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 Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Catawba: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 1, 2017 at 0153 LT
Registration:
N2655B
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
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:

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in Las Cruces: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 27, 2014 at 1903 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N51RX
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Las Cruces – Phoenix
MSN:
421C-0871
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2432
Captain / Total hours on type:
52.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8181
Circumstances:
According to the line service technician who worked for the fixed-base operator (FBO), before taking off for the air ambulance flight with two medical crewmembers and one patient onboard, the pilot verbally asked him to add 40 gallons of fuel to the airplane, but the pilot did not specify the type of fuel. The line service technician drove a fuel truck to the front of the airplane and added 20 gallons of fuel to each of the multiengine airplane's wing tanks. The pilot was present during the refueling and helped the line service technician replace both fuel caps. Shortly after takeoff, a medical crewmember called the company medical dispatcher and reported that they were returning to the airport because smoke was coming from the right engine. Two witnesses reported seeing smoke from the airplane Several other witnesses reported seeing or hearing the impact and then immediately seeing smoke or flames. On-scene evidence showed the airplane was generally eastbound and upright when it impacted terrain. A postimpact fire immediately ensued and consumed most of the airplane. Investigators who arrived at the scene the day following the accident reported clearly detecting the smell of jet fuel. The airplane, which was equipped with two reciprocating engines, should have been serviced with aviation gasoline, and this was noted on labels near the fuel filler ports, which stated "AVGAS ONLY." However, a postaccident review of refueling records, statements from the line service technician, and the on-scene smell of jet fuel are consistent with the airplane having been misfueled with Jet A fuel instead of the required 100LL aviation gasoline, which can result in detonation in the engine and the subsequent loss of engine power. Postaccident examination of the engines revealed internal damage and evidence of detonation. It was the joint responsibility of the line technician and pilot to ensure that the airplane was filled with aviation fuel instead of jet fuel and their failure to do so led to the detonation in the engine and the subsequent loss of power during initial climb.In accordance with voluntary industry standards, the FBO's jet fuel truck should have been equipped with an oversized fuel nozzle; instead, it was equipped with a smaller diameter nozzle, which allowed the nozzle to be inserted into the smaller fuel filler ports on airplanes that used aviation gasoline. The FBO's use of a small nozzle allowed it to be inserted in the accident airplane's filler port and for jet fuel to be inadvertently added to the airplane.
Probable cause:
The misfueling of the airplane with jet fuel instead of the required aviation fuel, and the resultant detonation and a total loss of engine power during initial climb. Contributing to the accident were the line service technician's inadvertent misfueling of the airplane, the pilot's inadequate supervision of the fuel servicing, and the fixed-base operator's use of a small fuel nozzle on its jet fuel truck.
Final Report: