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Crash of a Cessna 411 in Corona: 2 killed

Date & Time: Nov 25, 2004 at 1434 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N747JU
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Corona - Corona
MSN:
411-0050
YOM:
1965
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
650
Circumstances:
The multiengine airplane impacted terrain shortly after departing from the airport. The airplane began the initial climb after liftoff and initially maintained a track along the extended runway centerline. Witnesses indicated that about 1 mile into the initial climb, the aircraft began to make erratic yawing maneuvers and the engines began to emit smoke. The airplane rolled to the left and dove toward the ground, erupting into fire upon impact. Prior to the accident, the pilot had reportedly been having mechanical problems with the fuel tank bladder installations and had attempted to install new ones. He was performing his own maintenance on the airplane in an attempt to rectify the problem. The day before the accident, the pilot told his hangar mate that he took the airplane on a test flight and experienced mechanical problems with an engine. Neither the nature of the engine problems nor the actions to resolve the discrepancies could be determined. On site examination of the thermally destroyed wreckage disclosed evidence consistent with the right engine producing significantly more power than the left engine at ground impact. The extent of the thermal destruction precluded any determination regarding the fuel selector positions, the positions for the boost pump switches, or the fuel tanks/lines.
Probable cause:
A loss of engine(s) power for undetermined reasons. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain the airplane's minimum controllable airspeed (Vmc) during the initial climb following a loss of power in one engine, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control and subsequent impact with terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 411 in Corona: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 4, 2003 at 1453 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N1133S
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Corona – Santa Monica
MSN:
411-0202
YOM:
1966
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
3901
Captain / Total hours on type:
412.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4915
Circumstances:
The pilot lost control of his twin engine airplane and collided with terrain while returning to the departure airport after reporting an engine problem. Shortly after takeoff, about 4,000 feet msl, the pilot reported to ATC that he had an engine problem and would return to the airport. The radar plot reveals a steady descent of the airplane from 4,000 feet msl to the accident site, approximately 2 miles from the designated airport. Ground witnesses reported that they saw the airplane flying very low, about 500 feet agl, seconds prior to the accident apparently heading toward the departure airport. The witnesses reported consistent observations of the airplane "wobbling," then going into a steep knife-edge left bank before it dove into the ground. Witnesses at the airport said that the pilot sought out help in getting his radios operating prior to takeoff, telling the witness, "it's been four and a half months since I've been in an airplane, I can't even figure out how to put the radios back in." No fueling records were found for the airplane at the departure airport. The last documented fueling of the airplane was on October 31, 2002, with the addition of 56.2 gallons. Witnesses reported that the airplane did not take on any fuel immediately prior to the flight on May 4th. The flight was the first flight since the airplane received its annual inspection 2 months prior to the accident, and, it was the pilot's first flight after 4 months of inactivity. It is a common practice for maintenance personnel to pull the landing light circuit breakers during maintenance to prevent the fuel transfer pumps, which are wired through the landing light system, from operating continuously. The fuel transfer pumps move fuel from the forward part of the main fuel tank to the center baffle area where it is picked up and routed to the engine. It is conceivable that these circuit breakers were not reset by the pilot for this flight. Wreckage examination revealed a post accident fire on the right wing of the airplane and no fire on the left wing. Additionally, only a small amount of fuel was identified around the left wing tanks after the accident, and no hydraulic deformation was observed to the left main tank or the internal baffles. The landing gear bellcrank indicates that the landing gear was in the down position. The engine and propeller post impact signatures indicate that the left engine was operating at a low power setting (wind milling), while the right engine and propeller indicate a high power setting. Disassembly and inspection of the internal propeller hub components showed that the left propeller was not feathered. The left engine is the critical engine and loss of power in that engine would make directional control more difficult at slower speeds. The airplane owners manual states that "climb or continued level flight at a moderate altitude is improbable with the landing gear extended or the propeller windmilling." The single engine flight procedure delineated in the manual dictates a higher than normal altitude for a successful single engine landing approach.
Probable cause:
The failure of the pilot to properly configure the airplane for a one engine inoperative condition (including his failure to feather the propeller of the affected engine, retract the landing gear, and maintain minimum single engine speed). Factors related to the accident were fuel starvation of the left engine, due to an inadequate fuel supply in the left tanks, inoperative fuel transfer pumps, and the pilot's decision to take off without fueling.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 402B in Corona: 10 killed

Date & Time: Feb 19, 1989 at 1210 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N69383
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Las Vegas – Santa Ana
MSN:
402B-0527
YOM:
1975
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
9
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Captain / Total flying hours:
4000
Captain / Total hours on type:
572.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3129
Circumstances:
The pilot was operating an on-demand air taxi passenger flight to Santa Ana, CA. The accident occurred during descent, when the aircraft collided with a mountain at 2,060 feet msl. The pilot had received a preflight weather briefing in which he was advised of low ceilings and reduced visibility in the Los Angeles basin, surrounding mountains obscured by clouds, and that VFR flight to Santa Ana was not recommended. He departed VFR. While en route, the pilot was advised that Santa Ana was reporting 1,400 feet overcast with 5 miles visibility. A videotape recorded by a passenger showed mountain peaks protruding through a solid cloud layer and showed the aircraft descending into the clouds. Witnesses described a low cloud ceiling near the crash site and cloud tops at 5,000 feet. Examination of the wreckage revealed evidence of powered flight and no evidence of preimpact control or engine malfunction. Records indicated that the pilot had encountered IMC on only one flight in the previous 9 months. He was director of operations for the operator. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 10 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to properly preflight and plan for flight and his intentional flight into IMC conditions. Factors contributing to the accident were the low ceiling conditions in conjunction with the mountainous terrain.
Occurrence #1: in flight encounter with weather
Phase of operation: descent - normal
Findings
1. (c) preflight planning/preparation - improper - pilot in command
2. Weather forecast - disregarded - pilot in command
3. In-flight weather advisories - disregarded - pilot in command
4. (f) weather condition - low ceiling
5. (c) vfr flight into imc - intentional - pilot in command
----------
Occurrence #2: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: descent - normal
Findings
6. (f) terrain condition - mountainous/hilly
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-61 Aerostar (Ted Smith 601P) in Corona

Date & Time: Sep 14, 1987 at 1130 LT
Registration:
N902RG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Corona – Carlsbad
MSN:
61-0666-7963311
YOM:
1979
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4634
Captain / Total hours on type:
120.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1295
Circumstances:
The airplane was refueled before it departed on the accident flight; the pilot did not supervise the fueling. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot advised the Ontario departure controller that both engines were experiencing a power loss and that he suspected jet fuel contamination. The airplane collided with a berm during the ensuing forced landing. The investigation revealed that the FBO fueled the airplane with 131.3 gallons of Jet A fuel. Investigators did not locate any witnesses who saw the pilot preflight the airplane. The pilot sustained severe head injuries and could not recall if he had preflighted the airplane - the right front seat passenger was not present when the pilot boarded the aircraft.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: loss of engine power (partial) - nonmechanical
Phase of operation: climb - to cruise
Findings
1. All engines
2. (c) fluid, fuel grade - incorrect
3. (c) refueling - improper - fbo personnel
4. (f) inadequate initial training - fbo personnel
5. (c) preflight planning/preparation - improper - pilot in command
----------
Occurrence #2: forced landing
Phase of operation: descent - emergency
----------
Occurrence #3: on ground/water collision with object
Phase of operation: landing - roll
Findings
6. Terrain condition - berm
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Aero Commander 520 in Lucerne Valley

Date & Time: Nov 2, 1986 at 1000 LT
Registration:
N70FM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Corona - Corona
MSN:
520-147
YOM:
1954
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
700
Captain / Total hours on type:
200.00
Circumstances:
During a pleasure flight, the pilot reported that the right engine caught on fire. The pilot made a landing on dry lake bed and disembarked from the plane examination of the wreckage revealed that the path of the landing roll showed no signs of melted metal or debris. There was a large fuel stain visible around the remains of the right wing, right engine and right cowling. The engine components and accessories showed moderate heat distress with no evidence of a blow torch effect. The right wing fuel sump drain valve was located inside a cup of melted aliminum and was in the open position.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: fire
Phase of operation: standing
Findings
1. (f) fuel system, drain - open
2. (c) reason for occurrence undetermined
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft D18S in Corona

Date & Time: Nov 14, 1979 at 1230 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N8611A
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Corona - Corona
MSN:
A-518
YOM:
1949
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
893
Captain / Total hours on type:
29.00
Circumstances:
After liftoff, during initial climb, the airplane was difficult to control when it crashed in flames. All three occupants escaped with minor injuries while the aircraft was destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
The exact cause of the accident could not be determined. The pilot stated that he encountered control difficulties after takeoff.
Final Report: