code

CT

Crash of a Boeing B-17G-30-BO Flying Fortress in Windsor Locks: 7 killed

Date & Time: Oct 2, 2019 at 0955 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N93012
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Windsor Locks - Windsor Locks
MSN:
7023
YOM:
1942
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
On October 2, 2019, at 0953 eastern daylight time, a Boeing B-17G, N93012, owned and operated by the Collings Foundation, was destroyed during a precautionary landing and subsequent runway excursion at Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The commercial pilot, airline transport pilot, and five passengers were fatally injured. The flight mechanic/loadmaster and four passengers were seriously injured, while one passenger and one person on the ground incurred minor injuries. The local commercial sightseeing flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, in accordance with a Living History Flight Experience exemption granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed BDL at 0947. On the morning of the accident flight, an airport lineman at BDL assisted the loadmaster as he added 160 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel to the accident airplane. The lineman stated that the accident airplane was the first to be fueled with 100LL fuel that day. According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data provided by the FAA, shortly after takeoff, at 0950, one of the pilots reported to ATC that he wanted to return to the airport. At that time, the airplane was about 500 ft above ground level (agl) on the right crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 6. The approach controller verified the request and asked if the pilot required any assistance, to which he replied no. The controller then asked for the reason for the return to the airport, and the pilot replied that the airplane had a "rough mag" on the No. 4 engine. The controller then instructed the pilot to fly a right downwind leg for runway 6 and confirmed that the flight needed an immediate landing. He subsequently cancelled the approach of another airplane and advised the pilot to proceed however necessary to runway 6. The approach controller instructed the pilot to contact the tower controller, which he did. The tower controller reported that the wind was calm and cleared the flight to land on runway 6. The pilot acknowledged the landing clearance; at that time, the airplane was about 300 ft agl on a midfield right downwind leg for runway 6. The tower controller asked about the airplane's progress to the runway and the pilot replied that they were "getting there" and on the right downwind leg. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. Witness statements and airport surveillance video confirmed that the airplane struck approach lights about 1,000 ft prior to the runway, then contacted the ground about 500 ft prior to the runway before reaching runway 6. It then veered right off the runway before colliding with vehicles and a deicing fluid tank about 1,100 ft right of the center of the runway threshold. The wreckage came to rest upright and the majority of the cabin, cockpit, and right wing were consumed by postimpact fire. The landing gear was extended and measurement of the left and right wing flap jackscrews corresponded to a flaps retracted setting. The flap remained attached to the right wing and the aileron was consumed by fire. The flap and aileron remained attached to the left wing and a section of flap was consumed by fire. The empennage, elevator, and rudder remained intact. Control continuity was confirmed from the elevator, rudder, elevator trim, and rudder trim from each respective control surface to the area in the cabin consumed by fire, and then forward to the cockpit controls. Elevator trim and rudder trim cables were pulled during impact and their preimpact position on their respective drum at the control surfaces could not be determined. The left wing aileron trim tab remained intact and its pushrod was connected but bent. The left aileron bellcrank separated from the wing, but the aileron cables remained attached to it and the aileron cable remained attached in cockpit. The Nos. 1 and 2 engines remained partially attached to the left wing and all three propeller blades remained attached to each engine. One propeller blade attached to engine No. 1 exhibited an 8-inch tip separation; the separated section traveled about 700 ft before coming to rest near an airport building. Another propeller blade on the No. 1 engine exhibited chordwise scratching and leading edge gouging. The third propeller blade was bent aft. The No. 2 engine propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouges and chordwise scratches. The No. 3 engine was recovered from the top of the deicing tank. One blade was impact damaged and near the feather position. The other two blades appeared in a position between low pitch and feather. One propeller blade exhibited a 5-inch tip separation and the separated tip sections were recovered from 100 ft and 700 ft from the main wreckage. The No. 4 engine was recovered from the deice building. All three propeller blades on the No. 4 engine appeared in the feather position. The wreckage was retained for further examination. A fuel sample was able to be recovered from one of the No 3. engine's two fuel tanks. The recovered sample had a visual appearance and smell consistent with 100LL aviation fuel and was absent of debris or water contamination. Following the accident, the fuel truck used to service the airplane was quarantined and subsequent testing revealed no anomalies of the truck's equipment or fuel supply. Additionally, none of the airplanes serviced with fuel from the truck before or after the accident airplane, including another airplane operated by the Collings Foundation, reported any anomalies. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and held a type rating for the B-17. In addition, he held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 9, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 14,500 hours. The co-pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, with type ratings for B-737, B-757, B-767, DC-10, and LR-Jet. In addition, he held a flight engineer certificate as well as a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 8, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 22,000 hours. The airplane was manufactured in 1944, issued a limited airworthiness certificate in 1994, and equipped with passenger seats in 1995. It was powered by four Wright R-1820-97, 1,200- horsepower engines, each equipped with a three-blade, constant-speed Hamilton Standard propeller. The airplane was maintained under an airworthiness inspection program, which incorporated an annual inspection, and 25-hour, 50-hour, 75-hour, and 100-hour progressive inspections. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on January 16, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accumulated about 11,120 total hours of operation. Engine Nos. 1, 2, and 3 had 0 hours since major overhaul at that time. Engine No. 4 had 838.2 hours since major overhaul at that time. The airplane's most recent progressive inspection, which was the 100-hour inspection, was completed on September 23, 2019. At that time, the airplane had been operated about 268 hours since the annual inspection. The recorded weather at BDL at 0951 included calm wind; 10 statute miles visibility; few clouds at 11,000 ft; few clouds at 14,000 ft; broken clouds at 18,000 ft; temperature 23°C; dew point 19°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.81 inches of mercury.

Crash of a Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander in New Haven: 4 killed

Date & Time: Aug 9, 2013 at 1121 LT
Registration:
N13622
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Teterboro - New Haven
MSN:
11469
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2067
Aircraft flight hours:
8827
Circumstances:
The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.
Final Report:

Crash of a Learjet 35A off Groton: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 2, 2006 at 1440 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N182K
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Atlantic City - Groton
MSN:
35-293
YOM:
1980
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
18750
Captain / Total hours on type:
7500.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3275
Copilot / Total hours on type:
289
Aircraft flight hours:
11704
Circumstances:
The crew briefed the Instrument Landing System approach, including the missed approach procedures. Weather at the time included a 100-foot broken cloud layer, and at the airport, 2 miles visibility. The approach was flown over water, and at the accident location, there was dense fog. Two smaller airplanes had successfully completed the approach prior to the accident airplane. The captain flew the approach and the first officer made 100-foot callouts during the final descent, until 200 feet above the decision height. At that point, the captain asked the first officer if he saw anything. The first officer reported "ground contact," then noted "decision height." The captain immediately reported "I got the lights" which the first officer confirmed. The captain reduced the power to flight idle. Approximately 4 seconds later, the captain attempted to increase power. However, the engines did not have time to respond before the airplane descended into the water and impacted a series of approach light stanchions, commencing about 2,000 feet from the runway. Neither crew member continued to call out altitudes after seeing the approach lights, and the captain descended the airplane below the decision height before having the requisite descent criteria. The absence of ground references could have been conducive to a featureless terrain illusion in which the captain would have believed that the airplane was at a higher altitude than it actually was. There were
no mechanical anomalies which would have precluded normal airplane operation.
Probable cause:
The crew's failure to properly monitor the airplane's altitude, which resulted in the captain's inadvertent descent of the airplane into water. Contributing to the accident were the foggy weather conditions, and the captain's decision to descend below the decision height without sufficient visual cues.
Final Report:

Crash of a Learjet 35A in Groton: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 4, 2003 at 0639 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N135PT
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Farmingdale - Groton
MSN:
35-509
YOM:
1983
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
4300
Copilot / Total flying hours:
9000
Aircraft flight hours:
9287
Circumstances:
About 5 miles west of the airport, the flightcrew advised the approach controller that they had visual contact with the airport, canceled their IFR clearance, and proceeded under visual flight rules. A witness heard the airplane approach from the east, and observed the airplane at a height consistent with the approach minimums for the VOR approach. The airplane continued over the runway, and entered a "tight" downwind. The witness lost visual contact with the airplane due to it "skimming" into or behind clouds. The airplane reappeared from the clouds at an altitude of about 200 feet above the ground on a base leg. As it overshot the extended centerline for the runway, the bank angle increased to about 90-degrees. The airplane then descended out of view. The witness described the weather to the north and northeast of the airport, as poor visibility with "scuddy" clouds. According to CVR and FDR data, about 1.5 miles from the runway with the first officer at the controls, and south of the extended runway centerline, the airplane turned left, and then back toward the right. During that portion of the flight, the first officer stated, "what happens if we break out, pray tell." The captain replied, "uh, I don't see it on the left side it's gonna be a problem." When the airplane was about 1/8- mile south of the runway threshold, the first officer relinquished the controls to the captain. The captain then made an approximate 60-degree heading change to the right back toward the runway. The airplane crossed over the runway at an altitude of 200 feet, and began a left turn towards the center of the airport. During the turn, the first officer set the flaps to 20 degrees. The airplane reentered a left downwind, about 1,100 feet south of the runway, at an altitude of 400 feet. As the airplane turned onto the base leg, the captain called for "flaps twenty," and the first officer replied, "flaps twenty coming in." The CVR recorded the sound of a click, followed by the sound of a trim-in-motion clicker. The trim-in-motion audio clicker system would not sound if the flaps were positioned beyond 3 degrees. About 31 seconds later, the CVR recorded a sound similar to a stick pusher stall warning tone. The airplane impacted a rooftop of a residential home about 1/4-mile northeast of the approach end of the runway, struck trees, a second residential home, a second line of trees, a third residential home, and came to rest in a river. Examination of the wreckage revealed the captain's airspeed indicator reference bug was set to 144 knots, and the first officer's was set to 124 knots. The flap selector switch was observed in the "UP" position. A review of the Airplane Flight Manual revealed the stall speeds for flap positions of 0 and 8 degrees, and a bank angle of 60 degrees, were 164 and 148 knots respectfully. There were no charts available to calculate stall speeds for level coordinated turns in excess of 60 degrees. The flightcrew was trained to apply procedures set forth by the airplane's Technical Manual, which stated, "…The PF (Pilot Flying) will call for flap and gear extension and retraction. The PNF (Pilot not flying) will normally actuate the landing gear. The PNF will respond by checking appropriate airspeed, repeating the flap or gear setting called for, and placing the lever in the requested position... The PNF should always verify that the requested setting is reasonable and appropriate for the phase of flighty and speed/weight combination."
Probable cause:
The first officer's inadvertent retraction of the flaps during the low altitude maneuvering, which resulted in the inadvertent stall and subsequent in-flight collision with a residential home. Factors in the accident were the captain's decision to perform a low altitude maneuver using excessive bank angle, the flight crews inadequate coordination, and low clouds surrounding the airport.
Final Report: