Factual Report: Cessna 441 Pilot Concerned About Weather

 - November 2, 2006, 7:28 AM

Cessna 441, Vestavia Hills, Ala., Dec. 10, 2003–After taking off from Birmingham, Warrington Development’s Cessna 441 descended in a spin and crashed in a creek ravine. The ATP pilot and his passenger were killed, and the airplane was destroyed.

The pilot was reported to be concerned about the weather, “staying on the computers all morning,” checking the weather, according to a witness. The pilot also queried arriving pilots about the weather they encountered. He obtained a weather briefing for a flight to Venice, Fla., and filed an IFR plan.

Cleared to climb to 10,000 feet, the flight began to lose altitude at 6,300 feet and to deviate off course. The pilot called, “Mayday, mayday mayday, Four One Whiskey, I’m coming out of the sky.” He then said, “(unintelligible) severe buf (unintelligible),” and “We’re in a spin.”

Several witnesses saw the airplane descend from the clouds in a nose-down spiral.

An airmet warned of occasional moderate rime and/or mixed icing in clouds and precipitation below 8,000 feet.

The accident pilot had 4,350 flight hours, with 424 total hours in the 441 but no pilot-in-command time in the preceding 12 months. Diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine were found in his body.