Icing Eyed in Commander Crash
Twin Commander 690C, Wray, Colo., Jan. 15, 2009–The Commander, operated by J-W Operating, was destroyed when it crashed four miles from its destination of Wray Municipal Airport, killing both pilots and the passenger.
According to witnesses, the turboprop twin crossed over a highway at low altitude and then pitched to a near vertical attitude and began to rotate before hitting the ground nose first and bursting into flame.
The Commander had flown approximately 25 hours between its last 150-hour inspection and the accident. IFR conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, with a forecast of moderate ice between the freezing level and 14,000 feet. The vertical icing probability near Wray ranged from zero at the surface to 76 percent at 5,900 feet msl. A pilot in a King Air operating in the vicinity reported ice accumulation that his aircraft’s de-ice boots were unable to shed cleanly.