Factual Report: PC-12 Loses Control

 - May 1, 2007, 6:43 AM

Pilatus PC-12, Big Timber, Mont., June 24, 2006–The PC-12 was destroyed and both occupants killed when N768H crashed after loss of control on takeoff from Big Timber Airport. The ATP-rated pilot was giving instruction to the owner of the airplane, a private pilot. The owner had flown from Big Timber to Billings to pick up the instructor. The two took off from Billings, stayed in the traffic pattern for about 30 minutes then headed north toward Lavina, Mont. The airplane made a “very rapid descent” toward the runway at Lavina, from approximately 12,000 feet.

They then flew back to Big Timber, where the airplane was topped off with 73 gallons of jet-A. Before taking off, the pilot announced on the CTAF that they planned to do an engine failure on takeoff with a 180-degree turn back to the field.

A witness said that on takeoff the aircraft rolled to the right and the nose dropped nearly 45 degrees, while the airplane lost altitude. In the last few seconds, the airplane pitched up in what “appeared to be a landing flare.”