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 Shrike 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:
500-3082
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 Beechcraft 100 King Air in Bauru: 1 killed

Date & Time: Oct 12, 2008
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N525ZS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bauru – Sorocaba
MSN:
B-66
YOM:
1971
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Bauru Airport, the twin engine aircraft encountered difficulties to maintain a positive rate of climb. It then descended until it impacted ground about 5 km from the airport. The pilot, sole on board, was killed. He was supposed to deliver the aircraft at Sorocaba Airport.

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 737-291 near Toacaso: 3 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2008 at 2103 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 on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
9018
Captain / Total hours on type:
5915.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
989
Aircraft flight hours:
60117
Aircraft flight cycles:
52091
Circumstances:
The aircraft was parked at Caracas Airport for a while and had just been sold to an Ecuadorian operator. A crew of three departed Caracas-Maiquetía-Simón Bolívar Airport in the evening on a delivery flight to Latacunga, Ecuador. After being cleared to descend to FL180, FL150 then FL130, the crew was flying over a mountainous area when the GPWS alarm sounded. The crew apparently elected to gain height but the alarm sounded for 22 seconds when the aircraft collided with the Iliniza Volcano. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all three occupants were killed. The wreckage was found the following day at an altitude of 3,992 metres.
Probable cause:
Non-compliance by the crew of the technical procedures, configuration, speed and bank angle of the aircraft required for the completion of the initial turn of the Instrument Approach Procedure n°4 published in the AIP Ecuador, to Latacunga Airport, a failure that placed the aircraft outside of the protected area (published pattern), leading to high elevation mountainous terrain.
Contributing factors:
- Ignorance of the crew of the area which was under the approach path.
- Lack of documentation and procedures of the airline that govern the conduct of flights to non-scheduled and special airports.

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II in Zweibrücken: 1 killed

Date & Time: Feb 12, 2007 at 1020 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N160TR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Zweibrücken – Split – Athens
MSN:
31-7920036
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot departed Zweibrücken Airport on a flight to Athens with an intermediate stop in Split as the aircraft should be delivered to its new owner based in Greece. After takeoff from runway 21 at Zweibrücken Airport, while in initial climb, the aircraft deviated to the left while the standard departure route was a straight climb until 7 nm. The pilot was contacted by ATC and reported problems. Shortly later, the altitude of the aircraft fluctuated from 1,500 to 3,200 feet and again, the pilot was contacted by ATC to check the situation. Few seconds later, the aircraft entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in an open field located in Rieschweiler, about 6 km northeast of the airport. The aircraft was totally destroyed upon impact and the pilot, sole on board, was killed. It was reported that, prior to departure, the pilot encountered difficulties to close the main cabin door and had to be shown how to operate it. A member of the FBO staff then asked the pilot if he should explain the aircraft's avionics and, after the pilot replied yes, went on to describe how to operate the RNAV system. The pilot then had difficulty in starting the right engine and was directed to the 'ignition switch' on the overhead panel.

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

Date & Time: Nov 28, 2005 at 1038 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N73MW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Farnborough - Paris - Oued Isara - Kaduna - Abuja
MSN:
BB-22
YOM:
1975
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The crew took delivery of the aircraft in Farnborough and was supposed to transfer it in Abuja following fuel stop in Paris-Le Bourget, Oued Isara and Kaduna. Shortly after takeoff from Kaduna Airport runway 05, while in initial climb, one of the engine caught fire. The pilot-in-command lost control of the airplane that stalled and crashed, bursting into flames. Both occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Engine fire/failure for unknown reasons.