Crash of a Cessna 414 Chancellor in Santa Ana: 5 killed

Date & Time: Aug 5, 2018 at 1229 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N727RP
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Concord – Santa Ana
MSN:
414-0385
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The aircraft was destroyed when it impacted the ground in a shopping mall parking lot in Santa Ana, California. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Category III Aviation Corporation under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The flight departed Buchanan Field Airport (CCA), Concord, California, about 1022 and was destined for John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California. A review of the SNA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) audio tape revealed that the pilot established contact with the control tower controller when he was west of the airport descending to 1,700 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot was told to expect right traffic to runway 20R. The controller then queried the pilot to determine if he could accept runway 20L, and the pilot responded that he was unable to land on runway 20L. The controller then instructed the pilot to hold over the South Coast Plaza, a local holding point for aircraft operating under visual flight rules (VFR), and to conduct left 360° turns for sequencing. When the accident airplane arrived at the holding point, the pilot responded that he could accept runway 20L for landing. The pilot was then instructed to continue his turn to accomplish a left 270° turn and to cross mid-field at or above 1,300 ft msl, for left traffic to runway 20L. The pilot acknowledged that instruction. The controller then instructed the pilot to climb to 1,300 ft msl. A review of the preliminary radar data showed that at 1228, the airplane was about 1-mile northwest of SNA, traveling eastbound at an altitude of about 1,000 ft msl. The airplane began a left turn and the last radar return was recorded at 1229. At this time, the airplane was descending through an altitude of about 494 ft msl. Multiple witnesses near the accident site observed the airplane enter the left bank turn and shortly thereafter, they observed the bank angle increase and the airplane descend towards the ground at a steep angle. During the descent, the pilot transmitted "emergency" three times. The airplane did not recover from the descent and collided with several vehicles in a shopping mall parking lot before coming to rest upright about 35 ft from the entrance of a major store.Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators revealed that that all major components of the airplane were located throughout the 150 ft long debris path.

Crash of a Piper PA-46-310P Malibu in Prescott

Date & Time: May 29, 2018 at 2115 LT
Registration:
N148ME
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Santa Ana – Prescott
MSN:
46-8608009
YOM:
1986
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3100
Captain / Total hours on type:
3.00
Circumstances:
According to the pilot, about 15 minutes before reaching the destination airport during descent, the engine lost power. The pilot switched fuel tanks, and the engine power was momentarily restored, but the engine stopped producing power even though he thought it "was still running all the way to impact." The pilot conducted a forced landed on a highway at night, and the right wing struck an object and separated from the airplane. The airplane came to rest inverted. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector (ASI) that performed the postaccident airplane examination, the fuel lines to the fuel manifold were dry, and the fuel manifold valves were dry. He reported that the fuel strainer, the diaphragm, and the fuel filter in the duel manifold were unremarkable. Fuel was found in the gascolator. The FAA ASI reported that, during his interview with the pilot, "the pilot changed his story from fuel exhaustion, to fuel contamination." The inspector reported that there were no signs of fuel contamination during the examination of the fuel system. According to the fixed-base operator (FBO) at the departure airport, the pilot requested 20 gallons of fuel. He then canceled his fuel request and walked out of the FBO.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper fuel planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the subsequent total loss of engine power.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage in Mac Gillivray: 1 killed

Date & Time: Feb 20, 2001 at 1900 LT
Registration:
N9176Z
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Mac Gillivray – Santa Ana
MSN:
46-22059
YOM:
1989
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
12000
Aircraft flight hours:
4194
Circumstances:
The accident occurred during a dark night departure from a private unlighted airstrip. The pilot had landed, assisted by the headlights of a car, on the landing strip/road about 1830. After dropping off a passenger, he departed about 1900. The departure direction was towards a sparsely populated area of rolling hills. Local area residents reported hearing a plane depart, followed by a loss of engine sound, and an impact in a grape vineyard. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a nose down attitude. According to maintenance records, the last recorded annual inspection occurred 12 months and about 299.5 flight hours prior to the accident. Approximately 5 months before the accident, the FAA Certified Repair Station (CRS) that performed the maintenance on the airplane had given the pilot/owner a 15-item list of "grounding discrepancies." The discrepancies were: Cracked nose cowling; fraying seat belts; LH mag switch broken; LH window cracked; LH windshield crazed; stall warning inoperative; turbine inlet temperature inoperative; door latch safety inoperative; several hydraulic components leaking; main gear trunion pins worn; several cracks in wing lower skins; fuel leaks; loose rivets on RH flap; wing spar bolts loose; and elevator trim cable frayed. According to the CRS manager, the only item that had been repaired prior to the accident was the cracked nose cowling. However, an engine log entry indicated the TIT gage had also been replaced. Additionally, several witnesses reported that the pilot had been flying the airplane with an inoperative landing gear retract system for about 4 months. During post accident examination of the wreckage, investigators were able to verify that many of the listed discrepancies still existed; however, none of these discrepancies could be directly linked to the accident.
Probable cause:
The pilot/owner/operator's failure to maintain control of the airplane during the takeoff initial climb resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the dark night light condition.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 340A near Julian: 2 killed

Date & Time: Oct 26, 2000 at 1058 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N4347C
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Santa Ana – Calexico
MSN:
340A-0538
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
20000
Captain / Total hours on type:
180.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
338
Aircraft flight hours:
3182
Circumstances:
During en route cruise flight at an assigned altitude of 11,000 feet (msl) in instrument meteorological conditions, the airplane impacted mountainous terrain at 5,300 feet, in wings level, descending flight. During the final 12 minutes of the flight (from 1046 to 1058 Pacific daylight time), recorded military search radar height values (primary radar returns) show the aircraft in a steady descent from 11,000 feet to 5,600 feet, where radar contact was lost. During the same time interval, recorded Mode C altitudes received at Los Angeles Air Traffic Control Center (Center) and SoCal Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) indicated the aircraft was level at 11,000 feet. At 1055:49, when the pilot was handed off from SoCal TRACON to Los Angeles Center, the pilot checked in with the Center ". . . level at one one thousand." At 1057:28, the pilot asked the Center controller "what altitude you showing us at" to which the controller responded "not receiving your mode C right now sir." At 1057:37, the pilot transmitted "o k we'd like to climb to vfr on top, our uh altimeter just went down to uh fifty three hundred." The controller approved the pilot's request to climb to VFR conditions on-top and, at 1057:54, the pilot responded "roger we're out." No further transmissions were received from the aircraft. The airplane was equipped with a single instrument static pressure system with two heated static ports. The static system and static system instruments were damaged or destroyed by impact and post-crash fire sufficiently to preclude post-accident testing.
Probable cause:
Total blockage of the instrument static system due to ice.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 500 Citation I in Rawlins

Date & Time: Jul 24, 1998 at 2208 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-FSKC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Winnipeg – Rawlins – Santa Ana
MSN:
500-0018
YOM:
1972
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5750
Captain / Total hours on type:
1000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
11163
Circumstances:
The captain said the airplane felt 'sluggish' during the takeoff roll. At V1/Vr, the airplane was rotated for liftoff. It climbed 10 feet, 'shuddered,' and sank. The captain elected to abort the takeoff. He landed the airplane on the runway, applied brakes and deployed the drag chute. The drag chute separated and the airplane went off the runway, down a hill, through a fence, across a road and grassy area, across another road, through a chain link fence, and collided with a power pole. The captain said they had calculated the takeoff performance using inappropriate tables, and failed to consider the wet runway and wind shift. The drag chute riser fractured at a point where it passed through a lightning hole. The lightning hole bore no evidence of a nylon grommet having been installed.
Probable cause:
The captain's use of improper airplane performance data, resulting in inadequate takeoff capability. Factors were his decision to abort the takeoff above V1, the separation of the drag chute, a wet runway, a tailwind, and collision with objects that included two fences and a power pole.
Final Report:

Crash of a Canadian Vickers PBV-1A Canso A in the San Vicente Reservoir

Date & Time: Aug 1, 1997 at 1500 LT
Registration:
N322FA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Santa Ana - Santa Ana
MSN:
CV-560
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
10200
Captain / Total hours on type:
160.00
Aircraft flight hours:
17427
Circumstances:
After touching down to scoop another load of water, the pilot added power and the aircraft pitched forward. The pilot heard a pop and felt a sudden decelerative force. When the nose began to bowsuck, he applied more back pressure but the aircraft did not respond. The floor split open and water began rushing into the cockpit. The left nose gear door locking pin was found separated from its hydraulic actuator. It displayed a bend that corresponded to its retracted position in the pin guide. The deformation prevented investigators from reinserting the damaged pin back through the guide. The left mycarta block remained attached to the door and did not exhibit any damage.
Probable cause:
The implosion of the unlocked left nose gear door which resulted in the hydraulic disintegration of the forward fuselage. The cause of the locking pin actuator malfunction was not determined.
Final Report:

Crash of a Morane-Saulnier M.S.760 Paris II in Santa Ana: 3 killed

Date & Time: Nov 30, 1996 at 1307 LT
Registration:
N2TE
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
5
YOM:
1958
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
2169
Captain / Total hours on type:
201.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3334
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed the air traffic control tower declaring an emergency and stating his intent to return for landing. He stated that he had taken off with an external boarding ladder attached to the aircraft. Several witnesses reported that the aircraft's downwind leg was too close to the airport causing the aircraft to overshoot the turn to the final approach course, and that the pilot increased the aircraft's bank angle as he tried to align the aircraft with the landing runway. As the aircraft was intercepting the final approach course, it abruptly rolled inverted, the nose dropped, and the aircraft spiraled onto the roof of an industrial building. A Boeing 757 aircraft, landing on the same runway, had passed over the accident site 2 minutes and 17 seconds earlier. The B-757 was cleared to land before the accident aircraft received a takeoff clearance and was on the runway when the pilot declared the emergency and turned downwind. The local controller did not issue a wake turbulence advisory. Experienced MS760 pilots reported that the aircraft will exhibit no adverse performance or safety affects with the boarding ladder attached.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed margin while maneuvering in a steep banked turn to the landing runway, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Factors in the accident were: the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection of the aircraft in that he departed with the boarding ladder attached to the aircraft's exterior; the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning in that he flew a traffic pattern so close to the runway that it required excessive bank angles to align the aircraft with the landing runway; and the aircraft's probable encounter with the periphery of a weakened B-757 wake turbulence, which increased the wing's angle of attack beyond the stall point at a critical point during a steep banked turn.
Final Report:

Crash of an IAI-1124 Westwind II in Santa Ana: 5 killed

Date & Time: Dec 15, 1993 at 1733 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N309CK
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
La Verne - Santa Ana
MSN:
350
YOM:
1991
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
8228
Captain / Total hours on type:
756.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3027
Circumstances:
A Beech liner, Boeing 757 and Israel Westwind (WW) were vectored for landings on runway 19R. The 757 and WW were sequenced for visual approaches behind the Beech. Before being cleared for visual approach, the WW was closing 3.5 miles from the 757 on a converging course. The 757 and WW crews were told to slow to 150 knots. The 757 slowed below 150 knots and was high on final approach with a 5.6° descent. The WW continued to converge to about 2.1 miles behind the 757 on a 3° approach. ATC did not specifically advise, and was not required by ATC handbook to advise, the WW pilots that they were behind a Boeing 757. Captain discussed possible wake turbulence, flew ILS 1 dot high, noted closeness to the 757 and indicated there should be no problem. While descending thru approximately 1,100 feet msl, the WW encountered wake turbulence from the 757, rolled into a steep descent and crashed. The crew lacked specific wake turbulence training. Chlorpheniramine (common over-the-counter anti-histamine; not approved for flying) detected in pilot's lung tissue (0.094 ug/ml).
Probable cause:
The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain adequate separation behind the Boeing 757 and/or remain above its flight path during the approach, which resulted in an encounter with wake vortices from the 757. Factors related to the accident were: an inadequacy in the ATC procedure related to visual approaches and VFR operations behind heavier airplanes, and the resultant lack of information to the Westwind pilots for them to determine the relative flight path of their airplane with respect to the boeing 757's flight path.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-61 Aerostar (Ted Smith 601) in Santa Ana: 5 killed

Date & Time: Mar 31, 1989 at 0835 LT
Operator:
Registration:
C-GWPS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Santa Ana – Pocatello – Camrose
MSN:
61-0522-219
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
1490
Captain / Total hours on type:
243.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1908
Circumstances:
Several mechanic witnesses at the airport said the right engine backfired and trailed black smoke during the takeoff ground roll. Reportedly, the takeoff roll was about 80% longer than normal. Witnesses said the aircraft staggered off the ground, was slow and never got above 100 feet agl. The pilot reported to the tower that the flight had to come back to the runway. Shortly thereafter, witnesses saw the aircraft enter a steep left turn, apparently stall, then crash into some tennis courts. An investigation revealed evidence that the right engine had lost power. A modification kit for the fuel injector reference air lines was incorrectly installed and allowed an unfiltered air source. Spectral analysis of residue (from the right engine turbocharger compressor) revealed that it had the same composition as the alternate air door seal. Traces of the material were found in the fuel injector reference air line. All five occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Failure of the pilot to attain adequate airspeed before maneuvering (turning) back toward the airport, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control. A factor related to the accident was: improper maintenance/installation of a fuel injector reference air line, which allowed contamination of the injectors and loss of power in the right engine.
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: