Sunday, November 18, 2018

Columbia LC41-550FG, registered to JMK3 Lands LLC and operated by the pilot, N972JK: Fatal accident occurred January 05, 2017 near Gurdon Lowe Field Airport (5M8), Gurdon, Clark County, Arkansas

James "Jimmy" Kent III 
January 23, 1976 - January 5, 2017

James M. Kent III (Jimmy) was called home to our Lord on January 5, 2017, flying with his cousin and best friend, Bob Kent.  Jimmy was a unique and caring individual who touched the lives of all who knew him. He had a vibrant personality and took fashion cues from no one. No matter where he was, Jimmy lit up the room and had a huge heart. If you knew him, you probably recall getting a text from him that touched your heart. He was a coach in his own right, always encouraging people to “do more and be better”. The way he died is like he lived: he wrote his own rules; he lived life to the fullest, doing everything with a smile, and paving his own way. If you knew him, you loved him.

Throughout his life, he was most proud of marrying the love of his life, Martha Garcia; playing baseball professionally; being a successful land developer; his collection of cars; and getting his pilot’s license and flying his own plane, right until the day he died. He truly embodied the concept of living life to the fullest. 


Robert "Bob" Charles Kent Jr.
November 25, 1980 - January 5, 2017

Robert Charles Kent, Jr. (“Bob”) passed away on January 5, 2017, at the age of 36. A beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend, Bob lived life with a passion that few could match. His brilliant smile and unwavering positivity brought light into the world of every person he encountered. His drive and work ethic enabled him to build a successful commercial real estate company, Kent Realty, from the ground up, and his generous spirit led him to share the fruits of his labor with those he loved. Remembered as sincere, charismatic, and kind-hearted, Bob’s tremendous impact on those around him will never be forgotten.

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Little Rock, Arkansas
Continental Engines; Mobile, Alabama
Cessna Aircraft; 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


http://registry.faa.gov/N972JK 


Location: Gurdon, AR
Accident Number: CEN17FA071
Date & Time: 01/05/2017, 1239 CST
Registration: N972JK
Aircraft: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT MFG LC41 550FG
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 5, 2017, about 1239 central standard time, a Columbia Aircraft 400-LC41 airplane, N972JK, impacted terrain near Gurdon, Arkansas, after a rapid descent. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed from impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to JMK3 Lands, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed before the cross-country personal flight. The flight originated from McKinney National Airport (TKI), McKinney, Texas, about 1145 with an intended destination of Macon County Airport (1A5), Franklin, North Carolina. 

According to the air traffic control (ATC) transcript and radar information, the airplane was at a cruise altitude of 17,500 ft mean sea level (msl) when the pilot requested, at 1217:22, an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to climb to 25,000 feet msl to do an "equipment test," but he did not specify what equipment needed to be tested. The pilot also provided the controller with the required information for a "pop up" IFR clearance. Radar data showed that, about 1229, the airplane climbed to 25,000 ft; at 1232:21, the pilot requested to descend back to 17,500 ft. Radar data showed that the airplane had started to descend before the controller could clear the pilot to descend to 19,000 ft. At 1233:03 and 1233:17, the controller asked the pilot "is everything alright"? The pilot responded that the airplane was "having a little bit of an equipment issue" and requested to cancel the IFR clearance. The controller cleared the pilot to descend and maintain 17,000 ft and queried if he needed any assistance. The pilot responded that he was "okay right now." At 1236:39, the pilot declared an emergency, and the ATC controller requested the pilot to state the nature of the emergency. The pilot's response was unintelligible. The controller attempted to contact the airplane but received no response from the pilot. The controller asked other airplanes that were operating in the area to try to contact the pilot, but no responses were received.

Radar data showed that the airplane had rapidly descended from 20,400 ft at 1236:01 to 3,100 ft at 1238:13. No further radar returns were recorded, and no distress calls from the airplane were heard by ATC or other aircraft operating in the area. The airplane impacted terrain about 1239.

According to a report provided by the Clark County, Arkansas, Sheriff's Department, an ATC controller contacted the sheriff's department about an airplane in distress. The controller indicated that, at the time of the airplane's last known coordinates, the airplane was 5.6 miles east of Gurdon, Arkansas. The airplane wreckage was located shortly afterward by the pilot of and spotters in an Arkansas State Police helicopter. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 250 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 36
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/16/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 450 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate issued on September 6, 2016, with an airplane single-engine land rating. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on June 1, 2016, with no limitations. The pilot's flight logbook was not available, but a family member estimated that he had about 250 hours of total flight experience and about 100 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane. Also, this family member stated that the pilot had recently bought a "full face" oxygen mask for the airplane and that he and the pilot-rated passenger had attended a high altitude/hypoxia training course about 3 weeks before the accident. 

FAA records also showed that the pilot-rated passenger held a private pilot certificate issued on April 30, 2013, with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on September 16, 2015, with no limitations. The pilot-rated passenger's flight logbook was not available, but a family member estimated that he had about 450 hours of total flight experience and about 10 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT MFG
Registration: N972JK
Model/Series: LC41 550FG 550FG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:  Normal
Serial Number: 41800
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/02/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 93 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 418 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-550-C
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane, serial number 41800, was manufactured in 2007. Cessna acquired the type certificate for the airplane model from Columbia in 2009, and the airplane is sometimes referred to as a Cessna Columbia 400. A Continental Motors TSIO550C engine was installed on the airplane, and a Hartzell three-blade propeller was installed on the engine. The engine's and propeller's most recent 100-hour inspections were completed on June 2, 2016. The airplane was also equipped with an anti-ice system and an oxygen system.

According to a family member, the pilot purchased the airplane in August 2016. Before the accident flight, the airplane had accumulated 418 hours of flight time. 

A review of the airplane's available maintenance records did not reveal any outstanding issues. According to the records, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 6, 2016, at an airplane total time of 325.5 hours. 

According to TKI fueling records, the airplane received 62 gallons of fuel at 1107 on the morning of the accident. TKI service records showed that the airplane had an oil change and oxygen system service that morning. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ADF, 181 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1156 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 190°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2400 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: McKinney, TX (TKI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR/IFR
Destination: Franklin, NC (1A5)
Type of Clearance: IFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1145 CST
Type of Airspace: Class E

A review of the weather information from of the accident indicated a layer of broken to overcast clouds over Texas into Arkansas. A review of the soundings and the local observation indicated favorable conditions for broken to overcast clouds between 2,000 and 6,000 ft.

Dexter B. Florence Memorial Airport, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, was the nearest weather reporting facility, located about 15 miles south of the accident site. The weather observation for 1256 indicated the following: wind from 360° at 7 knots; visibility 10 miles or more; ceiling broken at 2,400 ft above ground level (agl), overcast at 3,700 ft agl; temperature 3°C, dew point -2°C, altimeter 30.01 inches of mercury. Also, a review of the National Weather Service in-flight weather advisories near the accident site found none that were current for turbulence, icing, or instrument conditions below 24,000 ft. 

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: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.899444, 93.037222 (est) 

The airplane wreckage was found in swampy terrain that was densely vegetated with cypress trees. The wreckage was in a 4-ft-deep muddy, water-filled crater. Snowfall after the accident covered much of the wreckage. The cypress trees above the crater showed evidence of broken limbs at the top of the trees. The airplane was severely fragmented into small pieces, some of which were scattered beside the impact crater, and a postimpact fire had ensued. The wreckage evidence was consistent with a high-speed, nearly vertical, nose-down impact. The engine was extracted from the crater along with the propeller, which was attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. The propeller spinner was crushed by impact forces but did not exhibit twisting witness characteristics.

The airplane wreckage, engine, and propeller were recovered from the accident site and transported to a secure location for further examination by the NTSB, Cessna, and Continental Motors.

Airframe

The recovered airframe pieces were laid out to examine the flight controls. Due to the severe fragmentation, flight control continuity could only be established from the rudder surface to overload separations on the control cables leading to the cockpit. The aft elevator push-pull tube was found attached to the elevator torque tube, and the elevator surfaces were found separated from the torque tubes due to impact damage. The elevator trim tab was found in about a 16° tab down angle. One of the two speedbrake modules was deployed. The airframe fuel, environmental, anti-icing, and oxygen systems could not be examined due to the severe impact and postcrash fire damage. Cockpit gauges and instruments also could not be examined due to impact and postcrash fire damage.

Engine

The ignition harness was impact damaged. The engine could be manually rotated, and crankshaft/camshaft continuity was confirmed. All valves opened and closed normally. Thumb compression was achieved on all cylinders. Mud and water were expelled from each cylinder when the engine was manually rotated.

All six cylinders remained attached at their respective mounts. Cylinder No. 1 exhibited a large crack between the induction port and the intake rocker box cover. Cooling fins were impact damaged. The rocker box covers exhibited minor impact damage but remained attached to each cylinder.

The engine-driven fuel pump remained intact and attached to its mount on the rear of the engine. The fuel hose fittings were damaged from the impact and had separated from the fuel pump. The fuel pump drive coupling was found intact. The fuel pump operated smoothly when manually rotated, and a small amount of fuel was expelled. The fuel manifold, throttle body, and metering unit were intact. Fuel lines from the fuel manifold to individual fuel injectors were damaged from the impact, and the fuel injectors remained intact in each cylinder head.

The induction tube for cylinder No. 1 separated during the engine recovery, and the induction tubes for the Nos. 2 through 6 cylinders remained attached with varying impact damage. The right and left after-cooler assemblies were not recovered. The right forward induction tube assembly was impact damaged, and the left forward induction tube had separated. The upper deck pressure air manifold tubes were impact damaged. The top and bottom spark plugs were removed and inspected, and each spark plug was contaminated with mud from the swamp water and oil. A lighted borescope inspection was accomplished, and all valves were found to be intact and in place.

The oil cooler was attached, but the mounting base was damaged. The oil sump exhibited upward crushing damage due to impact forces. The oil pick-up tube and screen were impact damaged. The oil filter remained attached to its mount with the safety wire intact. The oil filter was removed and cut open, and the oil filter paper pleats showed no contamination.

The engine was transported to Continental Motors in Mobile, Alabama, for a teardown examination under the supervision of the NTSB and with Continental Motors personnel present. The teardown examination of the engine revealed no mechanical anomalies. For more information, see the engine teardown report in the docket for this accident.

The propeller and turbochargers were transported to Continental Motors for a teardown examination under the supervision of the NTSB and with Continental Motors and Hartzell Propeller personnel present.

The teardown of the propeller and its assembly revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have prevented or degraded normal propeller operation before impact. Preload plate impact marks indicated that the propeller was operating in the normal blade angle range at the time of impact. Blade bending and twisting were consistent with a low power setting and/or windmilling at a high airspeed at the time of impact.

The teardown of the turbochargers revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have prevented or degraded normal turbocharger operation before impact. The right turbocharger compressor housing was bent in a manner consistent with impact forces, and the impeller was impinging on the compressor wheel, preventing rotation. Contact/chatter/rub marks in the compressor housing were consistent with low-speed rotation before impact and a low power condition. All damage to both turbochargers was consistent with high impact forces.

For more information about the propeller and turbochargers, see the teardown report in the docket for this accident.

Medical And Pathological Information

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Medical Examiner Division, Little Rock, Arkansas, performed an autopsy of the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger. The cause of death for both the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger was multiple injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing of the pilot. No ethanol or carbon monoxide was detected. Amphetamines were detected in urine (6.97 µg/ml, µg/g) and blood specimens (0.42 µg/ml, µg/g). Amphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance available by prescription in various forms for the treatment of attention deficit disorders and narcolepsy. It is also a common drug of abuse; peak levels in abuse are typically above 0.04 ug/ml in blood and above 10 ug/ml in urine. However, amphetamine undergoes significant post mortem redistribution which may increase central levels (such as heart levels) by 3-8 times.

Toxicology tests were also performed on the pilot-rated passenger. No ethanol was detected. Carbon monoxide tests were not performed. Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (marijuana) was detected in liver (0.0827 µg/ml, µg/g) and brain specimens (0.0022 µg/ml, µg/g). Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (THC-COOH), the inactive metabolite of THC (the primary psychoactive component in marijuana) in liver and brain. However, no parent drug (THC) was identified in brain and the liver was unsuitable for further testing.


NTSB Identification: CEN17FA071
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 05, 2017 in Gurdon, AR
Aircraft: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT MFG LC41 550FG, registration: N972JK
Injuries: 2 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 January 5, 2017, about 1240 central standard time, a Columbia LC41-550FG single engine airplane, N972JK, registered to JMK3 Lands LLC, Charlotte, North Carolina, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in the vicinity of Gurdon, Arkansas. The private pilot and his pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The cross country personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area and an IFR clearance was in effect. The flight originated from the McKinney National Airport (TKI), McKinney, Texas about 1145 and was enroute to the Macon County Airport (1A5), Franklin, North Carolina. 

According to preliminary Air Traffic Control (ATC) and radar information, the airplane was cruising level at 17,500 feet MSL when the pilot requested an IFR clearance to climb to 25,000 feet MSL to test some equipment. About 1232, radar showed the airplane climb to 25,000 feet, and shortly afterward, the pilot requested to descend to 17, 500 feet and proceeded to descend. ATC cleared the pilot to descend to 19,000 feet and queried the pilot to ask if he was ok. The pilot responded that the airplane was experiencing equipment issues and requested to cancel his IFR clearance and descend to 17,500 feet. About 1235, ATC cleared the pilot to descend and maintain 17,000 feet and queried if he needed any assistance. The pilot responded that everything was ok. About 1236, the pilot declared an emergency and ATC requested the pilot to state the nature of the emergency. The pilot's response was garbled and not recognizable. As radar showed the airplane in a rapid descent, ATC attempted to contact the airplane without any success. Radar contact with the airplane was lost about 3,100 feet and no distress calls were heard by ATC or other aircraft in the area.

The wreckage of the airplane was located in a dense, tree-populated swamp. Evidence at the accident site showed that the airplane impacted the ground at high speed, almost 90-degrees nose down. The majority of the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire.

The airplane wreckage and the engine/propeller components were recovered from the accident site and transported to Dawson Aircraft, Clinton, Arkansas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Drugs of any kind and flying just don't mix y'all. Period.