Saturday, April 24, 2021

Cessna 140, N2506N: Fatal accident occurred April 15, 2021 near H. A. Clark Memorial Field (KCMR), Williams, Coconino County, Arizona

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Location: Williams, AZ 
Accident Number: WPR21LA166
Date & Time: April 15, 2021, 19:30 Local
Registration: N2506N
Aircraft: Cessna 140 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 15, 2021, about 1930 mountain standard time, a Cessna 140, N2506N, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident in Williams, Arizona. The pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s social media postings, he had recently purchased the airplane. He and his passenger, who was also his spouse, departed Bermuda Dunes, California on April 12, with the planned destination of Sedona, Arizona. The exact itinerary could not be ascertained, but it is likely that on the accident flight they intended to land in Williams for the night and then land in Grand Canyon, Arizona the following day.

Recorded radar data covering the area of the accident was supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and was analyzed for time frame and proximity to the anticipated flight track of the airplane en route from Sedona to Williams. The radar data consisted of approximately equidistant radar returns from about 1855 to 1934. The data was consistent with the airplane departing Sedona and traveling about eight nautical miles (nm) west before turning north (see Figure 1 below). The radar returns displayed a climb to about 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and continued on the north-northwest course for about 20 minutes. As the radar returns approach the proximity of Williams, the altitude had descended to 8,150 ft msl, equating to about 1,520 ft above ground level (agl).

As the radar returns approached the H. A. Clark Memorial Field Airport, the airplane made a right turn to the north consistent with the airplane making a 45° entry to adjoin the downwind leg for runway 18 (see Figure 2 below). The radar data was consistent with the airplane continuing on the base leg and exhibited significant altitude fluctuations within a 30 second timespan.



Between 1933:27 and 1933:37, the radar returns are consistent with the airplane transitioning from a northerly course to a west course and the speed decreasing from 82 kts to 60 kts while descending 525 ft. At 1933:51 the altitude increased 750 ft and the airspeed increased by 16 kts. At 1934:51, the last radar hit, located about 2,860 feet northeast of the accident site, showed a ground speed of 43 kts and an altitude of 570 ft agl.

The airplane impacted the ground about 1,430 ft east of the runway threshold. The left and right wings exhibited compression damage along the entirety of their leading edges (see Figure 3 below). The wing flaps visually appeared to be in an extended position. The flap control linkage and cockpit flap-position indicator sustained damaged consistent with impact, prohibiting investigators from being able to ascertain the position of the flaps at the time of impact.



Data from the United States Naval Observatory indicated that the phase of moon for the town of Williams was a waxing crescent with less than 25 percent of the moon’s disk illuminated. Sunset occurred at 1902, with civil twilight ending at 1928. The moon rise occurred at 0838 and moon set at 2333; at the time of the accident the moon was about 31° below the horizon (including refraction) on an azimuth (heading) of 343°.

The airport was located just north of the city of Williams; both were situated in a wide valley surrounded by mountainous terrain. The area surrounding the airport and the city was primarily desert with very sparse illumination. A review of the airport facility directory revealed that airport elevation was 6,630 feet msl and the runway was 100 feet wide by 6,000 feet in length. The airport operated a lighted white-green beacon that was operational from sunset to sunrise. The airport was equipped with a precision approach path indicator light system designed to provide safe obstruction clearance. Pilot-activated medium intensity runway lights illuminated runway 18, and runway end identifier lights were installed.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N2506N
Model/Series: 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

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:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 35.312778,-112.1878 

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.

 Timothy Michael Gill and Joylani Roseann Kamalu


SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California  — It has been one month to the day as of Thursday since a pilot raised in San Diego County and his wife died in a plane crash in Arizona.

The duo was on vacation, flying to Sedona for the wife, Joylani's 40th birthday in their Cessna -140. That's a pretty light aircraft and was fairly new to them.

Today we are learning more about Tim, the private pilot who was a man of many talents.

Timothy Gill grew up in Vista. He was a private pilot and a well-known swing jazz musician who played all over Southern California.

"He's always been an old soul and very musically inclined - never had a piano lesson, guitar lesson, voice lesson, nothing like that. He was a natural," said Cindy Gill, Tim's mother.

Cindy and Mike Gill remember their son as being great at anything he was passionate about. Music was his first love.

"He was 14 years old and developed his first swing band," said Cindy.

Tim went to Roosevelt Middle school, Vista High school and graduated from Cal State Fullerton. His passion for aviation started about six or seven years ago.

"He was a planes, trains, and automobiles kind of guy at a young age and just found his passion in the sky," said Cindy.

The 37-year-old and his wife Joylani started a popular grassroots aviation YouTube channel and Instagram page called Tango and Juliet. They took viewers along their journeys to off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Their last Instagram post was on April 12. 

Their last YouTube video titled "Brunch and Beer Crow-Hopping" was posted on March 20.

"They both left the Sedona airport at 7 pm on Thursday, April 15 and the last radar ping was 7:19," said Cindy.

Authorities found the wreckage on Monday, April 19, in a wooded area.

"Which was the worst phone call any parent has to receive," said Cindy.

No one has any idea what when wrong.

The NTSB is investigating, which could take 18 months to two years to complete. 

Cindy said Tim and Joylani would want all their fellow aviators to continue living out their dreams in the sky.

"Continue to enjoy what they made. Please don't stop," said Cindy.

Gil leaves behind the children who live with their biological mother out of state. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the children with their educational and medical needs.




Coconino County Sheriff's Office
For Immediate Release 
Subject: Overdue Aircraft Located Crashed Near Williams HA Clark Field 

WILLIAMS, Arizona – On Sunday, April 18th around 6:00 PM, deputies from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Williams Sub-Station received a report of an overdue aircraft from Vista, California. A family member of one of the overdue occupants indicated that the missing parties had not reported for work as scheduled on Sunday. The occupants have been identified as Timothy Michael Gill, 37, and Joylani Roseann Kamalu, 38, of Vista, California.

The reported destination for the aircraft was the Grand Canyon Airport for a scheduled appointment in the Tusayan area at 9:00 AM, having departed from the Sedona Airport. Investigators immediately focused on attempting to search for the aircraft at the Sedona and Grand Canyon airports.

Due to the potential of the aircraft being in multiple jurisdictions, the State Search and Rescue Coordinator was notified, who in turn requested assistance from the US Air Force Civil Air Patrol to determine the last known direction and location of the aircraft. This information from the US Air Force directed search efforts to an area northeast of the Williams airport, also known as HA Clark Airfield.

Deputies requested the assistance of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter out of Kingman. 

On Monday, April 19th at 1:40 AM, DPS Air Rescue located the aircraft crashed in a wooded area in near the Williams Airport. Two occupants were confirmed deceased in the downed aircraft.

The incident is currently under investigation by the NTSB, FAA, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office. No further information is available at this time.


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California


March 19, 2021:  Aircraft aborted takeoff and ground looped. 

Timothy Michael Gill


Date: 19-MAR-21
Time: 19:00:00Z
Regis#: N103HD
Aircraft Make: GREGA
Aircraft Model: AIR CAMPER
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: FALLBROOK
State: CALIFORNIA

21 comments:

  1. There was probably video footage of the trip since they were avid youtube posters, sad deal on apparent first trip with there new to them C140.

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    1. Yeah, according to another Youtuber the Cessna 140 had just been purchased by them. Sad, they seem like such great people. I wonder what the cause is going to be. The area they were flying in has some really high elevations, I wonder if that was a factor.

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    2. I am guessing they fueled up in Williams before they reached the destination Grand Canyon airport that morning and the little 140 just couldn't perform with the weight and field elevation on takeoff with that 90 hp Cont. :/

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    3. Hate to think that the crash might be related to a fuel stop in Williams to get lower cost 100LL vs taking on fuel at Sedona or GC.

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  2. 02:30Z is 7:30 PM at Williams, sunset was 7 PM there on 16 April.
    Temp was 42F, not windy per METARS (From mesonet.agron.iastate.edu)
    KCMR 160215Z AUTO 29008KT 10SM CLR 08/M19 A3000
    KCMR 160235Z AUTO 28006KT 10SM CLR 06/M19 A3001
    KCMR 160255Z AUTO 27006KT 10SM CLR 06/M18 A3001

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  3. Engine examination will be of interest. Airplane may not have flown for a year or more after previous owner's 3rd class medical expired at the end of 2019 (Med date = October 2017, was good for 24 months due to being over age 40).

    Continental documented the possibility of lifter corrosion from "hangar runs" of the engine that don't dry out moisture. Guidance to manage the concern in linked document:
    http://www.tcmlink.com/pdf2/SID05-1B.pdf

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  4. During the 7,000 or so hours that I flew professionally, in everything from gliders and jump planes, to Pt. 135 cargo and 135 airline, never once did it occur to me to record my activities so as to share them with the world. The potential dangers associated with flying are great enough as it is without adding the distractions associated with recording oneself and chatting with potential viewers.
    I can't help but wonder that if the pilot had been devoting his concentrating solely to flying his airplane he might have noticed how its performance was degrading in the thinning air and mentally prepared himself better for the possible eventualities.
    In 'Fate is the Hunter' Earnest Gann wrote some words on this topic.....

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    1. So you know that the person flying the airplane was distracted and that's why the plane crashed? What other forms of magic do you believe in besides clairvoyance?

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    2. That is a very resonable assumption. I see they would often use the hashtag #grassrootsaviation. I don't know what "grass roots" aviation is, but it sounds like something that would have a high accident rate. Greater than that of GA and certified aircraft.

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    3. Tim and Joylani were friends of mine and they loved flying. They also loved sharing their adventures with the world. If you had the chance to see any of their youtube videos, you would notice that they saved their "chatting with potential viewers" to when they were back on the ground. They would have some chatting during flight occassionally on video, but nothing more than most pilots would probably have with their passengers in a small plane.

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    4. I always feel this way too, and no one ever talks about it. I mean, I know you're supposed to be able to deal with distractions as PIC, but why constantly voluntarily have one that you don't need? Yes, sharing is caring, and all wonderful and good, but unless it becomes your job, at it's root it's just attention seeking behavior which has become completely normalized and no one ever criticizes it.

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    5. Point well made. Cameras in the cockpit, playing to an audience is a distraction. In my many thousands of hours PIC, I’ve had occurrences in flight that literal seconds meant the difference between fly or crash.
      It’s a new breed of flyers, without the experiences that form up discipline. The “sterile cockpit” is becoming a thing of the past.

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    6. There you go you hit nail squarely. I am aircraft mechanic and future pilot in making. seen lot of accident videos. previously i was thing why would they fall out of sky unless it's engine failure or something like that. Now after reading this whole article and looking closely to their path and accident point. I can suggest that he couldn't maintain the well above stall speed with flaps down also considering he was about to land in night. lot of things to take care apart from they were filing i assume for their social media. RIP guys.

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  5. Only critique I'll offer is that this accident occurred either in fading light or true nightfall. Where these events unfolded two hours earlier they would've had a much easier time dealing with whatever problem they encountered. Where they needed to set the plane down then there's an excellent chance they could've done so with some damage to the airplane but otherwise walk away safely.

    Setting a plane down when it's dark outside is pretty scary business.

    Really wish they'd planned this flight to occur in full daylight, is the one thing I would change.

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    1. Perhaps there was unplanned delay in making the departure from Sedona.

      For reference, the supposed 7:30 pm crash time on 16 April was halfway between sunset and 8 pm nautical twilight, when it becomes too difficult to perceive the horizon.

      https://sunrise-sunset.org/us/williams-az/2020/4
      https://www.weather.gov/lmk/twilight-types

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  6. Not much ground disturbance around the aircraft. It possibly went straight down. Heavy, hot, bank, stall, crash.

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  7. Preliminary investigation report is out...

    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/102952/pdf

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  8. Why no ELT?

    If they survived crash, flight plan might have saved them.

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    1. The picture with the wing struts and wings all folded and collapsed, that took a huge amount of force, it was over in an instance.

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  9. Did they ever release any gopro footage from the cockpit during this event -

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