Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 NGX in the Pacific Ocean

Date & Time: Nov 6, 2020 at 1600 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N400PW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Santa Maria - Hilo
MSN:
2003
YOM:
2020
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On November 6, 2020, about 1600 Pacific standard time, a Pilatus PC-12, N400PW, was substantially damaged when it was ditched in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. The two pilots sustained no injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 ferry flight. According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), who was also the ferry company owner, he and another pilot were ferrying a new airplane from California to Australia. The first transoceanic leg was planned for 10 hours from Santa Maria Airport (KSMX), Santa Maria, California to Hilo Airport (PHTO), Hilo, Hawaii. The manufacturer had an auxiliary ferry fuel line and check valve installed in the left wing before delivery. About 1 month before the trip, the pilot hired a ferry company to install an internal temporary ferry fuel system for the trip. The crew attempted the first transoceanic flight on November 2, but the ferry fuel system did not transfer properly, so the crew diverted to Merced Airport (KMCE), Merced, California. The system was modified with the addition of two 30 psi fuel transfer pumps that could overcome the ferry system check valve. The final system consisted of 2 aluminum tanks, 2 transfer pumps, transfer and tank valves, and associated fuel lines and fittings. The ferry fuel supply line was connected to the factory installed ferry fuel line fitting at the left wing bulkhead, which then fed directly to the main fuel line through a check valve and directly to the turbine engine. The installed system was ground and flight checked before the trip. According to Federal Aviation Administration automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) data, the airplane departed KSMX about 1000. The pilots each stated that the ferry fuel system worked as designed during the flight and they utilized the operating procedures that were supplied by the installer. About 5 hours after takeoff, approaching ETNIC intersection, the PIC climbed the airplane to flight level 280. At that time, the rear ferry fuel tank was almost empty, and the forward tank was about 1/2 full. The crew was concerned about introducing air into the engine as they emptied the rear ferry tank, so the PIC placed the ignition switch to ON. According to the copilot (CP), she went to the cabin to monitor the transparent fuel line from the transfer pumps to ensure positive fuel flow while she transferred the last of the available rear tank fuel to the main fuel line. When she determined that all of the usable fuel was transferred, and fuel still remained in the pressurized fuel line, she turned the transfer pumps to off and before she could access the transfer and tank valves, the engine surged and flamed out. The PIC stated that the crew alerting system (CAS) fuel low pressure light illuminated about 5 to 15 seconds after the transfer pumps were turned off, and then the engine lost power and the propeller auto feathered. The PIC immediately placed the fuel boost pumps from AUTO to ON. The CP went back to her crew seat and they commenced the pilot operating handbook’s emergency checklist procedures for emergency descent and then loss of engine power in flight. According to both crew members, they attempted an engine air start. The propeller unfeathered and the engine started; however, it did not reach flight idle and movement of the power control lever did not affect the engine. The crew secured the engine and attempted another air start. The engine did not restart and grinding sounds and a loud bang were heard. The propeller never unfeathered and multiple CAS warning lights illuminated, including the EPECS FAIL light (Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System). The crew performed the procedures for a restart with EPECS FAIL light and multiple other starts that were unsuccessful. There were no flames nor smoke from either exhaust pipe during the air start attempts. About 8,000 ft mean sea level, the crew committed to ditching in the ocean. About 1600, after preparing the survival gear, donning life vests, and making mayday calls on VHF 121.5, the PIC performed a full flaps gear up landing at an angle to the sea swells and into the wind. He estimated that the swells were 5 to 10 ft high with crests 20 feet apart. During the landing, the pilot held back elevator pressure for as long as possible and the airplane landed upright. The crew evacuated through the right over wing exit and boarded the 6 man covered life raft. A photograph of the airplane revealed that the bottom of the rudder was substantially damaged. The airplane remained afloat after landing. The crew utilized a satellite phone to communicate with Oakland Center. The USCG coordinated a rescue mission. About 4 hours later, a C-130 arrived on scene and coordinated with a nearby oil tanker, the M/V Ariel, for rescue of the crew. According to the pilots, during the night, many rescue attempts were made by the M/V Ariel; however, the ship was too fast for them to grab lines and the seas were too rough. After a night of high seas, the M/V Ariel attempted rescue again; however, they were unsuccessful. That afternoon, a container ship in the area, the M/V Horizon Reliance, successfully maneuvered slowly to the raft, then the ship’s crew shot rope cannons that propelled lines to the raft, and they were able to assist the survivors onboard. The pilots had been in the raft for about 22 hours. The airplane was a new 2020 production PC-12 47E with a newly designed Pratt and Whitney PT6E-67XP engine which featured an Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System. The airplane is presumed to be lost at sea. The investigation is ongoing.

Crash of a PZL-Mielec AN-2R into the Baltic Sea: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 16, 2015 at 1520 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
LY-AET
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Stauning – Kattleberg – Klaipėda
MSN:
1G192-07
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a delivery flight from Stauning (Denmark) to Klaipėda with an intermediate stop in Kattleberg, Sweden. Recently acquired by the company for agricultural purposes, the single engine aircraft left Kattleberg Airfield at 1312LT with an ETA in Klaipėda at 1720LT. En route, the crew informed ATC about the situation at 1516LT and four minutes later, the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances into the Baltic Sea, 116 km off the Lithuanian coast. The crew of a Lithuanian Marine vessel located the wreckage three days later, at a deep of 124 meters and 116 km off shore. No trace of the crew was found.

Crash of a Beechcraft 1900C-1 off Sao Tomé: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 7, 2013 at 1613 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
ZS-PHL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Johannesburg - Windhoek - Libreville - Accra - Bamako
MSN:
UC-74
YOM:
1989
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Pilot was performing a delivery flight from Johannesburg to Bamako, Mali, with intermediate stops in Windhoek, Libreville and Accra. While approaching Libreville, pilot decided to divert to Sao Tome due to poor weather conditions. As it was approaching Sao Tome archipelago, aircraft disappeared from radar screens and crashed into the sea, some 14 km off shore. No trace of the aircraft nor the pilot was found and SAR were suspended. On 16APR, authorities confirmed they did not found any trace of the pilot. Weather was poor over Sao Tomé.

Crash of a Beechcraft C90GTi King Air off Oranjestad

Date & Time: Apr 3, 2012 at 0920 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N8116L
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wichita - Fort Lauderdale - Willemstad - Belo Horizonte
MSN:
LJ-2042
YOM:
2011
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
11700
Captain / Total hours on type:
2600.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3649
Copilot / Total hours on type:
33
Aircraft flight hours:
14
Circumstances:
On April 3, 2012, about 0920 atlantic standard time (ast), a Hawker Beechcraft C90GTx, N8116L, operated by Lider Taxi Aereo, was substantially damaged after ditching in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, 17 miles north of Aruba, following a dual loss of engine power during cruise. The flight departed Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was destined for Hato International Airport (TNCC), Willemstad, Curacao. The airline transport pilot and the pilot rated passenger were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan was filed for the delivery flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The Amsterdam arrived at the ditching location at 1120. The airplane was partially submerged. The crew of the Amsterdam attempted to prevent the airplane from sinking by placing a cable around it and hoisting it onboard. However during the attempted recovery, the fuselage broke in half and the airplane sank.
Probable cause:
Review of the fuel ticket revealed that the misspelled words; "Top Neclles" was handwritten on it. It was also signed by the pilot. Further review revealed that only 25 gallons had been uploaded to the airplane, and this number had been entered in the box labeled "TOTAL GALLONS DELIVERED". Review of the start reading and end reading from the truck meter also concurred with this amount. Furthermore, It was discovered that the "134 gallons" that the pilot believed had been uploaded to the airplane was in fact the employee number of the fueler that had topped off the nacelle tanks and had entered his employee number on the "FUEL DEL BY:" line. Utilizing the information contained on the fuel ticket, it was determined that the airplane had departed with only 261 gallons of fuel on-board. Review of performance data in the POH/AFM revealed that in order to complete the flight the airplane would have needed to depart with 328 gallons on-board.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Aero Commander 500S in Rankin Inlet

Date & Time: Jul 18, 2010 at 1330 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N5800H
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Portland - Rankin Inlet - Iqaluit - Bern
MSN:
3082
YOM:
1970
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
23100
Captain / Total hours on type:
40.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5400
Copilot / Total hours on type:
13
Circumstances:
The Aero Commander 500S had recently been purchased. The new owner of the aircraft retained the services of 2 experienced pilots to deliver the aircraft from Portland, Oregon, United States, to Bern, Switzerland. After having flown several positioning legs, the aircraft arrived at Rankin Inlet for refuelling. The aircraft was refuelled from two 45-gallon drums and was to continue on to Iqaluit, Nunavut. The pilot-in-command occupied the right seat and the pilot flying the aircraft occupied the left seat. The aircraft was at its maximum takeoff weight of 7000 pounds. Prior to take off, the crew conducted a run-up and all indications seemed normal. During the takeoff roll, the engines did not produce full power and the crew elected to reject the takeoff. After returning to the ramp, a second run-up was completed and once again all indications seemed normal. Shortly after second rotation, cylinder head temperatures increased and both Lycoming TIO-540-E1B5 engines began to lose power. The pilots attempted to return to the airport, but were unable to maintain altitude. The landing gear was extended and a forced landing was made on a flat section of land, approximately 1500 feet to the southwest of the runway 13 threshold. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained substantial damage.
Probable cause:
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors:
1. At the fuel compound, the 45-gallon drum containing slops was located near the stock of sealed 45-gallon drums of 100LL AVGAS, contributing to the fuel handler selecting the drum of slops in error.
2. The 45-gallon drum of slops had similar markings to the stock of sealed 45-gallon drums of 100LL AVGAS, preventing ready identification of the contaminated drum.
3. The fuel handler did not notice that the large bung plug was not sealed on the second 45-gallon drum and, as a result, delivered the drum of slops to the aircraft.
4. The pilots did not notice that the large bung plug was not sealed on the second 45-gallon drum and, as a result, fuelled the aircraft with contaminated fuel.
5. The pilots were inexperienced with refuelling from 45-gallon drums and did not take steps to ascertain the proper fuel grade in the second 45-gallon drum. As a result, slops, rather than 100LL AVGAS, was pumped into the aircraft’s fuel system.
6. The fuel system design was such that the fuel from both wing fuel cells combined in the centre fuel cell and, as a result, contaminated fuel was fed to both engines.
7. The contaminated fuel resulted in engine power loss in both engines and the aircraft was unable to maintain altitude after takeoff.
Finding as to Risk:
1. The impact force angles were substantially different from that of the ELT’s G-switch orientation. As a result, the ELT did not activate during the impact. This could have delayed search and rescue (SAR) notification.
Final Report:

Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 in Santa Fe: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 29, 2008 at 2216 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N606SL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
New York - Lubbock - Santa Fe
MSN:
1020
YOM:
2008
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2437
Captain / Total hours on type:
86.00
Aircraft flight hours:
130
Circumstances:
The pilot was approaching his home airport under dark night conditions. He reported that he was five miles from the airport and adjusted the airport lighting several times. He made no further radio calls, though his normal practice was to report his position several times as he proceeded in the landing pattern. The airplane approached the airport from the southeast in a descent, continued past the airport, and adjusted its course slightly to the left. One witness reported observing the airplane enter a left turn, then pitch down, and descend at a steep angle. The airplane impacted terrain in a steep left bank and cart wheeled. An examination of the airframe, airplane systems, and engine revealed no pre-impact anomalies. Flight control continuity was confirmed. The pilot had flown eight hours and 30 minutes on the day of the accident, crossing two time zones, and had been awake for no less than 17 hours when the accident occurred. The accident occurred at a time of day after midnight in the pilot's departure time zone. Post-accident toxicology testing revealed doxylamine and amphetamine in the pilot's tissues. The pilot had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) almost five years prior to the accident and had taken prescription amphetamines for the disorder since that diagnosis. The FAA does not medically certify pilots who require medication for the control of ADHD. At the time of the accident, the pilot's blood level of amphetamines may have been falling, and he may have been increasingly fatigued and distracted. The use of doxylamine (an over-the-counter antihistamine, often used as a sleep aid) could suggest that the pilot was having difficulty sleeping.
Probable cause:
The pilot's incapacitation due to fatigue resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing 737-200 in Toacaso: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2008 at 2150 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
YV102T
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Caracas-Latacunga
MSN:
21545/525
YOM:
1978
Country:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:

While descending to Latacunga airport by night, the aircraft crashed in a mountainous terrain. Rescue teams located debris the day after and all three crew members were killed. The aircraft was delivered from Caracas to a new owner based in Latacunga.

Crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 in Kaduna: 2 killed

Date & Time: Nov 28, 2005 at 1038 LT
Registration:
N73MW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Farnborough-Paris-Oued Isara-Kaduna-Abuja
MSN:
BB-0022
YOM:
1975
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:

The twin engine aircraft crashed and burned less than one minute after takeoff from Kaduna airport, Nigeria. It seems that one of the engine exploded shortly after takeoff.

Crash of a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle III in El Questro: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2004 at 1200 LT
Operator:
Registration:
HB-LRW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
El Questro – Broome
MSN:
421C-0633
YOM:
1974
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2128
Captain / Total hours on type:
975.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3254
Circumstances:
On 30 August 2004, shortly before 1200 Western Standard Time, the owner-pilot of a twin-engine Cessna Aircraft Company 421C Golden Eagle (C421) aircraft, registered HB-LRW, commenced his takeoff from runway 32 at El Questro Aircraft Landing Area (ALA). The private flight was to Broome, where the pilot intended resuming the aircraft delivery flight from Switzerland to Perth. The available documentation indicated that the flight segments en route to Australia had all been to international or major aerodromes. The pilot of a Cessna Aircraft Company 210 (C210) and his two passengers in the runway 32 parking area witnessed the takeoff. Those witnesses reported that the C421 pilot carried out a pre-flight inspection of the aircraft prior to boarding for the takeoff. During that inspection, he was observed preparing for, and conducting a fuel drain check under the left wing, and to have removed some weed-like material from the right main wheel. He then loaded a small amount of personal luggage into the aircraft cabin, before he and the sole passenger boarded. The C210 pilot witness, who reported having observed a number of twin-engine aircraft operations at another aerodrome, did not comment on the nature of the pilot's start and engines run-up checks. The passenger witnesses reported that the pilot of the C421 made a number of unsuccessful attempts to start the left engine, before reverting to starting the right engine. He then started the left engine and moved the aircraft clear of the C210 in order to conduct his engine run-up checks. The passenger witnesses reported that during those checks they heard a 'frequency vibration' as the C421 pilot manipulated the engines' controls. The witnesses at the parking area reported that the C421 pilot taxied the aircraft onto the runway and applied power to commence a rolling takeoff. They, together with a hearing witness located to the north of the ALA indicated that the engines sounded 'normal' throughout the takeoff. Witnesses who observed the takeoff reported that the aircraft accelerated away 'briskly'. The pilot witness stated that the take-off roll and lift-off from the runway appeared similar to other twin-engine aircraft takeoffs that he had observed. The witnesses at the parking area also stated that, shortly after lift-off from the runway, the aircraft banked slightly to the left at an estimated 10 to 15 degrees angle of bank and drifted left before striking the trees along the side of the runway and impacting the ground. There was no report of any objects falling from the aircraft, or of any smoke or vapour emanating from the aircraft during the takeoff. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and post-impact fire. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.
Probable cause:
For reasons that could not be determined, the aircraft commenced a slight left angle of bank and drifted left after lift-off at a height from which the pilot was unable to recover prior to striking trees to the left of the runway.
Final Report:

Crash of a PZL-Mielec AN-28 in Beni

Date & Time: Jul 29, 2004
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
ES-ELI
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
1AJ002-06
YOM:
1985
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft crashed upon landing, lost its right and came to rest. There were apparently no casualties.