Sunday, June 17, 2018

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N465JM, owned by Wolf Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred September 07, 2016 in Chariton, Iowa

Scott Dean Wolfswinkel

Scott Wolfswinkel, age 42, died tragically on September 7, 2016 while fulfilling his passion of being a pilot. 

Scott was the owner and founder of Wolf Construction, a West Des Moines based commercial construction firm and roofing contractor. Scott was a visionary and an incredibly hard worker who loved his family and employees. Scott truly had a passion for his work, enjoying it to the fullest every day. 

He was a man of God, a light for Jesus, and touched the lives of many - especially the lives of his children. Scott mentored many and shared his gift of leadership with his employees, the students he coached in football at Des Moines Christian, and was passionate about connecting new relationships with God. His generosity was second to none. Scott loved spending time with his family – his children were his life. He also enjoyed guns, outdoor activities, listening to music, cooking, smoking meats and HORSEPOWER.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Piper; Sarasota, Florida

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N465JM

Location: Chariton, IA
Accident Number: CEN16FA361
Date & Time: 09/07/2016, 1219 CDT
Registration: N465JM
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 7, 2016, about 1219 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46-310P airplane, N465JM, was destroyed when it impacted terrain after an in-flight breakup near Williamson, Iowa. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was owned by Wolf Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC), Olathe, Kansas, about 1130 and was enroute to Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa.

According to radar data and air traffic control communications information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was receiving visual flight rules (VFR) flight following from the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) at a cruise altitude of 13,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot had deviated around convective weather earlier in the flight and was proceeding direct to IKV. The controller issued a weather advisory to the pilot about areas of moderate to extreme precipitation along his route, and the pilot responded that he had weather information on the airplane's NEXRAD system. About 3 minutes later, the pilot reported to the controller that he was around the weather and requested to start a descent direct to IKV. The controller responded that the descent altitude was at the pilot's discretion, then instructed the pilot to contact Des Moines Air Traffic Control Tower. The controller received no response from the pilot, and subsequent attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. Radar data showed the airplane making a descending right turn before radar contact was lost (Figure 1). The last radar return showed the airplane about 2,900 ft msl.

An ALNOT was issued, and the airplane was located by local ground and Civil Air Patrol search personnel about 5 hours after the loss of radar contact. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. Search personnel reported rain and thunderstorms in the area about the time of the accident.


Figure 1. The radar flight track of N465JM is indicated by red dots. The direction of flight is indicated by black arrows. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 42, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/07/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 242 hours (Total, all aircraft), 118 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent medical certificate was issued on December 7, 2014. On that date, the pilot was issued a combined student pilot and third class medical certificate. 

The pilot's most recent logbooks were not recovered. However, pilot logbook entries were found dating from December 4, 2014, to December 6, 2015. According to the records, the pilot received his private pilot certificate on June 20, 2015, and logged 242.6 hours of total flight time as of December 6, 2015. The records indicated that the pilot began logging flight time in the accident airplane on July 18, 2015. His time in the accident airplane between that date and December 6, 2015, was 111.6 hours. As of December 6, 2015, the pilot had logged 23.8 hours of actual instrument experience and 1.6 hours of simulated instrument experience. Although there were entries in the pilot's logbook showing instrument training, the pilot did not hold an instrument rating. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N465JM
Model/Series: PA 46-310P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 46-8408042
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/15/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: CONTINENTAL
ELT: Installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-550
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The non-pressurized airplane was manufactured in 1984 and was acquired by the pilot in July 2015. Maintenance logbooks were not available. The airplane was equipped with a NEXRAD on-board weather information display system. It is unknown if the pilot was proficient in using the NEXRAD system. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CNC, 1050 ft msl
Observation Time: 1215 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 230°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1700 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4500 ft agl
Visibility:  1 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots/ 17 knots, 220°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: OLATHE, KS (OJC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ANKENY, IA (IKV)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1130 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Chariton Municipal Airport (CNC), Chariton, Iowa, was located about 12 miles west-southwest of the accident location at an elevation of 1,050 ft. At 1215, the automated weather observation system at CNC reported wind from 220° at 9 knots with gusts to 17 knots, visibility 1 1/4 miles, light rain, temperature 24°C, dew point temperature 23°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.96 inches of mercury.

Given the pilot's discussions with ATC during the flight, the pilot was aware of and was trying to avoid convective weather along his route of flight. The airplane most likely would have encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during the last several minutes of flight. Figure 2 shows the airplane's flight path into storms. Additional details can be found in the weather study in the docket.


Figure 2. Level-II reflectivity product from a sweep initiated at 1223:06 CDT. Accident flight path through the accident time denoted by white line with accident location marked. 


Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.090278, -93.108611

The airplane impacted a mature corn field, and components of the wings and empennage were scattered along a path about 1/4-mile long (see figure 3). The main wreckage (cabin and fuselage) came to rest along a stand of trees adjacent to the corn field. The distribution of the wreckage was consistent with an in-flight breakup.

Figure 3. Wreckage Distribution

The fuselage came to rest on a 300° heading. The fuselage was found mostly crushed with numerous skin separations. 

The left wing was found separated from the fuselage at the wing root about 225 ft east of the fuselage. No major damage was noted to the leading edge. The fuel cap was in place and fuel was found within the fuel cell. The lift detector on the leading edge of the wing was in place and functional. The pitot tube was found clear of debris and remained secured to its mounts. The left main landing gear was found in the down and locked position. A ground impression about 6 ft long was found near the trailing edge of the wing. The outboard 7 ft of the trailing edge of the wing exhibited upward and forward deformation of the wing skin. About 80 inches of the inboard trailing edge of the wing exhibited upward deformation and skin separations in this area. Minor impact damage was noted to the outboard 6-ft section of the flap. The flap remained attached to its mounts; however, about 5 ft of the inboard section was separated and was not located within the wreckage area. The left aileron was separated from its mounts and was found about 297 ft southwest of the fuselage. The aileron balance weight remained secured to the aileron; however, about 31 inches of the left aileron was separated and was not located within the wreckage area. 

A 2-ft section of the right wing was found about 816 ft and 230° to the fuselage. This section of wing contained the fuel pick up screen, which was clear of debris. About 10 ft of the outboard section of the right wing was separated and was not located in the wreckage area. The inboard section of wing remained attached to the fuselage with impact damage and numerous skin separations. The inboard 5 ft of flap remained attached to its mounts; however, the outboard 6 ft of flap was separated and was not located within the wreckage area. The right aileron was not located within the wreckage area. The right aileron control cable ends exhibited broomstrawing consistent with overstress failure. The right main landing gear and trunnion mount were found separated and about 10 ft from the wing. The right main gear actuator remained attached to its mount and was found in the down and locked position. 

The vertical stabilizer was found about 810 ft northeast of the fuselage. It exhibited leading edge damage and the top section was canted to the left. The aft spar of the vertical stabilizer was separated at its attach points. The rudder was found about 649 ft east-northeast of the fuselage and exhibited upward deformation to the bottom and paint transfer marks on the leading edge. The rudder balance weight and surrounding skin was separated from the rudder and was not located within the wreckage area. The rudder torque tube remained attached to the fragmented bellcrank. The remainder of the rudder control bellcrank was found in the tail cone with the rudder cables attached.

The horizontal stabilizers were separated from their mounts and were not located within the wreckage area. The elevator was found about 201 ft southeast of the fuselage. The elevator trim tab remained attached to the elevator. The left trim pushrod remained attached to the elevator trim; however, the right trim pushrod was separated and not located within the wreckage area. The left side of the elevator remained attached to aft spar of the separated horizontal stabilizer. The right side of the elevator forward of its rear spar was separated and was not located within the wreckage area.

No pre-impact anomalies were found with the airframe. 

The engine came to rest on its left side with cylinder Nos. 2, 4, and 6 hidden from view beneath the impact-damaged cowling. Cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 pointed upward and were visible in the cowling. Cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 remained intact and were attached to the right side of the crankcase. The lower right crankcase was visible and exhibited impact damage in the area just below the cylinder No. 1 one pushrods. The right exhaust collector was impact-damaged and individual exhaust risers were separated at the cylinder attach points. The engine starter motor remained attached to the starter-adapter, but the air conditioner compressor was separated. The right after-cooler was found separated in the debris near the engine. The top-mounted induction system was found separated and several pieces of broken induction pipes were found in the debris.

A single composite propeller blade was protruding from an impact crater near the front of the engine. The blade did not exhibit chordwise scratching or gouging along its leading edge or blade face. The blade trailing edge exhibited an area of delamination. There were three small trees about 2 to 4 inches in diameter near the front of the main wreckage, which had been cut at an approximate 45° angle. The angle of the cuts was consistent with the propeller rotating at the time of impact.

The engine was transported to a secure facility for further teardown examination. Other than impact damage, no pre-impact anomalies were found during the examination. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, Ankeny, Iowa, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was blunt trauma.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing of the pilot. No drugs, ethanol, or carbon monoxide were detected. 

Tests And Research

An Appareo Stratus GPS device was recovered from the airplane and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory. The device did not record any data from the date of the accident. 

Additional Information

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute's publication, "Introduction to Aviation Physiology," defines spatial disorientation as a loss of proper bearings or a state of mental confusion as to position, location, or movement relative to the position of the earth. Factors contributing to spatial disorientation include changes in acceleration, flight in IMC, frequent transfer between visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and IMC, and unperceived changes in aircraft attitude.


The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) describes some hazards associated with flying when the ground or horizon are obscured. The handbook states, in part: "The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation."





NTSB Identification: CEN16FA361
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 07, 2016 in Chariton, IA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P, registration: N465JM
Injuries: 1 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 August 7, 2016, about 1219 central daylight time, a Piper PA 46-310P airplane, N465JM, registered to Wolf Aviation LLC of West Des Moines, Iowa, was destroyed when it impacted terrain after an in-flight breakup in the vicinity of Williamson, Iowa. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The cross-country flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area. The airplane was in receipt of VFR flight following services just prior to the accident. The flight originated about 1130 from the Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC), Olathe, Kansas, and was en route to the Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa, when the accident occurred.

According to preliminary radar and Air Traffic Control (ATC) information, the pilot was receiving VFR flight following at 13,500 feet MSL from the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The pilot had been deviating for convective weather along the route of flight, and was proceeding direct to IKV. The Chicago ARTCC had issued a weather advisory to the pilot about areas of moderate to extreme precipitation along the route of flight and the pilot responded that he had the weather information on the airplane's NEXRAD system while making deviations to avoid the convective weather. The pilot reported to ARTCC that he was around the weather, proceeded toward IKV, and requested to start his descent. The Chicago ARTCC controller responded that the descent altitude was at the pilot's discretion, and then instructed the pilot to contact Des Moines Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), but received no response from the pilot. Preliminary radar data showed the airplane making a rapid descending right turn before radar contact was lost. The last radar return showed the airplane about 4,700 feet MSL. The Chicago ARTCC controller attempted to contact the airplane on frequency, on guard frequency, and through other aircraft without success, and also solicited ELT reports from nearby aircraft with negative responses. No distress calls were received from the pilot and an ALNOT was issued.

The airplane main wreckage and parts were located about 5 hours after the loss of radar contact by local ground and Civil Air Patrol search personnel. On scene examination of the accident site by the NTSB and FAA showed evidence that the airplane had broken apart prior to impact. The airplane impacted into a mature corn field with wing and empennage components scattered along a path about 1/2-mile long, with the main wreckage (cabin and fuselage) resting along a stand of trees adjacent to the corn field. 


There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. However, local residents and search personnel reported rain and thunderstorms in the area about the time of the accident.

2 comments:

Tom Ibach said...

when are people going to realize NEXRAD is not real-time, and only good for avoiding weather by very large margins...weather changes in intensity, and moves...looking at this flight path, the way probably looked clear on his NEXRAD, but the weather had moved on to his flight path by the time he got there, and he hit the most intense area of weather

Anonymous said...

Never get between a pilot and his death wish.