Crash of a Quest Kodiak 100 off Welaka: 2 killed

Date & Time: Feb 27, 2018 at 1930 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N969TB
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Welaka - Welaka
MSN:
100-0173
YOM:
2016
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On February 27, 2018, about 1930 eastern standard time, a Quest Kodiak 100, N969TB, was substantially damaged after it impacted a river near Georgetown, Florida. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by an individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and there was no flight plan filed for the flight, which was destined for Mount Royal Airport (3FL0), Welaka, Florida. According to preliminary air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a radar target identified as the accident airplane overflew 3FL0 and then proceeded to make a right turn toward and over the Ocala National Forest. It circled back to the airport, overflew it, and entered a left turn. The airplane continued the left turn, again overflew the airport, and impacted a river that was about 1 mile to the west of the airport. According to a witness, the airplane departed 3FL0 on the day of the accident around 1530. Another witness, observed the airplane shortly before the accident and noted that it was flying "really low," and was in a 45° bank left turn, "wobbled" once, and then continued the turn. In addition, she noted that the lights on the airplane had "halos" around them because it was foggy, and that the engine sounded "fine." Local law enforcement and recovery personnel reported that there were no downed tree branches and no down powerlines in the along the shore in the vicinity of the accident site. Furthermore, recovery personnel noted several gallons of Jet A fuel draining from the airplane during recovery. According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, multiengine land, multiengine sea, and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on November 27, 2016. At that time, he reported 3,400 hours of total flight time, of which the 20 hours were within the previous 6 months of the medical examination.According to FAA records, the pilot-rated passenger held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land and airplane multiengine sea. He held commercial certificate ratings for airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine and instrument airplane. His most recent second-class medical certificate was issued on October 4, 2013. According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2016 and issued an airworthiness certificate in April 2016. In addition, it was equipped with a Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A34, 750-horsepower engine that powered a 4-bladed Hartzell constant speed propeller. The 1915 recorded weather observation at Palatka Municipal Airport – Lt. Kay Larkin Field (28J), Palatka, Florida, which was about 13 miles to the north of the accident location, included wind from 050° at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 1,500 feet above ground level, temperature 17° C, dew point 15° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury. The airplane impacted a river and came to rest inverted in about 10 feet of water. All major components of the airplane were recovered from the river except the outboard section of the left wing and the left aileron. The forward section of the fuselage was impact-crushed aft. The right wing was impact separated from the fuselage and when the wing was moved for the wreckage examination, an unquantified amount of jet A fuel drained from the wing. The left wing was impact separated from the fuselage and the left flap was separated from the left wing. The flap jackscrew was measured and corresponded to a full flap position. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and the horizontal stabilizers and elevators were cut to facilitate recovery. Flight control continuity was obtained from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through tensile overload breaks and cuts made to facilitate recovery. The propeller remained attached to the reduction gearbox but was separated from the engine. All four propeller blades remained attached to the hub and three were not in the feathered position. Two of the propeller blades exhibited S-bending, the other 2 blades were bent aft, and leading-edge gouging was noted on three of the blades. The engine was impact-separated and recovered from the river. The left exhaust stack was impact crushed and the right exhaust stack received minor impact damage. The reduction gear box chip detector was examined, and no debris was noted. Continuity was confirmed between the compressor turbine and the accessory section of the engine by rotating the compressor turbine. Rotational scoring was noted on the compressor turbine. The power turbine was examined and exhibited rotation scoring on the fir tree disk, the blades, and the leading edge of the shroud tips. In addition, the power turbine shroud exhibited rotational scoring. 3FL0 was a private airport located about 3 miles south of Welaka, Florida. The airport elevation was estimated at 41 feet mean sea level. The airport did not have an operating control tower at the time of the accident. Runway 8/25 was 3,000 ft long and 50 ft wide. There were no published instrument procedures into the airport. The airport was bordered to the west by the Ocala National Forest, which was 673 square miles of densely wooded and unlighted terrain.

Crash of a Cessna 340 in Bartow: 5 killed

Date & Time: Dec 24, 2017 at 0717 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N247AT
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bartow – Key West
MSN:
340-0214
YOM:
1973
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
1600
Aircraft flight hours:
1607
Circumstances:
The instrument-rated private pilot and four passengers boarded the multiengine airplane inside a hangar. The pilot then requested that the airplane be towed from the hangar to the ramp, since he did not want to hit anything on the ramp while taxiing in the dense fog. Witnesses heard the pre-takeoff engine run-up toward the end of the runway but could not see the airplane as it departed; the engines sounded normal during the run-up and takeoff. A witness video recorded the takeoff but the airplane was not visible due to the dense fog. During the takeoff roll the airplane's tires chirped, which is consistent with the wheels touching down on the runway with a side load. The video ended before the accident occurred. The witnesses stated that the takeoff continued and then they heard the airplane impact the ground and saw an explosion. The weather conditions at the time of the accident included visibility less than 1/4 mile in fog and an overcast ceiling at 300 ft above ground level. The airplane's weight at the time of the accident was about 105 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight, which exceeded the center of gravity moment envelope. The excess weight would have likely extended the takeoff roll, decreased the climb rate, and increased the amount of elevator pressure required to lift off of the runway. A majority of the airplane was consumed by postcrash fire. The ground impact marks and wreckage distribution were consistent with the airplane rolling left over the departure end of the runway and impacting the ground inverted in a nearly vertical, nose-low attitude. Examination of the engines revealed operating signatures consistent with takeoff power at the time of impact. The elevator trim tab and actuator were found beyond their full up travel limits and the trim cable exhibited tension overload separations near the actuator. It is likely that, when the cable separated in overload, the chain turned the sprocket and extended the actuator rod beyond full travel. No anomalies were observed with the airframe, engines, or cockpit instrumentation that would have precluded normal operation. The investigation was unable to determine the status of the autopilot during the accident takeoff. Based on the evidence it's likely that when the airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions the pilot experienced spatial disorientation, which resulted in a loss of control and descent into terrain.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of control due to spatial disorientation during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-61 Aerostar in Miami: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 10, 2017 at 1450 LT
Registration:
N7529S
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
61-0161-082
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1000
Aircraft flight hours:
3576
Circumstances:
The aircraft collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. An employee of the flight school where the airplane was tied down stated that the pilot arrived about 1000 and began to preflight the airplane. About 1030, the pilot fueled the airplane, adding 105.2 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. How the fuel was distributed between the airplane's three fuel tanks could not be determined. The pilot then taxied the airplane to the ramp in front of the flight school hangar where he kept a toolbox. The witness stated that the pilot was working on the airplane when he noticed a fuel leak and stated that he should have "fixed that" before he fueled the airplane. Both the employee and another witness stated that fuel was leaking from the aft fuselage belly area. They stated that the pilot had two or three 5-gallon orange buckets under the airplane to catch the fuel as he worked to stop the leak. Neither witness saw how much fuel was in the buckets or what the pilot did with the fuel. One witness asked the pilot if he fixed the problem, and the pilot responded that he had. The pilot was cleared for takeoff from runway 31 at 1426; however, the pilot aborted the takeoff and landed the airplane back on the runway. The controller asked the pilot if he needed assistance, to which the pilot replied, "… not sure what happened just yet but so far so good." The pilot then requested to taxi back to the runway to take off again. The airplane was cleared to take off at 1447, and 32 seconds later, the pilot declared an emergency. The controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway. Two pilots in an airplane waiting to take off from runway 31 stated that they did not notice anything unusual about the takeoff until they heard the pilot declare an emergency. They reported that the airplane was between 400 ft and 800 ft above the ground and in a left turn toward runway 9R. They stated that they thought the pilot was going to make it back to the runway, but then the left bank increased past 90° and the nose suddenly dropped. One of the pilots likened the maneuver to a stall/spin, Vmc roll, or snap roll-type maneuver. The airplane subsequently impacted a cornfield east of the approach end of runway 9R. The following day, a 12-ft-by-16-ft stain was observed on the ramp where the airplane had been parked. One of the witnesses stated that the stain was from fuel that leaked out of the airplane.

Crash of a Beechcraft C90 King Air near Sanford: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 8, 2017 at 1115 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N19LW
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sanford - Sanford
MSN:
LJ-991
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
CONN900
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The aircraft was destroyed when it impacted the waters of Lake Harney, near Geneva, Florida. The airplane was registered to Planemarketing LLC, Vero Beach, Florida, and operated by L3 Airline Academy as CONN900 as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The Flight Instructor and two commercial pilots receiving instruction were fatally injured. Instrument and visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Sanford, Florida, about 0753. Review of preliminary information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that following an uneventful flight to Milledgeville, Georgia, the flight returned to the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) and conducted a practice instrument approach to runway 09. After the flight completed the instrument approach, the active runway was changed to 27R and Air Traffic Control (ATC) controllers vectored the flight for a practice ILS Runway 27R instrument approach. About 2 minutes after the flight was given a vector to intercept the localizer and cleared for the approach, the controller issued a low altitude alert and advised the flight to climb to 1,600 feet. Following a second low altitude alert with instructions to immediately climb to 1,600 feet, the flight responded that "I am sir, I am." Shortly after, radar and radio communication with the accident airplane was lost. A witness, who was located on a boat near the north end of Lake Harney reported hearing a low flying airplane approach his position at a low altitude. The witness stated that he could not see the airplane initially due to low clouds and light ground fog, however, he observed the airplane below the cloud ceiling at 250 to 300 feet above ground level, and then climb rapidly. The witness further stated that they were looking in the general direction of the engine noise when they observed the airplane dive vertically into the lake south of their position.

Crash of a Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian in Saint Petersburg

Date & Time: Nov 25, 2017 at 1315 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N863RB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Saint Petersburg – Pensacola
MSN:
46-97213
YOM:
2005
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft was substantially damaged when it experienced a loss of engine power during the initial climb from St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Clearwater, Florida. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a corporation as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that was destined for Pensacola International Airport (PNS), Pensacola, Florida. According to the pilot, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and engine runup with no anomalies noted. The takeoff roll and lift off from runway 36 were "normal;" however, when he initiated a landing gear retraction, the engine torque decreased to 300-400 lbs, but the 2,000 rpm did not change. Next, the torque surged back to full power, and continued to surge. The pilot attempted to return to the runway instead of landing in the water; however, the left wing of the airplane struck the ground and it came to rest near runway 18. Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the left wing was impact separated. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The fuselage was partially separated at the cabin section of the airframe. The engine remained attached to the airframe and the propeller remained attached to the engine.

Crash of a Cessna 402B in St Petersburg

Date & Time: Oct 18, 2017 at 1545 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N900CR
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Miami - Tallahassee
MSN:
402B-1356
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
622
Circumstances:
The aircraft was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a street in St. Petersburg, Florida. The commercial pilot, one passenger, and two motorists sustained minor injuries. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for flight that departed Tampa International Airport (TPA), Tampa, Florida, at 1526. The flight was destined for the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida. The flight was operated by Noble Air Charter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, about 13 minutes after departure the pilot advised the Tampa air traffic control tower that he was "fuel critical" and requested vectors for the nearest airport. The TPA tower controller provided a heading toward the Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida, located about 7 miles away. The pilot reported that he had 20 minutes of fuel on board. At 1543, the pilot was given a vector to runway 4, which was at his 12 o'clock and 4 miles away. The pilot reported the airport in sight, and the TPA tower controller provided the SPG tower frequency. There were no further radio transmissions. The airplane landed on a residential street about 2 miles from SPG, and collided with two motor vehicles. Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to both wings, the horizontal stabilizer, elevator, and nose section. Both wingtips and wing tip fuel tanks were separated from the wings. The left wing tip fuel tank exhibited minor sooting and heat damage. The left engine fuel selector was found in the left main fuel tank position, the right engine fuel selector was in the right main fuel tank position. According to charter records obtained from the operator, the accident occurred during the third leg of a four-leg trip. The records indicated that at the start of the trip, the airplane's hour meter read 589.0 hours. At the accident scene, it read 592.6 hours.According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent first class medical certificate was issued on November 16, 2016. According to his logbook, the pilot had accrued 622 total hours of flight experience.