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Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne I in Billings: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 20, 2020 at 0950 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N926K
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
31-8004046
YOM:
1980
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from runway 28L at Billings-Logan Intl Airport, while in initial climb, the pilot was cleared by ATC to climb to the assigned altitude. The pilot failed to acknowledge the clearance when the aircraft went out of control and crashed about a mile northwest of the airfield, bursting into flames. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.

Crash of a Beechcraft 1900C in Billings: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 23, 2008 at 0124 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N195GA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Billings - Great Falls
MSN:
UB-65
YOM:
1986
Flight number:
AIP5008
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4770
Captain / Total hours on type:
362.00
Aircraft flight hours:
34651
Circumstances:
About one minute after takeoff on a night Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) contract cargo flight, the tower controller advised the pilot that he was squawking the wrong transponder code. Although the pilot reset the transponder to the correct code, he was advised that he was still squawking the wrong code. He then realized that he had selected the wrong transponder, and then switched to the correct one. During the time the pilot was dealing with this issue, the airplane drifted about 30 degrees right of the assigned heading, but the pilot returned to the correct heading as he was contacting the departure controller. The departure controller cleared him to continue his climb and instructed him to turn left about 120 degrees, which he did. About 40 seconds after initiating his left turn of about 120 degrees, while climbing straight ahead through an altitude about 4,700 feet above ground level (AGL), the pilot was instructed to turn 20 degrees further left. Almost immediately thereafter, the airplane began turning to the right, and then suddenly entered a rapidly descending right turn. The airplane ultimately impacted the terrain in a nearly wings-level nose-down attitude of greater than 45 degrees. At the moment of impact the airplane was on a heading about 220 degrees to the right of the its last stabilized course. The investigation did not find any indication of an airframe, control system, or engine mechanical failure or malfunction that would have precluded normal flight, and no autopsy or toxicological information could be acquired due to the high amount of energy that was released when the airplane impacted the terrain. The determination of the initiating event that led to the uncontrolled descent into the terrain was not able to be determined.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the initial climb for undetermined reasons.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208A Caravan 675 in Abbotsford

Date & Time: Dec 28, 1999 at 0917 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-FGGG
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Abbotsford - Billings - Nassau
MSN:
208-0310
YOM:
1999
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
12000
Captain / Total hours on type:
85.00
Circumstances:
At 0916 Pacific standard time, the Seair Cessna 208 Caravan amphibious aircraft, serial number 20800310, took off from runway 19 at Abbotsford Airport, British Columbia, on the first leg of a private flight to the Bahamas. One pilot and five passengers were on board. About one minute later, as the aircraft was climbing through an altitude of about 400 feet above ground level and as the pilot retracted flaps from 10 to zero degrees, the aircraft became uncontrollable. The aircraft banked left, descended rapidly, and crashed in a field about one-half mile south of the runway threshold, in a left bank with a near-level pitch attitude. The aircraft was destroyed, and the pilot received serious injuries. Two passengers were also seriously injured, and three passengers received minor injuries. Daylight visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. There was no fire.
Probable cause:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:
1. The pilot took off with frost adhering to the aircraft's lifting surfaces, which increased drag and reduced the ability of the wings to produce lift.
2. At take-off, the aircraft was about 510 pounds in excess of its maximum take-off weight, adversely affecting aircraft performance.
3. The aircraft experienced an aerodynamic stall and loss of control when the flaps were retracted from 10 degrees to zero. Retracting the flaps reduced the amount of lift being produced by the wing, already performing poorly because of contamination.
Other Findings:
1. Appropriate entries were not recorded in the aircraft=s journey and maintenance logs, and the weight and balance documentation was not amended.
2. The floats absorbed much of the impact energy and likely enhanced survivability of the accident.
Final Report:

Crash of a Short 360-100 in Billings

Date & Time: Nov 25, 1997 at 0813 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N691A
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Great Falls - Billings
MSN:
3618
YOM:
1983
Flight number:
CPT814
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
8850
Captain / Total hours on type:
2800.00
Copilot / Total hours on type:
103
Aircraft flight hours:
18213
Circumstances:
The Short Brothers SD3-60 cargo flight was being vectored for the VOR/DME RWY 28R approach to the Billings Logan International airport during instrument meteorological conditions. Weather conditions one minute before the accident were winds 020 at 13 knots, light snow and mist, and visibility was deteriorating rapidly. The co-pilot (occupying the right seat) was flying the aircraft, and the PIC (occupying the left seat) was handling radio communications. At 0812:25, having crossed the final approach fix, the aircraft descended through 100 feet above the MDA (3,940 feet or 426 feet above the runway threshold), and immediately thereafter the crew visually acquired the runway. At 0813:01 the aircraft's GPWS alert of 'SINK RATE' was heard, followed 2 seconds later by the PIC calling for 'POWER,' and a 2 second delay to ground impact. The co-pilot had logged a total of 103 hours in the SD3-60 (all within the previous 90 days,) while the PIC had just begun flying the aircraft in Montana's late fall weather after a 6 year assignment flying in the Hawaiian islands. The left main landing gear collapsed in overload during the ground impact.
Probable cause:
The co-pilot's failure to maintain the proper descent rate on final approach, the pilot-in-command's delayed remedial action, and overload of the left main landing gear assembly. Factors contributing were snow, crosswind conditions and deteriorating visibility.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 550 Citation II in Billings: 8 killed

Date & Time: Dec 18, 1992 at 1645 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N6887Y
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Watertown - Billings
MSN:
550-0293
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Captain / Total flying hours:
6200
Captain / Total hours on type:
4415.00
Aircraft flight hours:
5275
Circumstances:
During descent into Billings, the Citation was sequenced behind a Boeing 757, and both airplanes were eventually cleared for visual approaches. About 1-1/2 mile from the runway the Citation was observed to roll rapidly to the inverted position and descended almost vertically into the ground. According to ATC transcripts and the airplane's cockpit voice recorder, the crew of the Citation had maintained visual awareness of the position of the B757 throughout the approach. At the time of the upset, the vertical separation between airplanes was 600 - 1,000 feet, and the horizontal separation was decreasing below 2.6 miles. One of the Citation captain's last comments was 'almost ran over a seven fifty seven.' Winds were 5 knots. All eight occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The pilot-in-command's failure to follow established vortex avoidance procedures, as published in the airman's information manual, to provide his own wake turbulence separation.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-5D Buffalo in Calgary

Date & Time: Jul 17, 1990 at 1640 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
FAE064
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Quito – Billings – Calgary
MSN:
64
YOM:
1976
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft suffered an incident in Ecuador few days prior to this accident and damages were reported to the undercarriage. A ferry flight to Calgary was arranged so the aircraft could be repaired by technicians by De Havilland Canada. The flight from Quito to Calgary was completed with the undercarriage down. Upon touchdown on runway 28 at Calgary Airport, the nose gear collapsed. The airplane slid on its nose and came rest, bursting into flames. In a hurry, both pilots escaped the cabin and did not stop both engines. Hydraulic fluids ignited and the aircraft was totally destroyed by fire. Both pilots were uninjured. Dual registration FAE064 and HC-BFH.
Probable cause:
It was concluded that the self-centering mechanism could be forced off centre because of a system malfunction caused by the previous accident or by intentional nosewheel steering input, which would cause enough pressure to shear the pins. The internal damage to the controlcam mechanism allowed the wheels to be off centre at touchdown. Marks on the adjacent sides of the pulleys showed that the cable had been lodged in the space between the two pulleys. Although the extent of this damage was limited, it was representative of damage caused by the previous jungle accident and would have caused the sluggish response to nosewheel commands experienced earlier by the crew. When the weight of the aircraft settled on the misaligned nosewheel, the temporary ferry repairs failed in overload and the nosewheel collapsed.

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 690A in Miles City

Date & Time: Jan 7, 1987 at 1359 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N57133
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Billings – Miles City
MSN:
690-11133
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2398
Captain / Total hours on type:
45.00
Aircraft flight hours:
6216
Circumstances:
The pilot of the nonscheduled domestic passenger air taxi flight was flying the VOR/DME runway 22 approach to Wiley Field, Miles City, MT. The pilot said he turned on the autopilot and after turning inbound from the procedure turn towards the faf he engaged the approach mode. After crossing the faf the pilot descended to MDA and engaged the altitude hold mode. When he reached the map the pilot started to make a missed approach but a passenger, seated next to him in the copilot's seat, reported the runway in sight. The pilot said he saw the runway and retarded the throttles in order to descend for landing. The aircraft nose pitched up abruptly, the aircraft stalled, and mushed to the ground. The aircraft hit hard and skidded off the runway. Two occupants were injured and four others escaped uninjured.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: abrupt maneuver
Phase of operation: approach - faf/outer marker to threshold (ifr)
Findings
1. Weather condition - low ceiling
2. (c) autopilot - improper use of - pilot in command
3. Weather condition - obscuration
4. (c) throttle/power control - reduced - pilot in command
5. Weather condition - fog
----------
Occurrence #2: loss of control - in flight
Phase of operation: approach - faf/outer marker to threshold (ifr)
Findings
6. (c) stall/mush - inadvertent - pilot in command
----------
Occurrence #3: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: descent - uncontrolled
Findings
7. Terrain condition - runway
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 414 Chancellor in Billings: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 24, 1985 at 1452 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N333AA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Billings - Billings
MSN:
414-0476
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
19633
Captain / Total hours on type:
1000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3433
Circumstances:
The pilot was making a short (35 minutes) local flight to 'check N333AA over' before turning it over to its new owner. The aircraft collided with the ground in a steep descent, wings level, attitude during an entry into the traffic pattern at Billings, Montana. VMC prevailed at the time. Witnesses said the engines were operating and there was no apparent attempt by the pilot to avoid the crash. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: approach
Findings
1. (c) altitude - not maintained - pilot in command
2. (c) incapacitation - pilot in command
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft Queen Air 65 in Billings: 4 killed

Date & Time: Apr 27, 1964 at 1005 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N451H
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Boise – Billings
MSN:
LC-90
YOM:
1961
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
7041
Circumstances:
On final approach to Billings-Logan Airport, one of the engine failed. Control was lost and the airplane crashed in flames onto a house. The aircraft was destroyed and all four occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was caused by a mismanagement of fuel on part of the crew. Due to inadequate supervision of flight, a fuel starvation occurred.
Contributing factors were:
- Improper emergency procedures,
- Partial loss of power on one engine,
- Complete engine failure/flameout on one engine,
- Fire after impact.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-45-DK in Billings: 19 killed

Date & Time: Dec 8, 1945 at 0113 LT
Operator:
Registration:
45-0922
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Minneapolis – Fargo – Billings
MSN:
16925/34183
YOM:
1945
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
21
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
19
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a flight from Fargo to Billings with 21 veterans on board. In flight, the weather conditions at destination worsened and visibility dropped from 10 miles to half a mile due to heavy snow storm. On final approach to Billings Airport, the aircraft was too low, hit a tree and crashed in flames in a snow covered field, 400 meters short of runway threshold. Both pilots and 17 passengers were killed, four others were seriously injured. Those killed were:
Crew:
Cpt George D. Miller, pilot,
Cpt Vernon Pfannkuch, pilot.
Maj Ray Craft,
S/Sgt Thomas Thomsen,
T/Sgt Glenn Marr,
Sgt Don Haley,
Tec Virgil Kinne,
Tec Warren Parrish,
Lt Anthony Alnsky,
Pfc Clayton Thompson,
Tec Fred Chapman,
Pfc Maceo Hobbs,
Pfc Walter Orchard,
Tec John Marshall,
Sgt Charles Ennen,
Cpl Lorrell Cassell,
Tec Ned Neasham,
Pfc David Gillett,
Tec Adolph Tokie.
Those who survived were:
Tec Emil A. Hasch,
Pfc Raymond Parkins,
Cpl Milford Barnes,
Tec Raymond Emerson.
Probable cause:
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency, it appears that the pilot descended too rapidly during the last turn to the left and failed to allow for the possibility of a downdraft. At any rate, (the) pilot wound up below the level of the field, still in a turning attitude, (then the) aircraft struck a tree, crashed and burned.