Monday, August 26, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Beech A36TC Bonanza, N60WB; fatal accident occurred July 26, 2017 near Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD), Weber County, Utah

Diana and Layne Clarke

Perry and Sarah Huffaker

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Hartzell Propellers; Piqua, Ohio

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/N60WB

Location: Ogden, UT
Accident Number: WPR17FA166
Date & Time: 07/26/2017, 1240 MDT
Registration: N60WB
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 26, 2017, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Beech A36TC airplane, N60WB, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD), Ogden, Utah. The private pilot, and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Peak 2 Peak, LLC, and was being operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported in the area about the time of the accident. A flight plan was not filed for the flight, which was destined for Yellowstone Airport (WYS), West Yellowstone, Montana.

According to the tower controller at OGD, the accident pilot contacted the tower and requested a northwest departure from runway 17. The controller instructed the pilot to enter the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern after departure due to a possible conflict with an inbound helicopter. The controller cleared the airplane for takeoff and it subsequently departed runway 17. When the airplane was about 1/4 mile from the departure end of the runway, the controller cleared the pilot to turn right to the northwest. Less than 1 minute later, the pilot stated, "Hey, I'm going down, zero-whiskey-bravo." The controller cleared the pilot to land, then watched the airplane as it descended and impacted terrain about 1/2 mile from the departure end of runway 17. Another pilot in the area reported seeing the airplane impact the highway.

Two mechanics at OGD heard the accident airplane take off. They stated that the sound was unusual, which made them look up to see what it was. When the airplane first came into view, they stated that it was about 100 ft above the ground and that it should have been about 500 ft or higher at that location, which was about 3,700 ft down runway 17. As the airplane passed by, they noticed that the engine sounded underpowered and that the tail of the airplane was moving up and down as if the pilot was struggling to keep the airplane airborne.

Dashcam video from a car on a southwest-bound street captured the accident airplane in flight. The airplane was first seen flying in a wings-level attitude from the right side of the video frame. As it approached the center of the video frame, it entered a right turn and flew away, paralleling the street. Shortly thereafter, the airplane entered a steep, right, descending turn until out of view. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): 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:Yes 
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/22/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  396.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 169 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot, age 48, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane rating. His most recent FAA third-class airman medical certificate was issued on October 22, 2015, with no limitations. The pilot reported no flight experience on the medical application. The pilot's logbook revealed a total of 396 hours of flight experience, which included 196 hours in the accident airplane. In the last 6 months, he had about 28 hours of flight experience, of which about 26 were in the accident airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N60WB
Model/Series: A36TC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: EA-173
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats:6 
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/16/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3651 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3612 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520NBcUB
Registered Owner: PEAK 2 PEAK LLC
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane was manufactured in 1981 and was equipped with a Continental TSIO-520-NBcUB series engine. The pilot purchased the airplane in May 2014.

A review of maintenance records indicated that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on May 16, 2017, at a tachometer and airframe total time of 3,612.5 hours.

The engine logbook indicated that the engine was overhauled in February 2009. The most recent engine logbook entry was dated May 16, 2016, which indicated that the engine had accrued 493.18 hours since overhaul.

The airplane was equipped with a three-bladed Hartzell PHC-C3YF-1RF propeller. The propeller was installed in February 2005, and the governor was overhauled in February 2009.

Fueling records obtained from OGD revealed that the airplane was serviced with 23.3 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel the morning of the accident flight.

The airplane's co-owner stated that he and the accident pilot bought the airplane 3 years before the accident and that they had no problems with it other than some minor avionics issues. They always refueled with the main fuel tanks to the tabs (60 gallons total, 54 gallons useable) and the wing tip tanks half full (20 gallons total). His reason for the half full tip tanks was to keep the tanks wet, and for managing aircraft weight. He further stated that they had flown the airplane four to six times since the last annual inspection.

The co-owner further reported that their customary procedure was to lean the mixture by four turns of the knob during taxi. During engine runup, they would lean further, and for takeoff, they would adjust the mixture to the full rich position. They always performed takeoffs with the wing flaps retracted. He added that he and the accident pilot sometimes flew together and, during takeoff from runway 17 at OGD, they would use the intersection with runway 3/21 as a visual cue for aborting the takeoff, if the takeoff roll was too long.

Airplane Weight and Balance

The most recent weight and balance record for the airplane was dated April 10, 2015, and indicated that the airplane's maximum gross weight was 3,650 lbs. The airplane was equipped with a wing tip tank supplemental type certificate (STC), which increased the maximum gross weight to 3,833 lbs.

Despite postimpact fire damage, there was no evidence of any large suitcases, bags or cargo items in the airplane at the time of the accident. Based on the weights of the pilot, passengers, and fuel, and allowing for 40 lbs of baggage, the calculated gross weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was about 3,853 lbs. The actual loading of the airplane at the time of the accident, including baggage weight and location and position of the rear passengers, could not be accurately determined. When the weight data was added to a center of gravity moment worksheet, the airplane's center of gravity was outside the worksheet's envelope.

Airplane Takeoff Performance

Takeoff performance distance data for the airplane were presented in graph form in the pilot's operating handbook (POH). The performance chart values were predicated on the following conditions:

- Gross weight: 3,650 lbs
- Power: "Take-off Power Set Before Brake Release"
- Flaps: 0ยบ
- Landing gear retracted after lift-off
- Runway: paved, level, dry surface
- Takeoff speeds: lift off, 74 kts; 50 ft height, 80 kts

POH-derived takeoff distances calculated using the ambient conditions, level runway, 3,650 lb weight, and no wind component were a ground roll distance of 1,900 ft and a distance to clear a 50-ft obstacle of 3,100 ft.

The tip tank STC specified increasing the 3,650-lb takeoff distance values by 11%, which resulted in a ground roll distance of 2,190 ft and distance to clear a 50-ft obstacle of 3,441 ft.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOGD, 4439 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 16°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ogden, UT (OGD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: W. YELLOWSTONE, MT (WYS)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1235 MDT
Type of Airspace:

The 1153 weather observation at OGD included calm wind, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 25°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.22 inches of mercury. At 1253, wind was from 270° at 5 knots with 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 26°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches of mercury. The density altitude about the time of the accident was about 5,514 ft.

Airport Information

Airport: OGDEN-HINCKLEY (OGD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4472 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5195 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

OGD was equipped with two paved runways, designated 3/21 and 17/35. Runway 17/35 measured 5,195 ft long by 100 ft wide. The airport elevation was 4,472 ft above mean sea level.

Runway 17 had a constant uphill slope of 0.04%. The threshold of runway 17 was at an elevation of about 4,436 ft, and the departure end was at an elevation of about 4,457 ft.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.174722, -112.018889 

The initial impact point was located on the ground near the outer edge of the northbound side of the freeway about 1 mile south of the departure end of runway 17. The airplane came to rest in the median along the center guardrail. The debris field was about 150 ft long with debris in both north- and southbound lanes. (See Figure 1). The main wreckage remained intact and displayed extensive postcrash fire damage. The wing tip tanks and the leading edges of the wings were crushed, consistent with vertical impact damage. All flight controls were accounted for and flight control continuity was confirmed. The propeller assembly separated from the engine during the accident sequence and was subsequently relocated about 200 ft from the debris field after being struck by a passing tractor-trailer. No other vehicles were involved in the accident sequence.


Figure 1-Aerial View of the Accident Site

Airframe

The wreckage was relocated to a hangar at OGD for further examination. The rudder and elevator trim tab actuator measurements were unreliable due to impact damage. The left flap actuator indicated about 2° of extension, and the right flap actuator position could not be determined. The fuel system was compromised due to impact and thermal damage. The fuel selector valve was found in the right main tank position. The fuel strainer was disassembled and was free of debris. The tip tanks displayed hydraulic deformation consistent with fuel being present in the tank during impact. No fuel was found during the examination. The landing gear was found in the retracted position. All cabin seats separated from their attach points and were loose in the wreckage.

Engine

The engine was shipped to the Continental Motors facility in Mobile, Alabama, for a teardown examination. The examination did not reveal any preaccident anomalies with any of the internal engine components. Disassembly of the fuel pump did not reveal any preaccident anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The fuel pump drive coupling was fractured consistent with impact damage. The propeller governor separated from the engine during the impact sequence and exhibited impact and thermal damage. The internal gears separated from the housing and were undamaged. The propeller governor was disassembled, and the internal flyweights remained intact and capable of normal movement. The turbocharger separated from the engine and exhibited impact and thermal damage. The turbocharger driveshaft was seized and could only be rotated slightly with the use of a wrench. The turbocharger was partially disassembled, and the internal surfaces of the scrolls were not visibly damaged. The turbocharger controller, wastegate, and overboost valve displayed thermal and impact damage. The turbocharger was shipped to Hartzell Engine Technologies, Montgomery, Alabama, for further examination. The examination revealed no anomalies.

Propeller

The propeller assembly did not exhibit any evidence of mechanical malfunctions or anomalies. All damage was consistent with high impact forces and the blade damage was indicative of rotation with engine power at the time of impact. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Utah Department of Health, Office of the Medical Examiner in Taylorsville, Utah, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was reported as multiple blunt and thermal injuries.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory was negative for drugs, carbon monoxide, and volatiles.

Additional Information

High Density Altitude

The hazards associated with high density altitude operations are outlined in FAA Pamphlet FAA-P-8740-2, Density Altitude. The publication states,

Whether due to high altitude, high temperature, or both, reduced air density (reported in terms of density altitude) adversely affects aerodynamic performance and decreases the engine's horsepower output. Takeoff distance, power available (in normally aspirated engines), and climb rate are all adversely affected.

At power settings of less than 75 percent, or at density altitude above 5,000 feet, it is also essential to lean normally-aspirated engines for maximum power on takeoff (unless the aircraft is equipped with an automatic altitude mixture control). Otherwise, the excessively rich mixture is another detriment to overall performance.

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B), "under conditions of high-density altitude, the airplane may be able to become airborne at an insufficient airspeed, but unable to climb out of ground effect. Consequently, the airplane may not be able to clear obstructions."

The FAA Pilot's Operating Handbook (FAA-H-8083-25A) states that,

due to the reduced drag in ground effect, the aircraft may seem capable of takeoff well below the recommended speed. As the aircraft rises out of ground effect with a deficiency of speed, the greater induced drag may result in marginal initial climb performance. In extreme conditions, such as…high density altitude…a deficiency of airspeed during takeoff may permit the aircraft to become airborne but be incapable of sustaining flight out of ground effect.

Weight and Balance

According to the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B), compliance with the weight and balance limits of any aircraft is critical to flight safety. Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of an aircraft and adversely affects its performance. Operation with the CG outside approved limits will result in control difficulty.

Balance refers to the location of the CG of an aircraft and is important to stability and safety in flight. The CG is a point at which the aircraft would balance if it were suspended at that point.

The primary concern in balancing an aircraft is the fore and aft location of the CG along the longitudinal axis. The CG is not necessarily a fixed point; its location depends on the distribution of weight in the aircraft. As variable load items are shifted or expended, there is a resultant shift in CG location. The distance between the forward and back limits for the position of the center for gravity or CG range is certified for an aircraft by the manufacturer. The pilot should realize that if the CG is displaced too far forward on the longitudinal axis, a nose-heavy condition will result.

Loading in a nose-heavy condition causes problems in controlling and raising the nose, especially during takeoff and landing. The pilot's natural correction for longitudinal unbalance is a change of trim to remove the excessive control pressure. Excessive trim, however, has the effect of reducing not only aerodynamic efficiency but also primary control travel distance in the direction the trim is applied.

Limits for the location of the CG are established by the manufacturer. These are the fore and aft limits beyond which the CG should not be located for flight. These limits are published for each aircraft in the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS), or aircraft specification and the AFM or POH. If the CG is not within the allowable limits after loading, it will be necessary to relocate some items before flight is attempted. The forward CG limit is often established at a location that is determined by the landing characteristics of an aircraft. During landing, one of the most critical phases of flight, exceeding the forward CG limit may result in excessive loads on the nosewheel, a tendency to nose over on tailwheel type airplanes, decreased performance, higher stalling speeds, and higher control forces.

In extreme cases, a CG location that is beyond the forward limit may result in nose heaviness, making it difficult or impossible to flare for landing.

The publication also cautioned that it is possible to load some aircraft in such a manner that they will be out of CG limits even though the useful load has not been exceeded. Because of the effects of an out-of-balance or overweight condition, a pilot should always be sure that an aircraft is properly loaded.

Regulatory Guidance

14 CFR Part 23 requires establishment of the ranges of weights and CGs within which an aircraft may be operated safely. The manufacturer provides this information, which is included in the AFM, type certificate data sheets, or aircraft specifications.


While there are no specified requirements for a pilot operating under 14 CFR Part 91 to conduct weight and balance calculations prior to each flight, 14 CFR Part 91, requires the pilot in command to comply with the operating limits in the approved AFM. These limits include the weight and balance of the aircraft. To enable pilots to make weight and balance computations, charts and graphs are provided in the approved AFM.



NTSB Identification: WPR17FA166
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in Ogden, UT
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N60WB
Injuries: 4 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 July 26, 2017, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Beech A36TC airplane, N60WB, was substantially damaged when it collided with the freeway shortly after departing from Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD), Ogden, Utah. The private pilot, and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Peak 2 Peak, LLC., and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was destined for Yellowstone Airport (WYS), West Yellowstone, Montana. 

According to an air traffic control recording from the OGD tower, shortly after departing the runway, the pilot reported "hey, I'm going down, zero-whiskey-bravo." The controller cleared the pilot for landing and four seconds later, another pilot flying in the area reported seeing the airplane impact the highway.

Witnesses who were also general aviation mechanics, located between hangar rows adjacent to the runway at OGD, heard the airplane during its departure. They stated that the sound was unusual which made them look up to see what it was. When the airplane first came into view they stated it was about 100 ft above the ground, and that it should be about 500 feet or higher at that location [which was about 3,700 ft down runway 17]. As the airplane passed by, they noticed the engine sound was underpowered and the tail of the airplane going up and down, as if the pilot was struggling to keep the airplane at altitude.

Dash Cam video from a car on a southwest-bound street, captured the accident airplane in flight. The airplane was first observed flying wings level from the right side of the video frame. As it approached the center of the video frame, it entered a right turn and flew away, paralleling the street. Shortly after, the airplane entered a descending right banking turn until out of view. 

The accident site revealed that the first identified point of contact (FIPC) was the outer edge of the northbound freeway, and came to rest in the median, along the guardrail. The debris field was about 150 feet long with debris in both north and southbound lanes. The main wreckage remained intact with post-crash fire damage. The wing tip tanks and the leading edge of the wings were crushed, consistent with vertical impact damage. All flight controls were accounted for and flight control continuity was attained. The propeller assembly separated from the engine during the accident sequence and was subsequently relocated about 200 feet further up the freeway from the debris field, after being impacted by a passing tractor trailer. No other vehicles were involved in the accident sequence. 

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.


August 26, 2019: Family of 2017 Riverdale plane crash victims sues maker of aircraft fuel cells

OGDEN, Utah — The children and parents of a West Haven couple killed in a Riverdale plane crash have filed two lawsuits alleging negligence in the aircraft’s manufacture, maintenance and operation.

Perry and Sarah Huffaker were passengers on a Beech A36TC Bonanza piloted July 26, 2017, by their friend Layne Clarke that crashed onto Interstate 15 near Riverdale Road shortly after takeoff from Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

Clarke’s wife, Diana, also was aboard and all four were killed. The four were en route to vacation in West Yellowstone, Montana.

An attorney representing the Huffakers’ four children and the couple’s parents recently filed suit in 2nd District Court against Eagle Fuel Cells of Eagle River, Wisconsin.

The complaint alleges product liability, negligence and wrongful death due to the alleged faulty manufacture and operation of a fuel bladder in the Beech.

On Tuesday, the family’s attorney filed a separate, amended suit against 12 businesses that allegedly were responsible for maintenance of the plane.

That suit originally was filed in 2017, naming 11 other companies, many of them manufacturers of major components of the Beech. Those defendants have been dismissed from the suit, leading to the filing of the amended complaint naming new defendants.

The 2017 suit makes similar allegations to those in the case against Eagle Fuel Cells, including product liability, negligence and wrongful death. It also names as a defendant the estate of Layne Clarke, asserting that the pilot was negligent as well.

The Clarke estate’s attorney responded in court filings that the Clarkes fulfilled their duty of complying with Federal Aviation Administration regulations and that any deficiencies in the plane may have been the fault of the aircraft’s manufacturers and maintainers.

A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary investigation report made no conclusions about the cause of the crash, but it quoted Ogden airport mechanics as saying they looked up during the takeoff because the sound was unusual.

“As the airplane passed by, they noticed the engine sound was underpowered and the tail of the airplane (was) going up and down, as if the pilot was struggling to keep the airplane at altitude,” the report said.

The NTSB has not yet filed a final report of the crash.

Efforts to contact Eric Olson, of Salt Lake City, the Huffaker family’s attorney, were not immediately successful.

Eagle Fuel Cells’ attorney, Scott Sweeney of Denver, declined to comment Thursday.

That suit was transferred to U.S. District Court this week at Eagle Fuel Cells’ request.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.standard.net




October 21st, 2017: Wrongful death lawsuit filed by family of couple who died in Weber County plane crash 

OGDEN — The family of a couple who died in a plane crash in Weber County in July filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Weber County District Court.

West Haven residents Perry and Sarah Huffaker, ages 45 and 42, and Taylor residents Layne and Diana Clarke, ages 48 and 46, died July 26 when the Beech A36 Bonanza plane they were in crashed on I-15 in Riverdale. The plane had taken off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport just before 1 p.m. on July 26 and crashed about half a mile away from the airport.

It could take more than a year for officials from the National Transportation Safety Board to determine exactly what caused the crash.

A complaint filed Friday in Weber County District Court says Layne and Diana Clarke were owners of the plane and were operating it at the time of the crash.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Perry and Sarah Huffaker’s surviving family members, including their children and parents. The lawsuit is filed against Donette Crayton, who represents the estates of Layne and Diana Clarke.

The complaint alleges that the Clarkes failed to “use reasonable care” in the operation of the airplane, which led to the wrongful deaths of Perry and Sarah Huffaker.

The Huffakers are seeking a jury trial to determine damages to pay for medical and other expenses, other financial losses and to provide relief for emotional suffering the family experienced as a result of the crash, as well as court and attorney fees, according to the complaint.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another day another death trap bonanza.