Accidents: August 2013

 - August 3, 2013, 1:40 AM

Preliminary Report: King Air Pilot Escapes Road Landing

Beechcraft King Air 200, Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Ill., June 26, 2013–The sole-occupant pilot of a King Air 200 was not injured when the aircraft landed on a four-lane highway short of the approach end of Runway 16 at KPWK. The King Air narrowly missed striking apartment buildings, and no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged when the right wing struck a tree. There was no fire.

Preliminary Report: Two Pilots Die in African Turboprop Accident

Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante, Francistown Airport (FBFT), Botswana, June 29, 2013–An EMB-110 that had departed from Lanseria crashed during an instrument approach for a routine fuel stop at Francistown. The aircraft had flown one instrument approach that resulted in a missed approach. During the go-around, the crew reported visual contact with the runway and was circling to land when the aircraft crashed, killing both pilots, the only occupants.

Preliminary Report: Jet Overruns New York Runway

Gulfstream G200, Chautauqua County/Jamestown Airport (JHW), N.Y., June 20, 2013–The Gulfstream G200 sustained minor damage to the trailing edge of the left wing flap after it overran the paved portion of Runway 25 at JHW and struck a number of runway threshold lights. The aircraft was carrying five people: two ATP-rated pilots, two FAA inspectors and the company’s chief pilot. No injuries were reported. Taughannock Aviation was operating the aircraft under Part 91. Although the weather was good VFR, an IFR flight plan was filed for the training flight, which originated at Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), N.Y., at 3:50 p.m.

The two pilots flew to ROC with the operator’s chief pilot in the jumpseat to complete a Part 135.299 check ride. After landing at ROC, the two pilots finished the ground school portion of the check and were engaged in the practical test portion of their examination at the time of the incident.

The flying pilot said the airplane landed within the touchdown zone, approximately 1,000 feet past the threshold of the 5,299-foot runway, following a “normal stabilized approach.” The pilot deployed thrust reversers and steady brake pressure but found the “braking/stopping ability was nil.” The 1415 recorded weather at JHW indicated calm wind, visibility 10 miles and clear skies.

Preliminary Report: Turboprop Substantially Damaged

Saab 340B, Marsh Harbour International Airport (MYAM), Bahamas, June 13, 2013–A Saab 340B operating as a SkyBahamas Airline flight was destroyed after it landed hard during its arrival from Fort Lauderdale International Airport (KFLL). A passenger reported the aircraft bounced three times before the right wing separated from the fuselage. None of the 21 people aboard the aircraft was injured in the accident.

Preliminary Report: Hard Landing in Arizona Helicopter Accident

MD-369E, near Casa Grande, Ariz., June 25, 2013–The MD-369 was substantially damaged during an off-airport landing in VFR conditions about six miles southeast of Casa Grande. The helicopter was being operated by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office on a daylight, Part 91, post-maintenance test flight when the accident occurred at 6:57 a.m. The three occupants of the helicopter–the pilot and two maintenance personnel–sustained minor injuries.

The pilot later told the NTSB they were flying at 700 feet agl when he heard a bang, followed by total power loss. The pilot performed an autorotation, but the helicopter landed hard, collapsing the right skid, and came to rest on its right side.

Preliminary Report: King Air Hits Power Lines

Beechcraft King Air 100, near Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil Airport (CSB3), Quebec, June 10, 2013–A King Air 100 was destroyed when it collided with power lines during a forced landing near CSB3 before coming to rest in a field. All four people aboard were injured, but none to a life-threatening degree.

Preliminary Report: Helicopter Accident During Ag Operations

Bell 206, near Royal City, Wash., June 24, 2013–The helicopter became entangled in netting used to cover cherry trees during an orchard-drying operation at 7:40 a.m. The sole-occupant pilot was seriously injured. Local law enforcement officers reported the pilot was hovering over the orchard when the helicopter’s skid became entangled in netting. It subsequently hit the ground and rolled over, substantially damaging the tailboom, fuselage and main rotor system. The helicopter was registered to Wilber-Ellis Co.

Preliminary Report: Turboprop Accident Kills Two

Twin Commander 690B, near McClellanville, S.C., June 20, 2013–The turbo Commander was destroyed when it hit terrain after an in-flight loss of control at 4:46 p.m. The private pilot and flight instructor aboard were killed. The aircraft departed Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), S.C. at 4:33 p.m. on an instrument flight plan in VFR conditions to complete a Part 61.56 flight review. After takeoff from JZI, the pilots requested an altitude block of 13,000 to 15,000 feet for airwork over the McClellanville area. At about 4:46 p.m. ATC asked for the pilot’s heading and received no response. Radar contact was lost and search-and-rescue operations were initiated. Local responders found the wreckage within the boundary of the Francis Marion National Forest in Charleston County.

Examination of the accident site showed the airplane hit trees first and then the ground. The wreckage path was about 290 feet long and 40 feet wide. The path through the trees suggested the airplane was in a right bank of 42 degrees and a descent angle of 41 degrees. There was no fire. Local weather data revealed no convective activity or thunderstorms in the immediate area at the time of the accident.

Final Report: Helicopter Hit Terrain in New Mexico

AgustaWestland AW109E, near Santa Fe, N.M., June 9, 2009–The two occupants (one pilot and one passenger) were killed after the helicopter flew into IFR conditions on a Part 91 VFR night mission. A third person, a highway patrol officer acting as a ground spotter during the accident flight, was seriously injured when the helicopter hit the ground at 9:35 p.m. The NTSB determined the cause to be the pilot’s decision to take off from a remote, mountainous landing site on a dark moonless night, when IMC prevailed.

The helicopter was registered to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety and operated by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) on a public search-and-rescue mission. The helicopter departed its home base at Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF) at approximately 6:50 p.m. in visual conditions. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, however, when the helicopter departed the remote landing site a few hours later at 9:32 p.m.

The NTSB cited various contributing factors: an organizational culture that prioritized mission execution over aviation safety and ignored the pilot’s fatigued state and self-imposed pressure to complete the mission; deficiencies in the NMSP aviation section’s safety-related policies, including lack of a requirement for a risk assessment at any point during the mission; inadequate pilot staffing; lack of an effective pilot fatigue management program; and inadequate procedures and equipment to ensure effective communication between airborne and ground personnel during search-and-rescue missions.

Final Report: Regional Jet Overrun Labeled Pilot Error

Embraer ERJ-145LR, Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW), June 16, 2010–Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) attributed this runway overrun to pilot error after the crew of a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ-145LR was unable to stop the aircraft on the airport’s 8,000-foot-long Runway 7 during landing.

The twinjet made a smooth touchdown 1,740 feet beyond the threshold of a wet runway approximately eight knots too fast. The crew’s speed calculations for the runway conditions were later found to be in error. The crew also chose a “flaps 22” setting rather than the full 45 degrees of flap, in violation of company policy. The smooth touchdown set the stage for the hydroplaning that followed. The aircraft floated just enough on touchdown to remove pressure on the weight-on-wheels switch needed to establish braking. Two seconds later the aircraft touched down again, approximately 2,300 feet from the landing threshold, at which point the first officer–the flying pilot–depressed the brakes and lowered the nosewheel to the surface. The spoilers deployed automatically, but the aircraft did not slow down. It held to the runway centerline until about 200 feet before the end of the hard surface, at which time it veered left, departing the hard surface at 62 knots.

The aircraft was substantially damaged as it continued skidding and, after the nose gear collapsed, came to rest 550 feet past the departure end of the runway. There were no injuries to the 36 people on board (33 passengers and three crewmembers).

The investigation found that all systems, including the anti-skid, were fully operational before touchdown.

Final Report: Jet Experiences Stuck Controls

Cessna Citation 560XL, near Haynesville, Md., March 10, 2011–The pilots of a Citation XL operated by NetJets Aviation experienced a frozen rudder during their climb-out from Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) in Maryland. The aircraft had arrived earlier from Brunswick, Ga., and other than encountering light to moderate rain the arrival at BWI was uneventful.

The Citation sat on the ramp for an hour-and-a-half in occasionally moderate rain before departing BWI for Nassau in the Bahamas. The aircraft was climbing through 28,000 feet when the first officer, the flying pilot, noticed a “yaw damper” error. After disconnecting the autopilot and the yaw damper, he discovered that while the other flight controls operated properly, the rudder would not move. The flight continued to climb to FL400, but the rudder remained stuck in its neutral position. After a discussion between the crew and the company via radio, the pilots diverted the aircraft to Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), in South Carolina. As the aircraft descended through 13,000 feet, the rudder became free and the airplane landed normally.

During a post-flight inspection, the crew noticed water dripping from the belly of the aircraft. After removal of a fuselage inspection panel, they found water and ice in the bottom of a compartment through which the aileron and rudder cables ran. At the time, this was the fourth reported incident of flight controls freezing on Citation XLs in just four months.

On Jan. 21, 2011, Cessna issued an alert service letter (ASL) warning operators that some tailcone stingers might not be draining water properly. The alert recommended an inspection of the tail drain holes, as well as a suggestion to add another drain, both of which had been accomplished on the jet that flew the Baltimore-Bahamas trip. On March 15, 2011, the NTSB issued an airworthiness directive requiring all operators comply with the Alert Bulletin. As a result of further testing, Cessna learned that despite the operator’s compliance with the first alert service letter, water might still accumulate inside the fuselage. Cessna then issued a Citation XL Service Bulletin on Oct. 4, 2011 in an effort to reduce the amount of water entering the tailcone stinger and to improve drainage by installing a seal and another drain. The Service Bulletin also noted that the ASL was to be completed before, or in conjunction with, the bulletin.