Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Cessna 150M, N714LK: Fatal accident occurred November 04, 2019 near New Bedford Regional Airport (KEWB), Bristol County, Massachusetts

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama

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


Location: New Bedford, MA
Accident Number: ERA20FA031
Date & Time: 11/04/2019, 1532 EST
Registration: N714LK
Aircraft:Cessna 150 
Injuries:1 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 4, 2019, at 1532 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150, N714LK, was destroyed when it impacted a cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from the New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB), New Bedford, Massachusetts, around 1450.

Review of preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data revealed that the airplane departed EWB and climbed to about 2,500 ft mean sea level (msl) while tracking in a southwesterly direction for about 20 minutes. The airplane then began a gradual descent, turned to the northeast, flew along the shoreline, and turned north toward EWB, descending to around 300 ft msl. The airplane then commenced a climbing right turn to about 4,000 ft, then descended rapidly in a left circular pattern.

According to a witness who had exited his car in a parking lot near the cemetery, he heard a sound "like a motor revving up high." He looked up and saw an airplane "swoop down like it was going to land," climb very high, and then "pivot on its left wing" before "coming straight down." He thought the airplane was "doing tricks."

According to the president and an employee of the EWB fixed based operator where the owner/pilot had parked and serviced his airplane for about 20 years, the pilot was "cheerful and happy to be flying" the morning of the accident. They reported that he spent about 10 to 15 minutes performing a preflight inspection of his airplane before departing. They described the pilot as "a conservative pilot" who would never perform aerobatics. The president stated that the business monitored the tower frequency for incoming airplanes and did not hear the pilot contact air traffic control (ATC), adding that he "would never enter the airspace without calling."

According to a friend of the pilot who flew with him regularly, "he was a very safe pilot" and would "never be doing aerobatics." He stated that they often flew toward Newport, Rhode Island, and then along the shoreline back toward West Island, Massachusetts, where the pilot would typically call ATC.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued November 1, 2018. Examination of the pilot's logbooks revealed 1,356 total hours of flight experience, of which 1,209 hours were in the accident airplane. His most recent flight review was completed August 18, 2018.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the two-seat, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by a Continental O-200A engine. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, an annual inspection was completed on the airplane on June 7, 2019, at a total tachometer time of 5,050.2 hours. The tachometer located in the airplane at the time of the accident indicated 5,064.2 hours, which was 14 hours since the annual inspection. The engine had accrued 980.5 hours since overhaul.

Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane impacted a tree in a near vertical nose down attitude about 3.5 nautical miles and 164° from EWB. The debris field extended about 240 ft from the tree on a heading of about 220°. The left wing with the strut attached was located about 10 ft from the tree, followed by the empennage and engine at 30 ft, the right wing at 40 ft, the carburetor at 87 ft, a ruptured fuel tank at 122 ft, and the main wheels and directional gyro at 240 ft. All major portions of the airplane were located on site.

The fuselage was destroyed. Both wings were impact fractured, bent on all surfaces, and exhibited leading edge damage consistent with tree impact. The empennage was impact fractured and bent. The instrument panel was fragmented and destroyed. The engine controls were in the full forward position. The cabin heat control was in the full aft position.

The engine was separated from the airplane and came to rest inverted. The carburetor, alternator, starter motor, oil filter adapter, oil filter, and the left and right magnetos were impact separated from the engine case. One magneto was recovered in several pieces, and the second was recovered mostly intact. The mostly intact magneto was functionally tested using an electric drill motor to rotate the magneto drive. Spark was produced at the three remaining ignition leads when the magneto was manually rotated.

The engine was turned right-side up. Examination revealed that several spark plugs were impact separated. The intact spark plug electrodes showed coloration and wear consistent with normal operation when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The damaged propeller was removed, and thumb suction and compression were observed on all cylinders when the crankshaft was rotated manually. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the front to the rear of the engine. A borescope inspection of all four cylinders revealed normal coloration and condition of the piston tops, cylinder walls, and valves. The recovered carburetor was normal in appearance. The fuel screen was unobstructed, and the carburetor floats revealed deformation. No fuel was found during the examination.

The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft propeller flange. Examination of the propeller blades revealed aft bending and chordwise twisting along the length of both blades with leading-edge gouging and chordwise rotational scoring on the camber sides. Control continuity was established from the flight controls to the flight control surfaces; however, cables exhibited tensile overload fractures.

At 1453, the recorded weather at the EWB included wind from 180° at 9 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 11° C, dew point -2° C and an altimeter setting of 30.34 inches of mercury.

A Stratus ADS-B receiver/flight data recorder system was removed from the airplane and forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for data recovery.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N714LK
Model/Series: 150 M
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EWB, 792 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / -2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 17 knots, 180°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: New Bedford, MA (EWB)
Destination: New Bedford, MA (EWB)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.621111, -70.938333

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 E. Vidal

Paul E. Vidal, 74, of Westport, husband of Carol A. (Gamache) Vidal, passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019.

Paul was a professor at Community College of Rhode Island, having earned his master's degree at Bridgewater State College. He was an Army Veteran. In his retirement, he enjoyed traveling with his wife Carol to many far-flung places around the world. Paul was also an avid private pilot, a lifetime Patriots fan, and a self-described choco-holic. He relished a good snowstorm. He was curious about many different things including astronomy, photography, nature, and science.

Besides his wife of 47 years, he leaves two children, Veronica Vidal Praeger, her husband Derek and their son Rudolf of Long Beach, CA, and Andrew Vincent Vidal, his wife Kristine and their children, Vincent and Juliet of E. Bridgewater;

three siblings, Louise Lebreux and her husband Roland of Tiverton, Annette Therrien and her husband Eugene of Palm Bay, FL, Maurice Vidal and his wife Francoise Touchais of Rehoboth; a brother-in-law Peter Gamache and his wife Nancy of Plymouth; many nieces and nephews. He was the son of the late Edmond R. and Jeanne (Patry) Vidal. 

Visitation Friday from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Auclair Funeral Home, 690 S.Main St. Fall River.  Funeral service Saturday 9:00 A.M. at the funeral home with burial following at Notre Dame Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675.  

Lynn Spencer, Investigator In Charge.

NEW BEDFORD (CBS) — Investigators in New Bedford are still digging through plane parts to analyze evidence as to why a small plane crashed in a cemetery there Monday, killing the pilot.

All that is left of the Cessna 150M is now scattered throughout a part Rural Cemetery, located in the middle of the city. Pilot Paul Vidal was killed in the crash. No one else was aboard the plane when it crashed.

Lynn Spencer, the air safety investigator from the NTSB in charge of investigating the crash, said Tuesday that the plane departed the New Bedford Regional Airport at 2:50 p.m. and crashed at 3:31 p.m. She said they do not yet know why the plane was seen doing circles and other maneuvers in the air, and that they do not know whether it was intentional.

Investigators also found no flight plan, Spencer said, but witnesses told them Vidal often took recreational flights around the area of New Bedford that do not require submitting a flight plan for. 

Spencer said investigators would be on scene for two days, after which the remains of the plane would be moved. She said a preliminary report should be expected in ten days, with a final report to be expected in 18 to 24 months.

“The NTSB does investigate every civilian airplane crash in the United States,” Spencer said. “And our goal is to learn not only what happened but why it happened so that we can prevent similar accidents in the future.”

Spencer encouraged any witnesses to the crash to report what they saw or heard to the NTSB on their website.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell released a statement Tuesday afternoon expressing his sympathy for Vidal’s family.

“Mr. Vidal was a well-known and respected member of Greater New Bedford’s recreational aviation community for many years, where his loss is being felt today,” Mitchell said.

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

Paul E. Vidal

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (WPRI) — Investigators are working to figure out what caused a small plane to crash Monday afternoon, taking the life of its pilot.

Paul Vidal, 74, of Westport, died after the Cessna 150 came down nose-first in Rural Cemetery around 3:30 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says the crash happened shortly after Vidal took off from New Bedford Regional Airport. Several eyewitnesses captured the plane flying low on video, and some said they could hear it throttling before it came down.

Police remained at the cemetery throughout the night to guard the crash site. On Tuesday, members of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division were seen walking the scene and surveying the area with a drone.

Vidal was the only person onboard during the crash. He had been a licensed pilot since 2001 and his wife Carol Ann said flying was one of his favorite hobbies, among many.

“He enjoyed everything,” she said. “He loved astronomy, he loved flying, he just got involved in everything. We had a good life, just… it’s over… pick up the pieces. It’s hard. He’s not coming home.”

Carol Ann Vidal said her husband told her if there was ever an emergency during a flight, he would seek to cause minimal damage.

“He crashed in the graveyard to avoid houses,” she said. “I remember him saying that he’d always do that. If he had to come down, to not hurt anybody. He was a good pilot.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the crash alongside MassDOT and New Bedford police. A representative from the NTSB told Eyewitness News they plan to hold a press briefing at 3 p.m. to provide an update.

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

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts - The pilot of a small plane was killed Monday after his Cessna 150 crashed into a cemetery in New Bedford.

The plane crashed into Rural Cemetery shortly after takeoff from New Bedford Regional Airport around 3 p.m. Monday.

The family of the pilot identified the victim as Paul Vidal of Westport, Massachusetts.

The victim's son, Andrew Vidal, feared his father was involved in the crash when he saw the wreckage on television.

"I turned on the news, because it just happened to be that time, and I recognized his plane," he said. "I don't know what happened at all, couldn't even guess."

Flight data indicates the plane had just taken off from nearby New Bedford Regional Airport and spent approximately 20 minutes in the air before crashing into the cemetery.

An eyewitness said they heard a low-flying aircraft, then a loud crash.

Video from Sky 5 showed the debris from a small plane scattered across the cemetery. The plane appeared to crash into a tree and a number of headstones.

Paul Vidal, 74, has been licensed as a private pilot since at least February 2010. Vidal was the only person on board, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

Andrew Vidal told NewsCenter 5's Adam Bagni that his father, who grew up in Fall River, had nearly 25 years of experience as a pilot.

Paul Vidal loved flying and often traveled with his wife following a long stint as a teacher at the Community College of Rhode Island, according to his son.

"Every couple of days, when it was nice weather, he liked to get out and fly around," Andrew Vidal said. "He wanted to be an airline pilot when he was younger."

Paul Vidal is survived by his wife, son, daughter and three grandchildren.

"He made me the man I am, so I'm grateful to him for everything. I loved him," Andrew Vidal said. " (He was ) a good role model, a good friend and a good dad."

State police were responding to the crash scene to assist local police and firefighters.

Rural Cemetery was expected to remain blocked off through Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the cause of the crash.

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

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