Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Cessna 560 Citation V, N188CW: Fatal accident occurred December 20, 2018 near Fulton County Airport (KFTY), Atlanta, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

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


Location: Atlanta, GA

Accident Number: ERA19FA071
Date & Time: 12/20/2018, 1210 EST
Registration: N188CW
Aircraft: CESSNA 560
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 20, 2018, about 1210 eastern standard time, a Cessna C560, N188CW, was destroyed when it impacted a field after takeoff from Fulton County Airport-Brown Field (FTY), Atlanta, Georgia. The air transport pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Chen Aircrafts LLC. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and had an intended destination of Millington-Memphis Airport (NQA), Millington, Tennessee.

A review of preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that after departing from runway 8 at FTY, the airplane turned left toward the north climbing to about 3,225 ft msl (2,385 ft agl), then made a descending right 180-degree right turn to the south before radar contact was lost at an altitude of about 1,175 feet msl (335 ft agl).

A video obtained from a security camera positioned on top of a building, located about a half mile from the accident site, captured the airplane in a descending left turn prior to rolling inverted until it was lost from view behind a tree line.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an air transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land and a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and single-engine sea. The pilot was issued a second-class medical certificate on May 31, 2018 and reported 2,300 hours of total flight experience and 150 hours of flight experience in the previous 6 months.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1991, and was most-recently registered to a corporation in July 2017. It was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada, JT15D series engines, which could each produce 3,050 pounds of thrust.

The 1216 recorded weather observation at FTY, which was about 1 mile to the southwest of the accident location, included wind from 050° at 10 knots, visibility 7 miles, overcast clouds at 600 ft above ground level (agl), temperature 8° C, dew point 8° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.52 inches of mercury.

The airplane impacted a tree prior to impacting the field about 50 feet beyond the initial tree strike. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the wreckage. The debris path was about 325 ft long and was located on a 142° heading.

The airplane was highly fragmented and dispersed along the debris path. The main wing spar was separated from the airframe and came to rest about 200 ft from the initial ground impact point. The empennage was impact-separated and located about 275 ft from the initial impact crater. Both engines were impact-separated from the airplane. The cockpit, cabin, and wings were highly fragmented.

A cockpit voice recorder and an enhanced ground proximity warning system were located along the debris path and retained for data download.

The airplane was moved to a secure facility and retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N188CW
Model/Series: 560 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Chen Aircrafts Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FTY, 840 ft msl
Observation Time: 1716 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 600 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.52 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Atlanta, GA (FTY)
Destination: Millington, TN (NQA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.790556, -84.495000

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

The leadership team of Sunshine Enterprise prior to December 20th, 2018 plane crash in which four members died. From left are Mike McAnnally, who was not on the flight, and victims Danielle Mitchell, Wei Chen, Bruce Pelynio and John Chen. 

Lower Burrell native Bruce Pelynio died in a private plane crash Thursday shortly after takeoff from Atlanta-Fulton County Airport in Atlanta, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Pelynio, a 1971 Burrell High School graduate, was one of four killed in a single-engine plane crash that is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

All were employees of Sunshine Enterprise Inc., a Memphis-based wholesaler and distributor of construction and industrial equipment. They were flying from Atlanta to Memphis, according to Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

Three of the deceased, including Pelynio, were top executives of Sunshine Enterprise, which included the company founder and CEO Wei Chen of Memphis, who owned and piloted the plane Thursday.

Pelynio, 65, of Memphis, Tenn., is survived by his wife, Laurie Lawler Pelynio, and twin daughters, Shannon Pelynio of Memphis and Kelsey Pelynio Stiles of Windham, Maine. He has a sister, Dr. Jan K. Richardson, who lives in Durham, N.C.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Delores and Stephen Pelynio of Lower Burrell.

Burrell High School alumni passed on their condolences on their Facebook page, “Burrell High School — Class of 1971.”

Michael Lukas wrote, “Sorry to hear about Bruce…enjoyed the good time with him at Penn State and Burrell..Prayers sent..deepest sympathies Pam.”

Pelynio was president and CEO of Heli Americas, a Memphis-based company and Sunshine Enterprise equity partner he founded in 2007, specializing in material handling products.

Pelynio worked in the material handling industry for 42 years, according to Heli Americas’ website.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1975, according to a Penn State alumni website.

“Bruce loved life and was at his best when he was with people,” family said in an obituary posted by Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery in Memphis.

Pelynio was a car enthusiast and drove an Aston Martin. He was an active member in the British Car Club and a lifelong Nittany Lions fan, according to the Memphis funeral home.

In 2009, when Pelynio’s father was still alive, he arranged for his father to fly on a World War II airplane, a B-17, during the plane’s four-day visit at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

Stephen Pelynio, a World War II pilot, said in an Aug. 14, 2009, Valley News Dispatch article that his son’s surprise gift of the plane ride in the cockpit was “the greatest gift I could receive.”

Details of arrangements were not available. The Memphis funeral home suggested that donations in Pelynio’s honor should go to the Salvation Army and Tunnel2Towers.org. 

Original article can be found here ➤ https://triblive.com

ATLANTA - Residents are still in shock after witnessing a small plane come straight down Thursday and crash into a northwest Atlanta park.

Wreckage from the deadly plane crash was hauled away Friday as family members tried to cope with what happened. 

One of the victims, Danielle Mitchell, was engaged to be married and was getting ready for the holidays.

Channel 2's Tom Jones spoke with members of Mitchell’s family, who has been understandably upset.

The family visited the crash site Friday to try and process the tragedy. Channel 2 Action News confirmed the woman was with her boss, successful businessman and world-renowned pilot, Wei Chen, on his corporate plane.

Mitchell had hoped to head home to Memphis, Tennessee, then come back to Atlanta for the holidays. But now that won't happen.

"I spoke to her a few days ago. She was going to be coming to Atlanta," Mitchell's uncle, David Mitchell Jr., said.

David Mitchell Jr. said his 32-year-old niece was looking forward to hanging out with family in Atlanta for Christmas.

Mitchell was one of four people who died when the Cessna 560 Citation V plane crashed into a football field at English Park Thursday around noon.

The aircraft had just taken off from Charlie Brown Field and was headed to Memphis where Mitchell and Chen were both from.

Channel 2 Action News learned Chen had previously set a record by being the first Chinese citizen to fly a single-engine plane around the world.

"We have found a cockpit voice recorder and it's going to be taken back to D.C.," said Heidi Kemner, with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Jones was at the scene as the NTSB began its investigation into what went wrong.

Crews spent the day picking up plane parts to take to Washington, D.C., for examination.

The agency said it will leave no stone unturned in working to figure out what happened.

"Throughout the investigation process, we will look into the man, the machine and the environment," Kemner said.

Mitchell's family said she was one of a kind.

"She was a great person. University of Alabama graduate," cousin Trevor Berry said.

Her family said she loved her three children and was engaged to be married in March.

"She will be missed by her family," David Mitchell Jr. said.

The NTSB said it should have a preliminary report on what happened in about 10 days.

Mitchell's family said she had been traveling in the plane on corporate business.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsbtv.com

A day after a small private plane came down in northwest Atlanta, investigators were back at the scene, combing through wreckage. Initial findings into the crash that killed all four aboard a Cessna 560 are expected in 10 days, but a complete report could take 18 months.

“We will look into the man, the machine and the environment,” National Transportation Safety Board investigator Heidi Kemner said during a Friday briefing.

The aircraft crashed about 12:10 p.m. Thursday in English Park, near I-285 at Bolton Road, shortly after taking off from nearby Fulton County Airport.

Victims included Wei Chen, founder and CEO of Memphis-based Sunshine Enterprise, and accountant Danielle Mitchell. A 32-year-old mother of three, she was to be married in March. She lived in Memphis but had relatives in Atlanta, two of whom came to Friday’s briefing.

“She was a brilliant, smart person,” said her uncle, David Mitchell Jr. “She loved her kids and will be missed by her family.”

Officials hadn’t identified the two other victims as of Friday evening.

Kemner would not discuss details about the investigation or about the victims, only saying the flight was headed to Millington, Tenn., just north of Memphis. She said the plane would be taken to another site to be reassembled.

Chen, survived by his wife and three children, was an avid flier who became the first Chinese citizen to fly a single-engine airplane around the world. News of his death sent shockwaves through Memphis’ business community, where Chen had been a fixture for decades.

“He came over with nothing in his pocket,” his longtime friend and former publicist Tricia Montgomery told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Chen came to Memphis in the late 1990s, from Changsha City, in China’s Hunan Province, where he was born in 1971. He’d come to Tennessee to attend the University of Memphis where he graduated with a business degree in 1998.

“When I came to Memphis, I didn’t speak much English, I didn’t have any money and I didn’t know anyone,” Chen told The Commercial Appeal in 2011. “In the first week, I met my best friend and my future wife-to-be. Then I started my business. Memphis can offer opportunity, if you work hard.”

His business focused on the distribution and wholesale of Chinese manufactured construction equipment. Chen’s rise landed him on Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 in 2008. For the last several years he was a board member of “Memphis in May,” the city’s annual celebration promoting tourism and international trade.

“He worked so hard, he worked his way up and was just a blessing to everybody,” said Leigh Shockey, CEO of Drexel Chemical in Memphis. “He has been really instrumental in bringing awareness to the community about international trade.”

Flying was his passion, and his fascination with planes propelled him to pursue a pilot’s license in 2007. With just 250 hours of flying time under his belt, Chen announced he wanted to fly a single-engine plane around the world.

Montgomery was his publicist for the 69-day journey in 2011 and recalled Chen’s joy at landing at the airport to throngs of well-wishers and dignitaries. His trip was documented by Chinese state television.

“And the thing is, he did (the trip) to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research,” Montgomery said.

Chen later wrote a book about the experience. Its title: “Around the World in 69 Days: What Would You Attempt To Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.ajc.com

Wei Chen

A woman who maintains that she’s the first Asian person of her gender to fly a single-engine plane around the world and was wrongfully denied a promised award by a man who later died in a plane crash is thinking about pursuing her legal case against his estate, her lawyers told a judge Tuesday.

Zheng (Julie) Wang sued Wei Chen in March 2018, alleging he reneged on a 2014 promise of a six-figure award to the initial Chinese female to accomplish the task.

Chen was on board a small plane headed to Memphis when it crashed in a northwest Atlanta park, killing him and everyone else on board on December 20th. A well-known Memphis businessman, he founded Sunshine Enterprises, which focuses on the wholesale distribution of Chinese construction and industrial equipment, in 1998.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin said Tuesday morning that he will defer ruling on a defense request for dismissal of Wang’s lawsuit on grounds it should have been brought in China. He previously issued a final decision denying the motion on November 7th, but left open the possibility that he could grant Chen’s motion if the defendant agreed to take specific legal steps. His attorneys state in their court papers that he complied before his death.

Landin said he wants to know if any of the members of Chen’s estate have contacts in California. He scheduled another case management conference for April 23rd.

Wang is seeking triple and punitive damages, including the $163,000 prize money, on allegations of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. The promoter that helped prepare her financially for the flight, China General Aviation LLC, also is named as a plaintiff.

Chen, 47, had a net worth of more than $30 million, according to the plaintiff’s court papers.

Attorney Samantha Gavin, of behalf of Chen, previously argued that the money at issue is in a Chinese bank and that none of the witnesses are from this state.

Plaintiff’s attorney Keith Wesley countered that both Chen and Wang are Americans. He said Chen wanted to move the case in order to make it so difficult for Wang to move forward with her case that she may have to consider dropping it.

According to Wang’s complaint, Chen announced in September 2014 at the International Aircraft Owner and Pilot Association in Beijing that he was willing to pay the prize — which amounts to a million Chinese yuan — to the “first Chinese woman to complete an around-the-world flight.”

Wang, then 43, embarked on her flight from Addison Airport near Dallas on August 17th, 2016, and successfully returned from the global trip at the same airport on September 19th, 2016, according to her lawsuit.

Wang says she became not only the first Asian woman to accomplish such a task, but also the first person of Chinese descent to do so by herself and the eighth woman of any ethnicity to fly around the world solo.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://mynewsla.com


  1. eerily reminiscent of the Citation crash in Cleveland about a year ago where as in this crash you have a single pilot, high performance aircraft, instrument conditions and an immediate turn after lift of more than 90 degrees. All things that demand a pilot be on top of his game.

  2. First, I agree. However, don’t jump to quick on this one. I know several pilots that know him personally and have flown with him. He had his ATP and flew like a pro. Can’t argue that a crew is always ‘safer’, but things happen that even a crew can’t handle. Let’s see what comes from the flight instrument and voice recorders and investigation.

  3. The level of pilot experience in these two circumstances are very different. The BKL crash had a relatively inexperienced pilot with very low time in type. He more than likely had a high reliance on the auto pilot and when he failed to get it engaged after departure lost control of the aircraft. Way to early to guess what happened in this accident.

  4. A single pilot exemption 8988 was completed at FS in Nov of 2018. A very short time before the incident. I have significant time in the 550/560 series and can tell you that the airplane can sneak up on you in a single pilot operation. Also it’s quiet possible that having flown in to FTY in a different make of airplane then hoping in the cockpit of another make and model can be confusing especially punching into IMC quickly with a quick turn. The ADS-B data shows a 5000 plus fpm descent in a turn as well. Very shortly after ATC issued a second instruction of a turn to 310 after takeoff. ATC issued the turn on the initial clearance and expected it. Tower also issued the instruction to turn to 310 just before instructing the pilot to contact ATL departure. A quick unintelligible radio trans was made not sure if it was the pilot or ATC. No mayday call was on tower or 121.0 ATL center of the recordings that I pulled on ATC.net. Prayers to the families of all involved.

  5. It's going to be interesting to see the outcome of this investigation and the *Cessna 525A CJ2 that crashed in a similar manner November 30, 2018 in Indiana. Man, machine or environment?

    * http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2018/11/cessna-525-citationjet-n525eg-fatal.html

  6. I doubt that someone was flying a "drone" in IMC conditions.

  7. The BKL crash had a relatively inexperienced pilot with very low time in type. He more than likely had a high reliance on the auto pilot and when he failed to get it engaged after departure lost control of the aircraft. J.F.K. Seemed to be somewhat like this pilot under a curtain of darkness,,,

  8. "Possible drone strike?"

    My guess is the chance of that is only slightly greater than a stray asteroid ... Probably going to be a much more complex cause. Let the NTSB do their job.

    RIP to all on board.

  9. what did this plane have for an attitude indicator?

  10. At first I thought the pilot of this aircraft was a very experienced pilot. After all I believe this pilot was the first Chinese pilot to fly a single engine turbo prop around the world. I was later told this pilot really had some problems. Some time ago this pilot had an accident. Don't know the kind of plane he was flying. The plane was totaled. Several instructors who had flown with him would not fly with him because he would not do what he was told. In this plane he would always engage the autopilot almost immediately after take-off.

  11. A number of my Asian coworkers in the medical field have often referred to this as "Asian Man Syndrome": Very macho attitude and no one can tell them what to do, as described above with CFIs that refused to fly with him. Luckily, with a $30 million net worth, the other victims will get some monetary satisfaction, at least.

  12. To FlyGirl's point...the pilot tragically killed his executive team with his own arrogance. Nice fellow, very smart, and worked hard. Impossible to help the guy, though, he never made mistakes at least in his mind. Had more plane than he could handle. Not exactly a good set of facts for a pilot, much less one flying a company plane with your key employees.