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Crash of a Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster in La Crosse: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 17, 2020 at 0919 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N274PM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Hays
MSN:
208B-0705
YOM:
1998
Flight number:
PMS1670
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On March 17, 2020, about 0919 central daylight time (CDT), a Cessna 208B, N274PM, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident about 7 nautical miles northwest of La Crosse, Kansas. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 on-demand cargo flight. The Planemasters Ltd. flight, PMS1670, was being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan from Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas, to Hays Regional Airport (HYS), Hays, Kansas. A review of Federal Aviation Administration preliminary air traffic control (ATC) communications and commercially available radar and Automatic Dependent SurveillanceBroadcast data revealed that the flight departed ICT about 0751 CDT. At 0825, the HYS automated weather observation service (AWOS) was reporting, in part, winds from 080° at 11 knots, visibility 1 statute mile, and overcast clouds at 200 ft above ground level. About 0831, the radar and ADS-B data were lost as the airplane descended through 4,000 ft while being vectored for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 34. Shortly thereafter, the pilot executed a missed approach, and about 0843, the airplane was re-acquired by radar and ADS-B. The pilot stated to ATC his intention to attempt the ILS approach to runway 34 a second time. At 0841, the HYS AWOS indicated that visibility had dropped to ¼ statute mile in fog. About 0853, radar and ADS-B data were again lost as the airplane descended on the instrument approach. About 0859, the airplane was re-acquired by radar northwest of HYS. At that time, the pilot stated his intention to divert to Great Bend Airport (GBD), Great Bend, Kansas. A review of radar and ADS-B data showed the airplane begin a turn to the south toward GBD while climbing to about 7,000 ft. About 0918, the airplane began a descent and left turn. The last radar and ADS-B targets were observed about 0918:48. The wreckage was discovered in a field about 0945. The airplane's tail and wings were visible above ground, with the forward fuselage and engine section buried several feet under the terrain, consistent with a near-vertical, high-speed impact. The main landing gear was bent aft towards the tail with the left and right main wheel protruding from the ground. The smell of Jet-A fuel was present at the accident site.

Crash of a Beechcraft B200 Super King Air in Wichita: 4 killed

Date & Time: Oct 30, 2014 at 0948 LT
Registration:
N52SZ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita – Mena
MSN:
BB-1686
YOM:
1999
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
3139
Aircraft flight hours:
6314
Aircraft flight cycles:
7257
Circumstances:
The airline transport pilot was departing for a repositioning flight. During the initial climb, the pilot declared an emergency and stated that the airplane "lost the left engine." The airplane climbed to about 120 ft above ground level, and witnesses reported seeing it in a left turn with the landing gear extended. The airplane continued turning left and descended into a building on the airfield. A postimpact fired ensued and consumed a majority of the airplane. Postaccident examinations of the airplane, engines, and propellers did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Neither propeller was feathered before impact. Both engines exhibited multiple internal damage signatures consistent with engine operation at impact. Engine performance calculations using the preimpact propeller blade angles (derived from witness marks on the preload plates) and sound spectrum analysis revealed that the left engine was likely producing low to moderate power and that the right engine was likely producing moderate to high power when the airplane struck the building. A sudden, uncommanded engine power loss without flameout can result from a fuel control unit failure or a loose compressor discharge pressure (P3) line; thermal damage prevented a full assessment of the fuel control units and P3 lines. Although the left engine was producing some power at the time of the accident, the investigation could not rule out the possibility that a sudden left engine power loss, consistent with the pilot's report, occurred. A sideslip thrust and rudder study determined that, during the last second of the flight, the airplane had a nose-left sideslip angle of 29°. It is likely that the pilot applied substantial left rudder input at the end of the flight. Because the airplane's rudder boost system was destroyed, the investigation could not determine if the system was on or working properly during the accident flight. Based on the available evidence, it is likely that the pilot failed to maintain lateral control of the airplane after he reported a problem with the left engine. The evidence also indicates that the pilot did not follow the emergency procedures for an engine failure during takeoff, which included retracting the landing gear and feathering the propeller. Although the pilot had a history of anxiety and depression, which he was treating with medication that he had not reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, analysis of the pilot's autopsy and medical records found no evidence suggesting that either his medical conditions or the drugs he was taking to treat them contributed to his inability to safely control the airplane in an emergency situation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain lateral control of the airplane after a reduction in left engine power and his application of inappropriate rudder input. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to follow the emergency procedures for an engine failure during takeoff. Also contributing to the accident was the left engine power reduction for reasons that could not be determined because a postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation and thermal damage precluded a complete examination.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 500 Citation in Derby: 2 killed

Date & Time: Oct 18, 2013 at 1017 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N610ED
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - New Braunfels
MSN:
500-0241
YOM:
1975
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2605
Captain / Total hours on type:
1172.00
Aircraft flight hours:
7560
Circumstances:
After climbing to and leveling at 15,000 feet, the airplane departed controlled flight, descended rapidly in a nose-down vertical dive, and impacted terrain; an explosion and postaccident fire occurred. Evidence at the accident site revealed that most of the wreckage was located in or near a single impact crater; however, the outer portion of the left wing impacted the ground about 1/2 mile from the main wreckage. Following the previous flight, the pilot reported to a maintenance person in another state that he had several malfunctioning flight instruments, including the autopilot, the horizontal situation indicator, and the artificial horizon gyros. The pilot, who was not a mechanic, had maintenance personnel replace the right side artificial horizon gyro but did not have any other maintenance performed at that time. The pilot was approved under an FAA exemption to operate the airplane as a single pilot; however, the exemption required that all equipment must be operational, including a fully functioning autopilot, flight director, and gyroscopic flight instruments. Despite the malfunctioning instruments, the pilot chose to take off and fly in instrument meteorological conditions. At the time of the loss of control, the airplane had just entered an area with supercooled large water droplets and severe icing, which would have affected the airplane's flying characteristics. At the same time, the air traffic controller provided the pilot with a radio frequency change, a change in assigned altitude, and a slight routing change. It is likely that these instructions increased the pilot's workload as the airplane began to rapidly accumulate structural icing. Because of the malfunctioning instruments, it is likely that the pilot became disoriented while attempting to maneuver and maintain control of the airplane as the ice accumulated, which led to a loss of control.
Probable cause:
The airplane's encounter with severe icing conditions, which resulted in structural icing, and the pilot's increased workload and subsequent disorientation while maneuvering in instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions with malfunctioning flight instruments, which led to the subsequent loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to takeoff in IFR conditions and fly a single-pilot operation without a functioning autopilot and with malfunctioning flight instruments.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster in Wichita: 1 killed

Date & Time: Nov 6, 2012 at 0745 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N793FE
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Garden City
MSN:
208B-0291
YOM:
1991
Flight number:
FDX8588
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
15200
Aircraft flight hours:
10852
Circumstances:
The aircraft was substantially damaged when it collided with a hedgerow during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The loss of engine power occurred about 4-1/2 minutes after departing Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Federal Express Corporation and operated by Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cargo flight that had the intended destination of Garden City Regional Airport (GCK), Garden City, Kansas. According to air traffic control transmissions, at 0734:35 (hhmm:ss), the pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from ICT to GCK. Radar track data indicated that the airplane departed runway 19R approximately 0737:45. At 0738:18, the tower controller told the pilot to change to the departure control frequency. The departure controller then cleared the flight to proceed direct to GCK and to climb to 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued to climb on a westerly heading until 0742:02, at which time the airplane began a left 180-degree turn back toward the departure airport. According to radar data, the airplane had reached 4,700 ft msl when it began the left turn. At 0742:13, the pilot transmitted that his airplane had experienced a loss of engine power and that he was attempting to return to the departure airport. At 0742:31, the pilot asked if there were any nearby airports because he was unable to reach ICT. The departure controller provided vectors toward an airstrip that was approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the airplane's position. At 0743:46, the pilot advised that he could not see the airstrip because the airplane's windshield was contaminated with oil. At 0744:57, the pilot's final transmission was that he was landing in a grass field. The airplane was located about 2.2 miles south of ICT at 1,600 feet msl, about 300 feet above ground level (agl) at the time of the last transmission. The radar data continued northeast another 1/2 mile before radar contact was lost at 0745:15. A witness to the accident reported that he was outside his residence when he observed the accident airplane overfly his position. He recalled that the airplane's propeller was not rotating and that he did not hear the sound of the engine operating. He stated that the airplane landed in a nearby agricultural field on a northeast heading. He reported that during the landing rollout the airplane impacted a hedgerow located at the northern edge of the field. The witness indicated that the pilot was unresponsive when he arrived at the accident site and that there was a small grass fire located 8 to 10 feet in front of the main wreckage.
Probable cause:
The total loss of engine power as a result of a fractured compressor turbine blade due to high-cycle fatigue.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B90 King Air in Dodge City: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 17, 2004 at 0257 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N777KU
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Dodge City
MSN:
LJ-377
YOM:
1968
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
3066
Captain / Total hours on type:
666.00
Aircraft flight hours:
9005
Circumstances:
The emergency medical services (EMS) airplane was destroyed by terrain impact and post impact fire about 7 nautical miles (nm) west of its destination airport, Dodge City Regional Airport (DDC), Dodge City, Kansas. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight departed the Wichita Mid-Continental Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas, about 0215 central standard time and was en route to DDC. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed when the accident occurred about 0257 central standard time. The flight had been on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, but the pilot cancelled the IFR flight plan about 34 nm east of DDC and initiated a descent under visual flight rules. Radar track data indicated that the airplane maintained a magnetic course of about 265 degrees during the flight from ICT to DDC. The rate of descent was about 850 to 950 feet per minute. During the descent, the airplane flew past the airport on a 270 degree course. Witnesses in the area reported hearing the engine noise of a low-flying airplane followed by the sound of impact. One of the witnesses described the engine noise as sounding like the engines were at "full throttle." The on-site inspection revealed that the airplane impacted the terrain in a gear-up, wings-level attitude. The inspection of the airplane revealed no anomalies to the airframe or engines. A review of the pilot's 72-hour history before the accident revealed that it had been 14 hours and 32 minutes from the time the pilot reported for duty about 1225 central standard time until the time of the accident. It had been 20 hours 57 minutes from the time the pilot awoke (0600) on the morning before the accident until the time of the accident. No evidence of pilot impairment due to carbon monoxide, drugs, or medical incapacitation was found. The accident occurred during a time of day that was well past the pilot's normal bedtime and also at a time of day when the physiological need to sleep is especially strong. The findings from a Safety Board's human performance analysis indicates that the pilot was likely fatigued. A review of 14 CFR 135.267 indicated that the pilot had adhered to the flight time limitations and rest requirements specified in the regulation.
Probable cause:
The pilot failed to maintain clearance with terrain due to pilot fatigue (lack of sleep).
Final Report:

Crash of a Canadair CL-604-2B16 Challenger in Wichita: 3 killed

Date & Time: Oct 10, 2000 at 1452 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-FTBZ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Wichita
MSN:
5991
YOM:
1994
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
6159
Captain / Total hours on type:
189.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
6540
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1
Aircraft flight hours:
1226
Circumstances:
On October 10, 2000, at 1452 central daylight time, a Canadair Challenger CL-600-2B16 (CL604) (Canadian registration C-FTBZ and operated by Bombardier Incorporated) was destroyed on impact with terrain and postimpact fire during initial climb from runway 19R at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an experimental test flight. The pilot and flight test engineer were killed. The copilot was seriously injured and died 36 days later.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s excessive takeoff rotation, during an aft center of gravity (c.g.) takeoff, a rearward migration of fuel during acceleration and takeoff and consequent shift in the airplane’s aft c.g. to aft of the aft c.g. limit, which caused the airplane to stall at an altitude too low for recovery. Contributing to the accident were Bombardier’s inadequate flight planning procedures for the Challenger flight test program and the lack of direct, on-site operational oversight by Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne I near Baker: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 8, 1998 at 1149 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N6JM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Santa Rosa - Wichita
MSN:
31-7904011
YOM:
1979
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
2950
Aircraft flight hours:
4821
Circumstances:
The pilot had filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan for 25,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), and he amended it to 27,000 feet MSL en route. About 36 minutes after the altitude change to 27,000 feet, the pilot advised air traffic control (ATC) that he had lost cabin pressurization and needed an immediate descent. About 20 seconds later he was cleared to 25,000 feet, then 15 seconds later to 15,000 feet. Shortly after the pilot acknowledged the lower altitudes, the radio communications deteriorated to microphone clicks with no carrier. The aircraft started a shallow descent with slight heading changes, then was observed to make a rapid descent into desert terrain. About 10 months prior to the accident the aircraft had been inspected in accordance with the Piper Cheyenne Progressive Inspection 100-hour Cycle, event No. 1. According to the servicing agency, the aircraft inspection was completed and the aircraft was returned to service with a 12,500 feet MSL altitude restriction due to unresolved oxygen system issues. The last oxygen bottle hydrostatic check noted on the bottle was October 1989. The oxygen system was in need of required maintenance and the masks were in a rotted condition. The pilot failed to report his severe coronary artery disease condition, medications, and other conditions to his FAA medical examiner for the required flight physical.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to comply with a 12,500-foot altitude restriction placed on the aircraft by an FAA approved maintenance facility due to unresolved oxygen system issues. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to divulge his true physical condition and need for medication during his application for an Airman Medical Certificate.
Final Report:

Crash of a Swearingen SA226TC Metro II in Des Moines

Date & Time: Aug 19, 1997 at 2221 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N224AM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wichita - Des Moines
MSN:
TC-227
YOM:
1977
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2436
Captain / Total hours on type:
93.00
Aircraft flight hours:
51119
Circumstances:
During a landing approach, the pilot noted that the right engine remained at a high power setting, when he moved the power levers to reduce power. He executed a missed approach and had difficulty keeping the airplane straight and level. The pilot maneuvered for a second approach to land. After landing, he could not maintain directional control of the airplane and tried to go around, but the airplane went off the end of the runway and impacted the localizer antenna. The pilot did not advise ATC of the problem nor did he declare an emergency. The Pilot's Operating Handbook stated that for a power plant control malfunction, the affected engine should be shut down, and a single engine landing should be made. The power control cable was found disconnected from the anchoring point. A safety tab was broken off the housing, allowing it to unscrew. About one month before the accident, maintenance had been performed on the right engine to correct a discrepancy about the right engine power lever being stiff. The mechanic re-rigged the right engine power cable.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper in-flight planning/decision and failure to perform the emergency procedure for shut-down of the right engine. Factors relating to the accident were: the power lever cable became disconnected from the fuel control unit, due to improper maintenance; and reduced directional control of the airplane, when one engine remained at a high power setting.
Final Report:

Crash of a Canadair RegionalJet CRJ-100ER in Byers: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jul 26, 1993 at 1352 LT
Operator:
Registration:
C-FCRJ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Wichita
MSN:
7001
YOM:
1991
Location:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
3836
Captain / Total hours on type:
875.00
Aircraft flight hours:
771
Aircraft flight cycles:
800
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a lateral and directional stability test. Changes from earlier tests combined new leading edge fairing, new flap setting, lower reference airspeed, and trial settings for the stall protection system (shaker and pusher). Engineers had briefed the crew data would be sufficient if the steady heading sideslip (shss) maneuver ended at a 15° sideslip, or at onset of stall warning; crew agreed to end at stall warning. During the test the capt continued past stall warning to 21° sideslip at full rudder. The airplane rolled rapidly through 360 deg° and entered a deep stall. The copilot attempted to deploy the anti-spin chute. However, all the chute system cockpit switches were not properly preset; instead of assisting recovery, the chute parted from the airplane. Full control was not regained before impact. The chute system design allowed deployment of the chute even when the hyd lock switch was in the unlocked position and the hooks clasping the chute shackle to the airframe were open. System tested ok before flight. All three crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The captain's failure to adhere to the agreed upon flight test plan for ending the test maneuver at the onset of prestall stick shaker, and the flightcrew's failure to assure that all required switches were properly positioned for anti-spin chute deployment. A factor which contributed to the accident was the inadequate design of the anti-spin chute system which allowed deployment of the chute with the hydraulic lock switch in the unlocked position. (When in the unlocked position, the hooks clasping the chute shackle to the airframe are open).
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 690 in Wichita: 2 killed

Date & Time: Nov 2, 1991 at 1206 LT
Registration:
N799V
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Wichita - Phoenix
MSN:
690-11407
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
4900
Captain / Total hours on type:
1078.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3480
Circumstances:
The pilot and his wife departed Wichita, Kansas with a destination of Phoenix, Arizona. Eight minutes after takeoff, while in a climb to 15,000 feet, the passenger contacted departure control and communicated that she thought that her husband might be dead. While departure control was getting a pilot to assist in the situation, the passenger, who was not a pilot attempted to fly the aircraft. A witness reported a rapid series of climbs and descents just before both horizontal stabilizers and the rudder separated from the aircraft. The aircraft then entered a spin terminating with ground impact. The aircraft was consumed by a post-crash fire. Both occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Incapacitation of the pilot in command, followed by the loss of control and an inflight breakup with a unqualified person on the controls.
Final Report: