Crash of a Cessna 340 in Covington: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 21, 2022 at 1905 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N84GR
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
MSN:
340-0178
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Covington Airport Runway 10, while in initial climb, the twin engine airplane went out of control and crashed on the General Mills Plant located about 1,5 km southeast of the airfield, bursting into flames. The aircraft was destroyed and both occupants were killed. There were no casualties on the ground.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Los Mochis

Date & Time: Apr 6, 2022 at 1748 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
XB-GHU
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Los Mochis - Club Aéreo Nuevo Santa Rosa
MSN:
340A-0506
YOM:
1978
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, departed Los Mochis International Airport on a flight to the Club Aéreo Nuevo Santa Rosa located east-northeast of the city. After landing on a road, the airplane suffered an apparent undercarriage failure, veered to the right and came to rest in a grassy area, bursting into flames. The pilot evacuated safely while the aircraft suffered serious damages due to fire.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Santee: 2 killed

Date & Time: Oct 11, 2021 at 1214 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N7022G
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Yuma – San Diego
MSN:
340A-0695
YOM:
1979
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On October 11, 2021, at 1214 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N7022G, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Santee, California. The pilot and one person on the ground were fatally injured, and 2 people on the ground sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight departed from Yuma International Airport (NYL), Yuma, AZ at 1121 mountain daylight time and was destined for Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (MYF), San Diego, California. Review of Federal Aviation Administration Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities and recorded Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that at 1203:58, the controller broadcasted a weather update for MYF and reported the visibility was 10 miles, ceiling 1,700 ft broken, overcast skies at 2,800 ft, and runway 23 was in use. At 1209:20, the controller issued instructions to the pilot to turn right to a 259° heading to join final, to which the pilot acknowledged while at an altitude of 3,900 ft mean sea level (msl). About 28 seconds later, the pilot queried the controller and asked if he was cleared for the ILS Runway 28R approach, with no response from the controller. At 1210:04, the controller told the pilot that he was 4 miles from PENNY intersection and instructed him to descend to 2,800 ft until established on the localizer, and cleared him for the ILS 28R approach, circle to land runway 23. The pilot partially read back the clearance, followed by the controller restating the approach clearance. The pilot acknowledged the clearance a second time. At this time, the ADS-B data showed the airplane on a westerly heading, at an altitude of 3,900 ft msl. Immediately following a traffic alert at 1211:19, the controller queried the pilot and stated that it looked like the airplane was drifting right of course and asked him if he was correcting. The pilot responded and stated “correcting, 22G.” About 9 seconds later, the pilot said [unintelligible], VFR 23, to which the controller told the pilot he was not tracking the localizer and canceled the approach clearance. The controller followed by issuing instructions to climb and maintain 3,000 ft, followed by the issuance of a low altitude alert, and stated that the minimum vectoring altitude in the area was 2,800 ft. The pilot acknowledged the controller’s instructions. At that time, ADS-B data showed the airplane on a northwesterly heading, at an altitude of 2,400 ft msl. At 1212:12, the controller instructed the pilot to climb and maintain 3,800, to which the pilot responded “3,800, 22G.” ADS-B data showed that the airplane was at 3,550 ft msl. About 9 seconds later, the controller issued the pilot instructions to turn right to 090° for vectors to final, to which the pilot responded “090 22G.” At 1212:54, the controller instructed the pilot to turn right to 090° and climb immediately and maintain 4,000 ft. The pilot replied shortly after and acknowledged the controller’s instructions. About 3 seconds after the pilot’s response, the controller told the pilot that it looked like he was descending and that he needed to make sure he was climbing, followed by an acknowledgment from the pilot. At 1213:35, the controller queried the pilot about his altitude, which the pilot responded 2,500 ft. The controller subsequently issued a low altitude alert and advised the pilot to expedite the climb to 5,000 ft. No further communication was received from the pilot despite multiple queries from the controller. ADS-B data showed that the airplane continued a right descending turn until the last recorded target, located about 1,333 ft northwest of the accident site at an altitude of 1,250 ft msl. Figure 1 provides an overview of the ADS-B flight track, select ATC communications, and the location of the destination and surrounding area airports. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted a residential street on a heading of about 113° magnetic heading. The debris path, which consisted of various airplane, vehicle, and residential structure debris was about 475 ft long and 400 ft wide, oriented on a heading of about 132°. Numerous residential structures exhibited impact related damage and or fire damage. All major structural components of the airplane were located throughout the debris path.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Tatum: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 19, 2021 at 1346 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N801EC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Henderson - Henderson
MSN:
340A-0312
YOM:
1977
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On April 19, 2021, about 1346 central daylight time, a Cessna 340A airplane, N801EC, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Tatum, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight test. According to information provided by a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the East Texas Regional Airport (GGG), the intention of the flight was to do a functional test of a newly upgraded autopilot system. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that the airplane took off from runway 13 at GGG about 1340. According to preliminary Air Traffic Control (ATC) information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the controller cleared the pilot to operate under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) to the east of the airport and to remain in class C airspace. Communications between ground control, tower control, and the pilot were normal during the ground taxi, takeoff, and climb-out. Six minutes after takeoff, radio and radar communications were lost and controllers initiated ALNOT procedures. There were no radio distress calls heard from the pilot. After takeoff, ADS-B data showed the airplane in a steady climb to the east of GGG. The airplane climbed to an altitude of 2,750 ft mean sea level (msl) and then descended to 2,675 ft msl. There were no other data points recorded. The accident site was located directly east, about ¾ mile from the last recorded data point. Groundspeeds and headings were consistent throughout the climb, with no abrupt deviations. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident; however, a local resident located about 1 mile from the accident site reported that he was inside his residence when he heard and felt a “boom” that shook the windows. He immediately saw black smoke rise, found the wreckage, and called 911. The accident site was located at an elevation of 361 ft msl. The airplane impacted the vegetated terrain in a nose-down, vertical flight attitude. The fuselage and cabin were embedded into the ground and were mostly consumed from a post-impact fire. The empennage was folded forward over the cabin area. Both left and right wings showed leading edge crushing along their respective spans. Portions of both wings were fire damaged. Both left and right engine nacelles were separated from the wings and the engine and propeller assemblies were embedded in 3-foot-deep craters.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Orléans

Date & Time: Aug 10, 2020 at 1420 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N413JF
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Perpignan – Orléans
MSN:
340A-0746
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Orléans-Loiret Airport (ex Saint-Denis-de-l’Hôtel), the pilot encountered engine problems and elected to make an emergency landing. The twin engine aircraft crash landed in a wooded area located about 3 km short of runway 23 and burst into flames. Both occupants aged 55 and 60 escaped uninjured while the aircraft was totally destroyed by fire.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Ponoka

Date & Time: Nov 13, 2018 at 1815 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-GMLS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
340A-0771
YOM:
1979
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On approach to Ponoka-Labrie Field, the pilot encountered technical problems with the autopilot and decided to make a go-around. While in the circuit pattern, the autopilot failed to disconnect properly so the pilot attempted an emergency landing in a field. The airplane belly landed then contacted trees. Upon impact, the tail was torn off and the aircraft came to rest. The pilot was seriously injured.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Santa Cruz

Date & Time: Oct 28, 2018 at 1030 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N5224J
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Santa Cruz - Manaus
MSN:
340A-1035
YOM:
1980
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was engaged in a humanitarian flight from Bolivia to Brazil, carrying one passenger and a pilot. Shortly after takeoff from a little private airstrip located in the suburb of Santa Cruz, the crew was supposed to land at Santa Cruz-Viru Viru International Airport before continuing to Manaus, Brazil. After takeoff, the pilot encountered engine problems (power issue) and decided to return for an emergency landing when the airplane struck trees and belly landed in a grassy area located in Barrio Lindo. Both occupants were uninjured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Saint Clair County: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 6, 2018 at 2347 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-GLKX
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Saint Thomas - Saint Clair County
MSN:
340A-1221
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
690
Captain / Total hours on type:
51.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4038
Circumstances:
The private pilot of the multi-engine airplane was conducting an instrument approach during night visual meteorological conditions. About 1.3 nautical miles (nm) from the final approach fix, the right engine lost total power. The pilot continued the approach and notified air traffic control of the loss of power about 1 minute and 13 seconds later. Subsequently, the pilot contacted the controller again and reported that he was unable to activate the airport's pilot-controlled runway lighting. In the pilot's last radio transmission, he indicated that he was over the airport and was going to "reshoot that approach." The last radar return indicated that the airplane was about 450 ft above ground level at 72 kts groundspeed. The airplane impacted the ground in a steep, vertical nose-down attitude about 1/2 nm from the departure end of the runway. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear and the flaps were extended and that the right propeller was not feathered. Data from onboard the airplane also indicated that the pilot did not secure the right engine following the loss of power; the left engine continued to produce power until impact. The airplane's fuel system held a total of 203 gallons. Fuel consumption calculations estimated that there should have been about 100 gallons remaining at the time of the accident. The right-wing locker fuel tank remained intact and contained about 14 gallons of fuel. Fuel blight in the grass was observed at the accident site and the blight associated with the right wing likely emanated from the right-wing tip tank. The elevator trim tab was found in the full nose-up position but was most likely pulled into this position when the empennage separated from the aft pressure bulkhead during impact. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Although there was adequate fuel on board the airplane, the pilot may have inadvertently moved the right fuel selector to the OFF position or an intermediate position in preparation for landing instead of selecting the right wing fuel tank, or possibly ran the right auxiliary fuel tank dry, which resulted in fuel starvation to the right engine and a total loss of power. The airplane manufacturer's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) stated that the 20-gallon right- and left-wing locker fuel tanks should be used after 90 minutes of flight. However, 14 gallons of fuel were found in the right-wing locker fuel tank which indicated that the pilot did not adhere to the POH procedures for fuel management. The fuel in the auxiliary fuel tank should be used when the main fuel tank was less than 180 pounds (30 gallons) per tank. As a result of not using all the fuel in the wing locker fuel tanks, the pilot possibly ran the right auxiliary fuel tank empty and was not able to successfully restart the right engine after he repositioned the fuel selector back to the right main fuel tank. Postaccident testing of the airport's pilot-controlled lighting system revealed no anomalies. The airport's published approach procedure listed the airport's common traffic advisory frequency, which activated the pilot-controlled lighting. It is possible that the pilot did not see this note or inadvertently selected an incorrect frequency, which resulted in his inability to activate the runway lighting system. In addition, the published instrument approach procedure for the approach that the pilot was conducting indicated that the runway was not authorized for night landings. It is possible that the pilot did not see this note since he gave no indication that he was going to circle to land on an authorized runway. Given that the airplane's landing gear and flaps were extended, it is likely that the pilot intended to land but elected to go-around when he was unable to activate the runway lights and see the runway environment. However, the pilot failed to reconfigure the airplane for climb by retracting the landing gear and flaps. The pilot had previously failed to secure the inoperative right engine following the loss of power, even though these procedures were designated in the airplane's operating handbook as "immediate action" items that should be committed to memory. It is likely that the airplane was unable to climb in this configuration, and during the attempted go-around, the pilot exceeded the airplane's critical angle of attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Additionally, the pilot had the option to climb to altitude using singleengine procedures and fly to a tower-controlled airport that did not have any landing restrictions, but instead, he decided to attempt a go-around and land at his destination airport.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of right engine power due to fuel starvation; the pilot's inadequate flight planning; the pilot's failure to secure the right engine following the loss of power; and his failure to properly configure the airplane for the go-around, which resulted in the airplane's failure to climb, an exceedance of the critical angle of attack, and an aerodynamic stall.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 340 in Bartow: 5 killed

Date & Time: Dec 24, 2017 at 0717 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N247AT
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bartow – Key West
MSN:
340-0214
YOM:
1973
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
1600
Aircraft flight hours:
1607
Circumstances:
The instrument-rated private pilot and four passengers boarded the multiengine airplane inside a hangar. The pilot then requested that the airplane be towed from the hangar to the ramp, since he did not want to hit anything on the ramp while taxiing in the dense fog. Witnesses heard the pre-takeoff engine run-up toward the end of the runway but could not see the airplane as it departed; the engines sounded normal during the run-up and takeoff. A witness video recorded the takeoff but the airplane was not visible due to the dense fog. During the takeoff roll the airplane's tires chirped, which is consistent with the wheels touching down on the runway with a side load. The video ended before the accident occurred. The witnesses stated that the takeoff continued and then they heard the airplane impact the ground and saw an explosion. The weather conditions at the time of the accident included visibility less than 1/4 mile in fog and an overcast ceiling at 300 ft above ground level. The airplane's weight at the time of the accident was about 105 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight, which exceeded the center of gravity moment envelope. The excess weight would have likely extended the takeoff roll, decreased the climb rate, and increased the amount of elevator pressure required to lift off of the runway. A majority of the airplane was consumed by postcrash fire. The ground impact marks and wreckage distribution were consistent with the airplane rolling left over the departure end of the runway and impacting the ground inverted in a nearly vertical, nose-low attitude. Examination of the engines revealed operating signatures consistent with takeoff power at the time of impact. The elevator trim tab and actuator were found beyond their full up travel limits and the trim cable exhibited tension overload separations near the actuator. It is likely that, when the cable separated in overload, the chain turned the sprocket and extended the actuator rod beyond full travel. No anomalies were observed with the airframe, engines, or cockpit instrumentation that would have precluded normal operation. The investigation was unable to determine the status of the autopilot during the accident takeoff. Based on the evidence it's likely that when the airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions the pilot experienced spatial disorientation, which resulted in a loss of control and descent into terrain.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of control due to spatial disorientation during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.
Final Report: