Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Cessna 210A Centurion, N9436X: Fatal accident occurred September 08, 2019 near The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (KMTH), Monroe County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, Miramar, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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


Location: Marathon, FL
Accident Number: ERA19FA266
Date & Time: 09/08/2019, 0630 EDT
Registration: N9436X
Aircraft: Cessna 210
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 8, 2019, at 0630 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 210A, N9436X, was destroyed when it impacted the Gulf of Mexico after takeoff from The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport (MTH), Marathon, Florida. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed MTH at 0629. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), Savannah, Georgia.

The airplane was completely fueled when it arrived at MTH on September 6, 2019. Review of ADS-B track data for the accident flight revealed that it departed on runway 25 and initially made a right climbing turn. The airplane reached an indicated altitude of 425 ft mean sea level about 90° through the turn, before descending in the turn and impacting the water. The airplane's groundspeed continued to increase, from about 70 knots at liftoff, to 100 knots at the height of the right climbing turn, to 146 knots at the end of the data. Review of airport surveillance video depicted the airplane's takeoff, initial climb, and turn toward an area of dark open water underneath a scattered cloud layer.

The wreckage was examined following its recovery to a storage facility. Both wings and the engine had separated during impact. The right wing exhibited more impact damage than the left wing. The right flap separated and its actuator was found in the retracted position. The left flap remained attached, exhibited impact damage, and was partially extended. The right aileron separated and only small pieces of it were recovered. The left aileron remained partially attached to a separated section of left wing. Both wingtip sections separated and were not recovered. The right horizontal stabilizer and right elevator exhibited leading edge damage and separation at the outboard section. The left horizontal stabilizer and left elevator were less damaged. There was no damage to the vertical stabilizer or rudder.

The landing gear was retracted. Control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces (except for the right aileron) through cable breaks at the fuselage, to the cockpit controls. The cable breaks exhibited broomstraw features consistent with overload separation. Pieces of the right aileron were recovered and the right aileron bellcrank was not recovered; however, the right aileron cable was recovered and exhibited broomstraw features consistent separation. Measurement of the elevator trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate neutral elevator trim position.

The cockpit was crushed and separated from the fuselage. The pilot and copilot seats were not recovered. The fuel selector valve was positioned to the left fuel tank. The attitude indicator gyro was disassembled for examination. Its rotor and housing were corroded. The directional gyro was also disassembled for examination. It's rotor and housing were corroded; however, one rotational score was observed on the housing. The vacuum pump was disassembled, its rotor, vanes, and shear shaft remained intact. Fuel was recovered from the fuel selector valve and the fuel manifold. It was consistent in color and odor to 100 low lead aviation gasoline.

The propeller separated from the crankshaft flange. One propeller blade was twisted while the other blade was bent aft and exhibited a leading edge gouge. The spark plugs were removed and their electrodes were intact and gray in color. The crankshaft was rotated by hand via the propeller flange. Camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity were confirmed to the rear accessory section of the engine. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. Borescope examination of the cylinders did not reveal any anomalies. Both magnetos produced spark at all posts when rotated via an electric drill. The engine driven fuel pump remained attached and could be rotated by hand. It was then disassembled and no anomalies were noted. The oil filter was opened and its element was absent of contamination. The fuel metering unit remained partially attached to the engine and did not exhibit any anomalies.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration third-class medical certificate was issued on February 10, 2018. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,500 hours.

The four-seat, high-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1961. It was powered by a Continental IO-470, 260-horespower engine, equipped with a two-blade, constant-speed McCauley propeller. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on April 5, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accrued a total time of about 3,914 hours and the engine had been operated about 895 hours since major overhaul. According to the tachometer, the airplane flew an additional 45 hours from the time of the annual inspection, until the accident.

The recorded weather at MTH, at 0653, was: wind from 150° at 3 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 2,800 ft; temperature 28° C; dew point 24° C, altimeter 30.00 inches of mercury.

Review of data from the U.S. Naval Observatory revealed that civil twilight began at 0645 and sunrise was at 0708.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9436X
Model/Series: 210 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: MTH, 5 ft msl
Observation Time: 0653 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Marathon, FL (MTH)
Destination: Savannah, GA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 24.732500, -81.070000

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. 

Paul Brezinski

Paul A. Brezinski, 61, of Towson, Maryland, formerly of Blairsville, died Sunday, September 8th, 2019, in an early morning plane crash off Marathon, Florida, along with girlfriend Kysenia Grishina.

Paul was an avid pilot for 40 years and lived life to the fullest.

Born March 30, 1958, he was a son of John Brezinski and Wilda L. (Buterbaugh) Brezinski.

Paul is survived by his children: John P. Brezinski, of Towson, Md., and Bernadette E. Brezinski, of Baltimore; his brother, Ronald J. Brezinski, of Blairsville; his sisters: Beverly K. (Brezinski) Bush (Gerald), of Osceola Mills; and Linda M. (Brezinski) Sandolfini and Louise A. Brezinski, both of Blairsville; his nieces: Heather L. McKee (Bill) and Jaclyn S. (Brezinski) West, both of Blairsville; and Melissa K. (Bush) Cortezzo (Jason), of Catonsville, Md.; his nephews: David G. Bush, of Osceola Mills, and Caleb J. Brezinski, of Blairsville; great-nieces: Emily L. McKee and Brianna Brezinski, both of Blairsville; and great-nephews: William B. McKee, of Norfolk, Va., and Brendan R. Brezinski, of Blairsville.  A memorial service is still being planned.


Kseniya Grishina 

A Towson couple was killed a plane crash near the Florida Keys on Sunday, Florida authorities confirmed this week.

The bodies of 61-year-old Paul Brezinski and 38-year-old Kseniya Grishina were recovered from about 10 feet of water Sunday morning after the couple’s Cessna 210A Centurion crashed in Gulfside waters near Rachael Key, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The two were believed to be the only people on board the plane, which took off from Florida Keys Marathon International Airport and appeared to be destined for Savannah, Georgia, Monroe officials said Sunday.

The plane had been scheduled to take off from Marathon, Florida, at 6 a.m., according to flight logs, Monroe County officials said.

Grishina’s uncle Andrew Stonebarger said police came to the door to deliver news of the crash to his wife, Vera, who cared for the woman when she was growing up.

Stonebarger and his wife own and operate the Russian arts and crafts store Tradestone Gallery in Federal Hill, where Grishina was a frequent visitor, he said.

Brezinski, who was a pilot, and Grishina were seeing each other for about a year and would take occasional trips down to Florida in his plane. Brezinski was teaching Grishina to fly, Stonebarger said.

“She was a great gal,” he said. “She was fearless and had a big heart. ... She was a very active girl, always doing something. There was an amazing amount of activity in her life.”

Stonebarger shared on social media Monday that Grishina grew up in Pelekh, Russia, and spent her early adult years there painting lacquer boxes. She moved to the United States in her 20s and lived in Texas before moving to Maryland several years ago, the post states.

He described her as a" very caring, talented, adventurous and vibrant free spirit.”

“Kseniya deeply loved this country and held a variety of interests and jobs in her life,” the post states. “She fit more into her 38 years than most of us manage to do in 100 years. After a hiatus from painting, she took it up again in her last months and painted some truly beautiful watercolors. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her.”  The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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

TOWSON, Maryland (WJZ) — A man and woman from Towson were killed in a plane crash in the Florida Keys Sunday morning.

Paul A. Brezinski, 61 and Kseniya Grishina, 38, were identified as the victims of the crash, according to Officer Robby Dube of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the plane crashed into the Gulfside waters off Florida Keys Marathon International Airport Sunday morning.

The Cessna 210A Centurion took off from the airport around 6 a.m.

A Good Samaritan on a boat found a body in the water around 9 a.m. and called the U.S. Coast Guard and FWC.

A dive team recovered the second body and searched the waters near Rachael Key for additional victims. Officials believe only two people were inside the plane at the time of the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration also responded Sunday afternoon and are leading the investigation into the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.

The investigation thus far suggests the plane was headed to Savannah, Georgia.

Story and video ➤ https://baltimore.cbslocal.com

Kseniya Grishina 

The bodies of two people were removed from the water Sunday morning after a Cessna 210A Centurion that took off from Florida Keys Marathon International Airport crashed in Gulfside waters near Rachael Key.

The identity of the two dead are still under investigation. The two are believed to be the only two on board, however a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Dive Team is en route to dive on the plane to investigate further.

A passing mariner saw a body and notified the U.S. Coast Guard shortly after 9 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard and the FWC responded. The FWC is the primary investigating agency. The Federal Aviation Administration out of Miami was en route to the scene as of noon Sunday.

The plane had been scheduled to take off from Marathon at 6 a.m., according to flight logs. If the plane, indeed, took off at that time and crashed unseen by anyone until the passing mariner reported finding a body in the water at 9 a.m. is part of the FWC and FAA investigation.

The investigation thus far suggests the plane was headed to Savannah, Georgia.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Florida  — The Coast Guard recovered two bodies from a downed aircraft incident half a mile north of Marathon Airport, Sunday.

Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received a call from a good Samaritan of a debris field from a possible downed aircraft north of Marathon Airport. Watchstanders diverted an Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew, Coast Guard Auxiliary Tiger 1 airplane crew and launched a Coast Guard Station Marathon 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew. 

The Station Marathon boatcrew arrived on scene, confirmed the debris was from a Cessna high wing single-engine plane that had left from the airport, recovered two deceased persons and transferred them an awaiting Monroe County Sheriff's Office medical examiner. 

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast


  1. "Brezinski was teaching Grishina to fly ...."

  2. I doubt he was teaching her to fly at 6am in total darkness. Spatial disorientation or some people did something; in daylight (day vfr), I would suspect the fatalities could have been avoided.

  3. According to the FAA, the takeoff time was 06:30:00 EDT.
    At that time, the sky was in nautical dawn (morning twilight).[1]

    N9436X might have been waiting to depart by the dawn's early light--which apparently it did.
    However, spatial disorientation from the low light and the relatively featureless expanses of the gulf and the ocean is a possibility.

    Of course, it is possible that the accident was due to a completely different problem--fuel, mechanical, instrumentation, bird strike[2], medical, etc.
    And, if the two persons aboard were in a flight-instruction situation, miscommunication and lack of positive exchange of flight control could be factors.

    1. https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/fl/key-west/KEYW/date/2019-9-8
    (The listed "Rise" times would be a few minutes earlier in the more easterly KMTH.)

  4. A mariner discovered one of the deceased ?? Survived the crash and tread water for some time ? Old airplane manufactured 1961.

  5. We were the mariners who discovered the bodies. They were both out of the plane. I can't say whether they survived the impact for any length of time. I can say that we found a seat floating, and parts of a wing - on the bottom, several hundred yards from where I believe the USCG was sitting on the main wreckage, prior to even knowing there was a crash. The bodies were further away still, but they were on the surface, so floating for some time. Some reports of a dive team recovering the second body aren't correct. Another boater had alerted the USCG to the crash before we were there.

  6. Blessings to you for your good-Samaritan deeds.

    And thanks for the clarifying information.

    Hopefully, the NTSB Preliminary Report will be out by around Monday, September 23, 2019.[1]


    1. "This report is typically available within two weeks after the accident."

    NTSB. General Aviation Accident Investigations: Information for Survivors, Families & Friends


  7. It sounds like Mr. Brezinkski was "teaching Grishina to fly"[1] because of their shared passion for aviation rather than remuneration.
    As the obituary beneath his handsome photo above indicates, Mr. Brezinkski "was an avid pilot for 40 years";
    and Ms. Grishina was previously married to a successful, older businessman in the Dallas area who is a private pilot.


  8. "Control continuity was confirmed from all control surfaces (except for the right aileron) through cable breaks at the fuselage, to the cockpit controls. The cable breaks exhibited broomstraw features consistent with overload separation."
    So, could this have been developing over time, eventually failing, leading to the accident?

  9. Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
    "The airplane reached an indicated altitude of 425 ft mean sea level about 90° through the turn, before descending in the turn and impacting the water."
    "False Horizon– When the only or most distinct visual reference is a cloud formation, it can be confused with the horizon or the ground. A sloping cloud deck that extends into a pilot’s peripheral vision will appear to be horizontal. Likewise, a cloud bank below the aircraft that is not horizontal to the ground may appear to be horizontal. These illusions cause the pilot to fly the aircraft in a banked attitude."

  10. "So, could this have been developing over time, eventually failing, leading to the accident?

    "Broomstrawing" (NTSB forensics jargon for "splaying") indicates that the control cables were intact until they were broken by crash forces.

  11. Reported separation of engine, both wings, detached/crushed cockpit suggests high energy impact event. Survival very unlikely, not able to swim out and tread water, so flotation devices or nearby boat for immediate rescue attempt would not have made a difference.

  12. NTSB: "The directional gyro was also disassembled for examination. It's [sic] rotor and housing were corroded; however, one rotational score was observed on the housing."

    So, the AI gyro was spinning. But I wonder if the corrosion suggests the possibility of the AI's poor condition that could have resulted in precession errors and indication errors.

  13. Was the AI corroded as a result of being submerged in salt water for a short time? Was the rotational scoring a result of the impact with the ocean? Sounds like the conditions at takeoff were right for spatial disorientation and LOC.

  14. This accident and the accident with the C-140 in South Dakota are essentially the same accident.

    Marginal light conditions. Lose sight of the horizon during rotation / takeoff. This flight over water. The flight in South Dakota over remote prairie (similar optical illusions). In both cases a hazy and poorly defined horizon.

    The biggest danger is that the pilot is EXPECTING visual conditions. His mind is geared around the expectation of "Okay, I'm about to fly in visual conditions." And then, POOF, it's instrument conditions. The pilot isn't prepared for the urgent transition to instruments. Perhaps crashes before fully appreciating that the horizon has been lost. It all happens very quickly.

    This crash in Florida wouldn't have occurred where they had waited another 15-30 minutes before departure.

    Is very dangerous because the light seems adequate / seems okay. And yet it's not.

    Lots and lots of accidents into water around twilight. JFK Jr is another example.