Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in DeLand: 3 killed

Date & Time: Sep 29, 2019 at 1600 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N731PF
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
421A-0164
YOM:
1968
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane crashed in unknown circumstances in a wooded area located about 4 miles southwest of DeLand Municipal Airport, near Grand Avenue and Old New York Avenue. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire and all three occupants were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Buenos Aires

Date & Time: May 31, 2017 at 1700 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
LQ-JLY
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
El Palomar - Buenos Aires
MSN:
421A-0092
YOM:
1968
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew departed El Palomar Airbase in Buenos Aires on a short flight to Buenos Aires-Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport. On approach, an engine failed. The pilot elected to make an emergency landing when the aircraft crashed in flames in a field located near Canning, about 9 km short of runway 35 threshold. All three crew members were injured while the aircraft was partially destroyed by fire.

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Saltillo

Date & Time: Apr 25, 2008 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
XB-WUF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Saltillo – Aguascalientes
MSN:
421A-0124
YOM:
1968
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Saltillo-Plan de Guadalupe Airport, while in initial climb, one of the engine caught fire. The pilot attempted an emergency landing when the aircraft crash landed in a field past the runway end, bursting into flames. All six occupants escaped with minor injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Engine fire for unknown reasons.

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Chesterfield

Date & Time: May 23, 2007 at 1540 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N4082L
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Chesterfield - Cahokia
MSN:
421A-0082
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
15450
Captain / Total hours on type:
1200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2835
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff the pilot experienced a loss of power on the right engine. He attempted to return to the airport to land, but determined that he was not going to reach the runway so he elected to land on a dirt field. He flew under power lines that were in his flight path and attempted to flare the airplane prior to it impacting the terrain. The airplane was equipped with Teledyne Continental GTSIO-520 engines. Post accident examination of the right engine revealed that all of the teeth on the starter adapter gear and several of the teeth on the crankshaft gear were missing. Several gear teeth and metal filings were located in the oil sump. The torsional damper to shaft gear woodruff key was sheared. The torsional damper was placed on a test bench to determine the damping time. The consecutive tests averaged a damping time of 6.9 seconds. The damping time of a new damper is min/max 1.5 to 3.125 seconds. Metallurgical examination revealed 15 starter gear teeth and 11 crankshaft gear teeth were fractured near their root. No indications of preexisting cracking were noted. At least two of the starter gear teeth and several of the crankshaft gear teeth displayed spalling and wear at the pitch line of the teeth. On June 13, 1994, Teledyne Continental issued a Mandatory Service Bulletin, MSB94-4, addressing the possible failure of the starter adapter gear and/or crankshaft gear on GTSIO-520 and GIO-550 engines. On October 31, 2005, Teledyne Continental issued revision, MSB94-4G. The service bulletin called for an inspection of the starter adapter viscous damper and shaft gear backlash every 100 hours of engine operation, and a visual inspection of the starter adapter shaft and crankshaft gear teeth for spalling, pitting, and wear, every 400 hours of engine operation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005-20-04, effective November 1, 2005, requiring compliance with the Teledyne Continental Mandatory Service Bulletin. Maintenance records showed the mandatory service bulletin had been complied with when the right engine was overhauled and installed in March 2001. There was no indication in the maintenance records that either the mandatory service bulletin or the AD had been complied with since the engine was installed. The engine had a total time of 541.9 hours at the time of the accident. The pilot did not follow the published emergency procedures.
Probable cause:
Maintenance personnel failed to comply with an Airworthiness Directive which resulted in the total failure of the starter adapter gear teeth and the crankshaft gear teeth and the pilot failed to follow the published emergency procedures. Contributing to the accident were the low altitude at which the loss of power occurred, the power lines, and the unsuitable terrain which prevented the pilot from adequately flaring the airplane and resulted in the subsequent hard landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Denver: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 17, 2004 at 1522 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N421FR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Denver
MSN:
421A-0069
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
12000
Copilot / Total flying hours:
414
Copilot / Total hours on type:
31
Aircraft flight hours:
2666
Circumstances:
The pilot's father had just purchased the airplane for his daughter, and she was receiving model-specific training from a contract flight instructor. Her former flight instructor was aboard as a passenger. The engines were started and they quit. They were restarted and they quit again. They were started a third time, and the airplane was taxied for takeoff. Shortly after starting the takeoff roll, the pilot reported an unspecified engine problem. The airplane drifted across the median and parallel runway, then rolled abruptly to the right, struck the ground, and cartwheeled. The landing gear was down. Neither propeller was feathered. Disassembly of the right engine and turbocharger revealed no anomalies. Disassembly and examination of the left engine and turbocharger revealed the mixture shaft and throttle valve in the throttle and fuel control assembly were jammed in the idle cutoff and idle rpm positions, respectively. Manifold valve and fuel injector line flow tests produced higher-than-normal pressures, indicative of a flow restriction. Disassembly of the manifold valve revealed the needle valve in the plunger assembly was stuck in the full open position, collapsing the needle valve spring. A scribe was used to free the needle valve, and the manifold valve and fuel injector lines were again flow tested. The result was a lower pressure. Plunger disassembly revealed the threads had been tapped inside the retainer and metal shavings were found between the retainer and spring. The Teledyne Continental Motor (TCM) retainer has no threads. GPS download showed that 2,698 feet had been covered between the start of the takeoff roll and the attainment of rotation speed. Maximum speed attained was 132 mph. Computations indicated distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was 2,000 feet, distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle (single engine) was 2,600 feet, and accelerate-stop distance was 3,000 feet.
Probable cause:
Loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, and the instructor's failure to maintain aircraft control. Contributing factors were a partially blocked fuel line resulting in restricted fuel flow, the instructor's failure to perform critical emergency procedures, and his failure to abort the takeoff in a timely manner.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Somerset: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 16, 2003 at 2002 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N421TJ
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Griffith - Somerset
MSN:
421A-0051
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
11732
Captain / Total hours on type:
518.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4129
Circumstances:
The airplane joined the inbound course for the GPS instrument approach between the intermediate approach fix and the final approach fix, and maintained an altitude about 200 feet below the sector minimum. The last radar return revealed the airplane to be about 3/4 nautical miles beyond the final approach fix, approximately 1,000 feet left of course centerline. An initial tree strike was found about 1 nautical mile before the missed approach point, about 700 feet left of course centerline, at an elevation about 480 feet below the minimum descent altitude. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying at a "very low altitude" just prior to its impact with hilly terrain, and also described the sound of the airplane's engines as "really loud" and "a constant roar." Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. There was no evidence of mechanical malfunction.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to follow the instrument approach procedure, which resulted in an early descent into trees and terrain. Factors included the low ceiling and the night lighting conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Akron: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 25, 2002 at 1006 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N421D
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Denver - Mitchell
MSN:
421A-0045
YOM:
1967
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
1230
Captain / Total hours on type:
22.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3564
Circumstances:
The pilot reported to Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZDV) that his left engine had an oil leak and he requested to land at the nearest airport. ZDV informed the pilot that Akron (AKO) was the closest airport and subsequently cleared the pilot to AKO. On reporting having the airport in sight ZDV terminated radar service, told the pilot to change to the advisory frequency, and reminded him to close his flight plan. Approximately 17 minutes later, ZDV contacted Denver FSS to inquire if the airplane had landed at AKO. Flight Service had not heard from the pilot, and began a search. Approximately 13 minutes later, the local sheriff found the airplane off of the airport. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the airplane flying westbound. They then saw the airplane suddenly pitch nose down, "spiral two times, and crash." The airplane exploded on impact and was consumed by fire. An examination of the airplane's left engine showed the number 2 and 3 rods were fractured at the journals. The number 2 and 3 pistons were heavily spalded. The engine case halves were fretted at the seam and through bolts. All 6 cylinders showed fretting between the bases and the case at the connecting bolts. The outside of the engine case showed heat and oil discoloration. The airplane's right engine showed similar fretting at the case halves and cylinder bases, and evidence of oil seepage around the seals. It also showed heat and oil discoloration. An examination of the propellers showed that both propellers were at or near low pitch at the time of the accident. The examination also showed evidence the right propeller was being operated under power at impact, and the left propeller was operating under conditions of low or no power at impact. According to the propeller manufacturer, in a sudden engine seizure event, the propeller is below the propeller lock latch rpm. In this situation, the propeller cannot be feathered. Repair station records showed the airplane had been brought in several times for left engine oil leaks. One record showed a 3/4 inch crack found at one of the case half bolts beneath the induction manifold, was repaired by retorquing the case halves and sealing the seam with an unapproved resin. Records also showed the station washed the engine and cowling as the repair action for another oil leak.
Probable cause:
The fractured connecting rods and the pilot not maintaining aircraft control following the engine failure. Factors contributing to the accident were the low altitude, the pilot not maintaining minimum controllable airspeed following the engine failure, the pilot's inability to feather the propeller following the engine failure, oil exhaustion, the seized pistons, and the repair station's improper maintenance on the airplane's engines.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle in Talladega: 5 killed

Date & Time: Feb 13, 2001 at 1840 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N5AY
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Hamilton – Talladega
MSN:
421A-0133
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
2000
Captain / Total hours on type:
29.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4887
Circumstances:
The pilot and passengers were on a instrument flight returning home. When they were within range of the destination airport, the controller cleared the flight for an instrument approach. Moment later the pilot canceled his instrument flight plan and told the controller that he was below the weather. Low clouds, reduced visibility and fog existed at the destination airport at the time of the accident. The airplane collided with a river bank as the pilot maneuvered for the visual approach. The post-crash examination of the airplane failed to disclose a mechanical problem.
Probable cause:
The pilot continued visual flight into instrument weather conditions that resulted in the inflight collision with a river bank. Factors were reduced visibility and dark night.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Little Falls: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jun 1, 1998 at 1831 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N541N
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Little Falls - Little Falls
MSN:
421A-0161
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
6000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1500.00
Circumstances:
A witness reported the airplane did not climb above 200 feet and reported seeing the airplane 'wobbling up and down' as it attempted to climb. He reported the airplane went into a sharp left bank and nose dived down. The airplane burned upon impact. The wreckage was located in a wooded area about 3/4 mile from the approach end of runway 30. Numerous open farm fields were located near the airplane's flight path. The winds were reported at 240 degrees at 22 knots gusting to 29 knots. The wreckage path was on a 040 heading and covered about 190 feet from initial tree impact to the location of the main wreckage. The engine inspection did not reveal any anomalies to either engine. The flight was the first maintenance check flight after the airplane had not been flown for 14 months. During maintenance the pilot had put about 100 gallons of water in the left main and left auxiliary fuel tanks to locate a fuel leak. A plug was installed in the left auxiliary fuel drain valve and the fuel tank could not be checked during preflight for fuel contamination without removing the plug.
Probable cause:
The pilot's continued operation with a known deficiency in equipment.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421A Golden Eagle I in Shobdon: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 3, 1997 at 1521 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-BKNA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Elstree - Shobdon
MSN:
421A-0097
YOM:
1968
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
2386
Circumstances:
The aircraft was on a private flight from Elstree to Shobdon in Herefordshire. The meteorological forecast indicated that a warm front was approaching Southern England from the south-west and conditions were generally deteriorating. The visibility on departure from Elstree at 1437 hrs was greater than 10 km with a broken cloud base at 2,500 feet. When the aircraft arrived at Shobdon the visibility was estimated to be 3 to 4 km in light drizzle with a cloud base at approximately 1,200 feet, and the surface wind was 090_/5 kt. The first radio contact between the aircraft and Shobdon was made at about 1502 hrs when the pilot called to say that he was inbound from Elstree. In response to this call he was passed the airfield details. The pilot later called when approaching Leominster and subsequently called downwind for Runway 09 which has a right-hand circuit. The operator of the ground to air radio facility at Shobdon saw the aircraft on the downwind leg abeam the tower at what appeared to be a normal circuit height. He did not observe the aircraft downwind but shortly afterward she heard a brief and indecipherable radio transmission which sounded like a scream. This same transmission was heard by an aircraft enthusiast who was monitoring the radio transmissions on his 'airband' radio. The radio operator repeatedly attempted to make contact with the aircraft but to no avail and so he instructed an aircraft refueller to inform the emergency services that an aircraft had crashed. Analysis of recorded radar data from the radar head at Clee Hill,Shropshire, indicates that the aircraft joined the downwind leg from the east at a height of 1,100 feet. This radar data shows that the aircraft then followed a normal ground track until towards the end of the downwind leg when there was an alteration of track to the left of about 20_ before the aircraft entered a right turn onto the base leg. At the same time as the aircraft altered track to the left it began a slow descent, at about 350 ft/min, from 1,100 feet to 600 feet, at which stage it disappeared below radar coverage. The average ground speed on the downwind leg was 112kt and this reduced to 100 kt as the aircraft descended. Two witnesses saw the aircraft in a position that equates to the base leg. The witness to the east of the aircraft track first heard the sound of an aircraft engine that was unusually loud and then saw the aircraft at an estimated height of 150 to 200 feet, it was descending slowly with the wings level. A loud "cough"from one of the engines was heard "as if it had backfired"followed by a puff of white smoke and then the sound of an engine increasing in RPM. The wings were then seen to rock from side to side as the aircraft went out of sight. The second witness,to the west of the aircraft track, described the aircraft flying very low, between 50 and 100 feet, and slowly descending. He saw that the wings were "wavering", the left wing then suddenly dropped until it achieved a bank angle of about 90_ at which stage the nose dropped and the aircraft disappeared behind some low trees and was heard to hit the ground. Some local farmers immediately went to the crash site. Initially there was no fire or smoke, but a small fire soon developed in the area of the right wing and this was quickly extinguished by the farmers.
Probable cause:
Examination of the engines showed that they had both been mechanically and electrically capable of running, however, at impact the left engine was stationary. It was also likely that there was very little fuel onboard the aircraft at the time of the accident. It is therefore probable that mismanagement of the fuel system caused the left engine to stop. The eye witness accounts are consistent with the behaviour of a twin engine aircraft that has suffered a failure of one engine and is flown below its minimum control speed for flight on one engine. With a low power setting on the right (live) engine the speed was allowed to reduce further until the left wing stalled. There was then insufficient height available to regain control of the aircraft
Final Report: