Date & Time: Jun 7, 2012 at 1235 LT
Type of aircraft:
Pilatus PC-12
Registration:
N950KA
Flight Phase:
Flight
Flight Type:
Private
Survivors:
No
Site:
Plain
Schedule:
Fort Pierce - Junction City
MSN:
0730
YOM:
2006
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
1
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
5
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
On June 7, 2012, about 1235 eastern daylight time, a Pilatus PC-12/47, N950KA,registered to and operated by Roadside Ventures, LLC, departed controlled flight followed by subsequent in-flight breakup near Lake Wales, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the altitude and location of the departure from controlled flight and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight from St. Lucie County International Airport (FPR), Fort Pierce, Florida, to Freeman Field Airport (3JC), Junction City, Kansas. The airplane was substantially damaged and the certificated private pilot and five passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from FPR about 1205. According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control information, after departure, air traffic control communications were transferred to Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center (Miami Center). While in contact with that facility, about 1229, the flight was cleared to flight level (FL) 250. At about 1230, the controller cleared the flight to FL260, which the pilot acknowledged. At about 1232, the controller advised the pilot of a large area of precipitation northwest of Lakeland, with moderate, heavy and extreme echoes. The controller asked the pilot to look at it and to advise what direction he needed to deviate, then suggested deviation right of course until north of the adverse weather. The pilot responded that he agreed, and the controller asked the pilot what heading from his position would keep the airplane clear, and the pilot responded 320 degrees. The controller cleared the pilot to fly heading 320 degrees, and to deviate right of course when necessary, and when able proceed direct to Seminole, which he acknowledged. There was no further recorded communication from the pilot with the Miami Center. According to preliminary radar data, between 1232:37, and 12:33:25, the airplane proceeded in a west-northwesterly direction, and climbed from 24,700 to 25,100 feet, then maintained that altitude for the next 12 seconds; however, a change in direction to the right was noted. Between 1233:37, and 1233:49, the airplane descended from 25,100 to 24,200 feet, and turned to the right, and between 1233:49, and 1234:01, the airplane descended from 24,200 to 22,500 feet, and continued the right turn. Between 1234:01 and 1234:37, the airplane descended from 22,500 to 10,700 feet, and turned to a southerly heading. Between 1234:37, and 1234:49, the airplane turned left and proceeded on a northeasterly heading. Between 1234:49, and 1235:37 (last secondary return at 1,300 feet), the airplane continued on a northeasterly heading.