Thursday, February 06, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Hughes 369D, N369TH, fatal accident occurred January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Garfield County, Washington

 
Benjamin M. Poirier
March 14, 1998 - January 27, 2018

Left side of helicopter.

The two (2) net guns.

Extended weight from net closest to main wreckage.

Northernmost net.

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
MD Helicopters; Mesa, Arizona
Rolls-Royce Corporation; Indianapolis, Indiana

Aviation Accident Final 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/N369TH 


Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft:HUGHES 369D 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use

Analysis 

The purpose of the wildlife capture flight was to catch and collar mule deer for tracking. The flight was operated with three crewmembers: a pilot, a gunner, and a mugger. The pilot sits in the front left seat, the gunner sits in the rear left seat and shoots nets from a net gun in order to capture deer, and the mugger sits in the front right seat and exits the helicopter to handle the tagging and release of the deer.

During a refueling stop after about 2 hours of flight, the pilot mentioned to the biologist that it was quite windy. The helicopter then departed; data from an onboard GPS unit showed the helicopter flying northeast through the ravine before reversing course and proceeding southwest through the ravine when the flight track ended in the vicinity of the accident site.

Examination of the site revealed two nets slightly northeast of the main wreckage. One net was mostly closed at the bottom of the ravine, with one weight extended farther than the others. This weight exhibited damage inconsistent with the other weights and was missing its rubber ring. Metallurgical examination of the weight revealed aluminum transfer marks. Another net that was partially open was located about 6 ft north of the first net and slightly up the western ravine wall. A piece of tail rotor skin was found about 5 ft farther north.

At the time of the accident, nearby airports were reporting wind gusts between 23 and 35 knots. A High Resolution Rapid Refresh model over the accident site identified strong low-level winds, with a maximum wind 1,000 ft above the surface from 230° at 48 knots. AIRMET Tango for low-level wind shear and turbulence due to strong winds was current for the area of the accident site at the time of the accident.

Postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies with the engine that would have precluded normal operation. The tail rotor hub and stop exhibited contact marks and dents consistent with excessive tail rotor blade flapping. The tail rotor blades remained attached at the hub. One blade appeared undamaged, and the outboard 2 inches of the second blade had a dent with gouge marks with evidence of metal transfer consistent with stainless steel, similar to that of the net weight; the remaining section of the blade was bent and curled. One side of the tail rotor skin was fracture-separated.

Based on the marks on the tail rotor blade and on the net weight, it is likely that the net weight struck the leading edge of the tail rotor, which resulted in a fracture of the tail rotor tip and subsequent imbalance of the tail rotor blades. This imbalance resulted in excessive tail rotor blade flapping and subsequent loss of control. Despite two net guns being present in the helicopter, the angle the net weight impacted the tail rotor is consistent with the net originating from the left side of the helicopter. In addition, since there are several accounts of windy conditions it is potential that the wind affected the nets ability to open and possibly the net trajectory.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control following the gunner's failure to ensure that the net maintained clearance from the tail rotor.

Findings

Aircraft
Performance/control parameters - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/info - Passenger (Cause)
Incorrect action performance - Passenger (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Low altitude operation/event
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)


Overall scene looking South 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific Standard time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N369TH, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one crewmember were seriously injured, and the second crewmember was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and was being operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the wildlife capture flight that originated from a nearby staging area.

The purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking. The operator reported that a wildlife capture flight requires three crewmembers: a pilot, a "mugger," and a "gunner." The pilot sits in the front left seat and flies the helicopter, the gunner sits in the left rear seat and shoots nets out of a net gun in order to capture the deer, and the mugger sits in the front right seat and exits the helicopter to handle the tagging and release of the deer. The guns usually have an empty cartridge inside; live ammunition is only put into the cartridge when the crew is in pursuit of a deer. The pilot always indicates when it is safe for the gunner to shoot. On the day of the accident, the mugger was training as a gunner; therefore, the helicopter was equipped with two net guns rather than the typical one.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that, after the helicopter was flying for about 2 hours, he met it during its refueling stop, when the crew dropped off samples from previously captured deer and took on additional collars. During the stop, the pilot mentioned that it was quite windy.

Data retrieved from an onboard Garmin 496 GPS unit indicated that, after refueling, the helicopter proceeded generally southwest then turned west. The helicopter flew south of the ravine, turned northeast through the ravine, then reversed its course southwest before the flight track ended in the vicinity of the accident site.

The pilot did not recall the accident flight. The gunner only recalled portions of the flight. He remembered that it was windy that day; however, the nets were still opening. He recalled the pilot hovering, which was challenging due to the wind. He also remembered catching between 5 and 7 deer, and he vaguely remembered the mugger working on a deer after the refueling stop. He reported that the mugger had gunned in the past, but he did not recall him gunning on the accident flight. He also remembered the helicopter spinning shortly before impact.


Main wreckage looking South


Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 33, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/12/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  8000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6000 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot had about 8 years of experience flying wildlife capture flights and had owned Kiwi Air for about three years at the time of the accident. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted; Normal
Serial Number: 1000830D
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/17/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 45 Hours
Engines:  Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 11793 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20B
Registered Owner: MCCALL HELICOPTERS LLC
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent maintenance on the helicopter was a 100-hour inspection of the airframe and a 150-hour inspection of the engine, which occurred on January 17, 2018, at an airframe total time of 11,793 hours and an engine total time of 4,760 hours.


Overall scene looking North


Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Direction from Accident Site: 71°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 23 knots / 35 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Gould City, WA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1515 PST
Type of Airspace:

The station models surrounding the accident site depicted west-southwest winds of 25 knots with higher gusts, scattered clouds, temperatures around 40°F, and dew points around 30°F. At the time of the accident, nearby airports were reporting wind gusts between 23 and 35 knots. A High Resolution Rapid Refresh model over the accident site identified strong low-level winds with a wind maximum at 1,000 ft above the surface from 230° at 48 knots. Inflight weather advisories current for the region at the time of the accident included an AIRMET Tango for low-level wind shear and turbulence due to strong winds.


Top side of helicopter with ground scars.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  46.605000, -117.669722 

The accident site was located in a small northeast-to-southwest-oriented ravine about 6 miles west of the refueling location. The helicopter came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with its nose oriented on a northeast heading. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks along the lower portion of the western ravine wall consistent with the helicopter's two skids; the right skid was fracture-separated in this area. The cabin was mostly intact, although the right side and floor sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture-separated and were found near the main wreckage; the blade tips were scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture-separated about 2 1/2 ft forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. Continuing further north at the bottom of the ravine was a net that was mostly closed, with one weight extended farther than the others. This weight exhibited damage inconsistent with the other weights and was missing its rubber ring. A second, half-opened net was located about 6 ft north of the first net and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 ft farther north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 ft up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

During a postaccident examination of the engine, a borescope examination of the gas generator turbine revealed no evidence of operational damage, thermal discoloration, or damage consistent with abnormal combustion. Metal splatter was observed on the first stage turbine nozzle shield. Examination of the compressor revealed damage consistent with foreign debris; however, the compressor moved freely when rotated by hand. Control continuity could not be established from the cockpit to the engine due to deformation of the fuselage and cabin area. All pneumatic engine control lines were intact and the fittings were secure.

The helicopter's forward fuselage exhibited substantial impact damage, with the right side crushed inward. The lower fuselage exhibited upward and inward crushing on the right side; the canted frame and lower bulkhead behind the front seats were bent and distorted. Control continuity could not be established from the cyclic, collective, and anti-torque pedal controls due to broken and seized flight controls and control tube assemblies. The main rotor hub exhibited multiple fractures and deformation, as did the pitch housing assemblies, swashplates, strap packs, main rotor dampers, and main rotor blades. Continuity was established from the engine through the main drive shaft to the main transmission. From the main transmission, continuity was established up to the main rotor hub and back to a fracture in the tail rotor drive shaft. The main drive shaft was rotated by hand, but rotation was limited due to the damage of the main rotor hub. The tail rotor drive shaft was fracture-separated into three pieces and exhibited extensive rotational scoring, particularly toward the aft end of the drive shaft.

The empennage was fracture separated but was mostly intact. Light-colored diagonal marks were observed on the side of the tailboom immediately adjacent to the tail rotor. The tail rotor assembly and transmission were mostly intact and fracture-separated from the end of the tailboom. The four bolts that connect the tail rotor transmission to the tailboom sustained damage; two of the bolts were sheared, one was missing, and one was bent downward. The tail rotor transmission rotated freely when manipulated by hand. The tail rotor stop and tail rotor hub exhibited contact marks and dents consistent with excessive tail rotor blade flapping. The tail rotor blades remained attached at the hub. One blade appeared undamaged, and the second blade sustained damage to the outboard two inches. One side of the tail rotor skin was fracture-separated, and the remaining section of the blade was dented, bent, and curled. The blade tip weight and endcap were fracture-separated and not located.

Tailboom fragments and tail rotor skin components were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for further examination. The leading edge of the tail rotor blade exhibited a dent with gouge marks. The gouge marks displayed evidence of metal transfer (iron, nickel, chromium) consistent with stainless steel material similar to that of the net weight. In addition, the round surface of the net weight exhibited metal transfer consistent with contact with aluminum.


Net closest to main wreckage. 












Cessna 140A, N9474A: Fatal accident occurred February 05, 2020 near Columbia Airport (O22),Tuolumne County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N9474A

Location: Sonora, CA
Accident Number: WPR20FA086
Date & Time: 02/05/2020, 1807 PST
Registration: N9474A
Aircraft: Cessna 140
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 5, 2020, at 1807 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 140A airplane, N9474A, impacted terrain near Sonora, California, while on approach for landing to the Columbia Airport (O22), Columbia California. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the cross-country flight. The airplane departed Harris Ranch Airport (3O8), Coalinga, California at 1701.

According to the pilots' wife, the purpose of the flight was to take the passenger to Pismo Beach, California, for a business meeting. The intent was to complete the trip during the day so as not to have to fly at night. The flight was expected to return to O22 by 1700 the day of the accident.

According to radar data, the flight departed O22 and was tracked to Oceano County Airport (L52), Oceano, California. The flight departed L52 at 1543 and flew toward New Coalinga Municipal Airport (C80), Coalinga, California. The flight then flew from C80 to 3O8.

Fuel records obtained from 3O8, indicated that the airplane was fueled with approximately 20 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel at 1656.

A witness near the accident site reported that he was working on his ranch and the daylight was starting to fade, he estimated it was around dusk when he heard a loud bang. He looked toward the noise and saw the airplane for about 3 seconds before he heard another bang followed by silence. Prior to that he had heard the airplane's engine, it was not making unusual sounds, so he wasn't paying attention to it.

The airplane came to rest inverted in-between two trees in a pasture at an elevation of 2,020 ft mean sea level (msl). The right wing separated and came to rest in low-lying branches. The left wing had partially separated and was wrapped around a tree. The empennage and the tail section remained attached to the cabin area with the tail section raised and leaning against a tree. The engine remained attached to the firewall in its normal position on the airframe; however, the propeller separated and came to rest underneath the right side of the airplane.

The airplane was recovered for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9474A
Model/Series: 140 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.030556, -120.414444 (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.



Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office
**UPDATE: 2/6/20, 11:45 am**

The victims have been identified as 73-year-old Robert Clough and 71-year-old Robert Parriott, both of Sonora. Robert Clough was determined to be the pilot and Robert Parriott the solo passenger inside the aircraft.

The preliminary cause of death is major trauma; however, the final cause is pending autopsy.

The cause of the crash along with the circumstances are being investigated by the NTSB.

We are saddened by this tragic loss and want to extend our condolences to their family and friends.

**UPDATE: 8:00 pm**

Deputies will remain on scene throughout the night for scene security. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will arrive tomorrow to conduct an investigation.

Details are still being gathered and no identification has been made on the decedents. 

**ORIGINAL**

Right now, deputies are on scene of a small plane crash on the 21000 block of Springfield Road.

We got a call to our office just after 6 o’clock tonight. Two people in the plane have died. There is no threat to nearby communities. We don’t know the circumstances of the crash or the plane’s destination. We have notified the National Transportation Safety Board.




Update at 1:45 p.m.: Clarke Broadcasting has confirmed with the store manager of Twain Harte Market that 71-year-old Robert Parriott was the owner of that business, but the manager was not authorized to make any other statements. Additionally, the other victim, 73-year-old Robert Clough, also ran his own business, Clough Refrigeration, and was also a plumber. Clough moved to Sonora in the early 90’s and was an experienced pilot that had flown at night often, according to a family friend, who wanted to remain anonymous. Both men were well known in the community.

Regarding the investigation into the crash, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s spokesperson Nicco Sandelin updated, “Part of the NTSB-FAA investigation, in terms of whether or not they [Clough and Parriott] were supposed to be taking off or landing at the Columbia Airport, what was scheduled…and a flight itinerary — that will all be part of their investigation.”

Further details on the crash and cause of death written by News Director B.J. Hansen can be viewed below.

Original post at noon: Columbia, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the two victims in yesterday’s tragic plane crash in Columbia.

Deputy Niccoli Sandelin reports, “The victims have been identified as 73-year-old Robert Clough and 71-year-old Robert Parriott, both of Sonora. Robert Clough was determined to be the pilot and Robert Parriott the solo passenger inside the aircraft.”

He adds, “The preliminary cause of death is major trauma; however, the final cause is pending autopsy. The cause of the crash along with the circumstances are being investigated by the NTSB. We are saddened by this tragic loss and want to extend our condolences to their family and friends.”

Earlier: 

Update at 7 p.m: Tuolumne County Sheriff’s spokesperson Nicco Sandelin has confirmed to Clarke Broadcasting that two people have died in a plane crashed in the 21000 block of Springfield Road near the Columbia Airport. The plane went down just after 6 p.m. in a field behind a home.

There is no threat to nearby communities, according to Sandelin, who adds. ” We don’t know the circumstances of the crash or the plane’s destination. Don’t know if it was taking off, just flying by or maybe trying to land.” The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been notified. Further details on the crash are below.

Original post at 6:35 p.m.: Columbia, CA — First responders are on the scene of a plane crash near the Columbia Airport.

The plane went down behind a home near a pond in the 21000 block of Springfield Road near Horseshoe Bend Road. Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputies are reporting that two people were in the plane and need to be extricated from it. There is no word on injuries, the type of plane or what caused it to go down.

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

COLUMBIA, California — Two people died after their plane crashed Wednesday evening in a field near a small airport in Tuolumne County, sheriff's officials confirmed.

The crash happened after 6 p.m. on Springfield Road in the small Tuolumne County town of Columbia. Tuolumne County Sheriff's officials said it is still too early to determine the cause of the plane crash.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived on Thursday to investigate the deadly crash.

Just before noon, authorities with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as 73-year-old Robert Clough and 71-year-old Robert Parriott. Clough was identified as the pilot. Both men were from Sonora, authorities said.

It's unclear if the plane was coming or going to the area. It crashed near the Columbia Airport, a small airport that mostly houses smaller aircraft. The airport also serves as the home of one of CalFire's Air Attack bases, housing several of their aircraft for fighting California fires.

Story and video ➤ https://www.abc10.com



SONORA, California  — Two Sonora men were killed in a plane crash Wednesday evening in Tuolumne County, authorities said.

The victims have been identified as Robert Clough, 73, and Robert Parriott, 71, the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Clough was piloting the plane when it crashed just after 6 p.m. in the 21000 block of Springfield Road, near the Columbia Airport in a field behind a home, the sheriff's office said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a Cessna 140A. It crashed under unknown circumstances and flipped over.

People who knew Clough said he was a good pilot with years of experience.

“I’d say he was one of the safest, most brilliant guys to fly,” said Ron Neufeld.

The National Transportation Safety Board is working with the FAA to investigate the cause of the crash.

Story and video ➤ https://www.kcra.com

Kitfox IV-1200, N369LM: Incident occurred February 05, 2020 in Jackson County, Michigan -and- Incident occurred July 25, 2016 in Ogemaw County, Michigan











Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; East Michigan

February 05, 2020:  Aircraft made an emergency landing in a field due to engine failure. 

https://registry.faa.gov/N369LM

Date: 05-FEB-20
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N369LM
Aircraft Make: DENNEY
Aircraft Model: KITFOX
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: JACKSON
State: MICHIGAN

Concord Township, Michigan -  An airplane was found in a field Wednesday afternoon in Jackson County.

A single-person prop plane made an emergency landing in a field near the intersection of N. Concord Road and Elm Row Road, Jackson County Undersheriff Chris Kuhl said. The Concord Township Fire Chief had multiple calls from citizens about the plane, and a deputy went to investigate around 1:30 p.m., Feb. 5, Kuhl said.

The Kitfox IV-1200 experimental aircraft is registered to a Grass Lake resident, Kuhl said. The pilot told police he was forced to land in the field when the plane had a mechanical issue. The pilot was the only occupant, Kuhl said.

He was not injured and the plane did not appear to have significant damage, Kuhl said.

The owner will remove the plane from the field, Kuhl said. The landowner, Jackson Airport air traffic controllers and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified, he said.

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

July 25, 2016: Aircraft force landed in a field after propeller separated from engine. 

Date: 25-JUL-16
Time: 12:40:00Z
Regis#: N369LM
Aircraft Model: KITFOX
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: HORTON
State: Michigan

Cessna 172S, N141AA: Incident occurred February 05, 2020 at Hudson Valley Regional Airport (KPOU), Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey

Aircraft landed, veered off runway and struck a runway light.

Heavy Metal Air LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N141AA

Date: 05-FEB-20
Time: 13:01:00Z
Regis#: N141AA
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: POUGHKEEPSIE
State: NEW YORK

Eastern Dutchess County Fire and Rescue
February 05 at 08:05 AM
New Hackensack
Runway 6 Hudson Valley Regional Airport
Aircraft emergency
EDCFR 10

System/Component Malfunction/Failure (Non-Power): Beech 99A Airliner, N326CA; accident occurred January 19, 2017 at Billings Logan International Airport (KBIL), Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana





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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana 

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/N326CA


Location: Billings, MT
Accident Number: WPR17LA056
Date & Time: 01/19/2017, 1148 MST
Registration: N326CA
Aircraft: BEECH 99
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled 

On January 19, 2017 about 1148 mountain standard time, a Beech 99A airplane, N326CA, experienced a landing gear collapse while landing at the Billings Logan International Airport, Billings, Montana. The commercial pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by Alpine Aviation Inc., d.b.a. Alpine Air, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 cargo transport flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed but was not activated. The flight departed from Dawson Community Airport, Glendive, Montana about 0945, with a planned destination of Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport, Sidney, Montana.

The pilot reported that after departure, he retracted the landing gear and heard a "thud" sound. The landing gear "unsafe" light was illuminated, and the left landing gear light remained illuminated green, an indication that it was still extended despite the landing gear handle being in the retracted position. When reaching his initial destination of Sidney, the pilot performed a low pass over the runway to enable maintenance personnel on the ground to do a visual assessment. A mechanic reported to the pilot that the nose gear was in trail. The pilot diverted to Billings and the air traffic control personnel confirmed observing the nose gear extended at a 450 angle.

The pilot further stated that he aligned with runway 28R and just prior to touch down, he feathered the propellers and decreased the airspeed. During touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest on the centerline. As a result of the impact, the right aileron and right-wing spar was substantially damaged.



Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
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 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/20/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/17/2016
Flight Time:  1419 hours (Total, all aircraft), 270 hours (Total, this make and model), 1308 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 196 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 57 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N326CA
Model/Series: 99 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: U-135
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/14/2016, AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 96 Hours
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 46422 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt and Whitney
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-28
Registered Owner: Alpine Aviation Inc
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operator: Alpine Aviation Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Alpine Air
Operator Designator Code: TIMA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BIL
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.49 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: GLENDIVE, MT (GDV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: SIDNEY, MT (SDY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0945 MST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: BILLINGS LOGAN INTL (BIL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3651 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 28R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 10518 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

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: 45.807778, -108.542778

Tests And Research

Post-accident examination of the left landing gear actuator, part number (p/n) 99-388-008-1, revealed that it appeared to be fractured allowing the hydraulic fluid to pass freely from the downside to the upside, prohibiting pressure to control the landing gear's hydraulic system. Based on the pilots' statements about the landing, the fractured left landing gear was shipped to Textron Aviation, the airframe manufacturer, for examination. The piston rod, p/n 4A125C4, was separated into two pieces through several threads. According to the report, the damaged threads displayed crack propagation by fatigue. The final fracture was by overload and resulted in deformation of the damaged threads.

The National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory reviewed the Textron Aviation Materials report and pictures. The lab specialist reported that the fractography indicated that the piston rod failed in the threaded region by fatigue cracking over about 60% of the cross section due primarily to axial tension force. Contact wear was observed on the faying surface of the retaining nut, the shoulder of the piston rod, and on the faying surfaces of the piston head. These signatures were consistent with the nut not being tight enough to mitigate relative sliding of the piston head relative to the piston rod shoulder and the retaining nut. It could not be determined if the manufacturer required a specific torque to be applied to the nut during assembly.

The airplane operator reported that the airplane had amassed 46,416.3 hours of total time in service. According to the maintenance records, the left actuator was last overhauled in November 2001, at which time the piston rod was replaced. The operator further reported that the part had acquired 7,445.2 hours equating to 8,267 cycles. The Beechcraft Model 99 Series Maintenance Manual stated that the landing gear hydraulic actuators should be overhauled or replaced every 10,000 hours.