Final Report: Pilot did not maintain control in icing

 - October 18, 2006, 2:01 PM

Cessna Caravan 208B, Bellevue, Idaho, Dec. 6, 2004–The NTSB blamed the fatal accident of the Salmon Air Caravan on the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control while on approach for landing in icing conditions. Inadequate airspeed was a factor.

Icing conditions were reported, and the pilot of a Citation flying the same Rnav approach to Friedman Memorial in Hailey, Idaho, 20 minutes earlier reported picking up light to occasional moderate rime ice.

At the last communication between the local controller and the accident pilot, the flight was two miles south of the final approach fix and the pilot did not have the runway in sight. “Still IMC,” he reported. A witness on the ground saw the Caravan at low level below the cloud base flying in a southeasterly direction. The witness stated that the right wing was lower than the left as the aircraft continued to descend.

The witness then noted that the wings were moving “side to side” (up and down) a couple of times before the nose of the aircraft dropped near vertical to the terrain. The witness heard the sound of the engine running steadily throughout the event.

The aircraft, found in a flat open field about 3,000 feet south of the final approach fix coordinates, was destroyed. The cargo airplane was under contract to UPS. The two pilots aboard were killed.

The pilot was aware of the Salmon Air training program warning that “The Cessna Caravan’s weak point known throughout the industry is its ground icing and/or in-flight icing scenarios.”