Sunday, January 10, 2021

Medical Event: Cessna Citation 560, N3RB / N561EJ; fatal accident occurred January 09, 2021 in Warm Springs, Oregon

Richard W. "Rick" Boehlke









































































Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Simpson, Eliott

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Darren K Vaughn; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

 
Location: Warm Springs, Oregon 
Accident Number: WPR21LA082
Date and Time: January 9, 2021, 13:37 Local 
Registration: N3RB
Aircraft: Cessna 560
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Medical event
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


During the first 15 minutes of the flight, the pilot of the complex, high performance, jet airplane appeared to have difficulty maintaining the headings and altitudes assigned by air traffic controllers, and throughout the flight, responded intermittently to controller instructions. After reaching an altitude of 27,000 ft, the airplane began to deviate about 30° right of course while continuing to climb. The controller alerted the pilot, who did not respond, and the airplane continued to climb. Two minutes later, the airplane entered a tight, spiraling descent that lasted 8 minutes until the airplane impacted the ground at high speed in a rightwing-low attitude.

The airplane was highly fragmented on impact; however, examination did not reveal any evidence of structural failure, in-flight fire, a bird strike, or a cabin depressurization event, and both engines appeared to be producing power at impact.

Although the 72-year-old private pilot had extensive flight experience in multiple types of aircraft, including jets, he did not hold a type rating in the accident airplane, and the accident flight was likely the first time he had flown it solo. He had received training in the airplane about two months before the accident but was not issued a type rating and left before the training was complete. During the training, he struggled significantly in high workload environments and had difficulty operating the airplane’s avionics suite, which had recently been installed. He revealed to a fellow pilot that he preferred to “hand fly” the airplane rather
than use the autopilot.

The airplane’s heading and flight path before the spiraling descent were consistent with the pilot not using the autopilot; however, review of the flight path during the spiraling descent indicated that the speed variations appeared to closely match the airplane’s open loop phugoid response as documented during manufacturer flight tests; therefore, it is likely that the pilot was not manipulating the controls during that time.

Review of the pilot’s medical history uncovered a number of conditions and medications that the pilot had not reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. The severity of injuries precluded obtaining any useful information regarding natural disease during autopsy, and no toxicology was performed. None of the pilot’s known medical conditions or medications would have directly caused incapacitation, but the pilot may have had undiagnosed disease or had some acute event that would have incapacitated him. His age, gender, high blood pressure, and hypertension placed him at risk for a heart attack or stroke. While the available evidence is consistent with a loss of airplane control following pilot incapacitation, the reason for his incapacitation could not be determined.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of airplane control due to pilot incapacitation for reasons that could not be determined.

Findings
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Personnel issues Other loss of consciousness - Pilot
Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-climb to cruise Medical event (Defining event)
Uncontrolled descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On January 9, 2021, at 1337 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 560, N3RB, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Warm Springs, Oregon. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

The pilot filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan to Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. The reason for the flight could not be determined; however, family members and acquaintances stated that the pilot usually travelled with his dog, and because on this occasion he did not, he was likely planning to return that day. A friend also stated that Boise was a typical lunch destination for the pilot, and it would not be unusual for him to make a return trip in one day.

Security video footage from a fixed base operator at the departure airport in Troutdale, Oregon, revealed that the pilot boarded the airplane and closed the cabin door at 1244. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control audio recordings indicated that, about five minutes later, he initiated radio contact with the clearance controller and requested to open his IFR clearance. The controller provided the clearance, the pilot read it back correctly, and about nine minutes later, the pilot stated that he was ready to taxi and that he had information Foxtrot. The controller stated that information Golf was current and provided instructions to taxi to runway 07. The pilot replied, but only stated the altimeter setting, “3025”, and the ground controller asked him to respond with the full taxi instructions. The pilot responded, and about 1300 the airplane began to taxi to the runway hold short line.

The airplane arrived at the runway hold short line about 1304, and the ground controller asked if the pilot was ready for departure, to which the pilot replied, “just a minute.” About two minutes later, a partial transmission of the pilot’s voice could be heard, and the local controller asked twice if it was N3RB. The pilot stated that it was him, and the controller issued a takeoff clearance. The pilot responded, and at 1307, the airplane had taken off.

The pilot subsequently contacted the Portland Approach controller and was provided instructions to climb and maintain 15,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot responded with, “up to 15,” following which the controller confirmed radar contact and instructed the pilot to turn left to a heading of 310°. The pilot did not respond, airplane did not turn, and over the next minute, both the Portland Approach and Troutdale Tower controllers made multiple attempts to contact the pilot. On the fifth attempt by the approach controller, the pilot responded and was again instructed to turn left. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data indicated that the airplane then began to turn left; after one minute, the controller issued a heading of 180° and told the pilot to expect vectors for the TIMEE intersection after reaching 10,000 ft. The pilot did not respond until the controller issued the instructions a second time.

About one minute later, the airplane had reached 10,000 ft msl and was on a southbound heading. The controller then issued a clearance direct to the TIMEE intersection.

The pilot responded, and the airplane began to turn left; however, its heading was about 15° left of that required to reach the TIMEE intersection.

By 1315:30, the airplane had reached an altitude of 12,000 ft msl, and the controller asked the pilot to verify he was direct TIMEE. The pilot responded that he was; however, the airplane’s track had not changed, and the airplane was flying directly toward Mount Hood, about 27 miles to the east-southeast.

After the airplane had reached an altitude of 13,000 ft, the controller issued a right turn to 130°, and the pilot repeated the instructions correctly, but the airplane turned left. The controller asked of the pilot was flying direct TIMEE, to which the pilot replied, “I was.” The controller explained that the pilot was in fact flying northeast and provided another right turn to a heading of 130°. The pilot responded, and the airplane began a right turn, eventually rolling out on a 130° track, after which the controller issued a frequency change to Seattle Center. The pilot responded with the correct frequency, but about one minute later, he called back with a confirmation of the Seattle center frequency.

By this time, the airplane had reached an altitude of 14,000 ft, and after the pilot made contact with the Seattle Center controller, the controller immediately issued a low altitude alert warning, stating that the airplane was just above the minimum IFR altitude for that sector (at this time, the airplane was flying just south of the peak of Mount Hood). The controller then issued him a clearance to 23,000 ft msl.

The pilot responded, and the airplane continued to climb. The controller then asked the pilot if he was having problems with his radio, to which responded, “no, I think it’s cleared up now, radio loud and clear.” The controller subsequently issued the pilot with a clearance direct to BOI.

About 1323, as the airplane reached an altitude of 19,000 ft, the pilot was provided a new frequency for Seattle Center. He responded with an incorrect frequency and was corrected by the controller. The pilot then successfully made contact with the new controller, who issued a clearance to climb to 37,000 ft msl. The pilot responded, and the airplane continued to track in the general direction of BOI while continuing to climb.

At 1327, the airplane had reached an altitude of 27,000 ft when it began to deviate to the right while continuing to climb. The controller alerted the pilot that he was about 30° right of course, but the pilot did not respond. The airplane continued to climb until 1328:45, when it reached its highest altitude of 31,000 ft. The airplane began to descend and remained for the next eight minutes in a spiraling and descending 1-mile radius right turn. (see Figure 1.) The last ADS-B target was recorded at 1336:27, with the airplane on a northwest heading at an altitude of 3,800 ft.

The airplane impacted the ground in the Mutton Mountain Range, at an elevation of 3,600 ft msl about 450 ft north of the last ADS-B target.

Hikers in the vicinity of the accident took photos of the smoke rising from the debris field. One of the photos captured a single, circular contrail at high altitude above the accident site. Likewise, the pilot of a single-engine airplane flying in the area, was able to capture the circular contrail on a forward-mounted video camera. The images did not reveal any evidence of smoke trails. A commercial airline flight crew overflying the area saw the airplane just before impact and did not see any vapors or smoke trailing from it.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land; Multiengine sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: September 2, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 12350 hours (Total, all aircraft), 15 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, and although he held type ratings for the Grumman G111 Albatross and Learjet, FAA records did not indicate that he held a type rating for the Citation 560.

The pilot had taken Citation 560 training toward the end of 2020 at a facility in Arizona. The owner of that facility provided some of the flight training and stated that, when the pilot had initially approached him, his plan was to accomplish both his commercial pilot certificate, Citation type rating, and single-pilot exemption consecutively. They developed a custom syllabus to meet these goals; however, after the first few flights, it became apparent that, while the commercial and Citation ratings were possible, the single-pilot exemption would likely take significantly more time to accomplish. The decision was then made to abandon the single-pilot exemption and focus on a “crew method” of training.

As the training progressed, the pilot encountered significant difficulty mastering the operation of the autopilot and the Garmin 750 avionics suite, which had recently been installed. The owner of the training facility stated that the pilot struggled significantly in high-workload environments, such as while flying instrument approaches, where multiple configuration changes needed to be accomplished in a short amount of time, and that the presence of the Garmin 750 appeared to aggravate the situation. He stated that as his instructor/first officer, he was never able to transition from “instructor” into “first officer” mode. The pilot would typically make some progress on one flight, but during following flights, the results could be unpredictable, and the pilot could not make consistent, repeatable progress mastering the airplane. Additionally, although the pilot had a good general grasp of standard airwork, he was struggling in particular with steep turns.

After over a dozen flights over the course of 3 weeks, the training was not complete, and the pilot decided that he needed to leave to take care of some business at home and planned to return later to resume training. At that time, he had not performed to a level sufficient to be issued the type rating.

Since October 2020, the pilot had an arrangement with a contract pilot who flew the accident airplane, while he sat in the right seat. The contract pilot stated that he did not get a chance to see the pilot fly the airplane; however, during one of their flights, the pilot stated that he preferred to “hand fly” the airplane rather than use the autopilot, because he did not consider himself a professional pilot.

Review of historical flight data and statements provided by acquaintances and other pilots who flew with him indicated that the accident flight was likely the first time the pilot had flown the airplane solo.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N3RB
Model/Series: 560 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1989
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 560-0035
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 11
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 6, 2020 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 16630 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 100 Hrs
Engines: 2 Turbo fan
Airframe Total Time: 13727.8 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: P&W CANADA
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: JT15D 5 SER
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 2900 Lbs thrust
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Ownership of the airplane was transferred to the pilot in July 2020. As part of the negotiations for sale, an avionics upgrade was performed in April 2020, which included the addition of a Garmin 650 Xi and 750Xi avionics suite, along with a Garmin 335R ADS-B transponder, and a GDL 69A datalink receiver.

The current maintenance records were not located and were presumed to have been destroyed in the accident. The most recent recovered records indicated that a Phase B check was completed on January 6, 2020, at an airframe total time of 13,727.8 flight hours.

The airplane was serviced with 150 gallons of Jet A fuel 6 days before the accident.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DLS, 247 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 41 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 357°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.4 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Troutdale, OR (TTD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Boise, ID (BOI) 
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 13:07 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.996186,-121.13765

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, neither the NTSB nor the FAA responded to the accident site, and onsite photographic documentation was accomplished by local law enforcement personnel. A complete airframe and engine examination was later performed by representatives from the NTSB, FAA, Textron Aviation, and Pratt and Whitney Canada International at a recovery facility.

Review of photographs of the accident site revealed a 1,500-ft-long debris field on an approximate heading of 330° magnetic. The entire airplane sustained significant fragmentation and thermal damage, with the right wing displaying the most extensive fragmentation. All major structural and flight control surfaces were recovered in the immediate vicinity of the accident site. The thrust reverser assemblies were found in the stowed position and both engines displayed damage signatures consistent with operation at impact.

There was no evidence of bird strike, in-flight fire, or door opening.

Remnants of three emergency oxygen system mask assemblies were located. Two of the assemblies sustained damage preventing an assessment of their operational status, but the mask for one passenger system remained within its housing assembly, indicating that the oxygen system had not deployed. According to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, should the cabin altitude exceed 13,500 +/-600 ft, an altitude sensing switch will electrically actuate the passenger solenoid valve, supplying 70-psi oxygen pressure to the passenger manifold. This pressure is sufficient to operate the passenger mask actuators, deploy the doors, and drop the continuous-flow masks at each passenger seat. The oxygen control panel was located; however, the control valve switch was detached, and a determination of its status at the time of the accident could not be ascertained. The valves for the oxygen cylinder were broken off; therefore, the tanks were empty, and their oxygen quantity at impact could not be determined.

Flight recorders 

The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder that was recovered and sent to the NTSB Recorders Division for data extraction. Examination revealed that the recorder had sustained a pre-existing internal failure and its recording tape contained no information from either the accident or any previous flights.

Medical and Pathological Information

During the 72-year-old pilot’s most recent medical examination, on September 2, 2020, he reported having seasonal allergies and the use of loratadine (Claritin) to treat them. This drug is not considered impairing.

According to the autopsy performed by the Wasco County Medical Examiner’s Office, the cause of death was generalized blunt force trauma and the manner of death was accident. Due to the severity of injury, a limited external examination was performed, and no specimens were submitted for toxicology testing. No natural disease was identified in the limited exam.

According to personal medical records, the pilot had a number of longstanding diagnoses, including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, seasonal allergies, glaucoma, and high cholesterol.

His regular medications over the year preceding the accident included alprazolam and sertraline for his psychiatric disease, atorvastatin and fenofibrate for his high cholesterol, lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide for his blood pressure, and three different eye drops to treat his glaucoma. In March 2020, he reported using cetirizine/pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D) to treat his seasonal allergies. He did not report the use of these medications during his most recent FAA medical exam.

Alprazolam is an FAA, “Do Not Fly” medication; air medical examiners are instructed not to issue medical certificates to applicants who use it. Sertraline, an SSRI medication, cannot be taken unless authorized by the FAA. The FAA considers cetirizine a conditionally acceptable sedating medication that may be used occasionally one to two times per week, but not for daily use.

Family members and friends of the pilot who listened to the audio recordings of the pilot’s interaction with air traffic control stated that he was generally quiet and soft spoken and that his voice sounded normal to them.

Tests and Research

Performance Study

Interpolation of the ADS-B data during the spiraling descent indicated a right bank angle of between 60° and 70° and a descent rate of between -2,500 to -5,000 ft/min to impact.

The data also revealed 50- to 100-knot oscillations in groundspeed during the descent. The data was compared to flight test data for the Citation 560 series airplane, specifically the data used to simulate the longitudinal, open-loop, long period (or phugoid) response of the airplane after a pitch disturbance.

The data for the accident airplane displayed longitudinal dynamic characteristics that were similar to the flight test data for over a period of oscillation, or approximately 90 seconds.

============

Location: Warm Springs, OR
Accident Number: WPR21LA082
Date & Time: January 9, 2021, 13:36 Local 
Registration: N3RB
Aircraft: Cessna 560 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 9, at 1336 Pacific standard time (PST), a Cessna 560, N3RB, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Warm Springs, Oregon. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

The pilot had filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan to Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field (BOI), Boise, Idaho. Security video footage from a local fixed base operator at the departure airport in Troutdale, Oregon, revealed that the pilot boarded the airplane and closed the cabin door at 1244. Preliminary FAA air traffic control audio data indicated that about 5 minutes later, he initiated radio contact with the Troutdale clearance controller, and requested to open his IFR clearance. The ground controller provided the clearance, the pilot read it back correctly, and about nine minutes later, the pilot stated that he was ready to taxi and that he had information Foxtrot. The controller stated that information Golf was current, and provided instructions to taxi to runway 07. The pilot replied, but only stated the altimeter setting, “3025”, and the ground controller asked him to respond with the full taxi instructions. The pilot responded, and about 1300 the airplane began to taxi to the runway hold short line.

The airplane arrived at the hold short line about 1304, and the ground controller asked if the pilot was ready for departure, to which he replied, “just a minute”. About two minutes later, a partial transmission of the pilot’s voice could be heard, and the local controller asked twice if it was N3RB. The pilot stated that it was him, and the controller issued a takeoff clearance. The pilot responded, and by 1307 the airplane had taken off. Shortly after departure, the controller requested that the pilot contact Portland Approach/Departure controllers, and he responded in the affirmative.

The pilot then contacted Portland Approach, and was provided instructions to ident and to climb and maintain 15,000 ft. The pilot responded with a partial response of, “up to 15”, following which the controller confirmed radar contact, and provided a heading change left to 310. The pilot did not respond, and airplane did not turn, and over the next minute, both the Portland Approach and Troutdale Tower controller made multiple attempts to contact the pilot. On the fifth attempt by the approach controller, the pilot responded and was provided the left heading. The airplane then began to turn left, and after one minute the controller issued a heading update to 180, and told the pilot to expect vectors for the TIMEE intersection after reaching 10,000 ft. The pilot did not respond until the controller issued the instruction a second time.

About one minute later, the airplane had reached 10,000 ft and was on a southbound track. The controller then issued a clearance direct to the TIMEE intersection. The pilot responded, and the airplane began to turn left, however its heading was about 15° left of what was required to reach the TIMEE intersection.

By 1315:30, the airplane had reached an altitude of 12,000 ft, and the controller asked the pilot to verify he was direct TIMEE. The pilot responded that he was, however, the airplanes track had not changed, and the airplane was now flying directly toward Mount Hood, about 27 miles east-southeast.

After the airplane had reached an altitude of 13,000 ft, the controller issued a right turn to 130, and the pilot responded with the correct readback, however the airplane turned left. The controller asked of the pilot was flying direct TIMEE, to which he replied, “I was”. The controller explained that the pilot was in fact flying on a northeast track, and provided another right heading change to 130. The pilot responded, and the airplane began a right turn, eventually rolling out on a 130 track, following which the controller issued a frequency change to Seattle Center. The pilot responded with the correct frequency but about one minute later, he called back with a confirmation of the Seattle center frequency.

By this time the airplane had reached an altitude of 14,000 ft, and after successfully making contact with Seattle Center, the Seattle controller immediately provided the pilot with a low altitude alert warning, stating that he was just above the minimum IFR altitude for that sector (by this time the airplane was flying just south of the peak of Mount Hood), and issued a clearance to FL 230.

The pilot responded, and the airplane continued to climb. The controller then asked the pilot if he was having problems with his radio, to which responded, “no, I think it’s cleared up now, radio loud and clear”. The controller then issued the pilot with a clearance direct to BOI. 

About 13:23, having reached an altitude of 19,000 ft the pilot was provided a new frequency for Seattle Center. He responded with an incorrect frequency, and was corrected by the controller. The pilot then successfully made contact with the new controller, who issued a clearance to flight level 370. The pilot responded, and the airplane continued to track in the general direction of BOI while continuing to climb.

At the 1327 the airplane had reached an altitude of 27,000 ft when it began to track to the right while continuing to climb. The controller alerted the pilot that he was about 30° right of course, but the pilot did not respond. The airplane continued to climb, until 1328:45, when it reached its highest altitude of 31,000 ft. The airplane began to descend, and remained for the next eight minutes in a spiraling and descending 1-mile radius right turn. The last ADS-B target was recorded at 1336:27, with the airplane on a northwest heading at an altitude of 3,800 ft.

The airplane struck the ground in the Mutton Mountain Range, at an elevation of 3,600 ft. Review of photos of the accident site revealed a 1,500 ft long debris field on an approximate heading of 330° magnetic. The entire airplane sustained heavy fragmentation and thermal damage. The cockpit voice recorder was recovered, and sent to the NTSB Recorders Division for data extraction, and the wreckage was recovered to an off-site facility for further examination.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, and although he held type ratings for the Grumman G-111 Albatross and Learjet, FAA records did not indicate that he held a type rating for the Citation 560. He had taken Citation 560 training toward the end of 2020 at a training facility in Arizona, however the owner of the facility stated that the pilot had not performed to a level sufficient to be issued a type rating or single pilot exemption.

Review of historical flight data, and statements provided by acquaintances of the pilot, indicate that this was likely the first time he had flown the airplane on his own.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N3RB
Model/Series: 560 
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: DLS,247 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 41 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.4 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Troutdale, OR (TTD)
Destination: Boise, ID (BOI)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.996186,-121.13765


Richard Boehlke


Rico Boehlke at his second of three Fort Lauderdale, Florida, homes during Thanksgiving 2020.




Richard "Rick" Boehlke died January 9, 2021 in his private airplane.

Rick was born and raised in Portland, Ore. He graduated from John Marshall High School and attended Pacific Lutheran University where he completed his undergraduate degree and masters degree in Business. He was a visionary in the Senior Housing Industry. His accomplishments included; VP The Hillhaven Corporation, Exec VP Tenet Healthcare, Founder, Chairman & CEO Crossings Corporation, Co-founder Alterra Healthcare-Brookdale Senior Living and most recently Chairman, CEO Senexus Companies.

Rick's passion was flying.

Rick leaves behind his best friend, Rio; brother, sister, their spouses, niece, and nephews.

Cessna Citation 560, N561EJ: Incident occurred January 24, 2012 at Orange County Airport (KORG), Texas



ORANGE COUNTY - There are no injuries resulting from what investigators describe as a private jet crash in Orange County, according to information KFDM News has received from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Capt. Joe Mires with the Orange Fire Department.

The crash was reported at about 10 a.m. at the Orange County Airport.

The pilot, Claude Edward Collins, said the runway was wet, causing the Cessna 560 Citation to slide off the paved runway during landing at about 10 a.m., according to Trooper Stephanie Davis with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A spokesman for Orange County says a wind gust pushed the plane off the runway, causing the nose gar to collapse.

The pilot wasn't hurt. The jet's front landing gear was damaged. The pilot had flown from Alabama to Orange County. 

The Orange Fire Department and law enforcement officers responded to the call.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were notified.

The Orange County Airport will be closed until further notice pending clearance from the FAA and NTSB for cleanup

The Orange County Emergency Management office has reported a jet aircraft carrying nine people, slid off runway at the Orange County Airport at approximately 10:03 a.m. today.

Reports indicate the jet came in for landing and a wind gust pushed the airplane off the runway, causing the nose gear to collapse.

The names of those on board the plane were not released and no injuries have been reported.

Officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety were on the scene to help assist. Sergeant Richard Howard with the DPS office said the FAA has been notified and the Orange County Airport will be closed until further notice pending clearance from the FAA and NTSB for cleanup.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened around 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Orange County Airport near Orange, about 100 miles northeast of Houston.

Airport spokeswoman Jill Shores says wind gusts also helped pushed the aircraft from the runway on a morning when the area had rainstorms.

Trooper Stephanie Davis identified the pilot of the Cessna 560 as Claude Edward Collins.

DPS had no immediate details on where the flight originated in Alabama or the owner of the twin-engine jet, which suffered landing gear damage in the accident.

Airport spokeswoman Jill Shores says wind gusts also helped pushed the aircraft from the runway on a morning when the area had rainstorms.

83 comments:

  1. Spiraling descent from 30,000 feet over 8 minutes:

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N3RB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Updated address link so accident flight is not scrolled off the 14 day list due to spurious 19 January "flight" at default address:

      https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N3RB/history/20210109/2030Z/KTTD/KBOI

      Delete
  2. Mapped location of last ADS-B position:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:44.9905+-121.1256

    ReplyDelete
  3. Citation 560, SN: 560-0035 was previously registered N561EJ at a charter company whose Facebook posting in July 2020 indicated the aircraft had been a workhorse for 10 years there.

    Info recorded in for sale listing (still searchable on N561EJ) includes:
    Airframe total time 13,657 hours, 13,098 landing cycles, engines 1/2 13,113/13,509 Hours, 12,591/12,941 cycles, 770/318 hours remaining before overhaul.

    One N561EJ runway departure event in 2012:
    http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2012/01/cessna-citation-560-aircraft-on-landing.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cabin decompression is a scenario they'll take a close at. Or failure to pressurize in the first place. About 7 minutes elapsed from the time they climbed above 15,000 ft (on their way to 30,000) to the time the plane entered a right turn which quickly developed into a spiral dive. Decompression is clearly a possible scenario here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this seems likely, but unlike the Payne Stewart Learjet accident, the autopilot was seemingly not engaged. I also wonder about the pilot's age and physical condition, thinking of incapacitation due to a sudden physiological event, though these are relatively rare. The pressurization scenario sure looks possible.

      Delete
  5. LiveAtc.com Troutdale "KTTD Ground" archive includes pilot's audible pre-taxi transmissions (near the end of the 2030Z-2100Z segment and in the first moment of the 2100Z-2130Z segment) for 9 Jan 2021.

    In the pre-taxi exchange it is unclear whether pilot seems off or just sounds laid back/casual. The "KTTD Ground" recording has control through attempted handoff to Portland departure a minute after takeoff.

    The handoff after takeoff is apparently not acknowledged by the pilot:
    "Citation three romeo bravo, contact Portland Departure, have a good flight". Then about 90 seconds later:
    "Citation three romeo bravo, contact Portland one th-, one three three point zero". Then about 10 seconds later:
    "Citation three romeo bravo, Portland ahh Troutdale tower, if you hear me, ident". The flight continues on, as indicated in the FlightAware track.

    LiveAtc does not permit direct archive file linking, but you can navigate and play the KTTD archive at this link:
    https://www.liveatc.net/search/?icao=kttd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can post a link from live ATC. Just got to the airport, date and time you're looking for and hit submit. The audio comes up and a highlighted blue link comes up below the player control. Right click on the mp3 file, click on copy and you're set. Then use paste to put it wherever you want.
      But, here on K/R you can not post a "live" link directly to the file.
      Here's the file for 01/09/21 for 2100Z.
      https://archive.liveatc.net/kttd/KTTD1-Gnd-Jan-09-2021-2100Z.mp3
      You have to copy the link and past that to whatever you use.
      JW

      Delete
    2. Thank you for this info. The pilot did sound a little off. In one exchange, the controller had him repeat saying it wasn't clear.

      We'll see what unfolds as more info pours in.

      Delete
  6. This was the first flight of the aircraft since November, according to Flightaware logs, and just got a new owner in October. Possibly just got out of maintainance during that time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the aircraft did a lot of local flying out of Scottsdale in the time between being flown there from Portland on October 22 and returning November 18.

      Some of the Arizona based flight time may have included pilot training. Easy to flip through plots for those days on adsbexchange. The 13 and 14 November tracks are curious.

      Delete
    2. https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a31c19&lat=45.382&lon=-121.940&zoom=8.6&showTrace=2021-01-09

      Delete
  7. Not hypoxia. Sounds more like a medical issue a stroke or heart attack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever was going on started early. Not responsive to ATC at handoff, tracked north of the TIMEE report point of filed route and looks hand flown instead of autopilot.

      Delete
    2. Agree....if the A/P was set for ALT and NAV to their next waypoint, or even in HDG mode, the plane would have not fell off into spirals. I think cabin pressure issues shouldn't be a distant chime in the cockpit with a small red warning. Assume the person viewing it is 2/3 gone already. All hell should break lose in the cockpit.

      Delete
    3. I agree, he wasn’t communicating well through out the from the one he got his clearance until he’s last communication

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Seems unlikely, with track showing nine tightening 360's in 8 minutes.

      Delete
    2. I heard a Citation pilot say those were hand flown circles not a plane out of control.

      Delete
  9. Link below is exact mapped impact location by comparison to photo. Two-track and tree patterns have clear match at y-fork in bottom quarter of photo. Top of photo is north, same as map:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:44.995207+-121.137596

    ReplyDelete
  10. No It wasnt suicide. I knew this man he was happy and enjoying life. I gaurantee it was pressurization. Both people went to sleep.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because someone looks happy and enjoying life doesn't mean they are. You may know him but, I guarantee you don't know what was in his head.

      Delete
    2. Looks like you were wrong. You didn't know he was an alleged con artist?

      Delete
    3. https://www.madcowprod.com/2021/01/31/mystery-mutton-mountain/

      Delete
  11. Although cabin pressurization systems have a lot of redundancy and fail safe features in their design, undetected material aging and a loose clamp caused a pressure loss in 2016 on a Cessna 501 (N804ST).

    N804ST's primary cabin pressure supply duct came loose at 43000 feet and the aged plastic flappers of the in-line check valve in the supply path did not function to trap residual cabin pressure. The pilot started a descent, passed out, rode down uncontrolled, woke up and recovered at 7000 feet, then landed safely.

    Some similar type of unusual aging or maintenance issue could have happened in the N3RB accident.

    N804ST NTSB Report:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/93256/pdf

    N804ST Check valve photos:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/Document/docBLOB?ID=40459046&FileExtension=.PDF&FileName=NTSB%20Materials%20Laboratory%20Factual%20Report%2016-088-Master.PDF

    N804ST Docket:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=93256

    ReplyDelete
  12. I boroscope those engines after EJ went off the runway,.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Suicide is possibility. Google the pilot and owner Richard Boehlke. Ties to 911 and Organized Crime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been all over this since last night. There are so many twists and turns (not unlike the crash) to the plane owner's finances, businesses, business dealings and partners that it's hard to follow. Seemingly legitimate businesses and philanthropy mixed in with shady businesses, possible ponzi schemes and perhaps getting in the bad graces of a few unions and the mob. Even his current business leaves more questions than answers. Slick website, grand schemes, seemingly admirable intentions but...no real concrete results, or real concrete facilities for that matter, noted.

      Delete
    2. It definitely was a fun little (not really "little") rabbit hole I went down today to briefly try to trace his history. Was he sued by the FTC back in the 90's for a "work from home" business?

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. The correct spelling is Boehlke

      Ratings
      Private Pilot
      Private Pilot - Airplane Single Engine Land
      Private Pilot - Airplane Single Engine Sea
      Private Pilot - Airplane Multiengine Land
      Private Pilot - Airplane Multiengine Sea
      Private Pilot - Instrument Airplane
      Private Pilot - Rotorcraft-Helicopter

      Type Ratings:
      P/G-111
      P/LR-JET

      Medical Class: 2
      Medical Date: 09/2020
      Expiration Date: 09/2021

      Delete
  15. Boehlke (age 72), not typed in a Citation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As the poster listed above the pilot was not rated (typed) for the C/E 560
      The types listed above are for..

      G-111= G-64 Albatross and, GSA16

      LR-JET= All learjets except the LR45, and 60 which require a separate type

      To be rated for the 560 you need a CE-500 type. Also, to fly the 560 single pilot, the type needs to be CE-500S.
      To qualify for the single pilot exemption, the Conditions and limitations are:

      Operations have to be conducted under part 91
      Pilot must hold a airline transport pilot or commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating
      Pilot must hold a first or second class medical certificate
      Pilot must have logged at 1,000 total flight time to include:
      50 hours of night time
      75 hours of instrument time
      40 hours of actual instrument time
      500 hours as pilot in command or second in command time or combination of both in turbine powered aircraft
      Use of a boom microphone and headset while exercising privileges of exemption
      Use a full functioning autopilot
      Complete a yearly recurrent single-pilot training program

      It appears the pilot did not have a commercial or ATP certificate.
      Not sure if met the other requirements.


      Delete
    2. There is no such rating as a CE-500S only a CE-500 with a "Single Pilot Waiver"

      Delete
    3. You are correct. I misread the Reg's for the 525 series to include the 560. The 525 series does have a single pilot designation of C/E-525S.
      To fly the C/E 560 single pilot you must have a C/E-500 type rating plus a logbook endorsement stating “I certify that (first name, MI, last name) has successfully completed the CE-500 single-pilot training curriculum conducted by(Name of Company) for the (model-specific type, e.g., CE-560) identified in Exemption No. xxxxx, as amended.” [date] [Name of examiner] [Examiner License #] [expiration date of CFI conducting the Examination]
      Thank you for correcting my previous post. JW

      Delete
    4. In reference to the above, the 500, 550, 560, S550, & 550B are Part 25 Transport aircraft, whereas the 510, 525, 501, & 551 are Part 23 Aircraft. Thus the Part 25 requiring 2 crew, but of course the Single Pilot Exemption is available upon meeting the applicable requirements for such.

      Delete
  16. In February 2003 I was attending Airline Training Academy in Orlando (ORL) Florida when they suddenly and without warning locked the doors, bankrupt. This school was owned by retired Delta airlines captain James (Jim) Williams and family, who also founded Comair Academy years earlier before he sold it to Delta Airlines. After several twists and turns, which can be found on Mad Cow News, it was established that Jim Williams and family was in business with Wallace (Wally) Hilliard and Rudy Decker, business (crime) partners of Boehlke. All told the students at ATA lost a combined total of $17M in funds that were on account with ATA. I lost $25k, some students lost as much as $80k. I have no sympathy for the deceased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lost money the same way in a flight school in San Antonio, TX. The crazy thing is the owner is now deceased and on KR. His name is Robert Perguson. Students lost anywhere from $4000 to $32000. I am sure some have lost more. I understand how you must feel. Some people are just pure evil. Stay away from Valkyrie Aviation, SA, TX.

      Delete
  17. While I have not known someone personally that has committed suicide in an airplane, I did personally know someone that was $165m in debt to the banks and he took a bunch of pills because he was on the verge of being outed by banks and other financial entities.

    It's very likely that Richard was in a similar position, and maybe he did it this way to make sure all insurance money paid out??

    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Scottsdale flight track of N3RB on 13 November included four 360's circling left, followed by four 360's to the right. Maybe doing inflight 360's was a signature move and the pilot was not as sharp on the accident day.

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a31c19&lat=34.370&lon=-111.810&zoom=11.8&showTrace=2020-11-13

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scottsdale flight on 14 November also had multiple 360's:

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a31c19&lat=34.700&lon=-111.450&zoom=10.8&showTrace=2020-11-14

      Delete
  19. The descending spiral would have been actively controlled by the autopilot if the pilot used Touch Control Steering (TCS) to initiate descent in response to an emergency while the autopilot was operating in default pitch and roll control mode.

    TCS allows a pilot to manually fly and retrim the aircraft without dis-engaging the autopilot. Operation of the TCS button has no effect on flight director mode of operation. Autopilot will maintain the attitude established by the pilot's last TCS input when in default pitch and roll control mode.

    Passing out after establishing a circling descent via TCS but without setting up FD control of altitude would produce this accident if consciousness was not regained.

    Pilot Boehlke would have been experienced on the Honeywell EFIS and the TCS feature from Lear Jet training and past usage. The accident aircraft having familiar legacy Honeywell EFIS with TCS may have been a selection criteria before purchase was made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to ads-b info, the auto pilot was not set, and he busted the assigned altitude of 23,000 ft. During the spiral, his vertical decent was at times over -12,000 ft/min , so that theory is not is not valid.

      Delete
    2. Hand flown appearance of the data and climbing beyond assigned altitude does not rule out pilot usage of TCS with autopilot engaged but uncoupled from flight director. Not the best way to operate if pilot becomes impaired.

      People who flew with the accident pilot probably know whether or not he would use TCS in that mode to reduce hand flying workload.

      Delete
    3. Here's an excerpt from the Honeywell/Sperry SPZ-500C Integrated Flight
      Control System user/maintenance manual for the Cessna Citation V (560)

      Touch Control Steering(TCS) When the TCS switch on the control wheel is pressed, The aileron servo drive clutch is disengaged, allowing the pilot
      to place the airplane in the desired roll attitude.
      When the TCS switch is released, If no lateral modes are selected in the flight director, and the bank angle is less than 6 degrees when TCS is released, the autopilot will return to heading hold. When the bank angle is greater than 6 degrees at TCS release, the airplane maintains the selected bank angle. This bank angle is maintained until a new attitude is selected with TCS.

      I see what you mean. It appears if bank angle is greater then 6 degrees with no flight director input selected, the autopilot keeps that bank angle until further input. It does sound like a possibility here.

      Delete
  20. Here's the listing and photos when it was for sale before he bought it in August.

    https://www.aircraft.com/aircraft/30771437/n561ej-1989-cessna-citation-v

    ReplyDelete
  21. Details of his business dealings are coming to light and It appears maybe suicide by plane?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speculation also included a claim of having inside info about the second person on board, but then official reporting came out that said no second person was on board.

      Probably should at least let NTSB have a go at officially detailing the flight profile before ruling out impaired pilot or single pilot not rated for the task being unsuccessful handling some inflight anomaly.

      Delete
    2. Please read info more carefully before making stupid comments.

      Nobody is ruling out impaired pilot. “FAA did confirm that during his last transmissions, it sounded like Boehlke was slurring his words, possibly indicating some sort of medical issue, but nothing beyond that has been confirmed.” But we know for sure Boehlke was not rated for single pilot operation in a Citation v (560) "FAA records also indicate the model of twin-engine Cessna jet Boehlke was flying requires two pilots or a waiver, which he apparently did not have."
      HE WAS NOT RATED FOR SINGLE PILOT OPERATION, NOT JUST "UP TO THE TASK!" In other words Illegal flight

      Delete
    3. Careful reading of the 9:04 PM comment reveals the correct statement was already there about "single pilot not rated for the task".

      The 9:04 PM comment was an effort to tactfully address pumped up speculation presented elsewhere that the N3RB crash was a carefully flown track to fake the accident. Not getting caught up in rampant speculation is all that was intended in the 9:04 PM comment.

      Delete
  22. The NTSB preliminary report confirms that the pilot didn't earn his type rating during the Scottsdale training flights. Purpose of the trip to Boise would provide useful background but is not mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Richard Boehlke was a long-time scamster who was deeply in debt. Coupled with an illegal flight, all signs are pointing to a deliberate suicide mission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please stop with the false narrative. Mr. Boehlke did not commit suicide.

      Delete
    2. That whole line of speculation was juiced up to earn increased clicks on a video channel and is needlessly cruel and insensitive to the surviving relatives.

      The NTSB preliminary report has shown that the initial news report of a second occupant being on the plane was incorrect. The video author should stop promoting the claim that the pilot murdered a mystery passenger. The video platform would be justified in deleting the channel for malicious content if the murder claim is not removed.

      Delete
    3. RB was a wealthy affluent gentleman. He was enjoying debt-free living.

      Delete
    4. Who are these bots defending an obvious fraudster? All anyone needs to do is follow the news reports. From the Oregonian: "Boehlke is listed on business registration documents for Senexus Services, a senior living company he founded in 2010, according to the company’s website. Court records show he was sued in October for allegedly failing to pay back an $825,000 loan that he obtained in 2019 for the company."

      Delete
    5. Oregon courts record search doesn't show a legal filing associated with his name since an auto service dispute in 2014. What is the case number for the alleged October 2020 action?

      https://www.courts.oregon.gov/services/online/Pages/records-calendars.aspx

      Delete
    6. I suggest you search PACER, the federal court database. It is either there or in the lender's state of domicile.

      Delete
  24. From the same Oregonian story... "Portland man who died in January plane crash was not certified to fly the aircraft"

    How much more clear does it need to be? Richard Boehlke was a fraud who decided to end it all — and to make others clean up his mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't let the clickbait video channel hype run away with you. All anybody knows for sure is that the man was out in his new plane and was not skillful enough.

      Delete
    2. We also know this was an ILLEGAL operation of the aircraft since he had
      NO type rating and, NO single pilot endorsement. Seems to fit his pattern
      of behavior and sketchy activity in the past. Problem is, he knew it too.

      "He had taken Citation 560 training toward the end of 2020 at a training facility in Arizona, however the owner of the facility stated that the pilot had not performed to a level sufficient to be issued a type rating or single pilot exemption."

      Delete
    3. The fact that he wasn't certified to fly this Citation automatically means suicide?

      Delete
    4. No, that inference was not made. But the fact he wasn't certified and apparently couldn't handle the aircraft alone, as referenced by the owner of the training center " the pilot had not performed to a level sufficient to be issued a type rating or single pilot exemption." It turned out that way.

      Delete
  25. I knew Rick more professionally than personally but I would be really surprised he committed suicide based. My interpretation is that he was not a fraud. Yes, he may have bad business deals but with fraud one must show intent to deceive. I don’t think that was Rick.
    Also, he was climbing at nearly 4,000 fpm in the last minute or two. In a citation 560 wouldn’t that be near stalling at 31,000’. It could be that the citation stalled and he couldn’t recover in time. Obviously, he was in way over his ability.
    The ridiculous statements by DG YouTube channel is very unfortunate and is was posted for click bait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the last 10 minutes of recorded ADS-B info, the numbers you see are
      all negative numbers. Descending anywhere from -3000'/min to over -6300'/min
      There was no 4000'/min climb @ 31000'

      Look at the track log
      https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N3RB/history/20210109/2030Z/KTTD/KBOI

      Delete
    2. I agree about the YT channel. I watched both of his videos in awe as you normally don't see this level of candor just days after a fatal crash. DG is passionate about his beliefs and the part 3 of his 'bombshell reporting' has been long-delayed. I think the recorders will provide us some answers to questions: 1) Depressurization would be accompanied by alerts 2) The status of the PIC which was not RB. 3) How the final spiral was managed.

      Delete
    3. RB had to be the pilot. NTSB report says he was the only one on board. The hyped assertion of two persons on board wasn't true. This was not a Mafia hit story and RB did not substitute a body and bail out like some movie with D. B. Cooper level intrigue.

      Delete
    4. In regards to 3-4k per minute climb. Look at the times from 26,000 to 31,000 . 1 minute 15 seconds. That's a serious climb for that airplane.

      Delete
    5. DG videos are correct. You don't have to like it.

      Delete
    6. DG's murder claim about a second person on board wasn't true, along with other aspects of breathless hype. Discredits all of what he says.

      Delete
    7. There is a 4,000 fpm climb at 4:26pm.

      Delete
  26. Today we're not together,
    Still we are not apart.
    No matter what life brings us,
    You're always in my heart.

    Those we love and lose are together with us in heart and forever with us in memory.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nice boating photos. Good times..

    ReplyDelete
  28. I wonder if he drove that nice TR-6 to the airport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if he did We know one thing, he didn't drive it home. (:(

      Delete
  29. The history of his transmissions, bad read backs, and failure to follow ATC would seem to indicate either a medical (TIA, stroke, medication, pulmonary embolism, or heart failure) or a psychological issue (distracted). This was all occurring before altitude became an issue. The nature of the crash probably ruled out a definitive autopsy and contributed to the "two" on board speculation. Crash looked like total disintegration. Blood samples maybe could have been recovered from his remains. The NTSB has the box, so any malfunctions should be apparent. We'll just have to wait and see if there are any definitive facts. RIP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The box that NTSB recovered was the cockpit voice recorder. No Flight Data Recorder on that aircraft.

      Delete
  30. Unrelated, but I can't find a way to ask any other way. Has anyone else noticed that the crash of N66BK on May 29 has been removed?

    ReplyDelete
  31. You can still find it here on ASN
    https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20210529-0

    ReplyDelete
  32. From his behavior during training and giving up early as if to hide a neuronal issue and comparing to one of my family member that has Alzeihmer's I suspect he may have had stage 1 symptoms i.e difficulty with cognitive issues and memory but not yet pronounced enough to look abnormal.
    People generally speak of medical event as an attack or sudden change but it might have been dementia all along... and how many other pilots are starting to show signs of this but instead of giving up go along with business as usual until something bad happens...
    Maybe implement basic memory/cognitive tasks during medicals.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It's doubtful that his undisclosed xanax use contributed to his ability to think clearly. Benzodiazepines are safe and useful compounds for many indications but are definitely a bad idea when it comes to combining them with machinery or operating any kind of vehicle - autopilot or no autopilot.

    ReplyDelete