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Crash of a Canadair CL-605 Challenger in Truckee: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 26, 2021 at 1319 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N605TR
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Coeur d'Alene - Truckee
MSN:
5715
YOM:
2008
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
On July 26, 2021, about 1318 pacific daylight time, a Bombardier Inc., CL-600-2B16 airplane, N605TR, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The pilot, co-pilot and 4 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data and preliminary air traffic control (ATC) audio from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane departed Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, about 1145 and made a left turn to the south. The flight crew was in contact with ATC throughout the duration of the flight. As the airplane was passing over northwestern Nevada, ATC began issuing descent instructions for the airplane’s approach into TRK. Once the airplane descended below 26,000 ft, ATC advised the flight crew to expect the RNAV (GPS) Runway 20 approach at TRK. The flight crew accepted the approach, but requested to circle to runway 11 for the longer runway and the controller told them to expect the circling approach. After coordinating with the TRK tower, the controller informed the flight crew that they would be number two for TRK and could expect some delays. ATC then cleared the airplane to hold north of the ALVAA waypoint, the initial approach fix to the RNAV runway 20 approach. After one turn in holding, ATC cleared the airplane for the RNAV runway 20 approach, cancelled radar services, and instructed the pilot to contact the TRK tower. The flight crew established communication with the TRK tower controller when they were near the LUMMO waypoint, located about 9.6 nm north of the approach end of runway 20. The tower controller offered the flight crew the option of crossing over the field and enter the left downwind leg for runway 29 or to enter downwind leg for runway 11. Once the flight crew announced they were making a right turn and reported runway 11 in sight, the controller then cleared them to land on runway 11 and informed them that the airplane was not in sight. The flight crew acknowledged the clearance, which was their final radio communication. Multiple eyewitnesses observed the airplane before the crash. Some reported that the airplane caught their attention because of its low altitude and abnormal flight path into runway 11. According to witnesses, the airplane was in a nose down attitude and steep left turn during its last few seconds of flight. A witness located about 50 ft from the accident site reported that he observed the airplane come from the northwest about 20 ft above the trees. The airplane then entered a steep left turn and banked erratically just before it impacted trees and then the ground. The witnesses close to the accident site stated that the airplane appeared intact when they first observed it. Three surveillance videos captured the accident flight’s final movements and were all consistent with the witness’ recounts. The accident site was located on a hillside between a golf course fairway and a residential street. The airplane was consumed by postcrash fire. A debris path, which measured about 225 ft long and 85 ft wide was marked by several broken trees and was oriented on an easterly heading. The initial point of impact was identified by a severed tree that stood about 70 ft tall, located about 120 ft west of the main wreckage. Portions of the right and left wings and control surfaces were found fragmented along the debris path. Additional airframe fragments were collocated with the main wreckage, which was comprised of both engines, the empennage, and fuselage remnants.

Crash of a Socata TBM-850 in Truckee

Date & Time: Dec 13, 2009 at 1738 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N850MT
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
San Carlos – Truckee
MSN:
489
YOM:
2008
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1738
Captain / Total hours on type:
1098.00
Aircraft flight hours:
196
Circumstances:
During the flight, the instrument-rated private pilot was monitoring the weather at his intended destination. He noted the weather and runway conditions and decided to conduct a global-positioning-system instrument approach to a known closed runway with the intention of circling to a different runway. As the airplane neared the missed approach point, the pilot established visual contact with the airport's runway environment and canceled his instrument flight rules clearance. As he entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern for his intended runway, the pilot noticed that the first part of the runway was covered in fog and that the visibility was 0.75 of a mile with light snow. With at least 5,000 feet of clear runway, he opted to land just beyond the fog. Prior to touchdown, the pilot concluded that there was not enough runway length left to make a landing and performed a go-around by applying power, pitching up, and retracting the landing gear. During the go-around, the pilot focused outside the airplane cockpit but had no horizon reference in the dark night conditions. He heard the stall warning and realized that the aircraft was not climbing. The pilot pitched the nose down and observed only snow and trees ahead. Not being able to climb over the trees, the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain, coming to rest upright in a wooded, snow-covered field. The pilot stated that there were no anomalies with the engine or airframe that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to maintain an adequate airspeed and clearance from terrain during an attempted go-around. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to land on a partially obscured runway.
Final Report:

Crash of a Learjet 35A in Truckee: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 28, 2005 at 1406 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N781RS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Twin Falls - Truckee - Carlsbad - Monterrey
MSN:
35-218
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
4880
Captain / Total hours on type:
2200.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1650
Copilot / Total hours on type:
56
Aircraft flight hours:
9244
Circumstances:
The airplane collided with the ground during a low altitude, steep banked, base-to-final left turn toward the landing runway during a circling instrument approach. The airplane impacted terrain 1/3-mile from the approach end of runway 28, and north of its extended centerline. A witness, located in the airport's administration building, made the following statement regarding his observations: "I saw the aircraft in and out of the clouds in a close base for [runway] 28. I then saw the aircraft emerge from a cloud in a base to final turn [and] it appeared to be approximately 300-400 feet above the ground. The left wing was down nearly 90 degrees. The aircraft appeared north of the [runway 28] centerline. The aircraft pitched nose down approximately 30-40 degrees and appeared to do a 1/2 cartwheel on the ground before exploding." ATC controllers had cleared the airplane to perform a GPS-A (circling) approach. The published weather minimums for category C and D airplanes at the 5,900-foot mean sea level airport was 3 miles visibility, and the minimum descent altitude was 8,200 feet mean sea level (msl). Airport weather observers noted that when the accident occurred, the visibility was between 1 1/2 and 5 miles. Scattered clouds existed at 1,200 feet above ground level (7,100 feet msl), a broken ceiling existed at 1,500 feet agl (7,400 feet msl) and an overcast condition existed at 2,400 feet agl (8,300 feet msl). During the approach, the first officer acknowledged to the controller that he had received the airport's weather. The airplane overflew the airport in a southerly direction, turned east, and entered a left downwind pattern toward runway 28. A 20- to 30-knot gusty surface wind existed from 220 degrees, and the pilot inadequately compensated for the wind during his base leg-to-final approach turning maneuver. The airplane was equipped with Digital Electronic Engine Controls (DEEC) that recorded specific data bits relating to, for example, engine speed, power lever position and time. During the last 4 seconds of recorded data (flight), both of the power levers were positioned from a mid range point to apply takeoff power, and the engines responded accordingly. No evidence was found of any preimpact mechanical malfunction. The operator's flight training program emphasized that during approaches consideration of wind drift is essential, and a circling approach should not be attempted in marginal conditions.
Probable cause:
The pilot's inadequate compensation for the gusty crosswind condition and failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering in a steep turn close to the ground.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft E90 King Air in Reno

Date & Time: Mar 13, 2002 at 1940 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N948CC
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Durango - Truckee
MSN:
LW-236
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1610
Captain / Total hours on type:
608.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8773
Circumstances:
During an instrument approach, upon descending to the prescribed minimum descent altitude, about 1/2 mile from the missed approach point, the pilot failed to maintain flying airspeed. The airplane stalled, rolled left, and in an uncontrolled descent collided with a commercial building 0.96 nm from the runway's displaced threshold. The accident occurred during the return portion of a round trip flight, while on final approach to the pilot's alternate airport due to a weather-induced diversion. Moderate intensity snow showers and freezing fog existed. During the initial approach, the reported visibility was 1 1/2 miles. About the time the pilot passed the final approach fix, the visibility decreased to 1/2 mile, but the pilot was not informed of the decrease below his 1-mile minimum requirement. The pilot had maintained the recommended 140-knot approach speed in the icing conditions until about 3 1/2 miles from the runway. Thereafter, the airplane's speed gradually decreased until reaching about 75 knots. After the airplane started vibrating, the pilot increased engine power, but his action was not timely enough to avert stalling. Company mechanics maintained the airplane. On previous occasions overheat conditions had occurred wherein the environmental ducting melted and heat was conducted to the adjacent pneumatic tube that provides deice air to the empennage boots. During the accident investigation, the deice tube was found completely melted closed, thus rendering all of the empennage deice boots dysfunctional.
Probable cause:
The pilot's inadequate approach airspeed for the existing adverse meteorological conditions followed by his delayed remedial action to avert stalling and subsequent loss of airplane control. Contributing factors were the pilot's reduced visibility due to the inclement weather and the icing conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Socata TBM-700 in Truckee

Date & Time: Mar 13, 1998 at 1900 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N345RD
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Novato - Truckee
MSN:
076
YOM:
1993
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2088
Captain / Total hours on type:
1200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1119
Circumstances:
The pilot was cleared for a GPS approach. He stated that he was too high to make a good landing, so he opted for a circling approach to another runway. As he turned for the base leg, he lost visual contact and became disoriented. It was a dark night with no moon. The pilot realized that he was in a 70- to 80-degree left bank and returned the airplane to a level attitude, then noticed the ground directly in front of him. The aircraft ran through a barbed wire fence, collided with trees, and slid rearward to a stop in a high altitude meadow east of the airport. The FAA completed an evaluation of the circling approach procedures and night operations for that airport and did not find any problems.
Probable cause:
The failure of the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft due to spatial disorientation. A factor was the dark night.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 414 Chancellor in Truckee: 4 killed

Date & Time: Feb 10, 1993 at 0815 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N711LT
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Truckee - Farmington
MSN:
414-0630
YOM:
1975
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
387
Circumstances:
A Cessna 414 collided with a tree in a mountainous residential area about 1 mile from the airport. Instrument meteorological conditions with 1/8 mile visibility prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed, but was not opened. The airplane departed under visual flight rules. The elevation of the collision was about 100 feet higher than the airport. The standard instrument departure procedures for the airport prescribe takeoff minimums of 3,500 foot ceiling and 3 miles visibility. The procedure requires a minimum climb rate of 425 feet per nautical mile, a right turn after takeoff to intercept a 002° radial off a VOR, and a climb to a specified altitude. The airman's information manual recommends that pilots climb to 400 feet agl before turning when executing standard instrument departure under IFR. The airplane was also determined to be about 400 pounds over maximum gross weight at the time of the takeoff. The wreckage examination disclosed no evidence of any pre existing aircraft or engine malfunctions or failures. All four occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The decision of the pilot not to follow instrument flight rule procedures during instrument meteorological conditions and poor preflight planning which resulted in operation of the airplane over the maximum gross weight and reduced performance. Factors in the accident were the foggy weather conditions, and high terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 411 in Chilcoot: 4 killed

Date & Time: Mar 3, 1978 at 1940 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N3212R
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
San Jose - Truckee
MSN:
411-0212
YOM:
1966
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
151
Captain / Total hours on type:
69.00
Circumstances:
While flying in poor weather conditions, the pilot lost control of the airplane that entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in flames in an uninhabited area located in the region of Chilcoot. The aircraft was destroyed and all four occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Uncontrolled descent and subsequent uncontrolled collision with ground after the pilot initiated flight in adverse weather conditions and suffered a spatial disorientation. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Low ceiling,
- IFR flight conditions,
- VFR flight not recommended.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed 18-56 LodeStar in Truckee

Date & Time: Feb 21, 1977 at 1620 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N100GP
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
2571
YOM:
1943
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
7191
Captain / Total hours on type:
15.00
Circumstances:
Just after liftoff, while in initial climb, the twin engine airplane encountered difficulties to gain height. It stall, struck the ground and crashed in flames. Both occupants were injured while the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Stall during initial climb due to inadequate preflight preparation on part of the crew. The following contributing factors were reported:
- Failed to maintain flying speed,
- Airframe ince,
- 12 inches spanwise ice strip on upper wing surface.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-10-DK near Truckee: 4 killed

Date & Time: Oct 26, 1950
Operator:
Registration:
43-49030
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Ogden-Hill - McClellan
MSN:
14846/26291
YOM:
1944
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
En route from Ogden-Hill AFB to McClellan AFB in Sacramento, the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances in an isolated area located in the east part of California. As the aircraft failed to arrive at destination, SAR operations were conducted but eventually suspended few days later as no trace of the aircraft nor the crew was found. In May 1951, a rescue team taking part to the search of two fishermen discovered the wreckage of the airplane into the Lake Independence, about ten miles northwest of Truckee.