Sunday, March 28, 2021

Ground Collision: Cessna 150, N5614E and Cessna 525C Citation CJ4, N511AC; fatal accident occurred April 02, 2018 at Marion Municipal Airport (KMZZ), Grant County, Indiana

Kyle M. Hibst 
1986 - 2018

David K. Wittkamper
1986 - 2018
















Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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


Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana
Cessna; Wichita, Kansas 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Marion, Indiana
Accident Number: CEN18FA132
Date & Time: April 2, 2018, 15:09 Local
Registration: N5614E
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Ground collision
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

A single-engine airplane was taking off from runway 15 about the same time that a multi-engine business jet landed on a nearly perpendicular runway (runway 22). The single-engine airplane, piloted by a private pilot, was departing on a local flight. The jet, piloted by an airline transport pilot, was rolling down the runway following a straight-in visual approach and landing. The single-engine airplane collided with the empennage of the jet at the intersection of the two runways. Witnesses in the airport lounge area heard the pilot of the single-engine airplane announce on the airport's universal communications (UNICOM) traffic advisory frequency a few minutes before the accident that the airplane was back-taxiing on the runway. The pilot of the jet did not recall making any radio transmissions on the UNICOM frequency and review of the jet's cockpit voice recorder did not reveal any incoming or outgoing calls on the frequency. The pilots of both airplanes were familiar with the airport, and the airport was not tower controlled.

The airport had signage posted on all runways indicating that traffic using the nearly perpendicular runway could not be seen and instructed pilots to monitor the UNICOM. A visibility assessment confirmed reduced visibility of traffic operating from the nearly perpendicular runways. The reported weather conditions about the time of the accident included clear skies with 4 miles visibility due to haze. Both airplanes were painted white.

It is likely that the pilot of the jet would have been aware of the departing traffic if he was monitoring the UNICOM frequency. Although the jet was equipped with a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), he reported that the system did not depict any conflicting traffic during the approach to the airport. Although the visibility assessment showed reduced visibility from the departing and arrival runways, it could not be determined if or at what point during their respective landing and takeoff the pilot of each airplane may have been able to see the other airplane. In addition to the known reduced visibility of the intersecting runways, both airplanes were painted white and there was reported haze in the area, which could have affected the pilots' ability to see each other. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of both pilots to see and avoid the other airplane as they converged on intersecting runways. Contributing to the accident was the jet pilot's not monitoring the airport's traffic advisory frequency, known reduced visibility of the intersecting runways, and hazy weather condition.

Findings

Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot of other aircraft
Environmental issues (general) - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues (general) - Contributed to outcome
Personnel issues Lack of communication - Pilot of other aircraft

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Ground collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 3, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 18, 2017
Flight Time: 71.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 23.7 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N5614E
Model/Series: 150 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17114
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 1, 2018 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1499 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4035 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-200 SERIES
Registered Owner: Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MZZ,858 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 4 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 140° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Marion, IN (MZZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Marion, IN (MZZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:08 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Marion Municipal Airport MZZ
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 858 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3456 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.490833,-85.679725

Location: Marion, Indiana
Accident Number: CEN18FA132
Date & Time: April 2, 2018, 15:09 Local 
Registration: N511AC
Aircraft: Cessna 525C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground collision
Injuries: 5 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation

Analysis

A single-engine airplane was taking off from runway 15 about the same time that a multi-engine business jet landed on a nearly perpendicular runway (runway 22). The single-engine airplane, piloted by a private pilot, was departing on a local flight. The jet, piloted by an airline transport pilot, was rolling down the runway following a straight-in visual approach and landing. The single-engine airplane collided with the empennage of the jet at the intersection of the two runways. Witnesses in the airport lounge area heard the pilot of the single-engine airplane announce on the airport's universal communications (UNICOM) traffic advisory frequency a few minutes before the accident that the airplane was back-taxiing on the runway. The pilot of the jet did not recall making any radio transmissions on the UNICOM frequency and review of the jet's cockpit voice recorder did not reveal any incoming or outgoing calls on the frequency. The pilots of both airplanes were familiar with the airport, and the airport was not tower controlled.

The airport had signage posted on all runways indicating that traffic using the nearly perpendicular runway could not be seen and instructed pilots to monitor the UNICOM. A visibility assessment confirmed reduced visibility of traffic operating from the nearly perpendicular runways. The reported weather conditions about the time of the accident included clear skies with 4 miles visibility due to haze. Both airplanes were painted white.

It is likely that the pilot of the jet would have been aware of the departing traffic if he was monitoring the UNICOM frequency. Although the jet was equipped with a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), he reported that the system did not depict any conflicting traffic during the approach to the airport. Although the visibility assessment showed reduced visibility from the departing and arrival runways, it could not be determined if or at what point during their respective landing and takeoff the pilot of each airplane may have been able to see the other airplane. In addition to the known reduced visibility of the intersecting runways, both airplanes were painted white and there was reported haze in the area, which could have affected the pilots' ability to see each other. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of both pilots to see and avoid the other airplane as they converged on intersecting runways. Contributing to the accident was the jet pilot's not monitoring the airport's traffic advisory frequency, known reduced visibility of the intersecting runways, and hazy weather condition.

Findings

Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot of other aircraft
Environmental issues (general) - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues (general) - Contributed to outcome
Personnel issues Lack of communication - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport Age: 70,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 1, 2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 24, 2017
Flight Time: 35437 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2537 hours (Total, this make and model), 35237 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 67 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N511AC
Model/Series: 525C C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 525C0081
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 10
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 9, 2018 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 17100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hrs
Engines: Turbo jet
Airframe Total Time: 2537 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Williams
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: FJ44-4A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 3621 Lbs thrust
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MZZ,858 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear Visibility 4 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Jackson, MI (JXN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Marion, IN (MZZ)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 16:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Marion Municipal Airport MZZ 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 858 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3456 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 4 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 5 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.490833,-85.679725

15 comments:

  1. Truly tragic!!! Two young lives lost because the experienced ATP couldn't be bothered to announce position and intentions on the CTAF. What the F......!!!

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  2. Apparently Joe Corporate Pilot needs to go back to basic ground school for some remedial training. Absolutely no excuse for this behavior, no matter how familiar with or how many times you're in and out of this airport. Complacency kills.

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  3. I'd say the jet jockey has run his last race.

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  4. One of our aircraft almost got rear-ended by a corporate hot-shot a few years ago. Straight-in approach, no calls, nothing. He makes a call (his first) on rollout asking the FBO (Signature) for services.
    When told what he just did, he was the one with the loud mouth claiming he was on an IFR clearance with Approach (on a severe VFR day) and he had landing priority and didn't need to talk on the Unicom.
    Sadly for him, there was an FAA pilot on-board (that was a certification flight) - guess who had his certificate suspended?

    And I had another one of those morons cut me off as I was turning final on my first solo. Same thing, claiming "he had landing priority". My flight instructor made sure the FAA had all the information they needed before I managed to do my three take-offs and landings.

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    Replies
    1. I was flying into an airport that used right traffic for the main runway. A busy uncontrolled field. I called downwind midfield RH traffic-21. A Bonanza also called downwind 21. I couldn't find him and atarted getting nervous. I was in a Cessna 195, I noted I didn't have him in sight and asked where in the pattern he was. This is an airport where many people make very long downwind approaches. Finally he calls base for 21, and I see him making left base instead of right. I call that RH base is required on this field-he gets REALLY nasty, he can do what he wants, that's optional. The airport manager gots on the radio and says, actually, it's not, at which point guy gets even nastier and makes some sort of threat to report us. Later on the ground he taxis past me and I write down his N number. I googled it and found out the plane was owned by someone rather senior at the FAA!

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    2. Same here but I was a newly minted 19-year old PP. One popular off-base airport we club members used for practice was a popular hub for the Florida beach condo owning wealthy. The jackhole who I had a run in with wasn't even in a jet. He was in a Baron and cut me off on the ground right when I was beginning to pull out. He saw my 172 already taxiing out from the ramp on the centerline and wanted to be ahead of me. He pulled out in front of me and I had to stop (I clearly had the right-of-way). The tower personnel saw everything and gave him a nice little lecture from both ground and tower comm. He didn't even acknowledge anything and just carried on with flight comm business as if nothing happened. I later found out from an FBO worker there he was a retired judge. It takes all types I suppose but they all have one common denominator: an arrogant I'm-more-important-than-you (or regulations) personality. And that gets people killed of which this website is full of in reports of fatal accidents.

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  5. "The Indiana Lawyer https://www.theindianalawyer.com › tags › richard-darli...
    Jun 8, 2018 — Autumn Wittkamper contends Richard Darlington and Avis Industrial Corp. are responsible in the April 2 collision that killed 31-year-old David ..." and nothing further suggests they settled out of court and the recorded sealed !!

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    Replies
    1. Its hard to understand why the FAA hasn't pinned 100% of this accident on the jet. Understand that from a legal perspective, not required. But what type of moron would want to land a fast aircraft on a perpendicular runway without announcing it at least 3 times in final? Oh wait, this type of moron.

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  6. The 150 taxi route was out of the FBO, to 15 intersection, then back taxied 1,700 feet to the beginning of 15. After completing a runup check he would be expected to make a CTAF announcement that he was departing RW15. A lot of time went by between making the back taxi announcement and takeoff roll.

    No matter how much you want to hate the Citation pilot, the 150 pilot started a takeoff on 15 toward crossing that intersection without announcing departure.

    His passenger suffered from the mistakes made by two pilots.

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    Replies
    1. So here's the question that we'll never know the answer to: if the CitationJet pilot actually was monitoring CTAF as he should have been, would this tragedy have been avoided with him knowing the position and intention of the 150? Non-tower airports have a CTAF service for a reason, and this is one of them. Citation pilot is at the VERY least equally responsible and if I were on a jury for the lawsuit case, would say he was 75% responsible in my judgement.

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    2. I can understand why the fairly new 150 pilot forgot to announce his takeoff departure -- he thought he was alone on the field because no one else was talking on the CTAF. Frankly, I see the Citation pilot's transgressions as more egregious than the 150 pilot's.

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    3. The C150 pilot's training was a failure if he EVER decided to skip a departure announcement, regardless of whether he thought he was alone on the field because no one else was talking on the CTAF.

      Think about how many miles out the Citation pilot had to be when the back taxi call was made.

      Even a short application of Citation brakes upon hearing a departure announcement would have saved the day - he was rolling out without brakes.

      Yes, the Citation pilot screwed up. But the C150 pilot gave away his last chance to halt the accident sequence in not making his own departure call. You may not like it, but there it is.

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    4. “”” Yes, the Citation pilot screwed up. But the C150 pilot gave away his last chance to halt the accident sequence in not making his own departure call. You may not like it, but there it is.”””

      You forget one thing. Apparently the jet jockey wasn’t even monitoring Unicom so he wouldn’t have heard the 150’s call out. However, If the 150 made a call he was back taxiing, I’d assume he made a call he was taking off. Jet jock wouldn’t have heard it anyway.

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    5. Pilot Interview summary in the docket records the Citation pilot stating that he did not hear anyone talking on 122.7 and witness statements do not include anyone in the FBO hearing a C150 departure announcement.

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  7. We all pay the price for "each others mistakes" thats why we all have to try to help each other, not hit each other.....

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