Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cessna 414A Chancellor, N959MJ: Fatal accident occurred October 29, 2019 in Colonia, Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

Location: Colonia, NJ
Accident Number: ERA20FA020
Date & Time: 10/29/2019, 1058 EDT
Registration: N959MJ
Aircraft: Cessna 414
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 29, 2019, at 1058 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 414A, N959MJ, was destroyed when it impacted trees and houses in Colonia, New Jersey. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. There were no ground injuries. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia, at 0950, and was destined for Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey.

Review of preliminary air traffic control communications provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot was communicating with New York Approach during the arrival into the LDJ area; the pilot was provided with the current altimeter setting, a recent pilot report (PIREP) for cloud ceilings, and was cleared for the GPS-A non-precision circling instrument approach to LDJ airport. There were no distress calls received from the pilot during the approach.

Review of preliminary radar track data provided by the FAA revealed that the airplane departed JYO, proceeded on course to LDJ. At 1053:22, the airplane began a descent from 1,900 ft mean sea level (msl) and the flight track turned to a northeast heading that was consistent with the final approach course for the GPS-A approach to LDJ.

At 1057:22, the airplane was about 2.25 nautical miles from the GPS-A missed approach point (BAUTZ GPS waypoint), at an altitude of 400 ft, and a groundspeed of 90 knots. For about 17 seconds, the altitude and course remained constant, but groundspeed had slowed to 80 knots. Twelve seconds later, the altitude (about 400 ft) and the course continued to remain constant, but the groundspeed had slowed to 70 knots. Eleven seconds later, at 1058:02, the airplane descended to 375 ft msl, turned left to 050°, and the groundspeed slowed to 66 knots.

The flight track subsequently continued to the left, which was northwest, and the altitude continued to descend. At 1058:07, the last flight track data point was received, which recorded the airplane at 175 ft msl, headed 321°, at 82 knots groundspeed. This last position was about 150 ft from the initial impact point. Figure 1 shows the last 1 minute of the recorded altitude and groundspeed data.

Two doorbell surveillance cameras captured portions of the flight. The first video, which was positioned about .20 nautical mile south of the accident site, showed the airplane in a shallow left bank as it entered the camera view, and subsequently the airplane entered a rapid descending left turn and exited the camera view. The second video, which was positioned about .20 nautical mile north of the accident site, captured about the final 4 seconds of the flight. The airplane entered the camera view in a descending steep left turn near the treetops, continued to roll to the left, and subsequently descended out of view. The sound of an impact was recorded about 1 second after the airplane exited the camera view. Both cameras showed the airplane flying below an overcast cloud ceiling.

A witness, who was in his car located about 200 ft from the accident site, reported that he heard a loud noise coming from behind him that kept getting louder and louder. He slowed his vehicle and looked out his left window, where he observed the accident airplane in a steep left bank, about 80 ft above the ground, flying west. He subsequently witnessed the airplane strike a tree and then a house. He indicated that the engine noise was ""extremely loud." An additional doorbell surveillance camera's microphone, positioned about 300 ft from the accident site, captured the sound of engines running until a sound consistent with an impact was heard.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land and instrument airplane. He also held a glider rating and an airplane single-engine sea rating. He was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate in April 2019. He reported a total of 7,173 total flight hours during his last medical examination and 66 hours in the last 6 months.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the 6-seat, multi-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by two Continental TSIO-520-NB, 335-horsepower engines, which had been modified with RAM Aircraft conversions. The airplane was also equipped with RAM Aircraft winglets and vortex generators.

The main wreckage was located in the basement of a residential home about 3 nautical miles southwest of the LDJ airport; the airplane sustained significant impact and thermal damage as a result a post-crash fire and the wreckage was intermingled with house debris and ruble. The initial impact point was observed to coincide with large broken tree branches about 40 ft east of the main wreckage; the wreckage path was oriented on a true heading of 278°.

The largest piece of the airframe located in the debris was the forward cabin area, which included the left side cockpit instrument panel to the area that included the pilot seat tracks. The majority of the right cockpit fuselage skin and the right cockpit instrument panel was consumed by fire. Flight control cable continuity could not be established to the flight control surfaces, as a majority of the left and right wings and empennage were consumed by the post-impact fire or were not located in the house debris.

Partial aileron and elevator flight control cable continuity was established by observing the cables moving in the lower forward floor assembly area when the left yoke was moved by hand. The left aileron had separated from the wing but remained intact; the aileron trim tab actuator measurement was extended beyond its normal trailing up limit. The right aileron was not located. The 4 ft section of the top of the rudder and about 2 ft of the upper portion of the vertical stabilizer were located in the debris and had separated from fuselage. The 2 ft fragment of the outboard left elevator was recovered; it sustained impact and thermal damage. The left- and right-wing flap tubes and bell cranks were observed. The right flap chain when measured was consistent with a flaps 15° setting. The left flap chain was not observed. Rudder cable continuity was not established.

The left, right, and nose landing gear had separated from the fuselage. The left and right main landing gear trunnions and actuators sustained significant impact and thermal damage; the landing gear position could not be determined based on observation of the landing gear actuators. The landing gear handle arm was twisted, and its position could not be determined.

The throttle, mixture, and propeller control levers were found full forward. The left and right fuel selector handles were found pointing straight forward in an intermediate position between main and crossfeed. The airspeed indicator was found indicating 59 knots, the primary attitude indicator was found displaying a 120° left roll, and the pitch indicated a 5° pitch up. When disassembled, the gyro moved freely within its housing and displayed small rotational scoring marks.

The altimeter was set to 30.31 inches of mercury and indicated 200 ft. The primary heading indicator was found indicating a heading of 260°, the course was set to 010°, and the heading bug was found set to 050°. The course deviation indicator was found indicating that the airplane was left of course. The left and right engine ignition switches were found on.

The right engine had separated from the wing and was located in the basement of the house forward of the main wreckage. It sustained impact and thermal damage. The 3-bladed propeller remained attached to the propeller hub; one blade had fragmented about one-third of its span from the propeller hub, the two other blades remained intact and displayed chord-wise scratching, torsional twisting, and s-bending. The crankshaft was rotated by hand through 360° of motion; crankshaft continuity was established from the forward section of the engine to the accessory section.

Internal examination of the right engine cylinders with a lighted borescope showed that they displayed normal operating and combustion signatures. All cylinders displayed thumb compression and suction when the crankshaft was rotated by hand.

The right engine magnetos remained attached to the engine; the drives turned freely by hand and spark was observed on all ignition terminals. No debris was noted in fuel nozzles or fuel manifold. The top spark plugs for each cylinder displayed normal operating combustion signatures. The right turbo charger exhibited thermal damage and the compressor housing and compressor wheel were not located. The vacuum pump attached to the left engine was removed and disassembled; the drive coupling remained intact.

The left engine had separated from the wing and was located under the fuselage. It sustained impact and thermal damage. The 3-bladed propeller remained attached to the propeller hub; each blade remained intact and displayed chord-wise scratching and torsional twisting. The crankshaft was rotated by hand through 360° of motion; crankshaft continuity was established from the forward section of the engine to the accessory section.

Internal examination of the left engine cylinders with a lighted borescope showed that they displayed normal operating and combustion signatures. Each cylinder, with the exception of the Nos. 4 and 6 cylinders, displayed thumb compression and suction when the crankshaft was rotated by hand. The Nos. 4 and 6 cylinders did not produce thumb compression; however, fire debris was observed on the valve seats which prevented full closure of the valves.

The left engine magnetos sustained significant external and internal thermal damage; the ignition leads could not be tested. The top spark plugs for each cylinder displayed normal operating combustion signatures. The left turbo charger was intact, and the turbine wheel turned freely. The vacuum pump attached to the left engine was removed and disassembled; the drive coupling remained intact.

The 1055 recorded weather observation at LDJ, included an overcast ceiling at 700 ft, visibility 10 statute miles, and calm wind. The temperature was 14° C, the dew point was 12° C; and the altimeter setting was 30.31 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N959MJ
Model/Series: 414 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Warbird Associates Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LDJ, 22 ft msl
Observation Time: 1055 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.31 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Leesburg, VA (JYO)
Destination: Linden, NJ (LDJ)  

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.590278, -74.310833

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. 

Dr. Michael Schloss

The family of a pilot killed when his plane crashed into a home in Middlesex County says that they are thankful that no one else was hurt.

Dr. Michael Schloss died Tuesday when his twin-engine Cessna crashed into a home on Berkeley Avenue in the Colonia section of Woodbridge. The crash destroyed one home and caused damage to at least two others due to a fire. But no one on the ground was hurt.

Schloss left Virginia on his way to Linden Airport to attend a medical conference on cardiology and lipidology in New York City but crashed before he arrived in Linden.

This family released a statement Thursday saying, "Today we are grieving the loss of Michael Schloss, loving husband, step-father, brother, friend and physician. While our hearts are broken at our own loss, we are thankful there does not appear to be any injury or loss of life to any other person."

The statement continued, “We are also thankful to the first responders who were quickly on the scene of the accident."

Schloss’ family says that he had more than 40 years of flying experience and enjoyed restoring vintage planes and performing in air shows.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and projects that a preliminary report will be available in the next few weeks.

Story and video ➤ http://newjersey.news12.com

Dr. Michael Schloss

Adam Gerhardt, NTSB safety investigator.

COLONIA, New Jersey (WABC) -- A small plane crashed into a New Jersey neighborhood on Tuesday morning, causing two homes to catch fire and leaving the pilot dead.

Officials say a small plane was flying low before it crashed into a home at 11 a.m. on Berkley and Princeton avenues in Colonia.

Authorities say no one was inside the house that was struck, but flames quickly spread to a nearby home where a woman was inside. She escaped without injury, but the house was damaged.

No other people on the ground were impacted.

The NTSB said the pilot died in the crash, but no other passengers were on board at the time.

The pilot was identified as Dr. Michael Schloss, who worked in New York City but his plane was based in Linden.

"Dr. Schloss was an amazing man, I've known him over 30 years, I've been here in Linden for 36 and he was here for most of that time, he was really a renaissance man in the true sense of the word -- he was a renowned cardiac doctor and he was very generous in that he used his specialty to help pilots that may be having difficulties getting through the FAA's medical certification for instance," said Paul Dudley, the general manager of the Linden airport.

Sources say rescue workers had difficulty reaching Schloss because of the burning debris. The plane was believed to be in the basement of the home it struck.

Moments after the crash, many residents ran outside of their homes and jumped into action to help their neighbors.

"I saw this thing coming in like wing up, wing down, and for a little plane he had a pretty wide wingspan, about maybe 100 feet above the house just roaring in, and then boom -- an explosion lit up the sky," Lindsey Maynard said.

Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said the flames were under control by 1 p.m., but firefighters continued to fight hot spots.

The plane, believed to seat eight, originated in Leesburg, Virginia, and appeared to be en route to Linden Airport with a 10:58 a.m. arrival time.

Some are speculating if weather may have played a role in the crash.

"So to have a low ceiling really isn't a problem for an aircraft unless you're already have trouble," Meteorologist Sam Champion said. "As far as the winds go, we're seeing winds in that area about 9 mph at the time -- again the ceiling was 500 feet, temperatures weren't an issue and there was light mist and drizzle there as well."

The FAA and The National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Story and video ➤ https://abc7ny.com

Adam Gerhardt, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, holds a press conference near the plane crash site in Colonia, Middlesex County, New Jersey. 

WOODBRIDGE – A pilot died when the small plane he was flying crashed into a home in the Colonia section on Tuesday morning, a township official confirmed.

At the time of the crash, it was unknown whether the pilot, whose name was not released by press time, was alive.

"Say a prayer for the pilot," Mayor John McCormac said at a news conference at the scene shortly after noon.

Woodbridge Township Public Information Officer John Hagerty confirmed the pilot's death at 5 p.m.

No injuries were reported on the ground when the plane crashed into 84 Berkeley Ave. at 11 a.m., and no one was inside the home at the time, McCormac said. 

The crash caused a fire that destroyed the home at 84 Berkeley Ave. Homes at 88 and 80 Berkeley Ave. were partially damaged, the mayor said.

The plane was a Cessna 414A Chancellor, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Local officials then reported that the house was on fire.

The plane was on the way from Leesburg, Virginia, to Linden Airport, according to the FAA. According to federal records, the plane is registered in Wilmington, Delaware. 

The FAA was on the way to the scene after the crash to begin the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board also will investigate and will determine probable cause.

The plane struck the roof of the Berkeley Avenue home, McCormac said. It was lodged in the ceiling in the back of the house as the fire was extinguished.

"The house was completely engulfed in flames," the mayor said. 

The weather at the time of the crash was cloudy with light drizzle.

A woman was home at 80 Berkeley Ave. when the plane crashed. McCormac said she escaped, but her home was damaged.

"We were very fortunate," the mayor said.

"I saw a lot of smoke and then someone came out and said a plane just hit," said Kelly Brown, who lives across the street from the home at 84 Berkeley Ave. "I was in shock."

Brown said she didn't see the crash but just saw "a ball of fire."

NTSB investigator Adam Gerhardt said at a press conference at the scene Tuesday evening that federal investigators will be on the scene for the next two or three days.

NTSB investigators will be looking for perishable evidence, such as the flight controls, engine and flight log. The plane was taken to a federal facility outside of Hartford, Connecticut for further analysis.

The initial investigation shows the pilot was communicating with air traffic control and was cleared to land at Linden Airport before losing radio contact. There was no distress call.

Steven Smith, who has lived in Colonia all his life, said he's never seen anything like it before.

Smith along with his neighbor, whom he said is a state trooper, was one of the first to run to the scene. One of the neighbors called 911 while he and the trooper knocked on doors of neighbors' homes.

"When we first got there, the whole house was up in flames already," Smith said. "Thirty- to 40-feet high. The entire first level was on fire."

He said he heard the plane's engine from his house on the opposite side of Berkeley Avenue.

"It sounded low," he said. "Then I heard some sputtering. It seemed like the engine was maybe having an issue or the pilot was maybe having an issue.

"Then I just heard the loudest loud bang," he said. "Worse than any car crash. I've ever heard.

"This was something that was way louder," he continued. "Louder than anything I've known."

He then looked out his window.

"I just looked to my left and didn't see anything," he said. " I looked right and I see the building in flames already."

Jerry Bartolino, who lives three houses from the crash, said the crash "put everything into perspective."

"It's scary to think how precious life is. Anytime anything can happen," he said. "When it hit right near your house, it puts life in perspective. And I think I'm going to be a little shaken up after it."

McCormac announced Tuesday evening a fundraising effort was established to assist the families impacted by the crash and fire.

Township staff will be at the Evergreen Senior Center, 400 Inman Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to receive donations. 

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

COLONIA, New Jersey — The pilot is dead after a small plane crashed into a New Jersey home Tuesday morning, sparking a fire, officials said.

The flight originally departed from outside Leesburg around 9:50 a.m. headed for Lyndon, New Jersey, about three miles north of the crash, according to NTSB officials.

The pilot was cleared for an approach, then lost radar contact and communications with the airport. There is no indication a distress call made from the pilot.

The FAA confirmed that a Cessna 414A Chancellor crashed into a house around 11 a.m. on Berkley Avenue in Colonia, part of Woodbridge Township.

Local officials said the house was on fire after the crash, according to the FAA.

Woodbridge Township Mayor John McCormac confirmed that no civilians on the ground were injured in the crash and subsequent fire at a news conference Tuesday.

McCormac said that nobody was in the home at the time of the crash. The fire did damage a neighboring home, but a woman inside that house was able to escape, he said.

According to the mayor, authorities got the call after a neighbor saw the fire after the crash occurred.

The FAA reported the pilot of the small plane was the only person onboard at the time of the crash, according to McCormac.

The condition of the pilot is not known at this time.

The mayor said the plane had departed from Virginia and was heading to Linden Airport in Linden, New Jersey, about six miles away from the crash site.

The FAA said they are heading to the scene to begin their investigation and that the National Transportation Safety Board will also investigate to determine the probable cause of the crash.

In total, the airplane impacted three houses and part of another.

Story and video ➤ https://pix11.com


  1. First recorded flight into metro NYC; the 17th flight noted since 4-Aug-2019, with no previous flights on https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N959MJ/history

  2. minimums are 600 and 2 1/2 and is considered circling but it really sets you up for a 2.1 mile right base
    The airport is really close to Class B Newark so it puts the pressure on not to miss and
    the controller warns about the need to cancel in the air
    Approach tells him a plane at Newark just reported bases at 500 feet about 5 miles away 100 below minimums
    Pilot goes 300 feet under minimums about 7 miles out to get below the cloud deck and to start looking for the airport (300 AGL)
    A video shows him entering a left hand spin
    ADSB shows him at 85 knots
    Stall speed clean is 82 knots
    The video looks like no landing gear is extended
    He possibly did one of two things:
    He flew the approach with partial or no flaps and no gear the whole way in and stalled looking for the airport while on autopilot since the MAP was a 2.1 mile right base
    Or he decided to go miss early because of Newark and stalled putting the gear and flaps up
    The video on FB is hard to see but it appears there is no gear and its impossible to tell on the flap position
    Based on the ADSB data it looks the autopilot was flying the approach as there was very little fluctuations all the way to the end of the recording
    He was still approximately 3 miles from the MAP when he went down which is 5 miles from the airport.





  3. Your “expert” commentary is flawed. If you look at the whole Flightaware Data the altitude is reported consistently 300ft lower...he was at minimums 600ft doing what he had to do on the altitude management of the approach. On a non precision/circling approach such as this in a twin I would not lower gear or flaps until I had the airport in sight. I knew Mike very well...something else happened...I would not attempt to speculate until the experts provide the detail needed to arrive to conclusions. Mike was very experienced, very proficient and very current. He went to this airport every time he had to be in NYC.

  4. 74 Years Of Age = Pilot fatigue, pilot's increased workload, and pilot's failure to maintain control of his aircraft.
    End Result = Aircraft exceeded its critical angle of attack - aerodynamic stall/spin.

  5. It doesn't matter how experienced, proficient, or current a pilot might be. He is still human and capable of making a mistake ... or two .... that's why we call it the HUMAN FACTOR.

    Age can certainly be a factor with decline in the motor functions and mental processing. I personally have seen my decline in the last 5 years and I'm not as sharp as I was 45 years ago. Yes, YMMV.

    Just looking at the basic info it does appear to be a straight ahead stall while on the autopilot.



  6. Successful speculating of aircraft accidents takes a lot of skill, time and experience to master, that most people who work outside of the aviation industry don't have.

  7. That video doesn't show an aircraft "hurtling out of control" or "descending straight down" as I have read in various hysterical accounts. It shows an airplane descending normally. The media *always* get these things wrong. The only thing notable about that video is the fact that the airplane is banking to the left. On the GPS-A approach, Linden airport would be off the aircraft's right side.

  8. At 10:16:56, 39.6832 -76.2557 ↗ 63° , 201kts, 4,700 ft ( FlightAware ADS-B) he was in northern MD crossing the Susquhanna River south of the PA border.

  9. I totally agree with the Anonymous comment about the video. Although at some point it does show the beginning of a left wing stall just before going below the trees.

  10. As far as the Age and Reflexes comment above is concerned...if you have to do anything so quickly in a plane that your reflexes aren’t good enough....you are probably either a student pilot or a rusty one. Nothing in the flying of a plane as well equipped as a 414A should require such sudden reactions.

  11. People that deny the effects of age will ultimately wind up like the good doctor. I'm an older (previously much bolder) pilot and acknowledge I can't do stuff I used to do. It doesn't mean you are a failure or a bad pilot, in fact, those that recognize their skills waning are the best aviators.

    Not saying that was specifically in this case, but it is definitely worth contemplating in this high time pilot.

  12. one photo shows the Dr. Mike in the right seat supported by I assume a commerical pilot in the left... should of, would of could of done the same on this flight into metro NYC.

  13. Have to wonder if he suffered some type of medical situation. He should have been able to get in there or at least make a successful go around. Probably got too slow looking for the runway in minimal conditions.

    But people, this isn't NYC like some on here say. It's a rural airport in Linden. He wasn't having to maintain high airspeeds between landing 767's, or dealing with ATC at LaGordia.

  14. "As far as the Age and Reflexes comment above is concerned...if you have to do anything so quickly in a plane that your reflexes aren’t good enough....you are probably either a student pilot or a rusty one. Nothing in the flying of a plane as well equipped as a 414A should require such sudden reactions."

    I don't know where to start with this comment. I would expect a comment like this from someone who flys in 'Condition White'. That is ... along for the ride and never sees it coming.

    It matters not if you are a student pilot, professional pilot, proficient or rusty. There are times where you need to do the appropriate action QUICKLY in an airplane well equipped or not.

    This might be bringing both throttles to idle quickly to abort a takeoff in a Duke if one coughs right as you rotate departing a short field.

    This might be aggressively/quickly lowering the nose slightly while aggressively/quickly cranking in about a 10 to 15 degree right bank until the autofeather does its thing after losing the left engine in a KingAir 350 ... Oh yeah ... And continue the engine out profile which includes cleaning up the plane.

    This might be flying at MDA on a non precision approach while using the autopilot in a well equipped C414A. Maybe distracted while looking for the airport you don't notice the airspeed starting to drop. If you had noticed early on you could slowly nudge the throttles up a bit. But you didn't notice until the stall and the upset. You might want to 'click' the autopilot off quickly then quickly start coming in with power as you trim nose down (the auto pilot was trimming nose up in an attempt to maintain altitude) ... You need to do it quickly but smoothly while recover from your situation at less than 600 feet.

    I try not to fly in Condition White. YMMV


  15. Dear 7C....as you said in your previous statement "Just looking at the basic info it does appear to be a straight ahead stall while on the autopilot..." something that could have been very easily corrected with a very slow and deliberate push of the throttles forward...implemented by a 7,000plus hour pilot. Agility wouldn't have offered any different an outcome based on your observation. Maybe attention would...but assuming that the pilot wasn't paying attention is a very weak assumption.

    See the fundamental problem I have with your statement and those of other pilots not only on here but in other similar forums is the unmistakable tendency to allege fault on the deceased pilot..rather than start from a neutral bias, and analyze the details while all the while holding in mind the ONE very important assumption that NO pilot wants to die, create destruction or kill people on the ground.

    Instead...big/better pilot bravado kicks in to craft subtle and socially correct statements that support that ego and lead the reader to arrive to only ONE conclusion....THE PILOT WAS AT FAULT and I (in this case the Anonymous 7C) AM A BETTER PILOT WITH MORE WISDOM AND INTELLIGENCE THAN THE DECEASED....God bless his soul!

    Yet a more unbiased approach would reveal the so many things in the FAA report and in the evidence that have nothing to do with agility, pilot skill or wisdom, and much to do with unknown compiling circumstances. Such as....why if the plane was in A/P with the correct course set on the HSI and a correctly approximated circling course set on the heading bug - per the preliminary report - , there is a gradual left turn taking place at the time of visual contact with the doorbell camera? The attitude of that plane when coming into view is not one of spiraling out of control (that does indeed seem like it takes place a few seconds later) but one showing an under control left roll and the speed - reported as Ground Speed - still in acceptable levels for a plane with Vortex Generators. Or why while on straight and level flight from the time the plane appears in view of the doorbell camera and while in a descending attitude as it appears in the last moments of flight - prior to the loss of control turn - is the plane gradually decreasing in ground speed? - We all fly our planes by the numbers and we know our throttle settings for each phase of the flight and the speeds those settings produce - I hope you know what I am referring to. Or why the aileron trim was found in the extended "beyond the travel limits" UP position, signifying either a deliberate attempt by the A/P or the pilot to correct a left roll - indicating perhaps (speculation) incapacitation of the pilot with the A/P engaged and flying the final minutes of the flight ..... or even a runaway trim condition? Both circumstances in which no-matter how agile the pilot may have been.....recovery could be impossible - in the first instance (incapacitation), or slow (trying to re-trim manually) in the second.

  16. Continued ......

    Finally, there is the picture on the internet of a "big piece of the fuselage" been pulled from the basement. That big piece is the cockpit and if you look very carefully - with unbiased and careful eyes - you will see that the right throttle lever IS pulled back....(in direct contradiction to what the FAA preliminary report states) - by the way there are numerous errors in that report such as incorrectly stating the final altitudes of the flight which were probably derived from ATC radar information and which are not adjusted for the local barometric pressure at the time of the accident - reported at 30.31" but rather reported at a 29.92", if you corrected for that error you would see that the flight WAS at or above minimums for a large portion of its final moments -(it eventually does drop but thats right at the time when it comes into view in the doorbell camera). So, if in fact that WAS the condition the levers were found in (and I know that the preservation of evidence is a major component of wreckage retrieval by the NTSB) a right engine throttle being retarded is something that would indicate the agile effort of a very experienced pilot to keep the plane under control and ADEQUATELY responding to some condition unknown to us at this moment - perhaps (speculation) a left engine failure at the wrong time. This would also explain the dissimilar condition in which, as per the report, each (left and right) propeller were found. Or finaly the insufficient explanation by the NTSB report as to why two cylinders ( #4 and #6) on the left engine, were not producing compression.

    The result being what it is...doesn't preclude the pilot having responded to a condition or a number of conditions adverse to the safe completion of the flight...I am sure that you like many of us have crashed at least once on a runway while on VMC Cut compiled with something else during training on a sim.... and if you deny that you are being untruthful.


    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

  17. To whomever wrote the love letter “Dear 7C”:

    In reference to your Paragraph 1: I described three possible scenarios that might require a quick response in an airplane. The last scenario describes a distraction that could lead to a stall/spin situation. We are all human and susceptible to distraction; 70, 700, 7,000, 17,000, 27,000 hours … matters not. It’s called the Human Factor. The quick reflexes will be required when the speed gets so low that the autopilot can no longer maintain straight and level flight and the plane ends up in an upset.

    Paragraph 2: I base my comments on what I see … and yes … it is speculation. Like I said it was based on the ‘basic info’. If I were to just ‘guess’ on each accident I would guess pilot error and statistically I would be right about 75 to 85% of the time.

    Paragraph 3: I hope that you are good at your day job and that ‘mind reading’ is just a hobby. Those are your words in bold print and they do not describe me or the way I think. Several of my post on various accidents would suggest otherwise. I just posted recently that as I have aged that my skills have declined. I’m not sure where a statement like that fits in to your bold print but if your bold print makes you feel better about yourself then just go with it.

    Paragraph 4: This was just a preliminary report … they are just now starting to look at the details.

    I believe the plane was on autopilot … maintained course and altitude really well. However, if the airspeed is allowed to drop enough and finally runs out of pitch trim you will get an upset … the autopilot will not be able to maintain heading or altitude. Vortex generators or not.

    “We all fly our planes by the numbers …” Broad brush used there … most but not all on IPCs I have given.

    I am not aware of any auto pilots that command aileron trim. Might be, but I don’t know of any.

    The altitude and speeds on flight aware do not suggest a trim runaway.

    Paragraph 5 “Finally …”: From my experience(limited) the FAA, NTSB and other participants do a really good job on the investigations. If you saw a piece of the fuselage being pulled from a basement I am going to guess that they had already documented the position of the throttles and maybe even checked the travel … I wouldn’t put too much faith in a picture during the recovery.

    I never said he was below minimums. FAA never said he was below minimums. Flight aware showed a consistent 300 feet low on the entire flight but that was an encoder thing.

    It doesn’t take much on a valve seat to keep it from fully closing. I find their explanation reasonable.

    Paragraph 6: I have been very lucky in that I have never failed an FAA check ride (came close once due to FDH) or a proficiency check. I have never crashed/hard landed after a cut at VMC in a plane and I have never crashed the sim, V1 cut or otherwise. The overwhelming majority of the guys and gals that I have worked and flown with over the last 40+ years can say the same thing. This is not to say that I haven’t done dumb things in an airplane or things I wouldn’t do again. I have and no, I am not lying.

    As to the bold face in the last statement … like I suggested before … Your words … not me and says more about you than me.

    Hope you and everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.