Zone

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-065
YOM:
1986
Flight number:
AIP5008
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4770
Captain / Total hours on type:
362.00
Aircraft flight hours:
34650
Circumstances:

Just after lift off, the aircraft crashed on a warehouse located near the airport and burst into flames. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was totally destroyed. The pilot was performing a postal service to Great Falls with 5,000 pounds of priority mail on board.

Crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 in Bozeman: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 6, 2007 at 2104 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N45MF
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Great Falls-Bozeman
MSN:
BB-0234
YOM:
1977
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
17608
Captain / Total hours on type:
1318.00
Aircraft flight hours:
5992
Circumstances:
The cross-country flight was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, approximately 42 nautical miles from the tower-controlled destination airport, when the pilot was cleared for the visual approach. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and there was an overcast layer of clouds at 11,000 feet. After the en route radar service was terminated, the pilot contacted the local control tower and made a garbled and partially unintelligible transmission. Shortly after the time of the transmission, local law enforcement personnel received reports of a downed aircraft. The wreckage was located later that evening approximately 80 feet below the peak of a ridge that rose to an elevation of approximately 5,700 feet. From the initial point of contact with terrain, the debris path was scattered over the crest of the ridge and continued down the opposing side, in a south-southeast direction, toward the airport. The ridge was the highest obstruction between the accident location and the destination airport. The airport is located in a large valley and is surrounded by rising mountainous terrain. At night, clouds and terrain are difficult for pilots to see, and a gradual loss of visual cues can occur as flight is continued toward darker terrain. Additionally, the horizon is less visible and less distinct at night than during the day. Because the pilot was descending the airplane over rural, mountainous terrain that provided few visual ground reference cues, and because the overcast cloud layer would have prevented moonlight from illuminating the terrain, it is likely that the pilot did not see the rising terrain as the airplane continued toward it. The airplane was equipped with an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System; however, impact damage to the unit precluded post accident testing. It is not known how the unit was configured during the flight or what type of alerts the pilot received prior to impact. Post accident examination of the wreckage, to include both engines, did not disclose evidence of a mechanical malfunction prior to impact. Additionally, no evidence was found to suggest an in-flight structural failure.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate altitude and descent rate during a night visual approach. Dark night conditions and mountainous terrain are factors in the accident.

Crash of a Beechcraft 99 in Great Falls: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 17, 2004 at 2340 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N199GL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Billings-Kalispell
MSN:
U-015
YOM:
1968
Flight number:
AIP5071
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
15440
Captain / Total hours on type:
3000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
40521
Circumstances:
On a postal flight from Billings to Kalispell, the aircraft struck the side of the Big Baldy mountain around midnight. The aircraft was carrying 2,665 pounds of mail on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service. The weather was very bad at the time of the accident which occurred near Rhoda Lake.

Crash of a Cessna 414 Chancellor in Montana: 3 killed

Date & Time: May 31, 2000 at 1728 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N5113G
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Great Falls-Billings
MSN:
414-0952
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
8000
Aircraft flight hours:
7406

Crash of a Piper PA-31 Cheyenne in Great Falls: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 19, 1998 at 1536 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N121BE
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Great Falls-Great Falls
MSN:
31-8004036
YOM:
1980
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2347
Aircraft flight hours:
2226

Crash of a Short 360 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 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

Crash of a Learjet 35 in Great Falls

Date & Time: May 16, 1997 at 1314 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N1AH
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Great Falls-Dallas
MSN:
35-398
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
8700
Captain / Total hours on type:
2000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8019

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon in Montana

Date & Time: Feb 21, 1990 at 1928 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N91146
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Kalispell-Great Falls
MSN:
207-0090
YOM:
1969
Flight number:
CPT500
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1850
Captain / Total hours on type:
27.00
Aircraft flight hours:
10455

Crash of a Rockwell Aero Commander 500B in Great Falls: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 6, 1978 at 0251 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N6112X
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Helena - Great Falls
MSN:
500-963-18
YOM:
1960
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
3166
Captain / Total hours on type:
650.00
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, was completing a night cargo flight from Helena to Great Falls. On approach, he encountered poor weather conditions when the airplane struck the ground and crashed few miles short of runway threshold. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were below minimums.
Probable cause:
Controlled collision with ground on final approach due to improper IFR operation. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Fog,
- Visibility half a mile or less,
- Failed to establish on approach certification specification,
- Excessive approach speed,
- Excessive descent rate,
- Descended below minimums.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Aero Commander 560F near Wolf Creek: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 8, 1968 at 1055 LT
Registration:
N6257X
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Great Falls - Missoula
MSN:
560-1115-33
YOM:
1961
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
7157
Captain / Total hours on type:
107.00
Circumstances:
While in cruising altitude, the pilot encountered poor weather conditions with thunderstorm activity, turbulences, high winds and freezing rain. Under VFR mode, he lost control of the airplane that dove into the ground and crashed. All three occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was probably caused by the combination of the following factors:
- The pilot continued under VFR mode into adverse weather conditions,
- Loss of control for undetermined reason,
- Icing conditions including sleet and freezing rain,
- Turbulences associated with clouds and thunderstorms,
- Flew into known turbulences.
Final Report: