Friday, September 07, 2018

Cessna 340A, owned by Flex Air Inc and operated by the pilot as a business flight, C-GLKX: Fatal accident occurred September 05, 2018 near St. Clair County International Airport (KPHN), Port Huron, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Detroit, Michigan
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Textron; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Port Huron, MI
Accident Number: CEN18FA371
Date & Time: 09/05/2018, 2347 EDT
Registration: C-GLKX
Aircraft: Cessna 340A
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On September 5, 2018, about 2347 eastern daylight time, a Canadian registered Cessna 340A, C-GLKX, impacted terrain during an attempted approach to the St. Clair County International Airport (KPHN), Port Huron, Michigan. The pilot received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned by Flex Air Inc. and operated by the pilot as a business flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was on an instrument flight plan. The flight departed the St. Thomas Municipal Airport (CYQS), St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, about 2313, and was en route to KPHN.

Air traffic control (ATC) recordings indicated that about 2335, the airplane was at 4,000 ft above mean sea level (msl), and the pilot confirmed that he was inbound to the initial approach fix, WYDUK, for the RNAV RY 22 approach at KPHN.

About 2342, the ATC controller asked the pilot if had passed WYDUK, and the pilot confirmed that he had and was inbound for runway 22. The controller then instructed the pilot to cross the waypoint, ZORIX, at or above 2,200 ft and cleared him for the RNAV RY 22 approach to KPHN and approved a frequency change to the advisory frequency with instructions to report his instrument flight rules (IFR) cancellation in the air with air traffic control, or on the ground with the Flight Service Station (FSS).

About 2345, the pilot advised ATC that he had just lost his right engine, and when asked if he would still make the landing at PHN, the pilot stated, "Gonna work on it."

About 2347, the pilot advised ATC that he did not see any lights, and the he had tried to turn them on but with no success. The ATC controller responded that he did not have control over the lights and there were no Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) concerning the runway lighting. The ATC controller then asked if the pilot could see the airport, and he responded that he could not. The pilot stated that he was over the airport and was going to make a slow turn and try to re-shoot the approach. The ATC controller asked again if the pilot could see the airport and he responded that nothing "lit up." About 2349, the ATC controller tried contacting the pilot but there was no response.

The airplane impacted a grass field at a baseball complex 0.67 nautical miles (nm) from the departure end of KPHN runway 22 on a 266° bearing. The aircraft impacted the ground consistent with a vertical nose-down attitude and came to rest upright on about a 145° bearing. The right propeller separated from the engine and remained embedded in the ground. One of the left propeller blades also separated from the left propeller and remained embedded in the ground. The nose cone separated from the aircraft and remained in the initial impact crater. The ground impact marks of the left and right propeller, the nose cone, and the left- and right-wing tip fuel tanks, indicated a direction of travel of about 298°.

The nose, instrument panel, and cockpit were crushed aft, and the bottom side of the outboard section of the left wing's leading edge exhibited aft crushing. The metal compression indicated an approximately 50° nose down impact angle. The left- and right-wing fuel tip tanks exhibited ground impact compression damage. The left main, auxiliary, and wing locker fuel tanks sustained post-impact fire damage. The right main and right auxiliary fuel tank were breached; and area of fuel blighted grass about 54 ft in length was observed from the initial impact point of the right wingtip fuel tank on about a 298° bearing. The right wing-locker fuel tank contained fuel and appeared to be approximately 1/3 full. Blue fuel streaking was observed on top of the nacelle immediately aft of the right wing-locker fuel cap. The tail was separated from the fuselage at the aft pressure bulkhead. It remained loosely attached by the flight control cables.

At 2335, the surface weather observation at KPHN was: wind calm;10 miles or greater visibility; moderate rain; scattered clouds at 5,000 ft and 7,000 ft; broken ceiling at 12,000 ft; temperature 21° C; dew point 20° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

On September 6, 2018, about 0752, the airport staff checked the lighting at KPHN and determined that all the lighting, including the pilot-controlled lighting, was operable. There were no records of any reports by inbound or outbound aircraft that there was inoperable lighting at KPHN on September 5, 2018.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: C-GLKX
Model/Series: 340A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPHN, 650 ft msl
Observation Time: 2335 EDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: St. Thomas, ON (CYQS)
Destination: Port Huron, MI (KPHN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  42.903611, -82.550278

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

Mr. Stephan Maisonneuve
December 7, 1966 - September 6, 2018

Mr. Stephan Maisonneuve, age 51, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, passed away on September 6, 2018. 

Jowett Funeral Home is privileged to assist the family with arrangements.

KIMBALL TWP, MI - A Canadian man killed in a Sept. 6 plane crash in St. Clair County has been identified and investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Stephan Maisonneuve, 51, of Ottawa, Ontario, was flying a Cessna 340A when he crashed near Yager and Wadhams roads in Kimball Township, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office.

He was expected to land at the St. Clair County International Airport around midnight on Thursday, Sept. 6, but did not arrive.

Investigators searched the airport property and were later able to find the crashed plane a quarter-mile west of Runway 4, next to softball fields, the sheriff's office said.

Maisonneuve was the only occupant of the airplane. The aircraft was extensively damaged.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet issued a preliminary report on the crash.

KIMBALL TWP. - One person was killed in a plane crash near the St. Clair County International Airport in Kimball Township, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.

According to a news release, the pilot, Stephan Maisonneuve, 51, of Ottawa, was the only person in the small aircraft.

The crash happened near Yager Road and Wadhams Road in Kimball Township.

According to the news release, deputies were advised shortly after midnight Thursday morning that a plane was overdue to St. Clair County International Airport.

After checking the immediate area of the airport property, deputies widened their search and found the plane. 

The aircraft had crashed next to softball fields on Yager Road, east of Wadhams Road in Kimball Township. The site of the crash was approximately a quarter mile west of the beginning of Runway 4 at the airport. 

The plane crashed about 20 yards from the centerfield fence of one of the softball fields. The fuselage was broken into three main pieces, the nose, cabin and tail sections and the wings were torn off.

The pilot, a 51-year-old man from Ottawa, Ontario, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the news release.  He was the only person aboard the plane.

 According to the news release, the plane is a 1981 Cessna model 340 twin engine. When located, the plane had suffered extensive damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted and investigators are on their way to the crash scene.

According to information from the FAA, the pilot of the Cessna C340 aircraft reported problems with the plane's right engine before losing radio communication with air traffic control.  

Kimball Township Fire and Rescue and Tri-Hospital EMS assisted at the scene of the crash.

Kristoffer Grogan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman, said the pilot had filed a flight plant with the department and officials were awaiting his arrival at the time of the crash. 

While shows the plane landing 10:03 p.m. as well as 11:46 p.m., Grogan said that is believed to be an error as the pilot was delayed due to weather. 

The last fatal crash reported near the airport involved a 52-year-old Canadian man and his twin-engine Piper Seneca II on Dec. 24, 2014. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled the crash was likely due to pilot error. 

The private pilot, Lawrence L. Zavitz, was conducting a business flight from Virginia and had obtained weather briefings the day before and the day of the flight.

"However, upon arrival in the vicinity of the airport, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed with visibility at or below the approach's visibility minimums. However, the pilot contacted the controller, obtained the weather information, and chose to continue the approach. Radar data showed that the airplane's final approach course was unstabilized," the NTSB report reads.

The plane was last known to be located about half a mile southwest of the missed approach.

The plane crashed about 0.39 miles north/northwest of the runway departure end, the report states. Rescue crews responded to the plane crash in the heavily wooded area in the 500 block of Allen Road in Kimball Township about dusk Dec. 24, 2014. Because of the rain and fog, it took rescuers four hours to find the crashed plane.

Two crashes were reported in 2015. 

In July, two Harrison Township men were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard rescue diver after crashing their ultralight plane into a line of trees on Dickinson Island.

The 66- and 50-year-old men weren't injured, but were stuck about 30 feet up in the trees.

In October, Douglas Widmar, of New Baltimore crashed after taking off from a private runway in Kimball Township. He was hospitalized following the crash in the 700 block of Sturdevent Road. 

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