Thursday, January 09, 2020

Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster, N4602B: Fatal accident occurred December 09, 2019 near Victoria Regional Airport (KVCT), Texas

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Martinaire Aviation; Addison, Texas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ottawa, Ontario

Location: Victoria, TX
Accident Number: CEN20FA032
Date & Time: 12/09/2019, 2017 CST
Registration: N4602B
Aircraft: Cessna 208
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled

On December 9, 2019, about 2017 central standard time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N4602B, impacted terrain during initial climb near Victoria, Texas. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Martinaire Aviation LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a cargo flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument rules (IFR) flight, which departed about 2004 from Victoria Regional Airport (VCT), Victoria, Texas, with an intended destination of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston, Texas.
After departing VCT from Runway 13L, air traffic control (ATC) directed the pilot to climb and maintain 3,000 ft mean sea level (msl). After climbing through 1,900 ft msl, the airplane began a series of fifteen course reversals, which continued throughout the remainder of the flight. The course reversals alternated between right and left turns, each with more than 90 degrees of heading change. ATC queried the pilot several times concerning the airplane's erratic course. At 2008 and 2011, the pilot stated that he had "some instrument problem" and after a suggestion by ATC, the pilot agreed to return to VCT. As the airplane continued to make turns, a rapid descent occurred, and radar contact was lost.

The airplane impacted a rural area at a near vertical attitude, with the propeller hub buried about 5 ft deep into clay soil. The airplane was highly fragmented, with remnants of the fuel tank and engine tubing located 225 ft from the main wreckage. All primary and secondary flight controls were accounted for. The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4602B
Model/Series: 208 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Martinaire Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVCT, 115 ft msl
Observation Time: 2034 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 4800 ft agl
Visibility:  6 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Victoria, TX (VCT)
Destination: Houston, TX (IAH)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 28.852500, -96.918611 (est)


  1. Curious as to the instrumentation installed. Sounds like old style instrumentation with some type of slow failure.

    Single pilot cargo ... day or night ... is tough duty. We treat all cargo as second class citizens ... nobody cares.


  2. One of the most difficult ways to build up time. Add on pressure to make deliveries in questionable conditions for both pilot skills and aircraft capability, and companies dealing with minimal maintenance and equipment upgrade budgets for owner profit margin happiness, and you get outcomes that can lead to this (not that any of that was the cause here of course). What is unquestionable though is that NTSB accident reports are full of these freight dog accidents since 1962. That's just beyond coincidence.