Final Report: Pilot failed to maintain proper climb rate

 - October 18, 2006, 1:58 PM

Beech King Air C90A, Salt Lake City, Dec. 18, 2004–The NTSB said the probable cause was the pilot’s failure to obtain/ maintain a proper climb rate after takeoff and his premature initiation of the turn (low-altitude flight maneuver).

After a normal takeoff, the pilot maintained runway heading until he lost visual contact with the ground. He then turned left to the assigned heading and received a warning of sink rate from the EGPWS.

The instruments showed a “climbing left turn” on the left instrument panel and a “descending left turn” on the right. The pilot saw a red light and “immediately pulled hard up” and the airplane struck a weather station antenna.

The pilot added full power, leveled the wings and initiated a positive rate of climb, cross referencing both instrument panels until he was clear of the clouds.

The 44-foot-high obstruction was located approximately 200 feet west of the departure runway. The airplane struck the antenna at the 30-foot level.

The King Air, operated by Generation 2000, was substantially damaged, but there were no injuries. Testing of the pitot instrument systems and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies. Weather was one-quarter sm visibility, freezing fog, overcast 200 feet agl; temperature -3 degrees C, dew point -4 degrees C.

Contributing factors include the pilot’s improper in-flight planning and decision-making, low altitude, the fog and the antenna.