Sunday, July 1, 2018

Cessna 172M, N1727V, registered to and operated by Arrow Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred August 11, 2017 at Candlelight Farms Airport (11N), New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut

Anthony Joseph Morasco 

Anthony Joseph Morasco, better known as Duke, passed away unexpectedly August 11th, 2017. He was 57 years old.

Duke was a graduate of New Milford High School. He attended Heidelberg College in Ohio and Western Connecticut State University. At the time of his death he was employed as a flight instructor at Arrow Aviation in Danbury, CT.

In his life, Duke excelled in many areas. He was an expert mechanic and craftsman who was able to build, replace, repair or recreate nearly anything. He was a meticulous craftsman; good enough was not good enough for him. He liked nothing more than to be able to assist a friend who needed it. Duke was a profoundly decent man with a thoughtful and generous spirit. He was willing to teach those who were eager to learn and help those who needed it.

Duke was also a gifted writer, poet and satirist, often writing humorous poems, commentary and song parodies, which he enjoyed singing, as well as American song book and rock and roll classics. His intellect and wit were well-known and cherished by his family and friends; there was practically no subject about which he could not create a humorous anecdote, or about which he did not have a deep knowledge and understanding. Duke loved intelligent banter and had a brilliant sense of humor and comic timing. 

He recognized the humor in just about every life situation or moment. Everyone could count on a great story, well-timed pun or hilarious joke when Duke was there.

But Duke's true passion was flying. From the time he was a child, Duke had a special interest in any air craft, commercial, military or experimental. He trained and acquired his private pilot's license in his twenties and continued his studies, learning to fly some of the most unusual and challenging aircraft ever made. Duke flew for many summers as an aerobatic performer in the Rhinebeck Air Show at the Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York, piloting WWI aircraft, flying maneuvers, offering rides in antique planes and even having his skills featured in an episode of Man, Moment and Machine on the History Channel. Duke loved to fly and loved to talk about flying, aircraft, weather and all aviation-related trivia. His lifetime dream was to one day become a corporate pilot.

Duke was deeply devoted to his family and his family cherished him.



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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

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


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


Location: New Milford, CT
Accident Number: ERA17FA272
Date & Time: 08/11/2017, 0917 EDT
Registration: N1727V
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On August 11, 2017, about 0917 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N1727V, collided with terrain at Candlelight Farms Airport (11N), New Milford, Connecticut. The flight instructor was fatally injured, and the student pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Arrow Aviation LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight. The flight originated at Danbury Municipal Airport (DXR), Danbury, Connecticut about 0835.

Data from the airplane's Garmin GPSMAP 396 GPS was used to reconstruct the flight on the day of the accident. The GPS was not configured to record time data; therefore, groundspeed and the time of the accident could not be derived. The GPS data revealed that the airplane departed runway 26 at DXR then climbed and turned north. A series of maneuvers were performed about 3,000 ft, then the airplane entered a left downwind for runway 35 at 11N. The airplane landed on runway 35, taxied clear of the runway, and taxied to the south. The airplane took off from runway 35 and continued on runway heading; The final five GPS altitude points indicated 764 ft, 787 ft, 827 ft, 807 ft, and 712 ft. The unit stopped recording data at a point consistent with the accident site. The airport elevation was about 675 ft, and the accident site elevation was about 685 ft.

The aft seat passenger, who was the father of the student pilot, walked to a nearby residence after the accident to seek assistance. There were no known eyewitnesses. The passenger recalled that the airplane landed at Candlelight Farms and then taxied for takeoff. He did not recall the completion of the taxi or the takeoff. The student pilot did not recall any of the events associated with the accident. 



Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/27/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/13/2016
Flight Time:  3900 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 16, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  15 hours (Total, all aircraft), 15 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The student pilot was enrolled as a student at Arrow Aviation at DXR; she did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) student pilot certificate or an FAA medical certificate. According to her pilot logbook, she had logged about 15 total hours of flight experience since July 2015.

The instructor held flight instructor and commercial pilot certificates with airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on May 21, 2016. He did not report his flight experience on his most recent medical certificate application; however, he reported 3,900 total hours of flight experience to the FAA in October 2012. His pilot logbooks were not located. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N1727V
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17263727
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/28/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 85 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8478 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E2D
Registered Owner: ARROW AVIATION LLC
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: ARROW AVIATION LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The single-engine, high-wing, four-seat airplane was manufactured in 1974 and incorporated fixed, tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-E2D reciprocating engine rated at 160 horsepower. The airplane was equipped with electrically-operated wing flaps and a stall warning system. The cockpit featured dual flight controls.

The most recent 100-hour inspections on the airframe and engine were completed on June 28, 2017. The most recent annual inspections on the airframe and engine were completed on February 17, 2017. The Hobbs meter indicated 8,478.5 hours at the time of the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DXR, 456 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0953 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None
Wind Direction: 150°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Danbury, CT (DXR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Danbury, CT (DXR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0835 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

DXR was located about 12 miles south of the accident site. The DXR weather at 0953 included wind from 150º at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 24°C, dew point 17°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.17 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: Candlelight Farms (11N)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 675 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2900 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  41.576111, -73.467500 (est) 

The accident site was located on an open field about 1,000 ft northwest of the airport boundary. The wreckage was found in an upright, nose-low attitude. All components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The nose landing gear separated during the impact sequence. There was no fire.

The wreckage path was about 72 ft long and 30 ft wide, oriented on a 300º magnetic heading. The initial ground impact scar contained a broken fragment of the left wingtip navigation light. The airplane came to rest on a heading of 070º.

All primary flight control surfaces remained attached. Flight control continuity was established from the ailerons, elevator, and rudder to the cockpit controls. The elevator trim indicator was found in the "takeoff" position. The wing flaps were found in the fully extended position; witness marks and damage on the fuselage adjacent to the inboard end of the flaps were consistent with the fully extended position. The flap switch was found in the full extension, or 40º, position. Impact damage was noted in this area. The flap position indicator on the instrument panel was damaged from impact and the needle was off scale, above the retracted position. The flap indicator potentiometer inside the wing was observed at the full-down position limit. The flap motor was tested after the wreckage was recovered; it operated normally through its full range of travel.

The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing. Both vented fuel caps were in place and secure. The vents were unobstructed. The fuel selector handle was found in the left tank position. About 10 gallons of blue-colored fuel were recovered from the left tank and about 2 gallons were recovered from the right tank. Both tanks were leaking fuel when examined by investigators. The recovered fuel was free of water and debris.

The engine was examined at the accident site. It was removed from the airframe to facilitate the examination. The bottom spark plugs were removed; the electrodes displayed normal wear and color when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. One plug had wet oil on its electrode.

The carburetor remained attached to the engine; the intake system remained attached to the carburetor. The foam intake element was covered in organic debris from impact with the ground. The carburetor was partially disassembled, and the bowl contained about 2 ounces of blue-colored fuel, which was free of water and debris. The blue plastic floats were intact and in place. The inlet fuel screen was unobstructed. There was a small amount of lead solder on the screen surface.

The cylinder rocker covers were removed for the examination. The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders and valve action was correct.

The propeller remained attached to the engine. The blades displayed chordwise scratching, leading edge gouges, blade twisting, and "s" bending. One blade tip was broken off and found along the wreckage debris field. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut, performed the autopsy of the flight instructor. The cause of death was blunt trauma of the head, neck, and torso, and the manner of death was accident.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the flight instructor. Losartan was detected in the blood and urine, and ibuprofen was detected in the urine. These medications are not generally considered impairing.

Additional Information

According to the Cessna 172 Owner's Manual pertaining to wing flap settings, "Normal and obstacle clearance takeoffs are performed with wing flaps up." The manual also states, "Flap settings greater than 10º are not recommended at any time for takeoff."

The operating checklists for the airplane include the following step in the "Before Takeoff" checklist: "(11) Wing Flaps -- UP." This step is also included as part of the "Normal Takeoff," "Maximum Performance Takeoff," and the "After Landing" checklists.

According to 14 CFR Part 1 (Definitions and Abbreviations), a pilot-in-command means the person who: (1) Has final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight.

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA272
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 11, 2017 in New Milford, CT
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N1727V
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 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 11, 2017, about 0930 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N1727V, collided with terrain at Candlelight Farms Airport (11N), New Milford, Connecticut. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight instructor was fatally injured. The student pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Arrow Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, instructional flight. The flight originated at Danbury Municipal Airport (DXR), Danbury, Connecticut about 0835.

The passenger, who was seated in the aft seat, walked to a nearby residence after the accident to seek assistance. There were no eyewitnesses. A local resident heard the airplane's engine prior to the accident; however, he did not see the airplane in flight.

The accident site was located on an open field, about 1,000 feet northwest of the airport boundary. The wreckage was found in an upright, nose low attitude. All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The nose landing gear separated during the impact sequence. There was no fire. The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing, and both tanks contained fuel.

The student pilot, seated in the left cockpit seat, did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) student pilot certificate or a FAA medical certificate. She was enrolled as a student at Arrow Aviation. According to her pilot logbook, she had logged about 15 hours total flight time.

The instructor pilot, seated in the right cockpit seat, held flight instructor and commercial pilot certificates with airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued on May 21, 2016. He did not report any flight time on his most recent medical certificate application; however, he reported 3,900 hours total time to the FAA in October 2012. His pilot logbooks have not been located.

The single-engine, high-wing, four-seat airplane was manufactured in 1975 and incorporated fixed, tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-E2D reciprocating engine rated at 160 horsepower. The airplane was equipped with electrically-operated wing flaps and a stall warning system. The cockpit featured dual flight controls.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Flaps 40, three adults, 160hp 172, and a grass strip! What could possibly go wrong?

Anonymous said...

24 deg C

Anonymous said...

40 Degree Flap Takeoff. :(

It seems like this gets a lot of people.