code

TX

Crash of a Boeing 767-375ER off Anahuac: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 23, 2019 at 1239 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N1217A
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Miami - Houston
MSN:
25685/430
YOM:
1992
Flight number:
5Y3591
Location:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a cargo flight from Miami-Intl to Houston on behalf of Amazon Prime Air. Following an uneventful flight, he started the descent to Houston-George Bush International Airport at 1207LT. About 30 minutes later, in unclear circumstances, after being cleared to descent to 3,000 feet, the airplane went out of control, entered a rapid descent and crashed into the Trinity Bay, about 37 miles southeast of the airport. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and debris were found partially submerged off Anahuac. The accident was not survivable. The crew did not send any distress call prior to impact. According to NTSB, the aircraft entered a rapid descent from 6,000 ft and impacted a marshy bay area about 40 miles southeast of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH), Houston, Texas. Air traffic control communications and radar data indicated the flight was normal from Miami to the Houston terminal area. About 12:30 pm the pilots contacted the Houston terminal radar approach control (TRACON) arrival controller and reported descending for runway 26L; the airplane was at 17,800 ft with a ground speed 320 knots. At 12:34, the airplane was descending through 13,800 ft, and the controller advised of an area of light to heavy precipitation along the flight route and that they could expect vectors around the weather. About 12:35, the flight was transferred to the Houston TRACON final controller, and the pilot reported they had received the Houston Automatic Terminal Information System weather broadcast. The controller told the pilots to expect vectors to runway 26L and asked if they wanted to go to the west or north of the weather. Radar data indicated the airplane continued the descent through 12,000 ft with a ground speed of 290 knots, consistent with the arrival procedure. The pilots responded that they wanted to go to the west of the area of precipitation. The controller advised that to do so, they would need to descend to 3,000 ft expeditiously. About 12:37, the controller instructed the pilots to turn to a heading of 270°. Radar data indicated the airplane turned, and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data indicated a selected heading of 270°. The airplane was descending through 8,500 ft at this time. About 12:38, the controller informed the pilots that they would be past the area of weather in about 18 miles, that they could expect a turn to the north for a base leg to the approach to runway 26L, and that weather was clear west of the precipitation area. The pilots responded, “sounds good” and “ok.” At this time, radar and ADS-B returns indicated the airplane levelled briefly at 6,200 ft and then began a slight climb to 6,300 ft. Also, about this time, the FDR data indicated that some small vertical accelerations consistent with the airplane entering turbulence. Shortly after, when the airplane’s indicated airspeed was steady about 230 knots, the engines increased to maximum thrust, and the airplane pitch increased to about 4° nose up and then rapidly pitched nose down to about 49° in response to column input. The stall warning (stick shaker) did not activate. FDR, radar, and ADS-B data indicated that the airplane entered a rapid descent on a heading of 270°, reaching an airspeed of about 430 knots. A security camera video captured the airplane in a steep, generally wings-level attitude until impact with the swamp. FDR data indicated that the airplane gradually pitched up to about 20 degrees nose down during the descent.

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III near Waterfield Lake: 2 killed

Date & Time: Feb 15, 2019 at 0957 LT
Registration:
N421NS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
MSN:
421C-0874
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On February 15, 2019, at 0957 central standard time, a Cessna 421C airplane, N421NS, impacted terrain about 8 miles west of Hemphill County Airport (HHF), Canadian, Texas. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Tradewind Airport (TDW), Amarillo, Texas at 0900 and was en route to HHF. A witness who was monitoring the common traffic advisory frequency at HHF stated that he heard the pilot over the radio and responded. The pilot reportedly inquired about the cloud heights and the witness responded that the clouds were 800 to 1,000 ft above ground level. The witness did not see the airplane in the air. The airplane impacted terrain remote terrain in an upright and level attitude. A post impact fire consumed most of the wreckage.

Crash of a Canadair CL-601 Challenger in Ox Ranch

Date & Time: Jan 13, 2019 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N813WT
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
3016
YOM:
1983
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft, owned by a limited liability company and operated by an airline transport pilot, impacted terrain following a runway excursion at the Ox Ranch Airport (01TX), Uvalde, Texas. The captain, first officer flight attendant, and 6 passengers on board were not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damaged. The airplane was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 charter flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that originated at Addison, Texas, and was destined 01TX. A representative for the airport reported that the airplane on landing hit hard and the tire either popped or the landing gear tore off. About two-thirds of the way down runway 35, the airplane slid off the right side of the runway. The airplane proceeded through a ditch and struck a perimeter fence before coming to a stop. The right main and nose landing gear were collapsed and damaged. There was also damage to the right wing, right inboard flap, nose of the airplane, and the vertical stabilizer. At 1155, the weather conditions at Garner Field Airport (UVA), Uvalde, Texas, 24 nautical miles southeast of 01TX was wind 340°at 12 kts., visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 63°F, dew point 43°F and altimeter 30.17 inches of Mercury.

Crash of a Douglas C-47B in Burnet

Date & Time: Jul 21, 2018 at 0900 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N47HL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Burnet – Sedalia – Oshkosh
MSN:
15758/27203
YOM:
1945
Location:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
A Douglas C-47, named "Bluebonnet Belle", was involved in an accident during takeoff from runway 19 at Burnet Municipal Airport, Texas, USA. The aircraft came to rest in the grass next to the runway and burst into flames. The captain, crew chief, and 4 passengers sustained serious injuries, 1 passenger sustained minor injuries, and the co-pilot and 5 passengers were not injured. The aircraft was to be flown to a fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The co-pilot, who was the flying pilot reported that prior to the flight, it was briefed that he would perform the takeoff. He stated that the captain taxied the airplane to the runup area, where all pre-takeoff checks were completed; the captain then taxied the airplane onto runway 19. The co-pilot further stated that he then took control of the airplane, provided a pre-takeoff brief, and initiated the takeoff sequence. About 10 seconds into the takeoff roll, the airplane drifted right, at which time he applied left rudder input. This was followed shortly by the captain saying that he had the airplane. The captain, who was the non-flying pilot, reported to the NTSB that during the initial stages of the takeoff roll, he didn't recall the airplane swerving to the right, however, recalled telling the co-pilot not to push the tail up because it was heavy; he also remembered the airplane swerving to the left shortly thereafter. The captain stated that he yelled "right rudder" three times before taking control of the airplane. He said that as he put his hands on the control yoke, he noticed that either the tail started to come down or the main wheels were either light or were just coming off the ground as it exited the left side of the runway. The captain said that he knew the airplane was slow as he tried to ease it over [to the runway] and set it back down. Subsequently, he felt the 'shutter of a stall," and the airplane turned to the left and impacted the ground. After the airplane came to a stop, a post impact fire ensued, during which all the occupants of the airplane egressed through the aft left door. A video of the takeoff and accident sequence shows the aircraft accelerating on the runway, with the tailwheel leaving the ground very briefly. A few seconds after the tailwheel touched down again, the aircraft seems to drift off the left side of the runway. The aircraft banks right, causing the left hand main landing gear to become airborne. The right hand wing tip touched or almost touched the ground before the aircraft became airborne. The left wing dropped and the wing tip touched the ground, causing the plane to slew to the left and touch down again. The right hand main gear then seems to fold as the aircraft comes to rest in a cloud of dust. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest upright on a heading of about 113° magnetic, about 145 ft east of the left side, and 2,638 ft from the approach end of runway 19. The post impact fire consumed the fuselage from the nose cone aft to about 3 ft forward of the left side cargo door along with a majority of the wing center section. No evidence of any flight control locks was found installed. The tailwheel locking pin was found in place and was sheered into multiple pieces. Vegetation (grass) within about 200 ft of the main wreckage was burnt from the post impact fire. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Crash of a Piper PA-31P Navajo in Laredo: 2 killed

Date & Time: Mar 8, 2018 at 1030 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N82605
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
31P-7730010
YOM:
1977
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On March 8, 2018, about 1038 central standard time, a Piper PA-31P airplane, N82605, impacted terrain during an approach to the Laredo International Airport (KLRD) Laredo, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and student pilot rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 fight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. Shortly after departing runway 18R, the air traffic controller contacted the airplane and reported that smoke was coming from the left side of the airplane. The pilot reported "… we're gonna fix that". The airplane turned back to the airport and was cleared to land on runway 18L. Witnesses reporting seeing the airplane overhead trailing smoke or approaching the airport before the crash. Several airport security cameras captured the accident airplane airborne. A review of the video noted a white smoke trail behind the airplane. The smoke trail stops while the airplane is in the left downwind for the runway. The airplane initiated a left turn and as the airplane approaches the runway the bank angle increased. The airplane impacted terrain in a nose down, near vertical attitude; a post-crash fire ensued. The front of the airplane cabin/cockpit area was largely destroyed by the impact and fire. The major components were located at the crash site, parts were distributed between the aft cabin and the impact crater; however, several fragments of the airplane were scattered away from the impact point. Both wings were separated from the fuselage and had heavy thermal and impact damage. Both 3-bladed propellers had separated from their respective engines. Both engines had separated from the wing nacelles and were located near the fuselage. Both left and right engines had heavy impact/thermal damage. The engines were removed and examined on-site in a facility nearby. The engines turbocharger's V-band clamps were found in-place on the turbos exhaust system.

Crash of a Beechcraft B60 Duke near Ferris

Date & Time: Mar 1, 2018 at 1100 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N77MM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Addison – Mexia
MSN:
P-587
YOM:
1982
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6400
Captain / Total hours on type:
2200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2210
Circumstances:
The pilot in the multi-engine, retractable landing gear airplane reported that, during an instrument flight rules cross-country flight, about 5,000 ft above mean sea level, the left engine surged several times and he performed an emergency engine shutdown. Shortly afterward, the right engine lost power. During the emergency descent, the airplane struck treetops, and landed hard in a field with the landing gear retracted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the engine mounts, and the lower fuselage. The pilot reported that he had requested 200 gallons of fuel from his home airport fixed base operator, but they did not fuel the airplane. The pilot did not check the fuel quantity during his preflight inspection. According to the Federal Aviation Administration Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 2, page 2-7, pilots must always positively confirm the fuel quantity by visually inspecting the fuel level in each tank. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper preflight inspection of the fuel level, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to lower the landing gear before the emergency landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31T1 Cheyenne in Tyler: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 13, 2017 at 0815 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N47GW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
31T-8104030
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Tyler-Pounds Regional Airport, the pilot encountered technical problems and lost control of the airplane that crashed in a pasture. The aircraft (owned by T-210 Holdings LLC) was destroyed upon impact and both occupants were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Alpine

Date & Time: Jul 3, 2017 at 1800 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N9714B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Alpine – Midland
MSN:
208B-0153
YOM:
1989
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport, while on a cargo flight to Midland on behalf of UPS; the pilot encountered problems with the engine and elected to return for a safe landing. Shortly later, the airplane struck power cables and crashed in a field. The pilot was able to walk away and was uninjured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 in Amarillo: 3 killed

Date & Time: Apr 28, 2017 at 2348 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N933DC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Amarillo – Clovis
MSN:
105
YOM:
1994
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
5866
Captain / Total hours on type:
73.00
Circumstances:
The pilot and two medical crew members departed on an air ambulance flight in night instrument meteorological conditions to pick up a patient. After departure, the local air traffic controller observed the airplane's primary radar target with an incorrect transponder code in a right turn and climbing through 4,400 ft mean sea level (msl), which was 800 ft above ground level (agl). The controller instructed the pilot to reset the transponder to the correct code, and the airplane leveled off between 4,400 ft and 4,600 ft msl for about 30 seconds. The controller then confirmed that the airplane was being tracked on radar with the correct transponder code; the airplane resumed its climb at a rate of about 6,000 ft per minute (fpm) to 6,000 ft msl. The pilot changed frequencies as instructed, then contacted departure control and reported "with you at 6,000 [ft msl]" and the departure controller radar-identified the airplane. About 1 minute later, the departure controller advised the pilot that he was no longer receiving the airplane's transponder; the pilot did not respond, and there were no further recorded transmissions from the pilot. Radar data showed the airplane descending rapidly at a rate that reached 17,000 fpm. Surveillance video from a nearby truck stop recorded lights from the airplane descending at an angle of about 45° followed by an explosion. The airplane impacted a pasture about 1.5 nautical miles south of the airport, and a post impact fire ensued. All major components of the airplane were located within the debris field. Ground scars at the accident site and damage to the airplane indicated that the airplane was in a steep, nose-low and wings-level attitude at the time of impact. The airplane's steep descent and its impact attitude are consistent with a loss of control. An airplane performance study based on radar data and simulations determined that, during the climb to 6,000 ft and about 37 seconds before impact, the airplane achieved a peak pitch angle of about 23°, after which the pitch angle decreased steadily to an estimated -42° at impact. As the pitch angle decreased, the roll angle increased steadily to the left, reaching an estimated -76° at impact. The performance study revealed that the airplane could fly the accident flight trajectory without experiencing an aerodynamic stall. The apparent pitch and roll angles, which represent the attitude a pilot would "feel" the airplane to be in based on his vestibular and kinesthetic perception of the components of the load factor vector in his own body coordinate system, were calculated. The apparent pitch angle ranged from 0° to 15° as the real pitch angle steadily decreased to -42°, and the apparent roll angle ranged from 0° to -4° as the real roll angle increased to -78°. This suggests that even when the airplane was in a steeply banked descent, conditions were present that could have produced a somatogravic illusion of level flight and resulted in spatial disorientation of the pilot. Analysis of the performance study and the airplane's flight track revealed that the pilot executed several non-standard actions during the departure to include: excessive pitch and roll angles, rapid climb, unexpected level-offs, and non-standard ATC communications. In addition to the non-standard actions, the pilot's limited recent flight experience in night IFR conditions, and moderate turbulence would have been conducive to the onset of spatial disorientation. The pilot's failure to set the correct transponder code before departure, his non-standard departure maneuvering, and his apparent confusion regarding his altitude indicate a mental state not at peak acuity, further increasing the chances of spatial disorientation. A post accident examination of the flight control system did not reveal evidence of any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation. The engine exhibited rotational signatures indicative of engine operation during impact, and an examination did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation. The damage to the propeller hub and blades indicated that the propeller was operating under high power in the normal range of operation at time of impact. Review of recorded data recovered from airplane's attitude and heading reference unit did not reveal any faults with the airplane's attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) during the accident flight, and there were no maintenance logbook entries indicating any previous electronic attitude director indicator (EADI) or AHRS malfunctions. Therefore, it is unlikely that erroneous attitude information was displayed on the EADI that could have misled the pilot concerning the actual attitude of the airplane. A light bulb filament analysis of the airplane's central advisory display unit (CADU) revealed that the "autopilot disengage" caution indicator was likely illuminated at impact, and the "autopilot trim" warning indicator was likely not illuminated. A filament analysis of the autopilot mode controller revealed that the "autopilot," "yaw damper," and "altitude hold" indicators were likely not illuminated at impact. The status of the "trim" warning indicator on the autopilot mode controller could not be determined because the filaments of the indicator's bulbs were missing. However, since the CADU's "autopilot trim" warning indicator was likely not illuminated, the mode controller's "trim" warning indicator was also likely not illuminated at impact. Exemplar airplane testing revealed that the "autopilot disengage" caution indicator would only illuminate if the autopilot had been engaged and then disconnected. It would not illuminate if the autopilot was off without being previously engaged nor would it illuminate if the pilot attempted and failed to engage the autopilot by pressing the "autopilot" push button on the mode controller. Since the "autopilot disengage" caution indicator would remain illuminated for 30 seconds after the autopilot was disengaged and was likely illuminated at impact, it is likely that the autopilot had been engaged at some point during the flight and disengaged within 30 seconds of the impact; the pilot was reporting to ATC at 6,000 ft about 30 seconds before impact and then the rapid descent began. The airplane was not equipped with a recording device that would have recorded the operational status of the autopilot, and the investigation could not determine the precise times at which autopilot engagement and disengagement occurred. However, these times can be estimated as follows:
- The pilot likely engaged the autopilot after the airplane climbed through 1,000 ft agl about 46 seconds after takeoff, because this was the recommended minimum autopilot engagement altitude that he was taught.
- According to the airplane performance study, the airplane's acceleration exceeded the autopilot's limit load factor of +1.6 g about 9 seconds before impact. If it was engaged at this time, the autopilot would have automatically disengaged.
- The roll angle data from the performance study were consistent with engagement of the autopilot between two points:
1) about 31 seconds before impact, during climb, when the bank angle, which had stabilized for a few seconds, started to increase again and
2) about 9 seconds before impact, during descent, at which time the autopilot would have automatically disengaged. Since the autopilot would have reduced the bank angle as soon as it was engaged and there is no evidence of the bank angle reducing significantly between these two points, it is likely that the autopilot was engaged closer to the latter point than the former. Engagement of the autopilot shortly before the latter point would have left little time for the autopilot to reduce the bank angle before it would have disengaged automatically due to exceedance of the normal load factor limit. Therefore, it is likely that the pilot engaged the autopilot a few seconds before it automatically disconnected about 9 seconds before impact. The operator reported that the airplane had experienced repeated, unexpected, in-flight autopilot disconnects, and, two days before the accident, the chief pilot recorded a video of the autopilot disconnecting during a flight. Exemplar airplane testing and maintenance information revealed that, during the flight in which the video was recorded, the autopilot's pitch trim adapter likely experienced a momentary loss of power for undetermined reasons, which resulted in the sequence of events observed in the video. It is possible that the autopilot disconnected during the accident flight due to the pitch trim adapter experiencing a loss of power, which would have to have occurred between 30 and 9 seconds before impact. A post accident weather analysis revealed that the airplane was operating in an environment requiring instruments to navigate, but it could not be determined if the airplane was in cloud when the loss of control occurred. The sustained surface wind was from the north at 21 knots with gusts up to 28 knots, and moderate turbulence existed. The presence of the moderate turbulence could have contributed to the controllability of the airplane and the pilot's inability to recognize the airplane's attitude and the autopilot's operational status.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation during the initial climb after takeoff in night instrument meteorological conditions and moderate turbulence.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Huntsville: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 25, 2017 at 1038 LT
Registration:
N421TK
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Conroe – College Station
MSN:
421C-0601
YOM:
1979
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1567
Captain / Total hours on type:
219.00
Aircraft flight hours:
7647
Circumstances:
While conducting a post maintenance test flight in visual flight rules conditions, the private pilot of the multi-engine airplane reported an oil leak to air traffic control. The controller provided vectors for the pilot to enter a right base leg for a landing to the south at the nearest airport, about 7 miles away. The pilot turned toward the airport but indicated that he did not have the airport in sight. Further, while maneuvering toward the airport, the pilot reported that the engine was "dead," and he still did not see the airport. The final radar data point recorded the airplane's position about 3.5 miles west-northwest of the approach end of the runway; the wreckage site was located about 4 miles northeast of the runway, indicating that the pilot flew past the airport rather than turning onto a final approach for landing. The reason that the pilot did not see the runway during the approach to the alternate airport, given that the airplane was operating in visual conditions and the controller was issuing guidance information, could not be determined. Regardless, the pilot did not execute a precautionary landing in a timely manner and lost control of the airplane. Examination of the airplane's left engine revealed that the No. 2 connecting rod was broken. The connecting rod bearings exhibited signs of heat distress and discoloration consistent with a lack of lubrication. The engine's oil pump was intact, and the gears were wet with oil. Based on the available evidence, the engine failure was the result of oil starvation; however, examination could not identify the reason for the starvation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to identify the alternate runway, to perform a timely precautionary landing, and to maintain airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the left engine due to oil starvation for reasons that could not be determined based on the post accident examination.
Final Report: