Sunday, September 20, 2020

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu JetPROP DLX, N236KM: Fatal accident occurred September 20, 2020 in Hilltop Lakes, Leon County, 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 did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida 

Location: Hilltop Lakes, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA402
Date & Time: September 20, 2020, 10:50 Local 
Registration: N236KM
Aircraft: Piper PA46 
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 20, 2020, about 1050 central daylight time (CDT), a Piper PA-46-310, N236KM, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hilltop Lakes, Texas. The commercial pilot and 3 passengers sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

While in cruise flight at 19,000 ft mean sea level (MSL), the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control (ATC) and stated that the airplane had lost engine power and that he needed to divert. The pilot elected to divert to Hilltop Lakes Airport (0TE4), which was about 5 miles south of his position. Archived FAA automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that when the airplane was about 5 miles west of 0TE4, a descent was initiated from 19,000 ft and the airplane proceeded directly to, and circled around, the airport while descending. ADS-B data was lost about 3 miles northeast of the airport, as the airplane descended below the floor of the ADS-B reception capability.

Commercially available flight track data, which aggregates and georeferences FAA data sources, continued to receive aircraft data as the airplane turned to a final approach segment. The last data point showed the airplane about 1 mile north of the approach end of runway 15 at 0TE4 at an altitude of 1,250 ft, 169 knots ground speed and on a ground track of 145°.

Witnesses located about ¼ mile south of the end of runway 15 reported seeing what they described as the airplane taking off, before noticing the propeller was not turning. They stated they saw the airplane in a left bank just prior to the nose dropping and the airplane impacting the ground in a near vertical attitude.

The airplane came to rest along a road about 200 ft south of the airport property. The airplane impacted the terrain in a nose low, near vertical attitude and sustained substantial damage to fuselage and both wings.

The airplane was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine that had been installed in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate ST00541SE. 

A detailed wreckage and engine examination is pending.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N236KM
Model/Series: PA46 310P 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCLL,320 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 20°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Horseshoe Bay, TX (KDZB) 
Destination: Natchitoches, LA (KIER)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 31.073888,-96.213333 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.



Kenneth and Missy Hix

Mr. Kenneth Lloyd Hix and Mrs. Missy Lynn Toups Hix of Lafayette, Louisiana died on September 20, 2020, both at the age of 59. A Memorial Service celebrating their lives will be held on Friday, September 25, 2020 at St. Jules Catholic Church at 10:00 AM. The family will receive friends on Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 8:00PM at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Visitation will continue Friday, September 25, 2020 at St. Jules Catholic Church beginning at 9:00 AM until the time of service. Reverend Dan Edwards, Pastor of St. Jules Catholic Church in Lafayette, will conduct the funeral services. Survivors include their two sons, Austin J. Hix of Lafayette and Connor J. Hix of Lafayette; Missy Toups Hix parent’s, Anson and Ruth Toups, and her siblings, Kitty Toups, Rusty Toups, Kelly and (Kris) Toups, Toby and (Tessie) Toups, and numerous nieces and nephews; Kenny Hix’s mother, Jo Condray Hix and sister, Karen Hix-Cherico. Kenny was preceded in death by his father John Lloyd Hix. 

Kenneth Hix was born January 14, 1961 in Lafayette, LA. He spent his childhood growing up in Natchitoches, LA, as well as traveling around the world with his educator-parents and beloved sister. Kenny attended college at Northwestern State University, where in addition to following in his footsteps as an overachiever in all aspects of his life, he would meet his best friend and wife Missy Lynn Toups. Kenny then attended law school at Louisiana State University, before returning to Lafayette, a city he loved so much, to practice law and start a life. In addition to his practice of law, Kenny found great success in several fields of business, always applying his trademarked brand of diligence, rigor, kindness, and generosity to any endeavor he put his mind to. Never braggadocios, Kenny chose to measure the great success he found in life not in achievements or acclaim, but rather in the countless lives he touched and many friends he made along the way. None of this success would have been possible without the tireless efforts of Kenny’s personal life-manager and wife, Missy Hix.

Missy Lynn Toups was born on January 8, 1961 in Galliano, LA to a large family of relentlessly headstrong individuals. Determined to make a life for herself, Missy left the bayou and attended college in Natchitoches, LA at Northwestern State University where she would meet her future husband and lifelong project, Kenny Hix. Always supportive, Missy worked hard to put Kenny through law school and provide for their family while Kenny was establishing himself as the successful businessman he would become. Missy made sure that every aspect of her family’s life was meticulously maintained, a task she found delight in. Those who had the privilege of knowing Missy will remember her for her warmth, her generosity, and her uncanny excellence in hosting friends in her home or anywhere people would gather, whether or not they wanted her to do so. Missy’s one desire in life seemed to be making sure everyone around her was always happy and well-fed, a task she always seemed to accomplish. Both Missy and Kenny loved the Acadiana community. Though neither one ever attended class at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, both were honorary alums.

Missy and Kenny were avid supporters of Ragin Cajun athletics, and could often be found at UL games. Devout Catholics, the couple found numerous ways to give themselves to the greater Acadiana Community. Through their activities with Lourdes Hospital, the VA hospital, Angel Air, United Way, and the Miles Perret Center; Missy and Kenny’s first thought was always of helping others.

A rosary will be prayed in their honor on Thursday, September 24, 2020 as St. Pius X Church at 6:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the names of Kenny and Missy Hix to the Diocese of Lafayette, 1408 Carmel Drive Lafayette, LA. 70501.

Philip and Pauline Soileau Ackel

A Mass of Christian Burial for Philip Anthony Ackel and Pauline Soileau Ackel will be celebrated at 2:00 pm Thursday, September 24th at The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Rev. Craig Scott and Rev. John O’Brien officiating.  Burial will follow at The Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches.  Visitation will be from 9am – 1pm on Thursday, September 24th at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.

Philip and Pauline Ackel went to be with the Lord on Sunday, September 20, 2020.  The inseparable Philip and Pauline met at Northwestern State University and were treasured friends of the Natchitoches community.  As devout Catholics they lived a happy and faith-filled life as best friends for over 34 years. Philip and Pauline enjoyed travelling and entertaining; Philip with his love of cooking and Pauline as the perfect hostess to all. Together with the Ackel family, for many years, Christmas Festival day was extra special as Melba and Latief’s home was opened to friends, family and out of town guests. They loved spending time with their family and friends, and an afternoon cruising down Cane River was the ideal end to any weekend.  They spent many years supporting and serving St. Mary’s School, were active in the Mystic Krewe de St. Denis, and served the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans in Washington DC for many years. As alumni of Northwestern State University, they were active supporters their entire lives.  Their children and grandchildren were the light of their lives.

Philip was born on July 11, 1961, in Alexandria, LA, the fourth child of John Latief and Melba Masson Ackel, of Natchitoches.  He graduated with the 1979 class of St. Mary’s High School and from Northwestern State University, earning a B.S. in Business.  Philip was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Natchitoches Jaycees.  He was instrumental in continuing the legacy begun by his father and uncle as a member of the local men’s group, The Agitators.  Philip joined his mother and father in the family business, Ackel Brothers Store until 1994.  At the time of his death, Philip had been employed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture for over 25 years.  Philip was an avid outdoorsman.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing, which he and his brother learned at an early age from their father.  Philip was the ultimate host - the first to invite family and friends to join he and his son on their many hunting adventures and to create family cookouts, tailgates, and lots of family fun.  Philip’s Lebanese heritage was of utmost importance to him. He perfected recipes handed down from family and always had something prepared to share.  He was the family historian, as well.

Pauline was born on August 6, 1960 in Opelousas, LA to James Rayburn and Barbara Robin Soileau of Opelousas.  Pauline attended Amy Bradford Ware and later Northwestern State University earning a B.S. in Nursing.  While at Northwestern, Pauline was a member of Tri Sigma Sorority and was selected as a member of the NSU Homecoming Court.  She later attended Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth, TX, earning a Masters Degree in Health Science and a certificate of Nurse Anesthesia.  Pauline served as a registered nurse for the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and for over 20 years she served as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Rapides Regional Medical Center. She was a sustaining member of the Natchitoches Service League.  Pauline’s smile was a light in every room, her dedication to her patients was mirrored in her personal life through her unwavering care and concern for others.

The legacy of Philip and Pauline, Mom and Dad, Lovee and Papa, will forever be remembered as a loving and faithful couple, that aimed to bring joy, love, and laughter to everyone they encountered.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents, John Latief Ackel and Melba Masson Ackel. 

Pauline was preceded in death by her father, James Rayburn Soileau and her brother-in-law, Jamie Gibson. 

Philip and Pauline are survived by their daughter, Ashli Ackel Plemmons and husband Britton, son Abraham Philip Ackel and wife Kaylee (Beaubouef); grandchildren Jackson James Plemmons, Olivia Britton Plemmons and Pierce Wilder Plemmons. Mother, Barbara Robin Soileau; Sisters Rebecca Ackel Lavespere, husband Eugene; Martha Ackel Murphy, husband Pete; Paula Gibson Bourque, husband David; Katherine Soileau Simoneaux, husband Kevin. Brothers John Ernest Ackel, wife Donna; and Mark James Soileau, wife Mary.  Philip and Pauline were the most special aunt and uncle to Aimee Lavespere, Evan Kyzar, Logan Kyzar, Hillary Ackel Bodden, Madison Ackel.  Jordan Gibson, Peyton Gibson, William Gibson, Hunter Simoneaux, Kaitlin Simoneaux Boudreaux, Natalie Simoneaux, Tyler Soileau and Andre’ Soileau.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are their nephews, Jordan Gibson, Evan Kyzar, Peyton Gibson, Hunter Simoneaux, William Gibson, Logan Kyzar, Tyler Soileau, and Andre’ Soileau

In lieu of flowers, please sponsor a child through unbound.org, or make a donation to a Catholic Church of your choice in memory of Philip and Pauline.

Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, social distancing will be observed and masks will be required.  Please note that both locations will have limited capacity. 

45 comments:

  1. Three fatal GA crashes, nine deaths so far this weekend in U.S.

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    1. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened multiple investigations after five aircraft crashes this weekend killed 11 people in five states.

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  2. man at 19k feet with ability to glide 50nm sad to see this, wonder what happened, flight tracker looks like he was probably circling a field and stalled, glide speed is 108kt on that plane, super sad, prayers to the families

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    1. Sun 11:36:04 31.0352 -96.3442 → 72° 224 258 19,025 -174 Descending



      agree, appears he performed initial 360 and then ran out of alt.
      Sun 11:36:25 31.0427 -96.3205 → 68° 228 262 18,950 -235 Descending
      Sun 11:36:55 31.0553 -96.2854 → 66° 227 261 18,825 -425 Descending

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    2. A good reminder to us all that an aircraft having serious flight condition problems is basically junk already. We need to put the thing on the ground while we have the airspeed to get it there and not think about stuff like getting home tonight; just like I am caught doing from time to time. May the decedents rest in peace.

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  3. The last two data points recorded at 2100 and 1100 feet altitude are a minute apart and show a turn in between. Odd to see the Flightaware algorithm continue to make predictive positions after the crash.

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N236KM/history/20200920/1430Z/KDZB/KIER

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  4. Tough area to be in and have to select "nearest airport". Private field 0TE4 Hilltop Lakes Resort was right underneath when the ADS-B data starts showing descent. No published instrument procedure in the nav database to help the pilot line up and come in to the 3,018 foot long runway at 0TE4.

    Hilltop Lakes Resort Airport:
    https://www.airnav.com/airport/0TE4
    Pinned map, last ADS-B position:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:31.0678+-96.2161

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    1. The problem with today's technology is that if you have a magenta line box in your airplane, it might be set up not to show private fields or rwys below certain length. While 3000ft would have been perfectly sufficient for a JetProp, the magic box might just not have shown it to the user.
      It never hurts to have a current sectional in the cockpit. It would have shown the airstrip right there:
      http://vfrmap.com/?type=vfrc&lat=31.081&lon=-96.215&zoom=10
      Paying attention in cruise pays off. When you have an engine problem, it is good to know exactly where you are and how far to the nearest airport.
      When I fly with a co-pilot of passenger, I give them the task of keeping an eye on nearest airports, on the panel-mounted iPad and also out the window. To be prepared for an emergency and also to keep them occupied.

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    2. errm, shouldn't you be doing that yourself as the PIC, not just the nearest 'airports' but staying on top of any forced landing options at any given time? Handballing it to someone else without CRM experience is not a good idea.

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    3. To be fair, the poster only stated that he asks his passengers to keep track of the nearest field. He never said that he isn't doing the same thing from the left seat. There's nothing wrong with two sets of eyes.

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  5. By the damage and witness account, it looks like a stall spin. Witness stated he banked left, right, left again and then went vertical into the ground. With so much altitude and so close to Hilltop Airport, it is hard to understand why he would bleed off so much airspeed and altitude without being lined up for what should have been an uneventful glide onto Hilltop airport. Prayers for the families, and lessons for us pilots.

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    1. The witness may be describing intentional slips that were being performed as the pilot got close, resulting in the stall spin. The stables and putt putt golf area the witness talked about are 1700 feet from the RW33 threshold.

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  6. That airport would have been very challenging to spot. It is essentially embedded within a small neighborhood.

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  7. It would be better to fly the airplane into a brick wall at minimal controllable airspeed than to stall and spin into the ground. Every pilot knows this but at the crucial time they try to keep it flying by muscle and willpower.

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    1. Your words are chilling. "Every pilot knows this but at he crucial time they try to keep it flying..." How do we train ourselves to accept and glide to a survivable off-field crash rather than trying to hold onto our altitude. If experienced pilots do this, how do those of us with 200 hours or less hope to break that statistic? Training is the answer, but there's only so much you can do by yourself or even with an instructor to simulate when it all falls apart.

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    2. Dan Gryder's development of AQP for GA and Part 135 is a major way forward to correcting these sad stats. If I were an aviation insurer, I would be expecting to mandate it at some point for those wanting a policy at a relatively reasonable cost.

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    3. "Dan Gryder's development of AQP for GA" Yes! Stall spin accidents could be eliminated with the right training!

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    4. I learned how to fly in the Southeast where there are a lot of tall pine trees and a lot of forest. A lot of airports, smaller ones specifically like say in AL and GA and north FL, have pines all around them. My instructor drilled it early in my learning days to accept going in wings level into pine trees instead of turning around in the event of an engine failure after takeoff. I'll never forget him telling one story of a former student's whose life was saved by doing just that. That pilot few the aircraft all the way down to the ground the entire way into the trees. He essentially soft stalled it in wings level and wound up in a nose down impact. The trees broke his fall velocity. He didn't walk away having some broken bones and lacerations, but he survived.

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    5. Yes staying above minimum maneuvering speed at all costs is imperative. Your tree pillow example reminds me of the stinson that crashed into tall pine trees and they all survived. He kept wings level too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM3RRd1vf0

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    6. ^^Oh yeah I remember that one well. It's been quite a few years since I've seen it. What got me about that crash was that he had several opportunities to give it up and land in the open fields straight ahead before the trees got too thick. His first clue he should have abort and put down was right after the first ground effect liftoff. If the bird doesn't want to fly, it won't for long. His second clue was that after all that distance covered ahead after the end of the runway and before the solid tree line, a distance which appeared to be at least a mile, he was never climbing any higher than just feet above the tree line. It is almost as if he was in total denial and wishing his way out of it with three lives in his hands. He probably was just trying to save embarrassment. I'm sure he got sued in civil court, so embarrassment would have been a lot cheaper (and better for his health) had he put it down in that open area before the tree line started.

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  8. Sun 11:36:04 31.0352 -96.3442 → 72° 224 258 19,025 -174 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KRYW)
    Sun 11:36:25 31.0427 -96.3205 → 68° 228 262 18,950 -235 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KTRL)
    Sun 11:36:55 31.0553 -96.2854 → 66° 227 261 18,825 -425 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGVT)
    Sun 11:37:25 31.0692 -96.2519 ↗ 64° 231 266 18,525 -532 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KTKI)
    Sun 11:37:57 31.0846 -96.2164 ↗ 61° 231 266 18,275 -429 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KADS)
    Sun 11:38:14 31.0941 -96.1995 ↗ 49° 195 224 18,175 -625 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KHOU)
    Sun 11:38:33 31.1062 -96.1894 ↗ 24° 179 206 17,900 -1,500 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KUTS)
    Sun 11:38:49 31.1195 -96.1857 ↑ 7° 182 209 17,300 -1,985 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KEDC)
    Sun 11:39:07 31.1342 -96.1876 ↖ 332° 185 213 16,775 -1,792 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KIWS)
    Sun 11:39:25 31.1448 -96.2012 ← 291° 189 217 16,225 -1,765 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCLL)
    Sun 11:39:41 31.1494 -96.2163 ← 293° 182 209 15,775 -1,321 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KEFD)
    Sun 11:40:07 31.1592 -96.2357 ← 305° 146 168 15,300 -1,534 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGRK)
    Sun 11:40:25 31.1665 -96.2473 ← 304° 138 159 14,650 -2,443 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KDWH)
    Sun 11:40:42 31.1713 -96.2586 ← 286° 148 170 13,875 -2,691 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCRS)
    Sun 11:40:59 31.1716 -96.2715 ← 258° 149 171 13,125 -2,364 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KTKI)
    Sun 11:41:15 31.1670 -96.2827 ↙ 230° 136 157 12,575 -2,091 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KDWH)
    Sun 11:41:32 31.1586 -96.2901 ↙ 211° 126 145 11,975 -2,182 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KRYW)
    Sun 11:41:48 31.1502 -96.2936 ↓ 189° 121 139 11,375 -2,314 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KAUS)
    Sun 11:42:07 31.1396 -96.2919 ↓ 158° 133 153 10,625 -2,063 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGRK)
    Sun 11:42:28 31.1279 -96.2830 ↘ 142° 147 169 10,000 -1,654 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KRYW)
    Sun 11:42:46 31.1205 -96.2724 ↘ 121° 148 170 9,550 -1,583 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KHQZ)
    Sun 11:43:04 31.1149 -96.2587 ↘ 122° 157 181 9,050 -1,042 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KILE)
    Sun 11:43:22 31.1062 -96.2489 ↘ 143° 146 168 8,925 -563 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KADS)
    Sun 11:43:44 31.0952 -96.2370 ↘ 132° 133 153 8,675 -695 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCLL)
    Sun 11:44:03 31.0885 -96.2266 ↘ 128° 127 146 8,450 -814 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGTU)
    Sun 11:44:19 31.0816 -96.2183 ↘ 139° 131 151 8,200 -1,059 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KEDC)
    Sun 11:44:37 31.0803 -96.2075 → 73° 122 140 7,850 -1,000 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGTU)
    Sun 11:44:55 31.0772 -96.1974 ↘ 143° 136 157 7,600 -1,250 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KLZZ)
    Sun 11:45:13 31.0648 -96.1933 ↓ 168° 160 184 7,100 -1,235 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KADS)
    Sun 11:45:29 31.0554 -96.1869 ↘ 143° 142 163 6,900 -938 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KADS)
    Sun 11:45:45 31.0479 -96.1779 ↘ 137° 142 163 6,600 -662 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KUTS)
    Sun 11:46:03 31.0430 -96.1685 → 68° 113 130 6,525 -1,417 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCLL)
    Sun 11:46:21 31.0530 -96.1686 ↖ 330° 172 198 5,750 -2,162 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCLL)
    Sun 11:46:37 31.0657 -96.1730 ↑ 355° 165 190 5,300 -1,308 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KEDC)
    Sun 11:47:00 31.0823 -96.1738 ↑ 359° 155 178 4,900 -1,192 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KGTU)
    Sun 11:47:16 31.0932 -96.1742 ↑ 354° 160 184 4,525 -1,708 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCLL)
    Sun 11:47:36 31.1085 -96.1783 ↑ 340° 172 198 3,875 -1,732 Descending FlightAware ADS-B (KCXO)
    Sun 11:48:40 31.1131 -96.2194 ↑ 340° 175 201 2,100 -1,332 Descending Houston Center
    Sun 11:49:41 31.0678 -96.2161 ↓ 176° 178 205 1,100 -984 Descending

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  9. I was lucky to have a flight instructor who pulled the power and made me pick a field and LAND!

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    1. Yeah, well it's a whole different story when it was actually training and you can restart your engine - and you knew it was a test. Get outta here with that shit!

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    2. and by the way. Do you not think that EVERY CFI does that with his/her students??

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  10. Are the Jet Props powered by Pratt and Whitney PT6 turbine? That engine is described as bulletproof. Another Jet Prop crashed here in February 2019 in North Louisiana with "engine" trouble. Just questions on the Jet Props seeing two crashes with same power. And my instructor as well pick a field and get in it. My thoughts why didn't the pilot take the field as option or as one post said make a straight in for the runway. Photo does not show if gear were down or up.

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    1. I have spent about 60 hours in the right seat of my buddies Jetprop. I don't like them for a number of reasons. Mostly a 6.0 ft 240lb guy like me has to wedge into the cockpit.
      The other reason is useful load. If you fill the tanks (they add some fuel capacity to these because turbines are thirsty) you have a useful load of under 400 lbs total.
      In this case 4 people maybe 750 to 1000 lbs plus some bags. Give you 1/2 tanks. There is always a calculation with these aircraft that are tight on useful load. If that calculation is off then fuel starvation is an issue.
      They also have a somewhat complicated fuel system in my mind with a header tank between the engine and firewall. This is to do with the potential for jetfuel gelling on these things at altitude. Pumps to fill header tank etc makes for some complexity.
      Fuel issues are a real concern on these things.

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    2. Doubt the average weight of four people including two women was 187 to 250. Check you math on that.

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    3. Hey Cameron at 6' and 240# you're wedging into a lot of airplanes I bet. You're correct about the useful load, but it's not unusual to trade fuel for pax in many airplanes. I have a Jetprop I've owned and flown for 800+ hours...I wouldn't consider the fuel system particularly complex. And gelling of Jet A isn't going to be a factor in Texas in September at only 19,500'. Not sure why the engine quit but its a good glider and the pilot should have been able to get it down. I'd be looking at proficiency and recency in the airplane as possible factors

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    4. Proficiency? Step back and visualize the task of positioning that aircraft for a touchdown on the first third of that 3,018 foot long runway. You need to preserve enough energy to reach it, but not come in hot and overshoot. You need to arrive accurate to +/- 500 feet or so along the asphalt.

      Now visualize for a 5000 foot runway, which gives 2000 feet more to work with. He was 1700 feet from the RW33 threshold when he passed over the stables and putt putt golf area the witness talked about.

      Talk is cheap, but who will succeed on 3,018 feet of runway? The most proficient Jetprop owner would fail on that first and only attempt, even on a simulation of this aircraft and scenario.

      Don't abuse the pilot's memory by pretending that he had an easy set of circumstances when the fan stopped.

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    5. Engines on the JetProp DLX are either the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 or PT6A-35.

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    6. Ok Mr. Proficiency, I'll agree the 3000' might be a bit tight for a dead stick but better to slide off the end at low speed then bite it on approach. I am a CFI and experienced pilot and in October 2011 I put a SE retract down at Salmon Idaho without an engine after a 30 mile glide from 15,000' in IMC until just over the field. Yes, I was lucky, and yes everything worked out in my favour, and yes that's a 5000' runway, but I can do the same in my Jetprop if I need to and 3000' will work, I'm sure of it. Proficiency and recency is essential. Practice guys, be safe.

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    7. "Proficiency? Step back and visualize the task of positioning that aircraft for a touchdown on the first third of that 3,018 foot long runway. You need to preserve enough energy to reach it, but not come in hot and overshoot. You need to arrive accurate to +/- 500 feet or so along the asphalt."

      One of the statements I never forget is: It's always better to go off the end of the runway slowing down than it is to come up short of it.

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    8. Mr. Anonymous says he can "do the same in his Jetprop if he needed to and 3000' will work, He's sure of it." He must be perfect and he's assuming it's only the engine that is out. With a couple of systems out, his hands and mind will be full and conflicts exist. Don't be too sure of yourself yet.

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    9. Or, expert jet prop malibu pilot could demonstrate this landing challenge at a practice location, such as a dry lake bed. Mark out simulated runway boundaries, climb to altitude, shut down and do it in one try. No danger to have a go at it. Great video opportunity.

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  11. No judgement from me but just put it in a field and walk away... I own a AA1 that glides like a brick...I mentally go through the drill before each flight in case the fan stops.

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  12. FAA Reg says this was powered by an IO520. Is this plane a turboprop Meridian or a piston Mirage ?

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    1. the answer is in the url of this current webpage, look up at your browser address... jetprop dlx

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  13. My theory of scenario. Two senior couples, man and wife take a day trip to Austin. JetProp pilot/owner not exactly proficient with emergency procedures, nothing committed to memory. Has engine failure for reasons unknown at this time but probably fuel, maybe the generator never came on line and went unnoticed. Anyhow, the engine quits at 19,500 and the pilot is attempting to diagnose failure and restart, he has his R/F seat passenger read verbatim from POH while he flips switches, turns knobs and communicating with ATC. If it was a dead battery he may have tried diving to do an airstart?? Meanwhile, precious altitude is being lost. The decision to land is made too late and note properly planned, he ended up too high, too hot or can't find the airport until the last second.

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  14. I didn't notice the license level of the pilot, but Private pilots are taught to enter a pattern while Commercial pilots are taught to get to the center of the field in an emergency and circle down -entering an outbound pattern only when their altitude is about right for a successful landing. Maybe we need to add that maneuver to the Private syllabus.

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  15. Considering this factor, 'The the psychological stress of task saturation and the distraction of an in-flight emergency are important causes of accidents attributable to disorientation, a disproportionate number of which are fatal. In flight, orientation refers more specifically to an awareness of the attitude and spatial position of the aircraft relative to the external frame of reference provided by the flat surface of the earth and the gravitational vertical. A pilot's sense of orientation cannot afford to be the unconscious activity that it is on the ground; he/she needs at all times to maintain an awareness of what the aircraft is doing.'  @ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710190

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  16. Similar to the crash of N692TT, I wonder how much of this has to do with emergency training being done at a very low weight (pilot, CFI, half tanks) vs. the weight when you're actually *using* the airplane.

    https://www.ntsb.gov/about/employment/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20110710X31135&key=1

    Both accidents, the planes were cruinging in the flight levels, had engine issues, and despite their altitude, they diverted to airports directly below them. Both came up short of the runway in the pattern.

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  17. I've had several instructors over the years & was lucky enough to get my Certificate when I was 17 - pulling power while saying "land it" was common, even during a biannual, and I remember, several times, actually thinking we were going to "land" - the plowed field around Amarillo comes to mind. It's all about training, for the best & the worst, over and over, with talented/tough/experienced instructors.
    Otherwise, we're just sitting ducks.

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  18. Certainly a possibility of fuel exhaustion, considering the lack of post crash fire and legendary turbine reliability.

    Meanwhile, the N74HS fuel exhaustion crash illustrates another grim outcome of missed fill/no reserve.

    http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/09/beechcraft-a36-bonanza-n74hs-fatal.html

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  19. Incompetent pilot. Forgot how to fly. Stalled. Nose down impact was not survivable. Flat ground all around. Fly the aircraft!! Probably did not know how to slip like some posters here opining that a slip is unstable. Wrong. This pilot should not have been carrying passengers. Passengers’ families need to find an aviation lawyer. This was totally avoidable.

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  20. NTSB preliminary report:

    http://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/101995/pdf

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