Monday, February 10, 2020

Collision During Landing: Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N988FX; accident occurred February 07, 2020 at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI), Maryland

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland 
Federal Aviation Administration / Certificate Management Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Accident Number: ERA20CA095
Date & Time: February 7, 2020, 04:15 Local
Registration: N988FX
Aircraft: Cessna 208
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled 


The pilot was conducting an instrument landing system approach in night instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot was using the autopilot for the approach to the destination airport and disengaged it when he had the runway and airport lighting system in view. The pilot reported that, as he approached the runway, he heard a sound and thought the airplane had hit a bird. He felt the airplane pitch up, so he increased engine power and pitched down to reach the runway. After the pilot landed and taxied to the ramp, he saw that a large piece of an approach light was caught on the right main landing gear. Further examination revealed that the empennage, right horizontal stabilizer, right wing strut, and front cargo pod had sustained substantial damage. The operator reported that the airplane had struck four approach
light towers and a localizer antenna.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the approach lights during an instrument approach.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Runway/taxi/approach light - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-IFR final approach Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 35,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 23, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 23, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2011 hours (Total, all aircraft), 400 hours (Total, this make and model), 1352 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 62 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N988FX
Model/Series: 208 B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 208B2400
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 26, 2019 AAIP 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 8752 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 97 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: 3497.4 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Canada
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-114A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 675 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: 
Operator Designator Code: MTNA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument (IMC) 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: BWI,143 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 04:30 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown
Visibility: 1.8 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Unknown 
Visibility (RVR): 1600 ft
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.18 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: In the vicinity - None - Fog
Departure Point: Newark, NJ (EWR )
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Baltimore, MD (BWI )
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 04:03 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class B

Airport Information

Airport: Baltimore/Washington Intl Thur BWI
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 143 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10 
IFR Approach: ILS
Runway Length/Width: 10503 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.175834,-76.668891(est)


  1. Lucky ... All night hazard of freight

  2. I have real sympathy for night time freight dog pilots driving small packages around from hub to hub. That's a hard way to build time. Hopefully he/she keeps the job at FedEx because that's about the best you can get being a bottom-tier prop freight pilot with the worst routes and schedules.

  3. Tower cleared aircraft to land stating RVR 1000. Not an accident, but a violation.


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