Thursday, April 21, 2022

Cessna 340 Ram Series V-1 Conversion, N84GR: Fatal accident occurred April 21, 2022 near Covington Municipal Airport (KCVC), Newton County, Georgia

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia 

Nixon Enterprises Inc

Location: Covington, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA22FA199
Date and Time: April 21, 2022, 18:44 Local
Registration: N84GR
Aircraft: Cessna 340 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 21, 2022, about 1844, eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340, N84GR was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Covington, Georgia. The private pilot and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the partner of the student pilot, both the student pilot and private pilot flew to Lubbock, Texas on a commercial airline the day prior to the accident to pick up the accident airplane. On the day of the accident, the student pilot intended to begin flight training with his flight instructor. She further stated that student pilot had recently met the private pilot and the private pilot told the student pilot that he could teach him how to fly the accident airplane.

According to preliminary radar data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane departed Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia about 1640. The airplane was tracked to Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia, where it arrived about 1650. The airplane departed (LZU) about 1712 and arrived at Lumpkin County Wimpey’s Airport (9A0), Dahlonega, Georgia about 1731. The airplane then departed (9A0) about 1813, en route to Covington Municipal Airport (CVC), Atlanta, Georgia.

According to multiple witnesses in the vicinity of CVC, the airplane made a “hard right” banking turn, started to spiral downward, and then impacted a row of parked, empty semitruck trailers about 1 nautical mile southeast of CVC. Parking lot surveillance video revealed the airplane descending in a right spin at the time of the impact. The airplane was destroyed by post-impact fire.

Remnants of the right horizontal stabilizer, elevator, vertical stabilizer, and rudder were found within the debris area. Flight control cables located within the debris area were traced from the remnants of the control surfaces to their respective bellcranks, and to the flight controls within the cockpit. The cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed by post-impact fire.

Examination of both engines revealed fire and impact damage. A preliminary onsite examination revealed all fuel lines and ignition wiring on both engines were destroyed by post-impact fire.

The wreckage was recovered and retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N84GR
Model/Series: 340 Undesignated Series 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
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: CVC,819 ft msl
Observation Time: 18:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.35 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Dahlonega, GA (9A0)
Destination: Covington, GA (CVC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.62488,-83.82656

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances near an industrial area into parked tractor-trailers. 

Date: 21-APR-22
Time: 23:03:00Z
Regis#: N84GR
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 340
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 1 fatal 
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: DESTROYED
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
City: COVINGTON
State: GEORGIA

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.


COVINGTON, Georgia — Covington Police say they have identified a student pilot who died when the airplane he was flying crashed and burned on impact April 21 near a food production plant.

Edward Rodriguez, 33, of Lawrenceville, and a passenger who was training him to fly both died on impact when the Cessna 340 airplane they were traveling in crashed into parked tractor-trailers and exploded on impact about 300 yards from the General Mills plant in northeast Covington. 

Rodriguez was identified from dental records, while GBI investigators are still working to identify the passenger, said Capt. Mark Jones of the Covington Police Department.

He said he had no other information on the victim or the flight instructor.

No one on the ground was injured and it occurred in a fenced area that was roughly 300 yards from General Mills’ production plant which operates around the clock, police officials said. 

General Mills spokesperson Mollie Wulff said no employees were harmed in the crash.

"The plant did not experience any disruptions and it remains fully operational,” Wulff said.  

FAA records show the Cessna 340 aircraft was manufactured in 1973 and certified as airworthy in 1985.

It was owned by Nixon Enterprises Inc. of Portales, New Mexico.  

No other information was immediately available. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was investigating to find out the cause of the crash. 

NTSB spokesperson Peter Knudson said April 22 the plane’s owner was receiving flight instruction on “touch-and-go landings” when the incident occurred. 

The incident was reported around 6:45 p.m. after the plane took off from Covington Municipal Airport in a northeast direction and crashed about a half-mile away in an isolated area where tractor-trailers were stored on the General Mills grounds, Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom said on April 21.

He said the plane hit some tractor-trailers on the ground about 100 yards east of the Harland Drive entrance to the plant near Industrial Boulevard in northeast Covington. 

Witnesses said they believed the plane was having trouble gaining altitude and appeared to be gliding. They said they could hear what appeared to be engine trouble before the plane veered to the right and immediately went down into a tractor-trailer parking area.


COVINGTON, Georgia — Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday a plane crash on Thursday at a General Mills plant in Covington happened as a pilot was practicing "touch and go" landings.

There were no survivors in the crash. Police in Covington have said at least two people were on board, and on Friday the NTSB confirmed one passenger and one pilot were killed.

The identities of the people aboard have not yet been released.

Police said the crash occurred around 6:45 p.m. and that the plane did not crash directly into the plant, but rather into trucks behind the plant. The plane exploded on impact, according to police.

The NTSB said it was a training flight, and that the owner was learning from a flight instructor. They did not say if the owner or instructor was operating the plane when the crash occurred.

They said the twin engine plane was doing touch and go landings at Covington Municipal Airport - a technique in which the pilot makes an approach to landing, configures the plane to land, and briefly touches down on the runway.

"Rather than coming to a stop and taxiing off the runway as you would with a normal landing, once the wheels touch down, the pilot continues down the runway, reconfigures the plane for takeoff and executes an immediate takeoff without ever coming to a stop," the site explains.

It's a method frequently used in training how to land a plane, because it allows for a pilot to make several attempts without having to come to a full landing stop.

"According to witnesses, they believe the plane was having trouble gaining altitude. They could hear that there was engine trouble," Covington Police Captain Ken Malcom said on Thursday, describing the incident as seen by nearby witnesses. "Suddenly the plane veered to the right and immediately came straight down and crashed into the lot behind us. This is the General Mills plant that produces cereal here in our area. The plane went down in an isolated area here on the lot behind us in an area where they store tractor trailers."

According to the NTSB, the flight originated in Lumpkin County, with the plane going to Covington to do the practice. The agency also said five total trucks burned when the plane crashed at the General Mills plant, and that the local fire department is still separating truck parts and airplane parts to assist in the investigation.

An NTSB preliminary report on the crash won't be available for another roughly two weeks, and the cause won't be fully established until the report is complete which could take several months.




COVINGTON, Georgia - Officials said there were no survivors aboard a small plane that crashed into the General Mills plant in Covington early Thursday evening.

Captain Ken Malcom with the Covington Police Department said around 6:45 p.m. a twin-engine Cessna appeared to start having engine trouble. Witnesses told police it traveled northeast, but appeared to be having trouble gaining altitude and was making unusual engine noises. Malcom said the plane then veered right and came straight down onto an isolated area of the plant where tractor trailers are stored.

Police said the plane appeared to explode on impact. Witnesses said there were a series of small explosions after the crash. About six trailers that were parked together and believed to be mostly empty caught fire and were damaged after the crash. 

"We saw what we believe is a wing and possibly a part of an engine, but again it's a lot charred metal back there right now," said Malcom.

The captain said that investigators are still not sure how many were on the flight, but that no one survived.

Police said late Thursday crews were able to recover one body, but the other body was still in the wreckage.

"We are working on a lead to determine who the victims were in the crash," the captain said.

No one on the ground was injured due to the crash.

"The fact that it didn’t crash into the plant, saved many lives," Malcom said.

A massive dark plume of smoke could be seen rise above the Georgia city located about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Photos provided to FOX 5 Atlanta shows a plume of thick heavy smoke coming from the plant and several tractor trailers damaged. Fire crews could be seen extinguishing the blaze.

The plant located at 15200 Industrial Park Blvd. NE. It is about eight-tenths of a mile southeast of the eastern edge of the runway at Covington Municipal Airport.

While police initially believed the flight took off from the nearby airport, data from FlightAware suggests the flight was inbound and may have trouble landing.

The actually crash site at the plant is about 300 feet away from the plant.

Police said crews will be on the scene all night working to secure and investigate the crash.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB. 

The crash site is about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.

The General Mills plant produces cereal.

31 comments:

  1. Tracks:

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=ab7e26&lat=34.063&lon=-84.156&zoom=8.8&showTrace=2022-04-21&leg=3&trackLabels

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N84GR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. METAR shows zero wind before the approach. ADS-B reception was able to capture location data while lined up for RW10, but General Mills is beyond the RW10 approach.

      KCVC 212255Z AUTO 10003KT 10SM CLR 23/12 A3035 RMK AO2
      KCVC 212235Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 23/12 A3035 RMK AO2
      KCVC 212215Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 23/12 A3035 RMK AO2

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/General+Mills/@33.622836,-83.8236575,636m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x88f433daf3396711:0xf9b3c0c58801708f!2sGeneral+Mills+Employee+Parking!8m2!3d33.6250631!4d-83.8277693!3m4!1s0x0:0xc9f5e14d6483612c!8m2!3d33.6233543!4d-83.8238654

      Delete
    2. This was not an approach accident. It was a takeoff accident. At approx. 19:03, the aircraft impacted a tractor trailer storage area near the General Mills Plant.

      Correct accident location:

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/33%C2%B037'31.9%22N+83%C2%B049'34.2%22W/@33.6255201,-83.8267072,243m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x71d93181cd9197fe!7e2!8m2!3d33.6255194!4d-83.8261597?hl=en

      Delete
    3. NTSB says flight was student with instructor practicing T&G's.

      https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/covington/covington-georgia-plane-crash-general-mills/85-1424ef39-09ce-4d4d-a263-4c5dba3f8062

      Delete
  2. Last night one of the local Atlanta news affiliates interviewed a couple of witnesses who claimed an engine sputtering sound and then a wing went low and it went straight down. There has to be security surveillance on that property that captured the crash.

    And what's up with food processing facilities lately between industrial fires and planes crashing into them? It's a BAD time to be shutting down our food sources if we think shelves are slim pickings right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fire destroyed the headquarters of largest independent food distributor, Azure Standard, in the United States and there’s barely any coverage of it.

      What is with all of these fires that involves food production, food warehouses, organic certified fruits & vegetables and fertilizer plants?

      Delete
    2. The plants aren't attracting planes, it's just that industrial areas near airports are in the pattern overlaps. Plants using gas and electric process heating have more risk of fire than a warehouse, and Azure's warehouse fire wasn't arson, according to investigation report, here:

      https://www.facebook.com/azurestandard/photos/a.122504101225166/2441020256040194/

      Delete
    3. Nobody is claiming a tin foil hat conspiracy, and we all know the crash in Idaho was a tragic accident as was this. But that doesn't take away from the fact that in the midst of a very serious food shortage out there, things are happening at the worst time. Explosions are nothing new at corn, grain, and sugar processing plants. But one has to wonder why in our ever more volatile food supply chain that there are not more precautions taken to prevent fires and accidents. When shelves really start going empty I'll bet more people wished they had raised the alarm sooner on an immediate fix to secure our food production safety. But that's not the current administration's priority (now that I think about it, I don't think anyone knows who the hell is in charge anywhere in it).

      Delete
    4. Putting those handful of fires in context to some history:

      https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fact-sheets/IndustrialFactSheet.pdf

      Delete
  3. Greedy Managers at those plants pushing for faster production and slower safety. I was a manager at places like that. Pigs only care for profits..

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never flown a twin. Even in my single retractable, we do "stop and go" rather than touch and go. Too much stuff to get right with flaps, gear, prop needing, throttle needing quick modifications. What about "touch and go" in a twin? Seems even tougher with two engines, throttles, props to verify. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, having to train on what it takes to perform a go around means that a full stop can't be the only type of landing during instruction.

      We live our lives with too much faith in practices that are myths. The idea that annual inspection of this 1973 production aircraft makes it equal to one that is not 49 years old is debatable.

      Something as simple as trouble with a throttle cable core wire can ruin the go around. Airworthiness Directives weed out some of the problems, but there are plenty of hidden items that annual inspection can't evaluate.

      There are twice as many such items that can fail in a twin.

      Delete
    2. The only extra step is raising the flaps. The gear are down and stay down until airborne. The prop and mixtures are already full forward. The turbocharger waste-gates are automatic. Simply push the throttles to the full power stops. The flaps go from full down to full up with a flick of the switch. Flaps up is the normal take-off setting. It's the same as doing a TnG in a C-150.

      Delete
    3. your comments appear to indicate a C150 is all you have ever flown. they certainly indicate that you do not have much experience in twin engine aircraft. i never got my MEI and have always been thankful for that. i have been instructing mostly part time since 1991 and have had several experiences that would have certainly killed me had i been in a twin. i currenly fly a baron and a king air and have a lot of respect for what can happen very quickly in twin engine high performance aircraft.

      Delete
    4. A touch and go is actually safer than a stop and go, because you’re very close to flying speed already when the throttle(s) are advanced. It takes very little runway afterwards to become airborne. I have been instructing and flying all my life (military and airline pilot), with over 25000 hours. It IS like a C-152. Even in big jets the procedure is: check speedbrakes (spoilers) down, reset flaps, and throttles. That’s it. By the time the engines spool, youre at flying speed. Whatever happened here was not a result of a touch and go….

      Delete
    5. Wow! Even when I did my multi-engine check ride all landings were to a full stop, the examiner, never mind the instructors for my Multi-engine rating and the check ride and biannual for the 340A have never suggested anything but a full stop. Lose an engine on take off in a twin and you better act fast. I own and fly the turbine M600 and a 340A. Let me know which airline you fly and I’ll make sure I avoid it.

      Delete
  5. When I was getting my PPL touch and go was the norm. I do three full stops, when I can, so I can stay current and carry passengers. I say "when I can" because sometimes the tower won't allow full stop / taxi back or stop and go landings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Touch and goes count toward currency, assuming you're in a tricycle gear plane during the day. Full stop landings are only needed for currency in a tailwheel or at night

      Delete
    2. If touch and goes count toward currency, do bounced landings also count? With some of my landings, I could gain full currency in just once pass! ;)

      Delete
  6. Sounds to me like they were either practicing engine failure after takeoff or had a real one, let the speed get too low and stalled/spun in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is most likely the 2 options. Yes doing touch and goes in a light twin is not a good idea...Twice the engine, 4 times the work load...I did do them in a Boeing 737 and Airbus A319 however for type rating ride. Prop planes still more work and less forgiving, A A319 with 5 people and no bags is a rocket..

      Delete
  7. Doing touch and Goes in a turbocharged plane, bad idea...over boosting, shock heating/cooling ect...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shock heating/cooling is a tired old myth that has been disproven many times over.

      Delete
    2. Good luck with that operating plan, make sure you tell all of your passengers that before they get on your plane...How many hard driven Cirrus 22's have blown engines???

      Delete
    3. If shock cooling was damaging engines, crash reports would attribute crashes to it.

      A CAROL factual narrative search for shock cooling returns 12 reports where the search term shock cooling finds an occurrence of the word pair in the description of an onboard engine monitor's capability to calculate shock cooling, but none of those 12 accidents found any engine condition present attributed to shock cooling.

      A 13th report (WPR16LA082) found a match of the word pair for a R985 radial engine that was not being periodically inspected to an AD to check for cracks known to occur in those engines. An engine shop opinion mentioning cracking causes as either lean running from worn carbs or pilots shock cooling is what gave the word pair match in that report.

      A myth, but myths can be useful for product sales. Every pilot who carefully observes his engine monitor's shock cooling calculation will probably insist it is "saving" the engine.

      Delete
  8. If shock cooling were a thing, you'd never turn off your engine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It appears the plane lived in New Mexico, and flew to Atlanta (one-stop ferry) the day before the accident. Perhaps the new owner was getting trained? Was the pilot or CFI familiar with the 340, and proficient in engine out procedures? Sad: if this was a loss of one engine, this probably should have been survivable.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ask the jump zone owners what they think about recip engine cooling.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It’s Edwin Rodriguez not Edward

    ReplyDelete
  12. We owned and operated 2 different CE-340's, 1973 model, and a 78 RAM VII,
    they were nice handling airplanes when everything was working, which was most of the time....but you could get an engine to "surge" if you were not familiar/careful with the boost pumps...if you set them to "High", instead of Low, as the checklist specifies...you could a flooded engine kind of situation...it happened to me the first time on an ILS practice in good weather...we ended up shutting down the engine and landing ok, but luckily it was a low power descending type of situation, so the yaw was not bad...if you are at 35MP/25 as
    in a climb...the sudden yaw is incredible and very scary...just my experience

    ReplyDelete
  13. NTSB should included known flight crew certifications and flight hours with "preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors."

    ReplyDelete