Sunday, March 29, 2020

Abnormal Runway Contact: Robinson R22 Beta, N1777V; accident occurred February 05, 2016 at Taylor Municipal Airport (T74), Williamson County, Texas

View of damaged tail boom.
Federal Aviation Administration



Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N1777V

Location: Taylor, TX
Accident Number: GAA16CA530
Date & Time: 02/05/2016, 0900 CDT
Registration: N1777V
Aircraft: Robinson R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

The helicopter flight instructor reported that, with he and the student both on the controls, about 10 feet above the ground, he initiated a simulated, engine failure autorotation with a power recovery. As they rolled the engine throttle up to recover, the alternator light came on and "the engine quit." About two feet above the ground, the flight instructor raised full collective, leveled the helicopter and the low rotor rpm light illuminated, and the horn sounded. The helicopter landed hard, bounced, settled back onto the runway, and the main rotor blade struck the tailboom. The pilot added that during the accident sequence, the alternator light turned off.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that during his interview with the flight instructor, the pilot stated that the engine might have had a low idle setting and that during the accident flight, he applied full carb heat. 

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector added that due to the accident occurring more than three (3) years before it was reported by an anonymous person, he was not able to determine the reason for a reported power loss.

The instructor further reported that during a post-accident engine run, the engine started and ran without any issues.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/19/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/01/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 9600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2000 hours (Total, this make and model), 52 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 28 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 36, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/24/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N1777V
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1987
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 0623
Landing Gear Type: Ski; Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/27/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: KEDC, 617 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1355 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 211°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 300 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Fog
Departure Point: Austin, TX (EDC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Taylor, TX (T74)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Taylor Muni (T74)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation:600 ft 
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Simulated Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.572778, -97.443056 (est)

Loss of Control in Flight: Beechcraft Bonanza A36, N408P; accident occurred December 06, 2019 at Kestrel Airpark (1T7), Spring Branch, Comal County, Texas

Baggage Compartment.

N408P seating arrangement per pilot in command.









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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas 

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 
 
https://registry.faa.gov/N408P



Location: Spring Branch, TX
Accident Number: CEN20TA031
Date & Time: 12/06/2019, 1315 CDT
Registration: N408P
Aircraft: Beech 36
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 5 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 6, 2019, about 1315 central standard time, a Beechcraft A36 airplane, N408P, sustained substantial damage during an impact with terrain following an aborted takeoff at Kestrel Airpark (1T7), Spring Branch, Texas. The airplane was registered to Aviation Professionals LLC and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. The private pilot and four passengers were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed for the accident flight to Ennis, Texas (F41).

On the day of the accident, the pilot had just flew from F41 to 1T7. He stated that prior to departure from F41, he had topped off the fuel tanks, which resulted in 80 gallons of fuel for the 1 hour flight. He estimated the fuel burn to be about 17 gallons. He stated that after landing at 1T7, he loaded the 4 passengers and completed an engine run-up, with no anomalies noted. He did note however, that the weight was "more of a load than last time." He stated that due to the crosswind, he elected to utilize no flaps for the takeoff. At the end of the runway, he held the brakes, applied full power then released the brakes for takeoff. He stated that the engine sounded normal, but the airplane would not generate lift. When the airplane reached a speed of about 80 knots, he tried to rotate, but it would not fly and he felt it "shudder." The pilot said he then reduced the engine power to abort the takeoff and maneuvered the airplane into the grass to slow it down, resulting in substantial damage to both wings. The pilot added that he thought the airplane reached 4 to 6 ft of altitude.

When asked, the pilot stated that he was unaware of the density altitude at the time of departure and also stated that he used 2,100 lbs for the basic empty weight of the airplane and did not think the airplane was close to the maximum gross weight. The airplane owner provided the most recent weight and balance to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-In-Charge (IIC).

According to occupant weights as provided by the Texas Highway Patrol from driver's license information, the total occupant weight was 765 lbs. The pilot stated that he had between 40 and 50 lbs of cargo behind the front seats and 75 lbs in the cargo compartment (aft baggage limit was 70 lbs) in addition to about 63 gallons of fuel, which weighed about 378 lbs. A post-accident weight and balance was conducted by the NTSB IIC using seating and cargo locations provided by the pilot. The takeoff weight of the airplane was about 3,881.34 lbs and the center of gravity was 86.00 inches aft of datum.

The pilot's operating handbook for the accident airplane lists a maximum takeoff weight of 3,650 lbs. At maximum takeoff weight, the aft center of gravity limit is 87.7 inches. The handbook does not provide a method for interpolation of center of gravity limits for weights in excess of the maximum takeoff weight.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Facilities Directory, 1T7 is a public airport with runways 30 and 12. The airplane was attempting a takeoff from runway 30 which is 3,000 ft long and 40 ft wide and sloped 1.4% up. The field elevation is 1,261 ft above mean sea level (MSL) and a note under airport remarks states "Rwy 30 rises rapidly at north end."

The closest official weather reporting station at the San Antonio Airport (SAT), San Antonio, Texas, located about 17 mile south of the accident location, at an elevation of 809 ft, reported a temperature of 24°C and a dewpoint of 6°C. By utilizing the SAT altimeter setting of 30.17 combined with the 1T7 field elevation of 1,261 ft, the density altitude at the time of the accident was about 2,091 ft.

A review of the manufacturer's supplied flaps retracted takeoff distance chart, located in the pilot's operating handbook, revealed that the airplane's weight at the time of the accident exceeded the chart's performance parameters. As a result, takeoff performance calculations could not be determined. The maximum weight for which takeoff data was supplied was 3,650 lbs. Furthermore, the data provided did not include penalties or enhancements for sloped runways.

The FAA publication titled Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B) contains information as it relates to takeoff performance considerations. Regarding takeoff weight, it contains the following information:

"…the effect of gross weight on takeoff distance is significant, and proper consideration of this item must be made in predicting the aircraft's takeoff distance. Increased gross weight can be considered to produce a threefold effect on takeoff performance:

1. Higher lift-off speed

2. Greater mass to accelerate

3. Increased retarding force (drag and ground friction)

If the gross weight increases, a greater speed is necessary to produce the greater lift necessary to get the aircraft airborne at the takeoff lift coefficient."

It also states "[an] upsloping runway impedes acceleration and results in a longer ground run during takeoff."

14 CFR 91.103 states, in part:

Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include—

(a) For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;

(b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the following takeoff and landing distance information:

(1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required, the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/05/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/12/2019
Flight Time: 132 hours (Total, all aircraft), 43 hours (Total, this make and model), 34 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 23 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N408P
Model/Series: 36 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: E-3580
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats:6 
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3651 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: 
Engine Model/Series: IO-550
Registered Owner: Aviation Professionals Llc
Rated Power:
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: KSAT, 809 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1951 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 188°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 350°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Antonio, TX (1T7)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Ennis, TX (F41)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Kestrel Airpark (1T7)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1261 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 30
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 4 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 5 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.811667, -98.426111

Orlican L-60 SF Brigadýr, N71GC: Accident occurred February 21, 2020 at Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK), Maryland

Deutch American Trading LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N71GC


NTSB Identification: ERA20CA107

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 21, 2020 in Frederick, MD
Aircraft: Orlican L60, registration: N71GC

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report. 



A strong crosswind knocked a single-engine plane off its wheels after a safe landing at Frederick Municipal Airport on February 21st.

While the incident was sent out to police and fire and rescue personnel as a plane crash at the airport, much of the response was quickly called off and emergency medical personnel were not needed as neither of the two men in the aircraft at the time was injured as a result.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified of the incident, but Maryland State Police handled the initial investigation, said Sgt. Jerimy Tindal, a state police supervisor at the scene. Tindal was not certain whether the NTSB or the Federal Aviation Administration would handle the investigation moving forward.

A man identified by state police as a passenger on the plane said the incident occurred after the plane had landed and was about to come to a stop. The man declined to provide his name, but confirmed that neither he nor the pilot was injured and that the incident, while momentarily alarming, was ultimately not serious.

The man said the plane was an L-60SF Brigadyr that was originally manufactured in Czechoslovakia in 1958 but was registered locally and had originally taken off from the airport for a short flight.

Original article ➤ https://www.fredericknewspost.com

Loss of Control on Ground: Luscombe 8A Silvaire, N45606; accident occurred December 04, 2019 at Vinland Valley Aerodrome (K64), Baldwin City, Douglas County, Kansas

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas 

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N45606


Location: Baldwin City, KS
Accident Number: CEN20LA029
Date & Time: 12/04/2019, 1657 CST
Registration: N45606
Aircraft: Luscombe 8A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On December 4, 2019, at 1657 central daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N45606, was substantially damaged during takeoff at Vinland Valley Aerodrome (K64), Baldwin City, Kansas. The private pilot and flight instructor were uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Dusk visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight originated from K64 at 1605.

The flight instructor was conducting a Part 61.56 flight review of the pilot at the time of the accident. The pilot just completed a "good" wheel landing and was going to attempt an additional takeoff so that he could perform a three-point landing.

During the takeoff roll, when the airplane was about 600 ft down runway 16 (3,030 ft by 80 ft, dry turf), it crossed over the runway centerline towards the right. The pilot applied left rudder control input, but the airplane continued to the right. The airplane then went off the runway and into a soft and muddy farm field where it nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and empennage.

The pilot stated there was no mechanical malfunction/failure of the airplane. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/09/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:12/04/2019 
Flight Time:  717 hours (Total, all aircraft), 335 hours (Total, this make and model), 717 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/08/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/22/2018
Flight Time:   1131 hours (Total, all aircraft), 448 hours (Total, this make and model), 1063 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 70 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Luscombe
Registration: N45606
Model/Series: 8A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2133
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/07/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1337 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1754 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C90-12
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power:90 hp 
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LWC, 833 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1652 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Baldwin City, KS (K64)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Baldwin City, KS (K64)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1605 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Vinland Valley Aerodrome (K64)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 890 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Soft
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3030 ft / 80 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 38.836111, -95.181944 (est)

Cessna 150M, N714ER: Accident occurred February 15, 2020 near Wadsworth Municipal Airport (3G3), Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N714ER

Location: Wadsworth, OH
Accident Number: CEN20LA092
Date & Time: 02/15/2020, 1300 EST
Registration: N714ER
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On February 15, 2020, about 1300 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150M airplane, N714ER, was substantially damaged following a loss of engine power near Wadsworth, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. The flight was operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91 as a personal flight.

According to information provided by the pilot, while on approach to land on runway 20 at the Wadsworth Municipal Airport, Wadsworth, Ohio, the airplane's engine lost power. The airplane landed about 300 yards short of the runway. Substantial damage was sustained to an engine mount.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N714ER
Model/Series: 150 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: AeroTrek Flight Academy
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBJJ, 1137 ft msl
Observation Time: 1756 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ravenna, OH (POV)
Destination: Wadsworth, OH (3G3)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.003056, -81.756389 (est)

Cessna 402C, N409BK: Accident occurred February 12, 2020 at Barnstable Municipal Airport (KHYA), Hyannis, Massachusetts

Hyannis Air Service Inc doing business as Cape Air

https://registry.faa.gov/N409BK

NTSB Identification: ERA20CA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in Barnstable, MA
Aircraft: Cessna 402, registration: N409BK

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 525 CitationJet, N525P; fatal accident occurred April 15, 2018 in Crozet, Albemarle County, Virginia

Kent Donald Carr
January 16th, 1967 - April 15th, 2018




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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Williams International; Walled Lake, Michigan

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N525P

Location: Crozet, VA
Accident Number: ERA18FA127
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 2054 EDT
Registration: N525P
Aircraft: CESSNA 525
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 15, 2018, at 2054 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 525, N525P, was destroyed after it impacted terrain near Crozet, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was owned by a private individual and was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Richmond Executive–Chesterfield County Airport (FCI), Richmond, Virginia, about 2035 and was destined for Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD), Weyers Cave, Virginia.

According to a friend of the pilot, the pilot had "a couple of drinks" while they were preparing dinner. The pilot left her home about 1930. The pilot's friend thought that the pilot would be going to a hotel because it was getting dark, but FCI security video showed that the pilot arrived at the airport at 2002 and walked to the airplane at 2004. The pilot then walked around the airplane for about 3 minutes, boarded the airplane, closed the main cabin door, and initiated the engine start sequence at 2017. About 2 minutes later, the airplane began to taxi to the departure end of runway 15 and then taxied back to the departure end of runway 33. The takeoff roll began on runway 33 at 2033. The airport security video showed the windsock, which indicated that the wind favored a departure from runway 15. According to an airport line service employee, the airplane departed with a tailwind. The employee also stated that the pilot did not communicate on the Unicom frequency.

According to air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a radar target identified as the accident airplane departed FCI and reached a maximum altitude of about 11,500 ft mean sea level (msl) at 2040. The airplane then began to descend and, at 2044, leveled off at an altitude of about 4,300 ft (which was below the minimum safe altitude of 5,700 ft msl for SHD). The airplane remained at 4,300 ft until 2053, when it began a descending left turn. The last two radar returns were 5 seconds apart and showed the airplane at 3,300 ft and 2,800 msl, which indicated that the airplane was descending about 6,000 ft per minute. Radar contact was lost at 2054. Throughout the flight, the pilot did not have any contact with air traffic control.

According to a witness near the accident location, he heard the "screaming of the engines" and then felt the terrain shake when the airplane impacted the ground. He stated that, at the time of the accident, the cloud ceiling was "really low," the winds were moderate, and heavy rain was occurring.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, 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 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/15/2018
Flight Time:   737.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 13.5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, the pilot had a Cessna CE-525S type rating. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on November 30, 2016. At that time, he reported 1,900 hours of total flight experience, of which 25 hours were within the previous 6 months.

According to the pilot's logbook, he had a total of 737.9 hours of flight time, of which 13.5 hours were in the 30 days before the accident. In addition, he reported 1.4 hours of instrument time in the previous 90 days, which included 9 instrument approaches. Since 2014, the pilot had flown 165.4 hours in the accident airplane. According to family members, the pilot flew to Richmond, Virginia, the day before the accident to perform a flight review on the afternoon of the accident date. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N525P
Model/Series: 525 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 525-0165
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2017, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Jet
Airframe Total Time: 3311.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Williams International
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series:FJ44-1A 
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 1900 lbs
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

According to FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was manufactured in 1996 and was equipped with two Williams International FJ44-1A engines, each of which produced 1,900 lbs of thrust. According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent continuous airworthiness inspection was recorded on March 1, 2017; at that time, the airframe had accumulated 3,311.6 total hours of operation.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was equipped with a multifunction display and a Garmin MX20, which displayed satellite weather information. According to the Garmin MX20 description, the display had a built-in terrain elevation database that color-coded relevant ground features in relation to an aircraft's altitude and could alert the pilot to rising terrain. The MX20 was also integrated with various onboard weather radar, lightning, traffic awareness, and datalink systems that enabled uploading of graphical weather information and Next Generation Weather Radar depictions.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: CHO, 644 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2057 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 79°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Thin Broken / 700 ft agl
Visibility:  2.5 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 700 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:  29.79 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Mist; Moderate - Rain
Departure Point: RICHMOND, VA (FCI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Weyers Cave, VA (SHD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2035 EDT
Type of Airspace:

The recorded weather conditions at FCI about the time of departure indicated wind from 140° at 12 knots, 10 miles visibility, and broken cloud ceilings at 3,200 and 4,000 ft above ground level (agl).

The 2057 recorded weather observation at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO), Charlottesville, Virginia, which was about 13 miles northeast of the accident location, included wind from 020° at 4 knots, visibility 2 ½ miles, rain and mist, broken clouds at 700 ft agl, overcast clouds at 1,500 ft agl, temperature 11°C, dew point 11°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.79 inches of mercury. The remarks section indicated that lightning was detected northeast and south of the airport.

The 2035 recorded weather observation at SHD, which was about 15 miles northwest of the accident site, indicated wind from 350° at 12 knots, 7 miles visibility, moderate rain, scattered clouds at 900 ft agl, broken ceiling at 4,700 ft agl, overcast clouds at 5,000 ft agl, temperature 11°C, dew point 11°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.77 inches of mercury. The remarks section stated that the station had a precipitation discriminator and provided the following information: lightning distant (beyond 10 miles but less than 30 miles from the center of the airport) southeast, 0.29 inch of precipitation since 1955, temperature 11.1°C, and dew point 10.5°C.

The 2035 recorded automated weather observation at Eagles Nest Airport (W13), Waynesboro, Virginia, which was about 12 miles southwest of the accident location, indicated wind from 040° at 3 knots, 7 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 600 ft agl, broken ceiling at 1,600 ft agl, overcast clouds at 4,400 ft agl, temperature 14°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.74 inches of mercury. The remarks indicated that the station did not have a precipitation discriminator and provided the following information: 0.14 inch of precipitation since 1955, temperature 13.7°C, and dew point 13.6°C.

According to Lockheed Martin Flight Services, for the accident flight, the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing or use the direct user access terminal service.

According to reviewed radar data, reflectivity values between 25 and 35 dBZ were located above the accident site at 2053 (see figure 1), which corresponded with the surface observation precipitation reports from W13, SHD, and CHO. The reflectivity bands were moving from south-southwest to north-northeast between 2004 and 2103. The reflectivity targets indicated of moderate-to-heavy rain moving northward across the accident site at the accident time.

The accident airplane flew through a thunderstorm line between 2042 and 2047. There were no lightning strikes within 10 miles of the accident site about the accident time.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity at 2053 with the accident site marked with a black circle, the accident flight track in pink, the airplane's position at 2053 marked with a red circle and the lightning flashes represented by the black dots.


Further, two convective SIGMET advisories were valid for the accident site at the accident time. SIGMET 31E, issued at 1855 and valid through 2055, warned of a line of severe thunderstorms moving from 210° at 40 knots with cloud tops to FL420 (about 42,000 ft) with tornadoes, hail with a size up to 1 inch, and wind gusts to 60 knots possible. SIGMET 36E, issued at 1955 and valid through 2155, contained the same severe thunderstorm information as SIGMET 31E except that the cloud tops were to FL410 (about 41,000 ft).

AIRMETs Sierra, Tango, and Zulu were valid for the accident site at the accident time. The AIRMETs warned of instrument flight rules conditions due to precipitation and mist; mountain obscuration conditions due to clouds, precipitation, and mist; moderate turbulence below FL180 (about 18,000 ft), low-level wind shear conditions, and moderate icing below FL240 (about 24,000 ft).

In addition, there were three urgent pilot reports for the area near CHO within the 2 hours that preceded the time of the accident. All three reports were from Bombardier CRJ-200 airplanes. The reports stated that there was moderate turbulence in the vicinity, and one of the reports stated that the cloud bases were overcast at 1,500 ft msl.

According to the Astronomical Applications Department at the US Naval Observatory, for the area of the accident, sunset was at 1951, and the end of civil twilight was at 2018. Moonrise was at 0644, and the phase of the moon was a new moon at 2157. 

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:None 
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.097778, -78.722500 

The airplane impacted three 40-ft trees about 15 ft before impacting terrain at an elevation of 1,520 ft msl. The impact location was about 450 ft from the last radar return. The initial impact crater was about 4 ft deep, and a scent similar to Jet A fuel was noted at the accident site. The airplane was highly fragmented, with all major components of the airplane located at the accident site. The debris path emanated from a 120° heading, and the accident site was on a 25° incline.

All flight control cables and bellcranks remained attached in their appropriate locations and showed evidence of overstress failures.

The standby attitude indicator was located along the debris field and was disassembled. The gyro housing exhibited rotational scoring.

The left engine had separated due to impact forces and was located in the initial impact crater. The compressor turbine blades were damaged by the impact, and rotational scoring was noted on the blades. The turbine blade bases exhibited rotational scoring.

The right engine had separated due to impact forces and was located about 60 ft beyond the initial impact location. The engine was partially consumed by fire. The compressor fan blades exhibited rotational scoring, and several blades were bent forward. In addition, the compressor turbine blade housing exhibited rotational scoring, and the blades were bent the opposite direction of travel. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Richmond, Virginia, performed the autopsy of the pilot. The autopsy report indicated that the pilot died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicology testing performed at the FAA's Forensic Sciences Laboratory identified ethanol (0.080 gm/hg, which equates to 0.080 gm/dl) and cetirizine in the pilot's muscle tissue.

Ethanol is the intoxicant commonly found in beer, wine, and liquor. It acts as a central nervous system depressant and impairs judgment, psychomotor functioning, and vigilance. The effects of ethanol on aviators are generally well understood: it significantly impairs a pilot's performance, even at very low levels. Title 14 CFR 91.17(a) prohibits any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 gm/dl or more ethanol in the blood. In addition, the regulation states that no person can act as a crewmember of an aircraft within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage. Ethanol can also be produced in body tissues postmortem.

Cetirizine is a sedating antihistamine available over the counter and by prescription. It carries this warning for patients: "when using this product…drowsiness may occur…avoid alcoholic drinks…alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness…be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery."

Additional Information

FAA Airplane Flying Handbook

The handbook provided the following information about an airplane's attitude and spatial disorientation:

The pilot must believe what the flight instruments show about the airplane's attitude regardless of what the natural senses tell. The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) can and will confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in airplane attitude, nor can they accurately sense the 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.