority of the CAPS that remained within the main wreckage was consumed by fire.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP
Registration: N451TD
Model/Series: SR22
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:  Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAOO, 1469 ft msl
Observation Time: 0839 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 10°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 500 ft agl
Visibility:  2 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.71 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: LANCASTER, PA (LNS)
Destination: SOUTH BEND, IN (SBN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  40.422778, -78.211667 (est)

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

James Joseph Durkin

James Joseph Durkin, 65, of Lancaster, PA passed away on April 19, 2018. He was the beloved husband of Mary Rose, father of Caihlin, her husband Jacob, James Joseph III, future grandfather of Joshua James, brother of John Vincent Jr., his wife JoAnn, Kathleen McGarvey, and her husband William.

Jim was born to John Vincent Sr. and Mary Catherine McAllister Durkin in Jersey City, NJ on June 27, 1952. He was raised on Long Island, NY and attended Mineola High School.

He was commissioned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps upon graduation from Gannon College in 1974 and was honorably discharged after proudly achieving the rank of Captain.  He was a member of the Rotary Club of Lancaster and treasurer of the Notre Dame Club of Harrisburg.

Jim was Co-owner and President of Choice Security Services LLC.

Jim loved vacationing in Florida, the University of Notre Dame, coaching lacrosse, golf, and above all – his family.

Visitations will be held at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 601 E Delp Rd, Lancaster, PA 17601 on Wednesday, April 25 from 6pm-8pm and Thursday, April 26 from 10am-11am. Memorial Mass will begin on Thursday at 11am with Fr. Timothy Kalista as celebrant. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Military honors will be accorded immediately following the Memorial Mass.

Stephen Patrick Grady

Stephen Patrick Grady, 65, of Camp Hill passed away Thursday in a single engine plane crash in Western Pennsylvania. 

He was a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army Reserve. He was a Dentist with Center Street Family Dentistry, Camp Hill. He graduated from York Catholic High School, the University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University School of Dentistry. 

He was a member of Church of the Good Shepherd, Camp Hill; West Shore Country Club; past President of Rotary Club of West Shore. He currently served as President of the Notre Dame Club of Harrisburg. He was a football and lacrosse referee. 

Visitation will be from 5 to 7pm Monday at Parthemore Funeral Home in New Cumberland. Additional visitation will take place from 9:30 am until Mass of Christian Burial at 11am Tuesday at Church of the Good Shepherd, 3435 E Trindle Rd, Camp Hill. Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery, West Hanover Twp.

The owner of a Lancaster security business and a Camp Hill dentist were killed instantly Thursday morning when their single-engine plane crashed within feet of a house in western Pennsylvania.

James Durkin, co-owner of Choice Security Services LLC, of 200 Richardson Drive in East Hempfield Township, was the pilot of the plane that had taken off from Lancaster Airport, according to Ray Bear, co-owner of the company.

Also killed was a friend of Durkin and Bear, Dr. Stephen Grady, a dentist at Center Street Family Dentistry, according to Bear.

Both men were in their 60s.

The Blair County Coroner's Office confirmed the identities of the two victims to LNP Friday morning after families had been notified.

The two had left Lancaster Airport at 7:34 a.m. en route to South Bend, Indiana, to attend a University of Notre Dame Alumni Association Leadership Conference.

Durkin was treasurer of the Notre Dame Club of Harrisburg. Grady was its president.

"He was a great friend and had a great family," Bear said of his partner. After working together in several other security companies, he said he and Durkin formed Choice Security in 2001. It has 28 fulltime employees.

The Cirrus SR22 aircraft crashed at 8:44 a.m. in a residential area of Williamsburg, east of Altoona in Blair County, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Had he stayed in the air another three-quarters of a second, the plane could have run into the residence," Roger Oswald, a Blair County deputy coroner who was at the scene, told LNP.

He said the plane exploded into flames on impact with the ground and broke into many pieces. Photos from the scene showed pieces of the plane in a tree beside the home and next to a basketball goal.

He said the home's owner and wife were in an adjacent building they run as an auto repair shop. The husband tried to put out flames with a garden hose but was driven back by the intense heat.

"The family in the residence is extremely devastated about the whole thing," Oswald said.

He said three investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the site of the crash Thursday afternoon.

The FAA will assist the National Transportation Safety Board, which will determine the probably cause of the accident.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said Friday afternoon that the remains of the plane were being transported to a safe site for inspection. Communications between the pilot and any air traffic controllers also will be examined.

A final determination of the cause could take 12-18 months, he said.

The aircraft departed Lancaster at 7:34 a.m. and was scheduled to land at Blair County Airport at 8:51. The plane was diverted while en route to South Bend International Airport in Indiana.

A later post showed that the plane was scheduled to arrive at Altoona-Blair County Airport at 8:51 a.m. Thursday. It crashed seven minutes before the estimated arrival time.

Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross told the Altoona Mirror that both men were killed on impact when the plane crashed.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal aviation officials continue to investigate what caused a small plane to crash in Woodbury Township, killing two men on board.

The single-engine plane crashed behind a home about 8:45 a.m. Thursday on Larke Road, south of Williamsburg, about 1.5 miles from the intersection of Clover Creek Road. Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross said the two men aboard the plane were killed on impact.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane was a Cirrus SR22. The FAA will investigate, and the National Transportation Safety board will determine the probable cause of the crash, she added.

Ross said Thursday that one of the men — who were both described as in their 50s and from out of the area — had been identified but the identity of the second man was pending.

Once investigators have identified the second person, his family will be notified and the names of the men would be released, Ross said.

Tracy A. Plessinger, manager of the Altoona-Blair County Airport, referred any questions to the Johnstown Air Traffic Control Center, but did provide a statement addressing the crash.

“The Blair County Airport Authority Board of Directors extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims of today’s plane crash in Blair County. We commend the Air Traffic Control and Blair County Emergency Response Personnel for their calm, quick and professional response to this tragedy.”

A message left for a Johnstown air traffic control official late Thursday morning was not returned by evening.

According to a FlightAware website, the Cirrus SR22 was scheduled to fly at 7:34 a.m. from Lancaster Airport to South Bend International Airport in the state of Indiana.

A South Bend International representative said he could not provide information on the flight and suggested checking the FlightAware website.

The website shows that the Lancaster-to-South Bend flight had been “diverted.” It does not specify the reason for that diversion.

A later post shows that the plane — listed as Tail No. N451TD — was scheduled to arrive at Altoona-Blair County Airport at 8:51 a.m. Thursday.

It crashed 7 minutes before that estimated arrival time.

There were overcast conditions Thursday morning near the Blair County airport, with a low cloud ceiling that had visibility reduced to three-quarters of a mile to 2 miles about 8:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Aaron Tybursky said the base of the clouds was between 300 feet and 700 feet, and while there was a light rain, only a hundredth of an inch fell during the 8 a.m. hour, he said.

The temperature was 43 degrees, which meant freezing levels would have been at between 2,000 and 3,000 feet, Tybursky noted.

Registration information posted by the FAA describes the plane as a “fixed-wing single-engine” aircraft and lists its owner as CPD-JJD LLC. The owner’s address is listed at 200 Richardson Drive in Lancaster.

That address corresponds to Choice Security Services LLC. One of the company’s owners, Ray Bear, spoke Thursday afternoon, explaining that his business partner, James Durkin, was a pilot.

Durkin, Bear said, was on his way to South Bend, where he “had business” at University of Notre Dame. Bear said he had been in contact with Durkin’s wife and could not provide additional information.

Durkin is listed as treasurer of the Harrisburg Club of Notre Dame’s Alumni Association. The university is scheduled to host an Alumni Association Leadership Conference from Thursday through Saturday, according to its website.

University representatives said they could not comment on the crash Thursday afternoon.

Michael Tafelski, the Harrisburg alumni club’s Lancaster liaison, said he had not heard about the crash. He speculated that if Durkin was in fact flying the plane, the second person onboard could have been another club member headed to the leadership conference.

Attempts to contact a number of other club members were unsuccessful.

Original article can be found here ➤

WILLIAMSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Investigators say two people died when a small plane crashed in Blair County after taking off from Lancaster on Thursday morning.

The Cirrus SR-22 crashed in a rural residential area near Williamsburg around 8:44 a.m.

Investigators told WTAJ-TV a nearby homeowner heard an explosion, saw the single-engine plane engulfed in flames, and tried to put out the fire with a garden hose.

Authorities said the two victims were the only people on the plane. The men have not been positively identified.

Video from the television station showed firefighters spraying water on wreckage that was scattered across a field.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site. Representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board were expected there on Friday.

Story and video ➤

WOODBURY TOWNSHIP - The Blair County Coroner's Office has confirmed two people were killed in an airplane crash Thursday morning.

Dispatchers said it happened along the 800 block of Larke Road in Woodbury Township around 8:45 a.m.

6 News contacted the Federal Aviation Administration for more information about the crash. 

"A Cirrus SR22 aircraft crashed in residential area in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania today at 8:44 a.m. The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident," said an FAA representative in a statement.

NTSB officials have confirmed the plane took off from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was heading to South Bend, Indiana. Officials said the plane was diverted to the Altoona Airport, but crashed roughly 11 miles away.

Story and video ➤


Anonymous said...

FAA records show the pilot was instrument rated and I believe this pilot encountered icing conditions. Looking at FlightAware you can see him cruising at 6,000' and encounter precipitation just west of KAOO. After a short time he did a 180 and headed back into VFR towards KAOO airport. He crashed around 10 miles to the NE of KAOO. I'm thinking this 2001 model only had minimal ice protection and he was trying to exit the icing. I live about 50NM west of Altoona and the day of the accident we had off & on snow squalls/ice pellets until late afternoon. Coming from the east they would have been heading straight into that mess. So sad, R.I.P.

Anonymous said...

CAPS! CAPS! CAPS! Pull early and pull often! That is the single most important thing you learn at a CPPP event. Never hit the ground when your parachute is ready to save your life. It is indeed sad. Prayers for their families.

Anonymous said...

This is truly sad. In the above article, I don't see any mention of the chute being deployed. I can imagine what it's like to be in a plane that is becoming inevitably unairworthy as ice accumulates, the panic-filled troubleshooting as the plane quits flying.
That's the only thing I can imagine that caused the PIC to forget his chute. Why buy Cirrus if a parachute isn't high on your list of priorities? If ever there was a time to work thru your algorithms and pull the handle, this was it.

Anonymous said...

Another Cirrus crash, wow.

Anonymous said...

James, As a local pilot who was at the accident scene, my heartfelt condolences to you. I am sure you know more about what caused this tragedy then any of the posters here and I for myself follow accidents such as these carefully if only to learn from the mistakes of others. We presumed icing was a factor, whether he was weighed down with it or encountered it and made the right decision to divert and got distracted with the high workload environment that diversion brings with it. Johnstown Approach is not on ATC live but if it was the conversation with them would shed a lot of light on the factors. God be with you and your families.

Jim B said...

Hi James,

Sorry for the loss of your dad and his friend.

There are a few (nearly always anonymous) nasty people on this blog that hate Cirrus, the Civil Air Patrol, or a few other favorite targets.

Icing on all wings is always a problem. Some wing shapes tolerate icing better than others. Without mentioning manufacturers, thick camber utility wings are generally more tolerant of icing than thinner low-drag cruise wings.

The 180 turn shows good judgement, but it is possible that decision may have been late in the game.

I do not think icing would prevent parachute deployment. However, successful parachute deployment has limitations, such as being in a spin or inverted may not allow proper deployment.

The investigators will piece this back together correctly. They are quite good and I give them lots of credit to do a [factual investigation].

Lets remember the good things about your dad and his friend.

Gerry said...

Jim B. Thank you for your comment I couldn't have said as well. James I lost my father 30 years ago (due to natural causes) there has been a vacant spot in my heart ever since as I'm sure there is in yours. God be with you!

Anonymous said...

There's no meeting that's so important that you risk your life for it :(

Anonymous said...

CAPS not pulled. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

pull the handle pull the handle....really really really bad weather to fly a single in...meeting could wait, not worth you and your buddy's life. Did I mention...pull the handle!!! Limited rain...yea lets go flying...looks good.

Anonymous said...

There is an accident case study on Youtube of another Cirrus crash due to airframe icing where the pilot pulled the parachute after he lost control. The parachute separated from the airframe due to higher than recommended airspeed when deployed and the aircraft crashed in the mountains killing the pilot. If there were Airmets or Pireps for icing along my route, I would either delay the trip, pick another route or buy a ticket on a commercial flight if I positively had to be there!

Anonymous said...

Take away the parachute and I would bet many Cirrus pilots would have second thoughts about flying into risky weather, in this case forecast moderate icing.

James Durkin said...

Thanks for your kind words.