Zone

Crash of a Socata TBM-700 in the Ridgway Reservoir: 5 killed

Date & Time: Mar 22, 2014 at 1400 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N702H
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bartlesville – Montrose
MSN:
112
YOM:
1996
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
908
Captain / Total hours on type:
9.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4848
Circumstances:
About 3 months before the accident, the pilot received about 9 hours of flight instruction, including completion of an instrument proficiency check, in the airplane. The accident flight was a personal cross-country flight operated under instrument flight rules (IFR). Radar track data depicted the flight proceeding on a west-southwest course at 15,800 ft mean sea level (msl) as it approached the destination airport. The flight was cleared by the air traffic controller for a GPS approach, passed the initial approach fix, and, shortly afterward, began a descent as permitted by the approach procedure. The track data indicated that the flight became established on the initial approach segment and remained above the designated minimum altitude of 12,000 ft msl. Average descent rates based on the available altitude data ranged from 500 feet per minute (fpm) to 1,000 fpm during this portion of the flight. At the intermediate navigation fix, the approach procedure required pilots to turn right and track a north-northwest course toward the airport. The track data indicated that the flight entered a right turn about 1 mile before reaching the intermediate fix. As the airplane entered the right turn, its average descent rate reached 4,000 fpm. The flight subsequently tracked northbound for nearly 1-1/2 miles. During this portion of the flight, the airplane initially descended at an average rate of 3,500 fpm then climbed at a rate of 1,800 fpm. The airplane subsequently entered a second right turn. The final three radar data points were each located within 505 ft laterally of each other and near the approximate accident site location. The average descent rate between the final two data points (altitudes of 10,100 ft msl and 8,700 ft msl) was 7,000 fpm. About the time that the final data point was recorded, the pilot informed the air traffic controller that the airplane was in a spin and that he was attempting to recover. No further communications were received from the pilot. The airplane subsequently impacted the surface of a reservoir at an elevation of about 6,780 ft and came to rest in 60 ft of water. A detailed postaccident examination of the airframe, engine and propeller assembly did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. The available meteorological data suggested that the airplane encountered clouds (tops about 16,000 ft msl or higher and bases about 10,000 ft msl) and was likely operating in IFR conditions during the final 15 minutes of the flight; however, no determination could be made regarding whether the clouds that the airplane descended through were solid or layered. In addition, the data suggested the possibility of both light icing and light turbulence between 12,000 ft msl and 16,000 ft msl along the flight path. Although the pilot appeared to be managing the flight appropriately during the initial descent, it could not be determined why he was unable to navigate to the approach fixes and maintain control of the airplane as he turned toward the airport and continued the descent.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of airplane control during an instrument approach procedure, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and entering an inadvertent aerodynamic stall and spin.
Final Report:

Crash of a Canadair CL-601-1A Challenger in Montrose: 3 killed

Date & Time: Nov 28, 2004 at 0955 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N873G
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Montrose – South Bend
MSN:
3009
YOM:
1983
Flight number:
HPJ073
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
12396
Captain / Total hours on type:
913.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1586
Copilot / Total hours on type:
30
Aircraft flight hours:
14317
Aircraft flight cycles:
8910
Circumstances:
On November 28, 2004, about 0958 mountain standard time, a Canadair, Ltd., CL-600-2A12, N873G, registered to Hop-a-Jet, Inc., and operated by Air Castle Corporation dba Global Aviation as Glo-Air flight 73, collided with the ground during takeoff at Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), Montrose, Colorado. The on-demand charter flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and snow was falling. Of the six occupants on board, the captain, the flight attendant, and one passenger were killed, and the first officer and two passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. The flight was en route to South Bend Regional Airport (SBN), South Bend, Indiana.
Probable cause:
The flight crew's failure to ensure that the airplane’s wings were free of ice or snow contamination that accumulated while the airplane was on the ground, which resulted in an attempted takeoff with upper wing contamination that induced the subsequent stall and collision with the ground. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilots’ lack of experience flying during winter weather conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421B Golden Eagle II near Telluride: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 2, 2000 at 0950 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N421CF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Montrose - Las Cruces
MSN:
421B-0513
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
3700
Captain / Total hours on type:
200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3154
Circumstances:
The non-instrument rated private pilot departed Montrose, Colorado, southbound in a Cessna 421B. According to radar data, the airplane climbed from 14,300 to 16,600 feet msl at a rate of 1,792 fpm. The data shows that 19 seconds later, the airplane lost 4,000 feet of altitude, or descended at a rate of 12,631 fpm. The airplane then climbed back to 13,300 feet msl at a rate of 1,448 fpm, and then disappeared from radar. The airplane crashed in snow covered mountainous terrain. Snowmobilers, who were in the vicinity of the impact site at the time of the accident, said that snow showers made visibility less than 1/2 sm. A pilot departing Telluride Regional Airport (located 33 nm at 045 degrees from the crash site), on a heading of 300 degrees, at approximately 1015 said that it was clear right over Telluride. He said that as he climbed out, he got into weather at 12,000 feet msl, and didn't break out until 22,000 feet msl. He also said that he experienced no icing or turbulence during his climb out.
Probable cause:
The non-instrument rated pilot's intentional flight into IMC, and his subsequent spatial disorientation that resulted in an inadvertent stall. A factor was the snow showers weather condition.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in the Uncompahgre National Forest: 9 killed

Date & Time: Oct 8, 1997 at 0723 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N12022
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Montrose - Page
MSN:
208B-0432
YOM:
1995
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Captain / Total flying hours:
12900
Captain / Total hours on type:
1546.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2599
Aircraft flight cycles:
3680
Circumstances:
The airplane departed under visual flight rules (VFR) for a flight over mountainous terrain. It was tracked by radar from the departure area to the accident site. While climbing at the normal rate of climb to 15,400 feet, the airplane abruptly disappeared from radar. The wreckage was located among pine trees and exhibited evidence of a steep flight path angle and damage consistent with a stall/spin event. Investigation revealed no indication of airframe or flight control anomalies, and the powerplant and propeller damage was consistent with engine operation at moderate to high power. Evidence indicated that the airplane was free of airframe ice at impact. Postaccident calculations indicate that the airplane was near the maximum certificated gross weight and aft center of gravity limit. The pilot did not maintain instrument flying currency and reportedly avoided instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Evidence indicated that the pilot did not use oxygen, as required (when flying above 12,000 feet). Ground observations and satellite and Doppler radar imagery indicated widespread cloudiness over the mountains west of Montrose on the day of the accident. Satellite data showed variable cloud tops higher than the airplane's flight altitude in the vicinity of the accident. The radar plot of the aircraft during the climb above 10,000 feet indicated course changes from the southwest to the northwest, back to the southwest and then a sharp turn to the right just prior to the rapid descent.
Probable cause:
the pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed for undetermined reasons while maneuvering the airplane near the maximum gross weight and aft cg in or near instrument meteorological conditions, resulting in the loss of control and entry into a stall/spin. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision-making and his failure to use proper stall/spin recovery techniques.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208A Cargomaster on Mt Massive: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 17, 1990 at 0719 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N835FE
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Denver - Montrose
MSN:
208-0091
YOM:
1986
Flight number:
FDX824
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2800
Captain / Total hours on type:
25.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2368
Circumstances:
PM Air flight 824, a Federal Express scheduled domestic cargo flight, departed Denver, CO, at 0642, IFR to Montrose, CO. Flight was cleared to FL180, but pilot cancelled IFR at 0653. Radar showed aircraft leveled off at 14,500 feet on southwest heading. Aircraft maintained relative constant altitude and heading before crashing 50 feet below summit of 14,221-feet Mt Massive, second tallest peak in Colorado, at approximately 0719. Weather was cavu. Toxicological tests revealed marijuana metabolite level of 37 ng/ml in urine and 1 ng/ml in blood. Pilot was once convicted in 1974 for possession of controlled substance, but had no other alcohol/drug convictions. Evidence indicates pilot obtained adequate sleep prior to flight. During autopsy, two pages from airmen's information manual were found clutched in plt's hands. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.
Probable cause:
Diversion of the pilot's attention, resulting in an in flight collision with terrain during normal cruise flight.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Sabreliner 65 in Montrose: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 13, 1973 at 1635 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N743R
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Los Angeles - Montrose - Denver
MSN:
306-11
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
10000
Captain / Total hours on type:
84.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2372
Circumstances:
After takeoff from Montrose Airport, while climbing to an altitude of 1,000 feet, the airplane banked left to an angle of 55° then stalled and crashed in a huge explosion. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire and both pilots were killed.
Probable cause:
Loss of control during initial climb after the left engine thrust reverser deployed. The following factors were reported:
- Improper operations of powerplant,
- The pilot-in-command failed to follow the approved procedures,
- Improper emergency procedures,
- Unwanted thrust reversal,
- Continued operations of left engine at climb power after unwanted in-flight deployment of the left engine thrust reverser.
Final Report: