Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mooney M20K, personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N5254G: Accident occurred December 21, 2017 at Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC), Sarasota County, Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

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/N5254G 


Location: Venice, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA058
Date & Time: 12/21/2017, 1900 EST
Registration: N5254G 
Aircraft: MOONEY M20K
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 21, 2017, about 1900 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20K, N5254G, was substantially damaged during landing at Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida. The private pilot was not injured. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Darlington County Airport (UDG), Darlington, South Carolina. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated he departed Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW), Beckley, West Virginia, landed at UDG for fuel. He then departed for VNC and was receiving traffic advisory services from air traffic control (ATC). While on approach to VNC, he descended from 8,500 ft to 4,000 ft to get under a layer of scattered clouds. The pilot stated that he wasn't sure exactly when he moved the airplane's landing gear position selector, but that it was his normal procedure to extend the landing gear 10 miles from the destination airport in order to help slow the airplane.

He continued the descent and disengaged the autopilot. About 1,200 ft above ground level he was "dodging clouds" and heard the pilot of a Cessna request a "pop-up" instrument flight rules clearance to VNC from ATC because there was sea fog in the vicinity of the airport. The pilot then decided to descend further to stay under the clouds and fog. He was then advised by ATC to climb immediately to 2,000 ft and follow the Cessna into VNC. He stated while on approach he extended the flaps and used speed brakes to slow the airplane. He also reduced the throttle in order to avoid overtaking the Cessna. At that time the landing gear horn activated. He then applied a small amount of throttle and the horn stopped. The subsequent landing proceeded normally until just after the flare when the pilot heard a scraping noise. After the airplane came to a stop on the runway, the pilot shut off the electrical power and exited the airplane.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane and noted that the during the landing airplane had slid along the runway on its belly for about 400 feet before coming to a stop. The inspector noted substantial damage to the lower fuselage stringers, the propeller, and nose landing gear door. The landing gear circuit breaker was open, and the landing gear selector was in the down position. Both main landing gear were only extended about 1-inch out of their respective wing wheel wells. During recovery from the runway the airplane was placed on jacks and the landing gear was lowered using the emergency gear extension system without incident. Damage to the landing gear extension system prevented further functional testing.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 216 hours of total flight experience. His most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on November 30, 2017.

The automated weather observing system at VNC was out of service at the time of the accident. The weather conditions reported at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida, which was located about 21 miles north of the accident site, included wind from 280° at 4 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 22° C, dew point 22° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated in part, "Divert to Sarasota where the weather was reported to be clear, no sea fog rolling about. By design, I had 2.5 hours of fuel remaining on board when I arrived at VNC, I did not need to land when I did."

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/08/2017
Flight Time:  216 hours (Total, all aircraft), 43 hours (Total, this make and model), 216 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Registration: N5254G
Model/Series: M20K NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1988
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 25-1180
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/02/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4272.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360 SER
Registered Owner: FLAT TOP ENERGY LLC
Rated Power: 210 hp
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: KSRQ, 28 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 342°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  9 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: DARLINGTON, SC (UDG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Venice, FL (VNC)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1200 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: VENICE MUNI (VNC)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 17 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 27.073889, -82.437222 (est)

Aerodynamic Stall / Spin: Cessna 150C, N7929Z; fatal accident occurred December 16, 2017 in Castalia, Nash County, North Carolina

Stephen Ward Merritt 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina
Textron; Wichita, Kansas 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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/N7929Z





Location: Castalia, NC
Accident Number: ERA18LA048
Date & Time: 12/16/2017, 1440 EST
Registration: N7929Z
Aircraft: CESSNA 150
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 16, 2017, at 1440 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150C, N7929Z, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after takeoff from a farm field in Castalia, North Carolina. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was destined for Triangle North Executive Airport (LHZ), Louisburg, North Carolina.

The purpose of the flight was to recover the airplane from the field after a student pilot performed a precautionary landing there the previous day. The student reported that he had reduced engine power and airspeed after encountering turbulence; the engine subsequently became unresponsive to throttle inputs, and the student performed a successful landing to the field.

The student pilot accompanied his father (who was an airline transport pilot), a mechanic, and the accident pilot (who was the owner of the airplane) to the field to retrieve the airplane. The accident pilot and the mechanic sampled the fuel, examined and test ran the engine, during which no anomalies were observed, and subsequently determined that the airplane was ready for flight. The field was oriented east/west and was about 1,000 ft long and 500 ft wide. The eastern and southern borders of the field were bisected diagonally by high-tension power lines that were oriented northeast/southwest, and an estimated 40 ft above the ground at their lowest point. The southern border consisted of a small pond and a creek bed (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Overhead View of Accident Site (Google Earth)


The student pilot and his father reported that the pilot "walked the field" and stated his takeoff/departure plan, which was to begin the takeoff roll to the west along the northern border of the field and arc the airplane's takeoff path 90° to the south. Once airborne, the pilot would fly the airplane beneath the powerlines, over the creek, and then climb to cruise altitude.

The property owner also witnessed the accident and recorded the takeoff with his cell phone. Review of the video and measurements taken by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that, 300 ft after the airplane began its takeoff roll, the airplane turned sharply left toward the powerlines. After 400 ft, the airplane pitched up sharply and banked steeply left as it lifted off. The airplane neared the apex of its climb about 50 ft above the ground in about a 60° left bank, when the camera panned down and the airplane was no longer in frame. Shortly thereafter, the camera panned back up in time to capture the airplane's collision with terrain. Throughout the takeoff roll, initial climb, and the flight to ground contact, the engine was heard accelerating smoothly and running continuously at high power without interruption.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/11/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  8400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued January 11, 2017. He declared 8,400 total hours of flight experience on that date. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N7929Z
Model/Series: 150 C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1963
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 15060029
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/20/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1499 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2068 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1963. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on October 20, 2017, at 2,068 total aircraft hours.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLHZ, 369 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1440 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 248°
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: 30.21 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Castalia, NC
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LOUISBURG, NC (LHZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

At 1440, the weather reported at LHZ, 10 miles west of the accident site, included clear skies, 10 miles visibility, and calm winds. The temperature was 8°C, the dew point was -5°C, and the altimeter setting was 30.21 inches of mercury. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.086944, -78.138056 (est) 

The wreckage was examined at the accident site by two FAA inspectors and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The instrument panel and engine compartments were separated from the cockpit but remained attached by wires, cables, and floor structure. The propeller was partially buried, and the engine and instrument panel displayed thermal damage from a small postcrash fire.

Control continuity was established from the flight controls to the flight control surfaces. One aileron control cable displayed fractures consistent with overstress.

A detailed examination was performed on the airframe and engine at a recovery facility in Griffin, Georgia. The examination revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Raleigh, North Carolina, submitted a Report of Investigation on the pilot. No autopsy was performed because the pilot died in a physician's care on December 17, 2017. The probable cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries."

The FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory did not perform toxicological testing on the pilot as no samples were submitted.


Steve Merritt

RALEIGH — Stephen Ward Merritt, 70, passed away December 17th, 2017, surrounded by his family and friends.

Steve was born December 14th, 1947, in Rose Hill, North Carolina.  He graduated from New Hanover High School in Wilmington in 1966, earning the distinction of Eagle Scout during this time. Steve graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970.

After one tour in the U.S. Navy, Steve went to work for the Sea Pines Company in Hilton Head Island, running the aviation assets of the company and managing the Hilton Head Airport. This began Steve’s lifelong association with and passion for flight. As an avid aviator, he worked for the North Carolina DOT Aeronautical Division for several years before founding Capital Printing Corporation of Raleigh. Steve served as the lead technical advisor for NCDOT during the centennial celebration of the Wright Brothers First Flight at Kill Devil Hills. Most recently, Steve was the Airport Manager for Franklin County, N.C., where he promoted the economic development importance of a quality airport for Franklin County.

Steve used aviation as the means through which he gave back to the world. Among other volunteer flight missions, he served as a volunteer coordinator for pilots across America to join together to fly medical supplies into Haiti just days after the earthquake. Steve also founded and was the president of Bahamas Habitat which helped with relief efforts in the Caribbean via the use of private aircraft and volunteer pilots which included, among many other projects, building Zion Children’s Home on Current Island, Bahamas, to provide a safe home for children in need.

He was also founder of the One Eleuthera Foundation. An animal lover, he was involved in several rescue efforts flying dogs and cats from disaster areas in the Bahamas and Cuba to safety elsewhere. He was very proud to serve on the board of directors of Able Flight, which provides flight and aviation career training to those with disabilities.

As a flight instructor in both regular aircraft and gliders, one of the things Steve loved most was watching the young pilots he had trained take their first solo flights. He was also passionate about introducing Civil Air Patrol cadets to glider flying and training them. Steve was a longtime member of Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Although he was passionate about flying and volunteerism, Steve valued family first. Whether it was helping his daughter, Sarah, prepare for her next basketball game or helping his son, Holmes, earn his own Eagle Scout, Steve was a devoted father while raising his children along with his loving wife, Jane, with whom he shared 45 years of marriage. He and Jane had the great joy of celebrating the marriages of both Sarah and Holmes during the past year.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene Worth Merritt and Rosa Farrior Merritt of Wilmington.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Godwin Merritt; daughter, Sarah Merritt Ryan, and her husband, William J. Ryan, of Raleigh; son, Wellington Holmes Merritt II, and his wife, Brittany Young Merritt, of Decatur, Ga.; sister, Sandra Merritt Brown, and her husband, Larry Richard Brown, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; brothers, Eugene Worth Merritt Jr. and John Douglas Merritt, and his wife, Felicia Huffman Merritt, all of Wilmington; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Bahamas Habitat; Able Flight; or to provide scholarships to train Civil Air Patrol cadets by mailing a check made out to the Steve Merritt Scholarship Fund, 103 Dumbarton St., Cary, NC 27511.

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

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, personal flight operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N8758N: Accident occurred November 18, 2017 near Bladenboro Airport (3W6), Bladen County, North Carolina


The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

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/N8758N



Location: Bladenboro, NC
Accident Number: ERA18LA026
Date & Time: 11/18/2017, 1110 EST
Registration: N8758N
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 18, 2017, about 1110 eastern standard time, a Piper PA28-140, N8758N, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Bladenboro, North Carolina. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight that departed Bladenboro Airport (3W6). The flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector the pilot stated that after takeoff from runway 20, he circled to land on runway 02, but then initiated a go-around. On the downwind leg of the traffic pattern to runway 02, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. He applied carburetor heat, but it did not restore power to the engine. The airplane was unable to reach the runway and the pilot elected to land in a small field.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed damage to the engine mounts, and wing leading edges. The propeller was manually rotated, and a spark was produced on all spark plug leads. Both fuel tanks were more than half-full of uncontaminated fuel. A mud dauber nest was observed in the carburetor heat control box, which prevented the carburetor heat valve from fully opening.

The four-seat, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1969 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-360, 180-horsepower reciprocating engine. The most recent annual was completed on September 26, 2017.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 60 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was issued on March 9, 2015.

The weather conditions reported at the Columbus County Municipal Airport (CPC), Whiteville, North Carolina, which was located about 16 miles south of the accident site, included wind from 180° at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling broken at 5,500 ft, temperature 18° C, dew point 10° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

An FAA carburetor icing probability chart indicated the temperature and dew point conditions were conducive to the formation of serious icing at glide power. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/09/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/19/2017
Flight Time: 600 hours (Total, all aircraft) 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N8758N
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-25579
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/26/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4334 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: Bladenboro Aviation
Rated Power: 180 hp
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: KCPC, 98 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1105 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 169°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bladenboro, NC (3W6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bladenboro, NC (3W6)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:1100 EST 
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: BLADENBORO (3W6)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 116 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None 
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.549167, -78.776667 (est)

Fire / Smoke (Non-Impact): Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N4153R, fatal accident occurred May 02, 2018 near Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey

Reverend Andrew John Topp, a selfless humanitarian and avid pilot, went home to the Lord doing what he loved most, flying, on May 2nd, 2018.


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
Lycoming; Dallas, Texas
Piper; Wichita, Kansas

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/N4153R

The Rev. Andrew Topp is seen with his Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six. 


Location: West Milford, NJ
Accident Number: ERA18FA138
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1410 EDT
Registration: N4153R
Aircraft: PIPER PA32
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Fire/smoke (non-impact)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 2, 2018, about 1410 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4153R, was destroyed when it impacted terrain after takeoff from Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to IHAF Flying Mission LLC and was being operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which was destined for Orange County Airport (MGJ), Montgomery, New York.

A flight instructor at 4N1, who was also a friend of the pilot, stated that he talked with the pilot just before the accident. The pilot told him that he was having problems with the airplane's engine and thought the problem was either the magnetos or the spark plugs. The pilot stated that he was going to taxi to the end of the runway and perform an engine run-up. If the engine run-up was successful, he was going to take a short flight to MGJ and return.

A witness located 1 mile north of the airport heard the airplane take off, heard the airplane's engine sputter, then heard a loss of power. He then heard the sound of a crash and called 911.

Home for Good Dog Rescue co-founder Richard Errico with the Rev. Andrew Topp.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/27/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 625 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate, issued April 27, 2016. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported 625 total hours of flight experience. The pilot's logbook was onboard the airplane and was consumed by fire. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N4153R
Model/Series: PA32 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32-40468
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/30/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TI0-540-K1A5
Registered Owner: IHAF FLYING MISSION LLC
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The six-seat, low-wing, tricycle-gear-airplane was manufactured in 1968. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540-K1A5, 300-horsepower engine equipped with a two-bladed Hartzell propeller. Family members stated that the maintenance logbooks were carried on the airplane in the luggage compartment. The luggage compartment was consumed by fire and all documents were destroyed. A local mechanic stated that he performed the most recent annual inspection on the airplane in late June 2017. He also stated that the pilot often performed maintenance on his own airplane.



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFWN, 421 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 291°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 21 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: West Milford, NJ (4N1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: MONTGOMERY, NY (MGJ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1410 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

The 1353 recorded weather at Sussex Airport (FWN), Sussex, New Jersey, located 13 miles northwest of the accident site, included wind from 220° at 10 knots gusting to 21 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 30°C, dew point 6°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Greenwood Lake (4N1)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 789 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3471 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.121389, -74.350833 (est) 

The wreckage was located in a wooded area about 1,100 ft south of the departure end of runway 24 and was consumed by a fire. Tree branches were observed broken descending about a 12° angle and extending about 50 ft on a magnetic heading of 110° to the main wreckage. The main wreckage came to rest upright. The instrument panel was consumed by fire. Both wings separated from the fuselage and were located about 30 ft behind the fuselage. The wings exhibited minor fire damage. Fuel was found in both wing tanks and was consistent in color and odor with 100LL aviation fuel. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the flight controls through breaks consistent with overload separations.

The engine remained attached to the airframe. The accessories on the right rear of the engine were consumed by fire. The upper right corner of the firewall exhibited a burn area free of soot. The fire sleeving of the oil lines, engine baffling, and oil cooler all exhibited thermal damage. The upper engine cowling was intact but exhibited heavy thermal damage on the aft right side. The lower cowl was heavily sooted and the fiberglass resin was charred and missing in areas. The thermal damage was consistent with an in-flight fire. (For further information, see the Materials Laboratory Fire Factual Report in the NTSB public docket for this accident.)

The propeller blades were both bent aft at mid-blade. Thumb compression was established on all cylinders and a lighted boroscope was used to examine all pistons and valves with no anomalies noted.

During the engine examination, the inlet fuel line from the fuel pump to the fuel servo was found loose. The line could be moved over 1/8 inch inside the B-nut. Parker Aerospace, the manufacturer of the hose, stated that, based on the hose's part number, it was not approved for airplane use and was intended for industrial use only. The hose looked identical to an approved one, but with a different part number.

The fuel servo and the hose that was installed on the airplane were sent to Avstar Fuel Systems, Inc., for operational testing and examination. The test revealed that the servo met all the requirements for flow. The B-nut was loosened during the flow test to simulate the loose line and fuel sprayed from the B-nut immediately after loosening the nut. The B-nut was not loosened to the same amount found during the postaccident examination since fuel was spraying immediately after torque was removed.

The fuel pump was sent to CJ Aviation for operational testing and examination. The fuel pump was installed on a test bench and flow tested. The test did not reveal any anomalies.

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner, Newark, New Jersey, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The report listed the cause of death as blunt trauma.

Toxicology testing was performed at the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory on specimens from the pilot. Acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine, and naproxen were detected in urine; pseudoephedrine was also detected in blood.


Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant commonly marketed with the name Sudafed. Products containing this drug are only available "behind the counter" but do not require a prescription. Acetaminophen is an analgesic and fever reducer available over-the-counter and commonly marketed with the name Tylenol. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory drug available over the counter and commonly marketed with the names Naprosyn and Aleve. These drugs are not considered impairing in usual doses.

Visual Flight Rules Encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions: Beech Bonanza V35A, N7019N, fatal accident occurred March 25, 2018 in Hydro, Caddo County, Oklahoma


Walter "Rick" Mullaney
Rick was an oil and gas landman, commercial pilot, ham radio operator, and managed the El Reno Regional Airport for 25 years. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the National Rifle Association.


Cesar Gomez 
1990-2018

Cesar was a quarter horse jockey. According to Daily Racing Form LLC, Cesar won the Grade 1 All-American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs in 2015. He won the first race of his career in March 2014. His mounts pocketed more than $5.6 million in purses, according to Daily Racing Form LLC. 

 Cesar Gomez won 267 races. 


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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

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/N7019N



Walter "Rick" Mullaney

Location: Hydro, OK
Accident Number: ERA18FA114
Date & Time: 03/25/2018, 2137 CDT
Registration: N7019N
Aircraft: BEECH V35
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: VFR encounter with IMC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 25, 2018, about 2137 central daylight time, a Beech V35A, N7019N, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Hydro, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed from Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas, about 1947, and was destined for El Reno Regional Airport (RQO), El Reno, Oklahoma.

The pilot and passenger departed RQO earlier in the day and arrived at ODO about 1345. A line technician at the ODO fixed-base operator (FBO) reported that the passenger left the airport shortly after the airplane arrived and the pilot remained in the terminal. The FBO technician reported that the pilot asked that weather radar and satellite information be displayed on a large monitor throughout the afternoon, as the pilot stated to him that he was "concerned with the clouds."

Review of an audio recording from Leidos Flight Service in Austin, Texas, revealed that the pilot called for a weather briefing at 1806. The pilot informed the flight service specialist that he was planning a visual flight rules (VFR) flight from ODO to RQO in about 30 minutes and it would be about a 2.5-hour flight. During the 11-minute call, the flight service specialist provided the pilot with numerous weather and flight information details.

The flight service specialist informed the pilot that multiple AIRMETs affected his route of flight. The specialist stated that one AIRMET was for "IFR [instrument flight rules] right at your destination," developing between 1900-2200, "shortly after you depart Odessa." The pilot stated, "I don't see that being a problem right now, I can see things are changing out here. Things look good v-f-r at Odessa." The specialist responded, "yeah, this isn't a problem about Odessa, it's about your destination. Your first part of your route isn't the problem, it might be that last part. Can you go i-f-r if you need to?" The pilot responded, "yeah, I can if I need to." The specialist and pilot continued the briefing for another 7 minutes; an audio recording of the entire call is available in the public docket.

Review of air traffic control audio provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot requested VFR flight following services upon departure from ODO, and radio communications were uneventful for about the first 1 hour 40 minutes of the flight. About 2120, the pilot checked in with the Oklahoma City Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (OKC approach) and was provided with the current altimeter setting.

About 2125, the OKC approach controller asked the pilot if he had RQO in sight. The pilot stated that he did not and informed the controller that he was trying to "get down underneath it [clouds]" and asked for the reported weather at Oklahoma City Airport (OKC). The controller informed him that OKC reported a ceiling of 1,100 ft agl, which the pilot acknowledged. 

About 2126, the controller informed the pilot that Hinton Municipal Airport (2O8), Hinton, Oklahoma, was to the west about 5 miles, and asked if he would like to try that airport. The pilot acknowledged the suggestion and began to navigate toward 2O8.

About 2128, the controller informed the pilot that Hinton was at his 12 o'clock and 3 miles. The pilot did not respond. The controller attempted to contact the pilot two additional times, and on the third attempt, instructed the pilot to 'ident' the transponder. 

At 2128:56, the pilot responded, "I'm hearing you, I'm still trying to get out of these clouds here uh I'm uh headed over towards Hinton right now but I'm going to go back out to the west and see if I can get underneath [the clouds]."

About 2129, the OKC controller instructed the pilot to contact the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZFW center) controller and informed the pilot that he was actually in ZFW's airspace at that time. The pilot did not respond. For the next 1.5 minutes, the OKC controller attempted to contact the pilot three additional times and, on the fourth attempt, he instructed the pilot to click his microphone twice if he could hear the transmission. The pilot did not respond, and no microphone clicks were heard on the audio recording.

About 2131, the pilot transmitted, "…uh I'm still uh trudging out to the west here I'm still trying to get back out of it uh could you give me the el reno [weather]." The OKC controller asked the pilot how he heard the transmission. The pilot did not respond. The ZFW controller attempted to contact the pilot, but the pilot did not respond. The OKC controller attempted to contact the pilot again, and the pilot told the controller to go ahead. The OKC controller informed the pilot that he could not tell if he could hear him or not.

About 2132, the pilot responded to the OKC controller, "okay I'm I'm uh I'm trying to uh I'm still trying to get out of this I I see it's clear above I'm just going to climb back up here." Seventeen seconds later, the OKC controller informed the pilot that the weather at RQO included 7 miles of visibility with an 800-ft overcast ceiling. The pilot responded, "…okay that explains it alright very good." The OKC controller told the pilot to contact ZFW center and advised him that ZFW center had radar contact on the airplane and that they would work with him. The pilot acknowledged.

About 2133, the pilot transmitted on the OKC approach frequency, "…Fort Worth center … we're uh back v f r on top again." The OKC controller advised the pilot that he was still transmitting on OKC approach control frequency. The pilot acknowledged and switched to the ZFW center frequency. 

At 2133:19, the pilot contacted the ZFW controller and reported that he was at 3,500 ft. The ZFW controller asked the pilot his intentions, to which the pilot responded, "okay my intentions are now that I've got myself out of the clouds, I'm back up on top here I'm going to try to go out to the west and get and slide in underneath it." The controller asked where he was flying to the west and where the pilot wanted to get back to. The pilot responded, "okay I'll try and go out towards Hinton Oklahoma and uh I'll try and get on the outskirts of this overcast and try to go underneath it to go to uh el reno." The controller acknowledged the transmission.

About 2138, the ZFW controller informed the pilot that radar contact was lost and asked the pilot to say his altitude. The pilot did not respond. The controller attempted to contact the pilot three additional times, but there were no further communications received from the pilot.

Review of radar data provided by the FAA revealed that the airplane was established on a northeasterly course toward RQO when, about 2125 and 8 miles from the airport, the airplane turned north, then west toward the town of Hinton, Oklahoma. The airplane continued flying west, passing Hinton Airport (2O8) about 1 mile south at 2,700 ft mean sea level (msl), and then flew southwest. At 2134, the airplane was about 7 miles south of Hydro, Oklahoma, flying southwest at 3,850 ft msl. Figure 1 shows the airplane's flight path and change of course.

Figure 1: Overview of Radar Flight Path

The radar track showed the airplane subsequently enter two left, descending, 360° spiral turns, leveling off about 2,200 ft msl. The airplane then flew north for about 20 seconds; the last radar target, at 2137, showed the airplane flying at 2,125 ft msl on a heading of 033° at 157 knots groundspeed. The final radar target was about 1/4 mile southwest of the accident site. Figure 2 depicts the spiral flight path.


Figure 2: Closer View of Final Few Minutes of Radar Flight Path

A witness, who was traveling southbound in his car on a road about 1/2 mile west of the accident site about the time of the accident, saw a "steady red light" and a "steady white light" travel over his car. He continued watching the lights out of his driver's side window for about 10 to 15 seconds, looking eastward, as the lights continued to get lower in his field of view; suddenly, he observed a bright "yellow glow" ignite. He attempted to drive to where he observed the bright yellow glow, but the light extinguished before he could reach the area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate on January 18, 2018. At that time, the pilot reported civil flight experience that included 4,500 total hours and 2 hours in the previous 6 months.

A review of the pilot's logbook contained a record of flights between August 30, 1994 and March 23, 2011. The total recorded flight time accumulated in this logbook was 2,580.5 hours. The logbook showed that his most recent flight review endorsement was dated September 2, 2016.

The most recent instrument proficiency check was dated December 27, 2001.

Another logbook located in the wreckage contained flight entries starting in December 2, 2010 and ending on March 9, 2018. The entries were for flights specific to the accident airplane and contained numerous entries by the accident pilot, as well as entries from other pilots who had flown the airplane. The last logbook entry recorded by the accident pilot was on March 5, 2018. Reviewing the accident pilot's entries from February 27, 2016, through the last entry, he recorded a total time of 55.8 hours in the accident airplane. Within the previous 12 months, he recorded 8.3 hours. The accident pilot noted one-night landing on September 3, 2016, and two additional night landings on February 27, 2016. Additionally, within the remarks section, the accident pilot noted two instrument approaches for two separate flights in September 2017. There were no other remarks or entries regarding night landings or instrument approaches in the previous 12 months. No other personal logbooks containing more recent flights for the pilot were found.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Beech V35A, a 5-seat, single-engine, low-wing airplane manufactured in 1967. It was powered by a Continental IO-520-BAcBB 285-horsepower engine. It was equipped with two 40-gallon fuel tanks. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual and 100-hour inspection was performed on December 21, 2017 at an airframe time of 3,361.17, a tachometer time of 2,559.17, and 887.6 hours since major engine overhaul. The tachometer found in the debris field displayed 2,583.17 hours.

A fuel receipt from the FBO at ODO indicated that 25.3 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel was added to the airplane. A line technician reported that he filled the airplane to the highest visual fuel tabs per the pilot's request, which, according to the pilot's operating handbook, corresponds to 64 gallons of total fuel on board and at least 4 hours of fuel endurance.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather conditions reported at 2135 at Thomas P. Stafford Airport (OJA), Weatherford, Oklahoma, 7 miles northwest of the accident site, included an overcast cloud ceiling at 800 ft above ground level (agl), wind from 120° at 11 knots gusting to 18 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, temperature 17°C, and dew point 16°C. The OJA weather observation was the nearest available weather to 2O8.

At 2115, the OJA observation included scattered clouds at 1,000 and 1,300 ft agl, wind from 130° at 14 knots gusting to 20 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, temperature 17°C, and dew point 16°C.

The weather conditions at RQO, about 27 miles east of the accident site, at 2115, included an overcast cloud ceiling at 800 ft agl, wind from 130° at 18 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, temperature 17°C, dew point 16°C, and barometric pressure 29.80 inches of mercury.

At 2135, the RQO observation included an overcast cloud ceiling at 800 ft agl, wind from 140° at 19 knots gusting to 25 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, temperature 18°C, dew point 16°C, and barometric pressure 29.80 inches of mercury.

A review of nearby weather reporting stations revealed that two airports, each about 35 miles southwest of the accident location, reported VFR conditions around the time of the accident.

Clinton-Sherman Airport (CSM), Burns Flat, Oklahoma, reported clear skies and 9 statute miles visibility at 2053. At 2153, scattered clouds were reported at 1,200 ft agl, with a visibility of 8 statute miles. At 2253, clear skies and visibility of 8 statute miles were reported.

Hobart Regional Airport (HBR), Hobart, Oklahoma, reported clear skies and visibility of 9 statute miles at 2053. At 2153, clear skies and visibility of 10 statute miles were reported. At 2253, a clear ceiling and visibility of 10 statute miles were reported. Reference the Flight Path Overview and Surrounding Hourly Weather Reports in the public docket.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16 infrared imagery at 2137 for the area immediately surrounding the accident location were between 12°C and -27°C, which corresponded to cloud top heights between 8,000 and 25,500 ft msl. In addition, satellite imagery identified that, at the time of the accident, low, warm clouds were in the accident region.

Astronomical data obtained from the United States Naval Observatory for the accident area indicated that the end of civil twilight was at 2016, and the phase of the moon indicated a waxing gibbous with 62% of the moon's visible disk illuminated. [A complete NTSB Weather Study is available in the public docket.]

The witness reported that it was windy at the time of the accident, and it was a darker than a normal night as "the moon was not visible." He reported that, other than a farmhouse light, there were no other cars that passed him near the time of the accident, the road was not lit, and the fields around the accident site were "pitch black."

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage came to rest upright in a flat, open field on a magnetic heading of 060° at an elevation about 1,670 ft msl. The airplane sustained extensive impact damage and there was evidence of a small postimpact fire. The engine separated from the firewall and was located about 220 ft forward of the main wreckage.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site and flight control continuity was established for all flight controls to the cockpit area. The landing gear selector and actuators were found in the retracted position. The flap handle and actuators were found in the retracted position. The fuel strainer screen and fuel strainer bowl were found clean. The fuel selector handle and valve were found selected to the right fuel tank.

The cockpit instrument panel, navigation, and communication instruments were impact damaged. The attitude indicator and heading indicator were found in the debris field. The heading indicator displayed a heading of 060°. Both gyroscope housings exhibited evidence of rotational scoring. The throttle lever and mixture control levers were found full forward and bent. The propeller control lever was found pulled out (aft).

The airplane was equipped with five seats. The two front seats were separated from the airframe and found in the debris field. One front seat lap belt was found buckled with its attach point stitching ripped on one side. The other front seat lap belt was found unbuckled with one of its attach points stitching ripped. The number 5 passenger seat was the only seat found attached to the airframe. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses.

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand. Valve train continuity was established and all pistons operated normally. Each spark plug displayed varying degrees of impact damage; the top spark plugs were visually inspected and displayed normal operating and combustion signatures. The cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope; the cylinder bore, piston faces, and valve heads displayed normal operating and combustion signatures.

The fuel manifold valve and fuel nozzles were examined and no debris was observed. Numerous engine accessories separated from the engine and were found in the debris field. Both magnetos separated from the engine and produced spark when rotated by an electric drill.

The vacuum pump remained attached to the engine and displayed impact damage signatures. The vacuum pump was removed; the shear coupling remained intact. The vacuum pump was disassembled and the rotor was impact damaged.

All three propeller blades had broken free from the propeller hub and displayed impact damage signatures. Each propeller blade displayed varying amounts of S-bending, blade polishing, leading edge gouging, and twisting deformation.

The postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. A detailed airframe and engine examination report is in the public docket.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The report stated that the probable cause of death was "multiple trauma due to light plane crash – pilot."

The FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory conducted toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot. Testing was negative for volatiles and drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Spatial Disorientation

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute's publication, "Introduction to Aviation Physiology," defines spatial disorientation as a loss of proper bearings or a state of mental confusion as to position, location, or movement relative to the position of the earth. Factors contributing to spatial disorientation include changes in acceleration, flight in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), frequent transfer between visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and IMC, and unperceived changes in aircraft attitude.

The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) describes some hazards associated with flying when the ground or horizon are obscured. The handbook states, in part:

The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation.

Night and Instrument Currency

According to excerpts from 14 CFR Part 61.57, Recent flight experience:

Pilot in command, (b) night takeoff and landing experience, in order to act as pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, within the preceding 90 days the pilot must have made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise.

In addition, part (d) states, Instrument proficiency check: a person who has failed to meet the instrument experience requirements of paragraph (c) of this section for more than six calendar months may reestablish instrument currency only by completing an instrument proficiency check.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/18/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/02/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 55.8 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH 
Registration: N7019N
Model/Series: V35 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: D-8619
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/21/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3361.17 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-BAcBB
Registered Owner: ON TOP FLYING CO LLC
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOJA, 1607 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2135 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 315°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  7 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.77 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ODESSA, TX (ODO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: EL RENO, OK (RQO)
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1947 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 35.454444, -98.562778