Saturday, February 9, 2019

Convair C-131B Samaritan, registered to and operated by Conquest Air Inc as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 cargo flight, N145GT: Fatal accident occurred February 08, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Mirimar, Florida

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


Location:  AO
Accident Number: ERA19LA096
Date & Time: 02/08/2019, 1216 EST
Registration: N145GT
Aircraft: Convair C131
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled 

On February 8, 2019, at 1216 eastern standard time, a General Dynamics Convair 131B, N145GT, was destroyed when it ditched in the Atlantic Ocean about 32 miles east of the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami, Florida. The captain was fatally injured, and the first officer was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Conquest Air Inc, Miami Lakes, Florida, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 cargo flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed the Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas, at 1113.

The flight originated earlier that day from OPF. The first officer stated that the preflight inspection, engine start, taxi, and engine run-up were normal, and they departed with about 900 gallons of fuel onboard. The flight to Nassau was normal until he had to adjust the left engine propeller control to adjust speed for cruise flight. When the first officer manipulated the control, there was no movement on the gauge and the power was stuck at 2,400 RPM. He tried to re-set the propeller control circuit breaker, but to no avail. The captain equalized power on both engines and the flight was uneventful to Nassau. Once on the ground, the captain asked the first officer to send a text message to maintenance control, but the message never transmitted. The captain told the first officer not worry about it and if they were unable to re-set the propeller control on the ground during the engine run-up then they would shut down and call maintenance.

The first officer said that before they began the accident flight, the engines started normally and both propellers were cycled. The left propeller control had re-set itself and they departed for OPF. The first officer said he was flying the airplane, and everything was normal until climbing through 4,000 ft when the left engine propeller control stopped working and the power was stuck at 2,400 RPM. The captain tried to adjust the control and bumped the power up to 2,700 RPM. The captain took control of the airplane and tried to stabilize the power on both engines. He leveled off at 4,500 ft, cancelled their instrument flight rules flight plan, and flew via visual flight rules direct to OPF.

The flight was normal until they began their descent down to 1,500 ft. The first officer could not remember the altitude, but the right engine suddenly backfired and began to surge. They used the checklist to feather the propeller and shut down the engine. The co-pilot said that shortly after, between 10 seconds and two minutes, the left engine backfired and began to surge. As the captain flew the airplane, the co-pilot attempted to handle the emergency. Once he realized they were too low and were going to ditch, he asked the captain what he wanted to do. The captain told him to declare a May Day and brace for impact. The first officer said the impact with the water was violent and the tail had separated from the empennage. The fuselage was filling up rapidly with water. He unbuckled his seat belt/shoulder harness, grabbed the life raft and exited the airplane.

The captain held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The operator reported he had a total of 23,000 flight hours, of which, 725 hours were in the accident airplane. The captain's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on January 22, 2019. He also had type ratings for B-727, B737, CV240, CV340, CV440, and LR-Jet.

The first officer held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The operator reported he had a total of 650 flight hours, of which, 305 hours were in the accident airplane. The first officer's last FAA first-class medical was issued on August 25, 2018. He held type ratings in the CV240, CV340, and CV440 (second-in-command only).

Weather at OPF at 1253 was reported as wind from 040° at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 3,600 ft, broken clouds at 5,000 ft, temperature 26°C, dewpoint 17°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Convair
Registration: N145GT
Model/Series: C131 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Conquest Air Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: Q0UA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OPF, 6 ft msl
Observation Time: 1253 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 40°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Nassau (NAS)
Destination: Miami, FL (OPF) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 25.000000, -79.000000 (est)

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. 
 
MIAMI - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday for a cargo pilot whose plane crashed Friday off the coast of Bay Harbor Islands.

The 1955 Convair C-131B cargo plane was traveling from the Bahamas to Opa-locka when it crashed about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Islands just after noon Friday.

The Coast Guard said the search for the pilot, 68-year-old Capt. Robert Hopkins of Coconut Creek, encompassed 364 nautical miles and lasted about 21 hours.

The crew of a Coast Guard plane, already in the air on a training mission, spotted the plane's co-pilot, 28-year-old Rolland Silva, on Friday floating on a life raft. 

A Coast Guard helicopter pulled Silva from the water and he was eventually taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. Relatives said he was conscious and doctors were treating his injuries. He was listed in stable condition.

Hopkins' fiancee, Michele Gure, said he texted with Hopkins regularly and knew late Friday afternoon that something wasn't right when he stopped responding.

“Everybody loved him, everybody can count on him, I anything happened to you or your family he was the one that would be called, he’s loved by so many which is so obvious,” Gure said. “I love him so much. I don’t want to lose him. He wasn’t supposed to leave.”

A representative of Miami Lakes-based Conquest Air Cargo released a statement saying the pilot declared an emergency and attempted to a water landing during during a return from a cargo delivery. The company provides daily flights between Opa-locka and Lynden Pindling International Airport in the Bahamas.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of Capt. Robert Hopkins at this difficult time. This is a tremendous loss for our company. Capt. Hopkins' selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all," the company said Saturday.

It appeared the aircraft broke up after it hit the water. Investigators determined the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Gure said she is trying to come to terms with Hopkins' death.

“It just sickens me right now. It’s just surreal. It’s crazy,” she said.

Story and video ➤ https://www.local10.com


Capt. Robert Hopkins

HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Florida - A wing from a cargo plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean last week off the South Florida coast washed ashore Monday morning on Hutchinson Island.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the wing is from the Conquest Air Cargo plane that crashed into the water Friday about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Islands.

Robert Hopkins, 68, of Coconut Creek, was piloting the plane from the Bahamas to Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport when it crashed. A representative for Conquest Air Cargo released a statement saying the pilot declared an emergency and attempted a water landing.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued the co-pilot, Rolland Silva, 28, but Hopkins was never found. The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday.

Silva was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center to be treated for his injuries. He was listed in stable condition.

Story and video ➤https://www.local10.com



MIAMI - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday for a cargo pilot whose plane crashed Friday off the coast of Bay Harbor Island.

The 1955 Convair C-131B cargo plane was traveling from the Bahamas to Opa-locka when it crashed about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Islands just after noon Friday.

The Coast Guard said the search for the pilot, 68-year-old Capt. Robert Hopkins, encompassed 364 nautical miles and lasted about 21 hours.

The crew of a Coast Guard plane, already in the air on a training mission, spotted the plane's co-pilot, 28-year-old Rolland Silva, on Friday floating on a life raft. 

A Coast Guard helicopter pulled Silva from the water and he was eventually taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. Relatives said he was conscious and doctors were treating his injuries. He was listed in stable condition.

A representative of Miami Lakes-based Conquest Air Cargo released a statement saying the pilot declared an emergency and attempted to a water landing during during a return from a cargo delivery. The company provides daily flights between Opa-locka and Lynden Pindling International Airport in the Bahamas.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of Capt. Robert Hopkins at this difficult time. This is a tremendous loss for our company. Capt. Hopkins' selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all," the company said Saturday.

It appeared the aircraft broke up after it hit the water. Investigators determined the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Story and video ➤ https://www.local10.com




OPA-LOCKA, Florida  - The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a co-pilot and continued searching for a pilot on Saturday, hours after a Convair C-131B Samaritan plane traveling from the Bahamas to Opa-locka crashed about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Islands.

The survivor, 28-year-old Rolland Silva, was in luck on Friday. The U.S. Coast Guard already had a helicopter up in the air. The Coast Guard pilot, who was conducting training exercises, rushed to the area and found Silva waving his arms from a small, canary-yellow inflatable lifeboat.

Silva, the flight's first officer, was injured, but not badly enough that he wasn't able to climb into the hanging basket the crew used to hoist him out of the water and into the helicopter. He didn't know where the pilot was. 

"We have another chopper out there searching," Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma said less than four hours after the crash. "We are looking for another survivor."

The Coast Guard helicopter flew Silva to the station in Opa-locka, where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue picked him up and flew him to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. Relatives said he was conscious, and although doctors were treating his injuries, he was in stable condition. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Conquest Air Cargo flight 504 departed from the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, and it was headed to Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport when it hit the sea about 12:15 p.m.

A representative of Miami Lakes-based Conquest Air Cargo released a statement saying the pilot declared an emergency and attempted to water land the Convair C-131B cargo plane during a return from a cargo delivery. The company provides daily flights between Opa-locka and Lynden Pindling International Airport in the Bahamas.

The plane's FAA registration history shows Conquest Air Inc. registered the Convair C-131B Samaritan with two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines on April 26, 2018, after buying it from Kestrel Inc., of West Des Moines, Iowa.

FlightAware records show the plane with registration N145GT departed about 43 minutes late at 11:13 a.m., and was set to land at 12:24 p.m. According to the AirNav Radar Box records, the cargo plane started to lose altitude at about 4,600 feet and some 10 minutes later -- at 1,200 feet -- it ditched into the ocean.

It appeared the aircraft broke up after it hit the water during an attempted water landing. Investigators determined the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. One of the two occupants vanished. 


Story and video ➤ https://www.local10.com

OPA-LOCKA, Florida (WSVN) - The Coast Guard has rescued one person and crews are searching for a second one after a small cargo plane crashed in the water about 15 miles off the Haulover Inlet.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Convair C-131B Samaritan aircraft landed in the water about 20 miles southeast of Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, around 12:15 p.m. on Friday.

“It appears it broke up when it hit the water, and parts of it sank,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Gabe Somma.

7Skyforce HD hovered above one of the occupants in a raft near the wreckage of the plane as he waited to be rescued.

Officials said a Coast Guard crew was just nine miles away when the call for help came in.

“The pilots on scene were out on a training mission, happened to be in the area at the right time,” said Somma. “When they got on scene, they observed one survivor in the water waving their arms.”

A Coast Guard helicopter arrived on the scene and hoisted the man in the raft, who was able to climb into the basket on his own.

Once he was safely lifted to the helicopter, he was flown to OPF. Still inside the basket, the man was removed from the aircraft.

The man appeared to have cuts on his forehead and chin. Rescuers placed bandages around his head before he was loaded into another chopper.

“[Crews] coordinated with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to get that survivor over to Jackson Trauma,” said Somma.

Officials have not specified the extent of his injuries.

The plane had departed from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas and was headed to OPF.

Conquest Air released a statement that read in part, “The aircraft was returning from a cargo delivery from Nassau, Bahamas. Our concern is with our flight crew, and we will continue to coordinate with the relevant authorities.”

Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard officials said there were two people reported on board the plane. The Coast Guard later launched a second chopper to assist in the search for the missing crew member.

“Obviously, time’s critical. That’s why the first aircraft was able to get out there. They’re already up flying,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Nathan White.

“When there’s a search-and-rescue case going on, a lot of heads down, pilots and air crews are focused on trying to find a survivor,” said Somma. “Someone’s life is in danger, and we’re looking to find that survivor. It’s difficult to find a person in the water. Essentially, you’re looking for a human head and maybe some arms waving outside of the water, so you’re looking for a basketball floating on the ocean.”

Miami-Dade Air Rescue crews responded to the scene with a diver to assist in the search.

“We’ll continue searching. We do have good conditions, good daylight hours left behind here, and we’re going to throw everything we’ve got at this,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Joseph Messina.

Authorities have not released the names of the occupants who were on board the cargo plane.

Story and video ➤ https://wsvn.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad crash but I'm surprised that an aircraft this old and using radial engines is still being operated routinely by an air cargo operation. It should be in a museum.

Anonymous said...

^^Not at all. There are plenty of radial powered 1940's era cargo freighters flying not just in the US but around the world, from DC-3s to DC-7s and various Convair aircraft. They are inexpensive to buy, relatively cheap to maintain due to their simplistic ruggedness and availability of spare parts and engines, and probably most important to the cargo carrier, have a great pound per mile cost. If they are still in flying condition, FLY THEM!

Anonymous said...

A visit to the Miami area and you can witness many of these old birds still earning their keep.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they might have gone through the petroleum faster than planned due to the inability to match the engines

RIP Captain

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they might have gone through the petroleum faster than planned due to the inability to match the engines

RIP Captain