Crash of a Beechcraft Queen Air A65 off San Carlos: 3 killed

Date & Time: Sep 2, 2010 at 1151 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N832B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
San Carlos - Santa Clara
MSN:
LC-112
YOM:
1961
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
15
Captain / Total flying hours:
18000
Captain / Total hours on type:
6000.00
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff for a repositioning flight for the airplane’s upcoming annual inspection, numerous witnesses, including the two air traffic controllers, reported observing the airplane climbing out normally until it was about 1/2 mile beyond the runway. The witnesses stated that the airplane then underwent a short series of attitude excursions, rolled right, and descended steeply into a lagoon. All radio communications between the airplane and the air traffic controllers were normal. Ground-based radar tracking data indicated that the airplane's climb to about 500 feet was normal and that it was airborne for about 40 seconds. Postaccident examination of the airframe, systems, and engines did not reveal any mechanical failures that would have precluded continued normal operation. Damage to both engines’ propeller blades suggested low or moderate power at the time of impact; however, the right propeller blades exhibited less damage than the left. The propeller damage, witness-observed airplane dynamics, and the airplane’s trajectory were consistent with a loss of power in the right engine and a subsequent loss of control due to airspeed decay below the minimum control speed (referred to as VMC). Although required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved Airplane Flight Manual, no evidence of a cockpit placard to designate the single engine operating speeds, including VMC, was found in the wreckage. The underlying reason for the loss of power in the right engine could not be determined. The airplane's certification basis (Civil Air Regulation [CAR] 3) did not require either a red radial line denoting VMC or a blue radial line denoting the single engine climb speed (VYSE) on the airspeed indicators; no such markings were observed on the airspeed indicators in the wreckage. Those markings were only mandated for airplanes certificated under Federal Aviation Regulation Part 23, which became effective about 3 years after the accident airplane was manufactured. Neither the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) nor the airplane manufacturer mandated or recommended such VMC or VYSE markings on the airspeed indicators of the accident airplane make and model. In addition, a cursory search did not reveal any such retroactive guidance for any twin-engine airplane models certificated under CAR 3. Follow-up communication from the FAA Small Airplane Directorate stated that the FAA has "not discussed this as a possible retroactive action... Our take from the accident studies is that because of the accident record with light/reciprocating engine twins, the insurance industry has restricted them to a select group of pilot/owners…" Toxicology testing revealed evidence consistent with previous use of marijuana by the pilot; however, it was not possible to determine when that usage occurred or whether the pilot might have been impaired by its use during the accident flight.
Probable cause:
A loss of power in the right engine for undetermined reasons and the pilot’s subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in a loss of control. Contributing to the loss of control was the regulatory certification basis of the airplane that does not require airspeed indicator markings that are critical to maintaining airplane control with one engine inoperative.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 in Hayward

Date & Time: Sep 16, 2009 at 1215 LT
Registration:
N726CB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Hayward - San Carlos
MSN:
BB-1750
YOM:
2001
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2913
Captain / Total hours on type:
1707.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1229
Circumstances:
The airplane just had undergone a routine maintenance and this was planned to be the first flight after the inspection. During the initial climb, the pilot observed that the airplane was drifting to the left. The pilot attempted to counteract the drift by application of right aileron and right rudder, but the airplane continued to the left. The pilot reported that, despite having both hands on the control yoke, he could not maintain directional control and the airplane collided into a building. The airplane subsequently came to rest on railroad tracks adjacent to the airport perimeter. A post accident examination revealed that the elevator trim wheel was located in the 9-degree NOSE UP position; normal takeoff range setting is between 2 and 3 degrees NOSE UP. The rudder trim control knob was found in the full left position and the right propeller lever was found about one-half inch forward of the FEATHER position; these control inputs both resulted in the airplane yawing to the left. The pilot did not adequately follow the airplane manufacturer's checklist during the preflight, taxi, and before takeoff, which resulted in the airplane not being configured correctly for takeoff. This incorrect configuration led to the loss of directional control immediately after rotation. A post accident examination of the airframe, engines, and propellers revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight and failure to follow the airplane manufacturer's checklist to ensure that the rudder trim control and right propeller control lever were positioned correctly.

Crash of a Douglas R4D-5 on Mt Concepción: 16 killed

Date & Time: Jan 23, 1957 at 1118 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
AN-AEC
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Managua – Bluefields – San Carlos – Managua
MSN:
12312
YOM:
1944
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
13
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
16
Circumstances:
The aircraft was on a flight from Managua to Bluefields and San Carlos and then returning to Managua. It departed San Carlos for Managua at 1049LT carrying a crew of 3 and 13 passengers. This information was given directly by the captain over the aircraft's transmitters, as the radio station for point-to- point communication is in the town, some distance from the landing field. The aircraft made no further contact. It crashed into the side of Concepción Volcano at 1118LT at a height of 2,650 feet killing all occupants. The aircraft crashed while performing a sharp ascending left curve at an altitude of 2,650 feet (according to the reading of the operating altimeter found at the accident site) and on a magnetic heading of 1700, i. e. 127° off its original course of 297°, and 350 feet below its cruising level, reported by the pilot as 3 000 feet. Witnesses stated that the weather was clear and fog covered only the top of the volcano, from 3 200 feet to its summit. A number of persons saw the aircraft flying on its normal heading to Managua shortly before the accident. Had the weather been unfavorable the pilot could very well have taken the usual action of flying at an altitude above all obstructions on the route and would have reported such action.
Probable cause:
According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft made a left turn, i. e. towards the volcano, and there were indications of abnormal conditions when it banked sharply in descent then in rapid climb; this shows that some trouble arose in the operation of the controls, propellers or engines, which unexpectedly caused loss of control. It was impossible to ascertain the cause of this malfunctioning, owing to the condition of total destruction of the aircraft after impact and fire.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas R4D-5 in San Carlos: 7 killed

Date & Time: Mar 14, 1945 at 2040 LT
Operator:
Registration:
17228
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Olathe - San Pedro
MSN:
13379
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
19
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
The aircraft was completing a flight from Olathe, Kansas, to the San Pedro-Catalina NAS. While cruising two miles west of San Carlos in poor weather conditions (high winds and heavy rain falls), the aircraft hit tree tops and crashed in a wooded area. Seven passengers were killed.

Crash of a Douglas B-18 Bolo near San Carlos

Date & Time: Jul 31, 1940
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
36-319
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
MSN:
1707
Country:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
En route, the crew encountered an unexpected situation, was forced to abandon the aircraft and bailed out. The aircraft crashed in a pasture and was destroyed. No casualties.