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 - 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 crew 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 Kimball: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 6, 2018 at 2346 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
Circumstances:
While approaching Saint Clair County Airport by night, the pilot encountered engine problems. The airplane lost height and crashed in an open field located in Kimball, north of the airfield. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot, sole on board, was killed.

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: