Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 690B in Hare: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 9, 2016 at 0951 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N690TH
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Georgetown - Georgetown
MSN:
11487
YOM:
1978
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
25975
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1351
Copilot / Total hours on type:
65
Aircraft flight hours:
9002
Circumstances:
The private pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, and a flight instructor were performing a recurrent training flight. Radar data showed that the airplane departed and climbed to an altitude about 5,000 ft above ground level. About 5 minutes after takeoff, the airplane conducted a left 360° turn followed by a right 360° turn, then continued in level flight for about 2 minutes as it slowed to a groundspeed of about 90 knots, which may have been indicative of airwork leading to slow flight or stall maneuvers. The airplane then entered a steep bank and impacted the ground in a nose-low attitude. Both engines and propellers displayed evidence of operation at the time of impact, and postaccident examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engines. The instructor had a history of obstructive sleep apnea. The investigation was unable to determine how well the condition was controlled, if he had symptoms from the condition, or if it contributed to the accident. Toxicology testing revealed low levels of ethanol in specimens from both pilots; however, it is likely that some or all of the ethanol detected was a result of postmortem production, and it is unlikely that alcohol impairment contributed to the accident. Toxicology testing also detected the primary psychoactive compound of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and its metabolite, tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THCCOOH), in specimens obtained from comingled remains; the investigation was unable to reliably determine which pilot had used the impairing illicit drug. Additionally, it is not possible to determine impairment from tissue specimens; therefore, the investigation was unable to determine whether THC impaired either of the pilots or if it may have contributed to the accident.
Probable cause:
A loss of control while maneuvering for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the
airplane.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 690 in Zāhedān: 7 killed

Date & Time: Oct 12, 2014 at 1920 LT
Registration:
1405
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Tehran - Zāhedān
MSN:
690-11075
YOM:
1972
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was flying to Zāhedān with a crew of three (two pilots and a flight attendant) and four passengers, among them General Mahmoud Sadeqi, a senior police officer in charge of investigations, who was travelling to Zāhedān to investigate an incident involving an attack on police. While approaching Zāhedān by night, the aircraft hit a mountain located in the Sabzpushan Heights, north of the airport. All seven occupants were killed. A day later, Iranian authorities said the accident was caused by technical flaws, darkness and the pilot’s unfamiliarity with the region.

Crash of a Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander in New Haven: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 9, 2013 at 1121 LT
Registration:
N13622
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Teterboro - New Haven
MSN:
11469
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2067
Aircraft flight hours:
8827
Circumstances:
The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.
Final Report: