Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Richmond

Date & Time: Apr 11, 2011 at 2127 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N3547C
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Richmond - Charlotte
MSN:
31-8052018
YOM:
1980
Flight number:
SKQ601
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1948
Captain / Total hours on type:
31.00
Aircraft flight hours:
17265
Circumstances:
The twin-engine airplane was scheduled for a routine night cargo flight. Witnesses and radar data described the airplane accelerating down the runway to a maximum ground speed of 97 knots, then entering an aggressive climb before leveling and pitching down. The airplane subsequently impacted a parallel taxiway with its landing gear retracted. Slash marks observed on the taxiway pavement, as well as rotation signatures observed on the remaining propeller blades, indicated that both engines were operating at impact. Additionally, postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airframe or either engine. The as-found position of the cargo placed the airplane within the normal weight and balance envelope, with no evidence of a cargo-shift having occurred, and the as-found position of the elevator trim jackscrew was consistent with a neutral pitch trim setting. According to the airframe manufacturer's prescribed takeoff procedure, the pilot was to accelerate the airplane to an airspeed of 85 knots, increase the pitch to a climb angle that would allow the airplane to accelerate past 96 knots, and retract the landing gear before accelerating past 128 knots. Given the loading and environmental conditions that existed on the night of the accident, the airplane's calculated climb performance should have been 1,800 feet per minute. Applying the prevailing wind conditions about time of the accident to the airplane's radar-observed ground speed during the takeoff revealed a maximum estimated airspeed of 111 knots, and the airplane's maximum calculated climb rate briefly exceeded 3,000 feet per minute. The airplane then leveled for a brief time, decelerated, and began descending, a profile that suggested that the airplane likely entered an aerodynamic stall during the initial climb.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent impact with the ground.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing 707-368C off Woodside Beach: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 29, 1991 at 1147 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A20-103
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - §Avalon
MSN:
21103
YOM:
1975
Flight number:
Windsor 380
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Richmond on a flight to Avalon, carrying five crew members. While cruising at an altitude of 5,000 feet along the coast, the aircraft lost height and plunged in the sea. The wreckage was found about one km off Woodside Beach and all five occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were good.
Crew:
Cpt Mark Lewin, pilot,
F/Lt Tim Ellis, copilot,
F/Lt Mark Duncan, pilot,
W/O Jon Fawcett, flight engineer,
W/O Al Gwynne, loadmaster.
Probable cause:
The Board of Inquiry concluded that the instructor devised a demonstration of asymmetric flight that was 'inherently dangerous and that was certain to lead to a sudden departure from controlled flight' and that he did not appreciate this. The Board noted there were deficiencies in the acquisition and documentation of 707 operational knowledge within the RAAF combined with the absence of effective mechanisms to prevent the erosion of operational knowledge at a time when large numbers of pilots were resigning from the air force. There was no official 707 QFI conversion course and associated syllabus and no adequate QFI instructors' manual. There were deficiencies in the documented procedures and limitations pertaining to asymmetric flight in the 707 and a lack of fidelity in the RAAF 707 simulator in the flight regime in which the accident occurred, which, assuming such a requirement existed, required actual practise in flight. 'The captain acted with the best of intentions but without sufficient professional knowledge or understanding of the consequences of the situation in which he placed the aircraft,' the Board said.

Crash of a Beechcraft E18S in Martinsville

Date & Time: Aug 20, 1991 at 0640 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N63B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wilmington - Richmond
MSN:
BA-119
YOM:
1956
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3500
Captain / Total hours on type:
1320.00
Circumstances:
After takeoff at 600 feet, the right engine quit. The pilot said, '[the] altitude dropped about 100 feet and airspeed at 120 knots. The right engine came back again . . . It ran for about 10 seconds. [I] adjusted power on left engine . . . Feathered right prop and tried to maintain altitude, but airspeed kept diminishing, so I had to descend to maintain airspeed.' The pilot put the landing gear down to absorb the shock of landing in a field. An examination revealed no malfunctions in the engine or carburetor. The airplane was within allowable gross weight and center of gravity limits. The weather was: ceiling 600 feet broken, 1,500 feet overcast, visibility 3 miles, light rain and fog. The pilot escaped with minor injuries and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
A failure of one engine for undetermined reasons. Additionally, the heavy gross weight resulted in inadequate single engine performance, which lead to a forced landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Swearingen SA227AC Metro III in Raleigh: 12 killed

Date & Time: Feb 19, 1988 at 2127 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N622AV
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Raleigh - Richmond
MSN:
AC-622
YOM:
1985
Flight number:
CE3378
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
12
Captain / Total flying hours:
3426
Captain / Total hours on type:
1836.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2080
Copilot / Total hours on type:
450
Aircraft flight hours:
4222
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed during low ceiling, low visibility, and night conditions. Shortly after takeoff the aircraft impacted a reservoir. Analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was in a 45° descending turn. Examination of the aircraft trim system showed that the aircraft was trimmed for level flight. There was no voice or flight data recorder on board. A review of ATC communications indicated that the captain was communicating with ATC allowing the first officer to accomplish the flying duties. Examination of the wreckage revealed no indications of powerplant or system failures. However, there was evidence that the sas warning light was illuminated, the sas switch was in the off position, and no sas system malfunction could be found. Witnesses stated that before the flight the captain had complained of illness but he decided to report for duty. Company records showed instances of substandard performance by the first officer. The investigation found company oversight of training, operations, and inadequate faa supervision. All 12 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was a failure of the flight crew to maintain a proper flightpath. Contributing to the accident were the ineffective management and supervision of flight crew training and flight operations, and ineffective FAA surveillance of AVAir.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft D18S in Norfolk

Date & Time: Dec 13, 1984 at 0751 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N8517Z
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Richmond - Norfolk
MSN:
A-352
YOM:
1947
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
10000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1520.00
Aircraft flight hours:
12245
Circumstances:
The aircraft crashed during an ILS approach following an engine power loss while on an air taxi freight flight. The pilot related that at about 550 feet on the approach to runway 23 the left engine fuel pressure warning light illuminated and the left engine lost power. The pilot opened the crossfeed valve and shortly the right fuel pressure warning light illuminated followed by a loss of power on the right engine. Investigation revealed that there is one fuel gauge for the tank system and a selector switch must be activated to determine the fuel quantity in any desired tank. The pilot's action in selecting crossfeed and not closing the fuel shut off valve allowed fuel to be diverted from the operative right engine resulting in a loss of power due to fuel starvation. The pilot, sole on board, was seriously injured.
Probable cause:
Occurrence #1: loss of engine power (partial) - nonmechanical
Phase of operation: approach - faf/outer marker to threshold (ifr)
Findings
1. (c) fluid, fuel - exhaustion
----------
Occurrence #2: loss of engine power (total) - nonmechanical
Phase of operation: approach - faf/outer marker to threshold (ifr)
Findings
2. (c) fluid, fuel - starvation
3. (c) emergency procedure - not understood - pilot in command
4. (c) improper training - company/operator management
----------
Occurrence #3: in flight collision with terrain/water
Phase of operation: approach - faf/outer marker to threshold (ifr)
Findings
5. Object
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-10-DK in Richmond

Date & Time: Jul 9, 1978 at 1415 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N45873
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Richmond - Richmond
MSN:
12458
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
40
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1008
Captain / Total hours on type:
145.00
Circumstances:
After takeoff from runway 23 at Richmond Municipal Airport, while climbing to a speed of 48 knots, the airplane nosed up then banked left and crashed in a corn field. All 42 occupants were rescued, among them three were injured. The aircrasft was written off.
Probable cause:
Stall during initial climb due to the failure of the elevator tab control system. It was determined that the elevator swage fitting was binding on bulkhead raceway station 63.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell T-39A-1-NA Sabreliner near Richmond: 3 killed

Date & Time: May 14, 1975
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
61-0646
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Andrews - Andrews
MSN:
265-49
YOM:
1962
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew departed Andrews AFB on a test flight. While cruising over Virginia and while completing various manoeuvres, the crew lost control of the airplane that crashed in flames in an open field located in the region of Richmond. All three crew members were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 402B in Petersburg: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 22, 1974 at 1225 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N69379
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - Petersburg
MSN:
402B-0523
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
1600
Captain / Total hours on type:
29.00
Circumstances:
The crew (an instructor and a student pilot) departed Richmond, Virginia, on a training flight to Petersburg, Virginia. After several touch-and-go maneuvers, the twin engine airplane was landing when on touchdown, it struck the runway surface and the pilot elected to make a go-around. Out of control, the airplane veered off runway and came to rest in flames. The aircraft was destroyed and both occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The aircraft went out of control upon landing after the crew failed to extend the landing gear. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Failed to maintain flying speed,
- Diverted attention from operation of aircraft,
- Examination of runway revealed prop slash marks right and left of runway centerline,
- Right propeller damaged, one blade broken, left propeller damaged.
Final Report:

Crash of Lockheed 12A Electra Junior in Sky Bryce

Date & Time: Jan 17, 1972 at 0830 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N10PB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Sky Bryce - Richmond
MSN:
1247
YOM:
1938
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
18272
Captain / Total hours on type:
262.00
Circumstances:
At liftoff, the twin engine airplane stalled and crashed. The pilot was slightly injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Inadequate preflight preparation on part of the pilot who failed to deice the airplane that was contaminated by frost on wings.
Final Report:

Crash of a Convair CV-240-0 at Langley AFB

Date & Time: Feb 20, 1970 at 1244 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N741J
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Richmond - Linden
MSN:
146
YOM:
1949
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
24
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
11000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1000.00
Circumstances:
En route from Richmond to Linden, NJ, the crew informed ATC about technical problems and that he was unable to lower the landing gear. ATC cleared the crew to divert to Langley AFB for an emergency landing. The airplane belly landed on a foamed runway and came to rest. All 28 occupants were evacuated safely while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Wheels-up landing caused by the malfunction of the landing gear mechanism. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Improper maintenance on part of the maintenant personnel,
- Failure of the landing gear mechanism,
- Material failure, corrosion,
- Suspected mechanical discrepancy,
- Numerous aircraft maintenance discrepancies,
- Uplock cable broken,
- Emergency system pressure too low.
Final Report: