Turboprop Single Crashes on New Jersey Highway

 - December 20, 2011, 4:30 PM

A Daher-Socata TBM700 crashed this morning on a New Jersey highway soon after takeoff from Teterboro Airport (TEB), killing all five on board and closing the roadway for hours.

According to the FAA, the turboprop single was headed to Atlanta’s Dekalb-Peachtree Airport on an IFR flight plan when it disappeared from radar after a garbled radio transmission.

Witnesses at the scene say the aircraft made a spiral dive, shed a wing and crashed into the wooded median of I-287 in Morris County, approximately 30 miles southwest of TEB. The airplane exploded on impact, leaving a debris field at least two miles wide, according to the New Jersey State Police.

The TBM, N731CA, was registered to Cool Stream in New York City. It belonged to Jeffrey Buckalew, “an experienced pilot,” according to a statement from New York-based investment bank Greenhill & Co., where he was managing director.

Buckalew, his wife and two children and Rakesh Chawla, another managing director, are believed to have been aboard at the time of the accident, according to the statement.




Mr Buckalew was a private pilot with an instrument rating. My personal minimums at that stage of experience would have been extremely challenged, with an even smaller and slower aircraft. Aviation is the ultimate equalizer. It makes no matter what big money deals you make or who you are. The janitor with practice could fly a TBM just as well, or not.

Autopilot shut off with full nose up trim, and the pilot was forced to take over, or simple spatial disorientation and entered an accelerating steep spiral causing the outboard wing to depart the aircraft. They didn't feel a thing.

I don't mind when people kill themselves, it just saddens me when others are along for the ride.

Just read aout this aviation accident. Very similar to a scenario that happened in Canada. The dad was a private instrument pilot and flew a 172 into instrument conditions with his CFO and 1 year old grandson. Grandson servived, pilot and CFO didn't. Now the kicker here is he owned and operated a piper meridian that his IFR son lost control of and crashed a little while later with 5 people on board at 21,000 feet. It is truly a pity that pilots go beyond there capabilities the majority of the time and cause harm to humans and property and themselves.

After listening to the ATC tapes it looks like ice was a major factor in the aircraft. Numerous pireps of "moderate to severe," and one "extreme." Deice boots are not capable nor are they certified to handle icing at this level.
I agree with the other posters that a private pilot with an instrument rating is probably over his head in a high performance complex aircraft such as the TBM-700, particularly in IMC and ice at 17,000'. He joins the league of fellow pilots who came to the same demise-Thurman Munson, John Kennedy Jr., Cory Lidle, and too many more.

Glad you fools got the investigation completed less than a day after the crash. I'll be sure to tell the FAA and NTSB they can go back home.

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