Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Houston

Date & Time: May 6, 2022 at 1418 LT
Operator:
Registration:
XB-FQS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Houston - McAllen
MSN:
421C-0085
YOM:
1976
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
While taking off from Houston-William P. Hobby Airport, the airplane suffered a loss of engine power. Control was lost and the airplane veered off runway, crossed a grassy area then impacted a pole, lost its left wing and came to rest in a garden. All four occupants evacuated with minor injuries and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

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

Date & Time: Jul 13, 2021 at 1042 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N678SW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Monterey – Salinas
MSN:
421C-1023
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On July 13, 2021 about 1042 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 421C, N678SW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Monterey, California. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Review of recorded communication from the Monterey air traffic control tower revealed that the pilot canceled their initial instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance and requested a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) on top clearance. The controller subsequently issued a VFR-ON-TOP clearance via the Monterey Five departure procedure, which included instructions to turn left after takeoff to join the Salinas very high frequency omni directional range (VOR) 264° radial. The controller issued a clearance for takeoff and shortly after, instructed the pilot to contact the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). Review of recorded communication from the Oakland ARTCC revealed that the pilot established radio communication with the Oakland ARTCC controller as the airplane ascended through 1,700 ft msl. The controller noticed the airplane was turning in the wrong direction and issued an immediate right turn to a heading of 030° which was acknowledged by the pilot. The controller then immediately issued two low altitude alerts with no response from the pilot. No further radio communication with the pilot was received. Recorded Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed that the airplane departed from runway 10R at 1738:44 and ascended to 1,075 ft msl before a right turn was initiated. The data showed that at 1740:14, the airplane continued to
ascend in a right turn and reached an altitude of 2,000 ft msl before a descent began. The data showed that the airplane continued descending right turn until ADS-B contact was lost at 1740:38, at an altitude of 775 ft, about 520 ft southwest of the accident site. A witness located near the accident site reported that he observed the accident airplane descend below the cloud layer in a nose low attitude with the landing gear retracted. The witness stated that the airplane made a right descending turn and impacted the top of a pine tree before it traveled below the tree line, followed by the sound of an explosion. The preliminary weather for the MRY airport reported that at 1054 PDT, winds from 280° at 7 knots, visibility of 9 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 800 feet agl, temperature of 15°C and dew point temperature of 11°C, altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury, remarks included: station with a precipitation discriminator. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees about 1 mile south of the departure end of runway 10R. The first identifiable point of contact (FIPC) was a 50 to 75 ft tall tree that had damaged limbs near the top of the tree. The debris path was oriented on a heading of about 067° and was about 995 ft in length from the FIPC, as seen in figure 2. The main wreckage was located about 405 ft from the FIPC. Various portions of aluminum wing skin, right wing, flap, aileron, engine, propeller blades, and propeller hub were observed throughout the debris path. Additionally, several trees were damaged throughout the debris path. The fuselage came to rest upright against a residential structure on a heading of about 045° magnetic at an elevation of 447 ft msl. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Longmont

Date & Time: Jul 10, 2021 at 0920 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N66NC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
421C-0519
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On July 10, 2021, about 0920 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 412C airplane, N66NC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Longmont, Colorado. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. After the airplane lifted off from the runway, the pilot didn’t feel that the engine(s) were making full power. The airplane settled back onto the runway, then exited off the departure end of the runway. The airplane came to rest upright, and a small post-crash fire developed. Substantial damage was noted to the airplane’s fuselage and wings.

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

Date & Time: Feb 15, 2019 at 1000 LT
Registration:
N421NS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Amarillo – Canadian
MSN:
421C-0874
YOM:
1980
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
5000
Aircraft flight hours:
6227
Circumstances:
The pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight with one passenger in his twin-engine airplane. There was no record that the pilot received a weather briefing before the accident flight. While en route to the destination, the pilot was in contact with air traffic control and received visual flight rules flightfollowing services. About 18 miles from the destination airport, the radar service was terminated, as is typical in this geographic region due to insufficient radio and radar coverage below 7,000 ft. The airplane was heading northeast at 4,900 ft mean sea level (msl) (about 2,200 ft above ground level [agl]). About 4 minutes later, radar coverage resumed, and the airplane was 6 miles west of the airport at 4,100 ft msl (1,400 ft agl) and climbing to the north. The airplane climbed through 6,000 ft msl (3,300 ft agl), then began a shallow left turn and climbed to 6,600 ft msl (3,800 ft agl), then began to descend while continuing the shallow left turn ; the last radar data point showed the airplane was about 20 nm northwest of the airport, 5,100 ft msl (2,350 ft agl) on a southwest heading. The final recorded data was about 13 miles northwest of the accident site. A witness near the destination airport heard the pilot on the radio. He reported that the pilot asked about the cloud height and the witness responded that the clouds were 800 to 1,000 ft agl. In his final radio call, the pilot told the witness, "Ok, see you in a little bit." The witness did not see the airplane in the air. The airplane impacted terrain in a slightly nose-low and wings-level attitude with no evidence of forward movement, and a postimpact fire destroyed a majority of the wreckage. The damage to the airplane was consistent with a relatively flat spin to the left at the time of impact. A postaccident examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. A detailed examination of the cockpit instruments and other portions of the wreckage was not possible due to the fire damage. A cold front had advanced from the northeast and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed across the region surrounding the accident site and the destination airport; the cloud ceilings were 400 ft to 900 ft above ground level. The airplane likely experienced wind shear below 3,000 ft, and there was likely icing in the clouds. While moderate icing conditions were forecast for the accident site, about the time of the accident, investigators were unable to determine the amount and severity of icing the flight may have experienced. The weather conditions had deteriorated over the previous 1 to 2 hours. The conditions at the destination airport had been clear about 2 hours before accident, and visual flight rules conditions about 1 hour before accident, when the pilot departed. Based on the available evidence it is likely that the pilot was unable to maintain control of the airplane, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and spin into terrain.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while in instrument meteorological conditions with icing conditions present, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and spin into terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Presque Isle

Date & Time: Nov 22, 2017 at 1845 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N421RX
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Presque Isle – Bangor
MSN:
421C-0264
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4482
Captain / Total hours on type:
3620.00
Aircraft flight hours:
7473
Circumstances:
After takeoff, the commercial pilot saw flames coming from the left engine nacelle area. He retarded the throttle and turned off the fuel boost pump; however, the fire continued. He then feathered the propeller, shut down the engine, and maneuvered the airplane below the clouds to remain in the local traffic pattern. He attempted to keep the runway environment in sight while drifting in and out of clouds. He was unable to align the airplane for landing on the departure runway, so he attempted to land on another runway. When he realized that the airspeed was decreasing and that the airplane would not reach the runway, he landed it on an adjacent grass field. After touchdown, the landing gear separated, and the airplane came to a stop. The airframe sustained substantial damage to the wings and lower fuselage. Examination of the left engine revealed evidence of a fuel leak where the fuel mixture control shaft inserted into the fuel injector body, which likely resulted in fuel leaking onto the hot turbocharger in flight and the in-flight fire. A review of recent maintenance records did not reveal any entries regarding maintenance or repair of the fuel injection system. The pilot reported clouds as low as 500 ft with rain, snow, and reduced visibility at the time of the accident, which likely reduced his ability to see the runway and maneuver the airplane to land on it.
Probable cause:
The in-flight leakage of fuel from the fuel injection system's mixture shaft onto the hot turbocharger, which resulted in an in-flight fire, and the pilot's inability to see the runway due to reduced visibility conditions and conduct a successful landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Catawba: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 1, 2017 at 0153 LT
Registration:
N2655B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Waukegan – Winnipeg
MSN:
421C-0698
YOM:
1979
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
2335
Captain / Total hours on type:
70.00
Circumstances:
The commercial pilot of the multi-engine airplane was conducting an instrument flight rules cross-country flight at night. The pilot checked in with air traffic control at a cruise altitude about 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl). About 31 minutes later, the pilot reported that he saw lightning off the airplane's left wing. The controller advised the pilot that the weather appeared to be about 35 to 40 miles away and that the airplane should be well clear of it. The pilot responded to the controller that he had onboard weather radar and agreed that they would fly clear of the weather. There were no further communications from the pilot. About 4 minutes later, radar information showed the airplane at 10,400 ft msl. About 1 minute later, radar showed the airplane in a descending right turn at 9,400 ft. Radar contact was lost shortly thereafter. The distribution of the wreckage, which was scattered in an area with about a 1/4-mile radius, was consistent with an in-flight breakup. The left horizontal stabilizer and significant portions of both left and right elevators and their respective trim tabs were not found. Of the available components for examination, no pre-impact airframe structural anomalies were found. Examination of the engines and turbochargers did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies. Examination of the propellers showed evidence of rotation at impact and no pre-impact anomalies. Review of weather information indicated that no convection or thunderstorms were coincident with or near the airplane's route of flight, and the nearest convective activity was located about 25 miles west of the accident site. Autopsy and toxicology testing revealed no evidence of pilot impairment or incapacitation. Given the lack of radar information after the airplane passed through 9,400 ft, it is likely that it entered a rapid descent during which it exceeded its design stress limitations, which resulted in the in-flight breakup; however, based on the available information, the event that precipitated the descent and loss of control could not be determined.
Probable cause:
A loss of control and subsequent in-flight breakup for reasons that could not be determined
based on the available information.
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: