Sunday, May 19, 2019

Piper PA-31T1 Cheyenne I, registered to and operated by T-210 Holdings LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight, N47GW: Fatal accident occurred July 13, 2017 near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (KTYR), Smith County, Texas

William "Bobby" Robert Walls III

Trevor Morris


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas, Texas
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 
Pratt & Whitney; Quebec

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/N47GW 



Location: Tyler, TX
Accident Number: CEN17FA266
Date & Time: 07/13/2017, 0810 CDT
Registration: N47GW
Aircraft: PIPER PA31T
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On July 13, 2017, about 0810 central daylight time, a Piper, PA-31T airplane, N47GW, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (TYR), Tyler, Texas. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by T-210 Holdings, LLC, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the airplane was on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The cross-country flight was originating at the time of the accident, and was en route to Midland Airpark (MDD), Midland, Texas.

The tower controller stated that, after the airplane was cleared for takeoff from runway 17, it appeared to have a shallower-than-normal climb. The controller then saw the airplane bank left, before descending and impacting terrain off airport property. 


William "Bobby" Robert Walls III
Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 62
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/17/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 17590 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land and instrument airplane. He held type ratings for Boeing 737 and Falcon 10 airplanes. He also held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on January 17, 2017, with the limitation that he, must wear corrective lenses. At the time of the medical exam, the pilot reported 17,590 total flight hours and 120 hours in the previous six months.

The operator reported that the pilot routinely flew to MDD, that he also flew a business jet, and that this was first solo flight since receiving a checkout in the accident airplane. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N47GW
Model/Series: PA31T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 31T-8104030
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/17/2017, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 5685.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: P&W CANADA
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-60A
Registered Owner: T-210 HOLDINGS LLC
Rated Power: 1127 hp
Operator: T-210 HOLDINGS LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The accident airplane was a Piper Cheyenne, PA-31T, which is a low-wing, twin-engine airplane, with retractable, conventional landing gear, powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT-6A turboprop engines and Hartzell full-feathering propellers.

The airplane was on a progressive maintenance inspection program. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed an "event one" inspection was completed on March 17, 2017. The left engine's power section was disassembled due to metal in the oil and was repaired under a work order , on March 2, 2017, at 5,698.9 hours total time. The right engine's power section was also found to have metal in the oil and was repaired on March 2, 2017, at 5,609.5 hours total time and 2,888.0 hours since overhaul.

The airplane was filled with 245 gallons of Jet-A fuel, before departure.



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Visual Conditions:  
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTYR
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 0753 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tyler, TX (KTYR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Midland Airpark, TX (KMDD)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

At 0753, the automated weather observation station (AWOS) located at TYR, recorded: wind from 120° at 4 knots, 10 miles visibility, a clear sky, temperature 79° F, dew point 74° F, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. 





Airport Information

Airport: Tyler-Pounds Regional (KTYR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 544 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4849 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

TYR) is a publicly owned, open to the public, tower-controlled airport, located 3 miles west of Tyler, Texas. TYR has three asphalt runways: Runway 17/35, is 4,849 ft by 150 ft. The airport is at an elevation of 544.1 ft. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.344167, -95.405833 

The on-site examination of the wreckage and ground scars revealed the airplane impacted the bank of a small pond about 1/2 mile from the end of runway 17. There was not a post-crash fire and fuel was present at the site. The airplane came to rest on its right side, on the edge of the pond; the front of the cabin displayed heavy impact damage. Both wings separated from the fuselage; the right wing was in the pond and just beyond the main wreckage, and the left wing was located under the main wreckage. The right engine separated from the nacelle and was located beside the right side of the wreckage; the four-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine. The left engine came to rest in front of the wreckage and its propeller was separated at the propeller shaft.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure facility, for further examination. by the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge and technical representatives from the engine and airframe manufacturers.

The left wing displayed substantial impact damage. The outboard 1/3 of the wing was impact-separated from the inboard portion. The aileron and outboard half of the flap were also impact-separated. The aileron control cable was secure to the bell crank and continuous to the wing root area. The balance cable was secure to the bell crank and continuous to the center fuselage area where it displayed an overload separation. The flap actuator showed about 1/2 thread, consistent with a retracted position.

The left main landing gear was retracted. The left fuel valve was found in the open position. The cross-feed valve was found in the off position.

The right wing was largely intact with both the aileron and flap in place. The aileron control cable was secure to the bellcrank and continuous to the wing root area where it had been cut for transport. The balance cable was secure to the bellcrank and continuous to the left side of the middle attach fitting, where it was overload separated.

The right main landing gear was retracted in the wheel well but not secured by the up-lock. The flap actuator displayed about 1/2 thread, consistent with a retracted position. The aileron trim drum inner shaft aft extension was about 1/2 thread, consistent with a tab position of full up about 15°.

The right fuel valve was found in the open position.

The horizontal stabilizer and elevator displayed substantial impact damage and were separated for transport. The elevator control cables were secure to the elevator bellcrank and continuous to the elevator sector in the cockpit. The elevator trim drum displayed 3 threads aft extension of the inner shaft consistent with a setting of about 3° degrees trailing edge down, (nose up), pitch trim.

The rudder was secure and free to move through full travel. The rudder cables had been cut for recovery transport forward of the rudder sector but were continuous to the forward cockpit. The rudder trim drum inner shaft forward extension had about 9.5 threads showing, consistent with a neutral setting.

The fuselage had substantial impact damage to the nose and cockpit areas. The engine control levers were found in the forward positions. The rudder trim was set at the neutral position. The landing gear lever was in the retracted position. The flap lever was in the full up (retracted) position. Both handles were broken from the pilot's control wheel.

The fuel controls were both in the "ON" position and the cross feed was in the "OFF" position and corresponded to the positions at the fuel valves.

No airframe anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation.

Left Engine

The left engine's four-bladed propeller shaft had fractured, separating the propeller from the engine. The blades exhibited twisting, polishing, and bend signatures.

The exhaust duct displayed compressional bending and was torn from impact with terrain. The left exhaust stack was impact separated from the exhaust duct. The gas generator case displayed compressional bending.

The engine was separated at the "C" flange to expose the hot section components. The downstream face of the compressor turbine disc and blades exhibited rotational scoring from contact with the power turbine vane. The upstream side of the compressor turbine blades displayed rotational scoring from contact with the compressor turbine vane. The power turbine vane and baffle exhibited rubs on the upstream side from contact with the compressor turbine disc. The downstream side of the vane and the baffle exhibited rotational scoring from contact with the power turbine disc. The power turbine disc and blades exhibited rotational scoring on the upstream and downstream sides from contact with the adjacent static components.

Several first stage compressor blades exhibited impact damage.

Right Engine

The right engine's four-bladed propeller remained attached to the propeller shaft. The blades exhibited varying degrees of bends.

The exhaust duct displayed compressional bending due to impact with the terrain. The left exhaust stack was bent and distorted. The gas generator case displayed compressional bending. The inlet case struts were all fractured.

The engine was separated at the "C" flange to expose the hot section components. The downstream face of the compressor turbine disc and blades exhibited rotational scoring from contact with its respective adjacent static components. The upstream face of the compressor turbine disc and blades were unremarkable. The power turbine vane and baffle exhibited rubbing on the upstream side from contact with compressor turbine disc. The downstream side vane and baffle exhibited static impact marks from contact with the power turbine disc and blades. The power turbine disc and blades exhibited impact marks on the upstream and downstream side from contact with the adjacent static components. Several blades were fractured and displaced forward in the disc fixings.

The accessory gearbox was manually rotated by hand, and mechanical continuity was established through the gears.

The wire bundles on the engines were in poor condition, with bare metal showing in some sections.

Several components were removed from the right engine and shipped to P&W Canada for testing under the observation and guidance of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The fuel control unit, the fuel pump, propeller governor, and over-speed governor were tested and disassembled.

Testing of the fuel pump indicated that the pump performance was satisfactory. Observations recorded during testing of the overspeed governor indicated that the speed pick-up voltage was below the test point minimum limit;. however, the tests on the components did not identify any abnormalities that would have explained a loss of engine power. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The office of The Forensic Medical of Texas, P.A., Tyler, Texas, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was determined to be "blunt impact injures."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. The specimens were not tested for cyanide and carbon monoxide. The test was positive for fexofenadine and azacyclonol.

Fexofenadine is a non-sedating antihistamine and is used to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, and is available as a prescription and over-the-counter medication. It is not considered impairing. Azacyclonol is a metabolite of fexofenadine.

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