code

GA

Crash of a Cessna 340 in Covington: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 21, 2022 at 1905 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N84GR
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
MSN:
340-0178
YOM:
1973
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Covington Airport Runway 10, while in initial climb, the twin engine airplane went out of control and crashed on the General Mills Plant located about 1,5 km southeast of the airfield, bursting into flames. The aircraft was destroyed and both occupants were killed. There were no casualties on the ground.

Crash of a Dassault Falcon 20CC in Thomson: 2 killed

Date & Time: Oct 5, 2021 at 0544 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N283SA
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Lubbock - Thomson
MSN:
83
YOM:
1967
Flight number:
PKW887
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
On October 5, 2021, at 0544 eastern daylight time, a Dassault Fanjet Falcon airplane, N283SA, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU), Thomson, Georgia. The captain and first officer were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as Pak West Airlines Flight 887 dba Sierra West Airlines, as an on-demand cargo flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. According to operator records, the flight crew initiated the first flight of the night at 2132 mountain daylight time from their home base of El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB), Lubbock, Texas. After about a 2 hour and 20-minute ground delay waiting for the freight, the accident flight was initiated from LBB to HQU. Review of preliminary air traffic control communications provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the flight was in contact with the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ATL center) for about the final 40 minutes of the flight. At 0503 eastern daylight time, Pak West Flight 887 (PKW887) requested information about the Notices to Airman (NOTAMs) for the instrument landing system (ILS) localizer runway 10 instrument approach procedure at HQU. ATL Center informed the flight crew of two NOTAMs; the first pertained to the ILS runway 10 glidepath being unserviceable and the second applied to the localizer being unserviceable. The controller informed the flight crew that the localizer NOTAM was not in effect until later in the morning after their expected arrival, which was consistent with the published NOTAM. About 0525, ATL center asked PKW887 which approach they would like, to which they responded with the “ILS runway one zero approach.” The controller responded, “roger, standby for that.” At 0526, ATL center cleared PKW887 to CEDAR intersection which was the initial approach fix for the ILS or localizer/non-directional beacon (NDB) runway 10 approach. About 0537, ATL center informed PKW887 that they were 15 miles southwest from CEDAR and “cross CEDAR at or above 3,000 cleared ILS localizer one zero into Thomson McDuffie.” PKW887 readback the clearance and the controller stated it was a “good readback”, however, the controller informed the flight crew that they were transmitting on the “guard” emergency frequency of 121.5, rather than the center frequency. About 1 minute later, the controller advised PKW887 of a telephone number to call to cancel their instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance once on the ground; however, about 0543, PKW887 had just crossed CEDAR and requested to cancel their IFR clearance. The controller advised PKW887 to “squawk vfr” and no further communications were received. Surveillance video located at HQU showed that about 0539 the airport and runway lights were activated from off to on. About 0542 the airplane’s landing lights came into view in the pitchblack horizon and were subsequently visible for about 2 minutes. The video showed the airplane approaching runway 10 in a relatively constant descent and heading; however, about 25 seconds before the airplane’s landing lights disappeared, a momentary right turn, followed by a left turn and increased descent rate was observed. No explosion or glow of fire was observed when the landing lights disappeared about 0544. Review of preliminary FAA Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane crossed CEDAR intersection about 2,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued toward runway 10 in a descent; the final data recorded was at 0543:54 with the airplane at 800 ft msl and 1.36 nautical miles from the runway threshold. Figure 1 provides an overview of the ADS-B data from the approach and the location of the wreckage. A search was initiated for the airplane based upon inquiries from the operator’s dispatch to the airport and an active emergency locator beacon near the runway. The airplane was located about .70 nautical mile from runway 10 about 0630. According to FAA airman and operator records, the captain held an airline transport pilot certificate with a type rating in the accident airplane. He was issued a first-class medical certificate in January 2021. He had accumulated a total flight experience of about 12,000 hours, with 1,665 hours in the accident make and model airplane, of which 1,325 hours were The first officer held a second-in-command type rating in the accident airplane. He was issued a second-class medical certificate in March 2021. He had accumulated a total flight experience of about 11,000 hours, of which 1,250 hours were in the accident make and model airplane. The initial impact point coincided with broken pine tree branches among a forest where the trees were about 150 ft tall. The debris path was oriented on a heading of about 100° and spanned about 880 ft from the initial impact to the main wreckage area. The airplane was heavily fragmented, however, there was no evidence of fire. The largest fragments of wreckage were concentrated in three primary areas overviewed in Figure 2. The figure shows the initial impact point and a pop-out drone image that describes the three areas. All major components of the airplane were located in the debris path. Flight control continuity could not be determined from the control surfaces to the cockpit due to the heavy fragmentation, however, within the fragmented flight control areas continuity was observed. The flaps were observed to be extended, and the right landing gear was observed to be down. The horizontal stabilizer and its jack screw were found to be within a normal envelope. Examination of the cockpit found the flap selector in the full flaps 40° position and the landing gear handle was selected down. Both engines exhibited impact damage and varying degrees of foreign object debris ingestion that had the appearance of wood chips and green vegetation in the center core of the engine when viewed with a borescope. Several fan blades exhibited leading edge gouging, knicks, and torsional twisting. The airplane was not required to be equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR); however, a CVR was installed. It was located in the debris path near the empennage and was retained for read-out and transcription. The airplane was not equipped with a flight data recorder, nor was it required.

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne near Eatonton: 5 killed

Date & Time: Jun 5, 2020 at 1520 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N135VE
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Williston – New Castle
MSN:
31-7520024
YOM:
1975
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
On June 5, 2020, about 1520 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31T, N135VE, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Eatonton, Georgia. The two pilots and the three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot/owner, who was seated in the left front seat of the airplane, held a private pilot certificate for single and multiengine airplanes with an instrument rating. He had filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan and was in contact with air traffic control (ATC) shortly after he departed from Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Williston, Florida, at 1413. The other pilot, who was seated in the front right seat, held a private pilot certificate for single engine airplanes only and had no instrument rating. A review of preliminary ATC communications and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane was on a northerly heading en route to New Castle Henry County Marlatt Field (UWL) New Castle, Indiana, at an altitude of 25,000 ft mean sea level (msl). When the airplane was about 50 miles south of Eatonton, Georgia, one of the pilot's told ATC that he was deviating "to the right a little" to avoid weather. When the airplane passed over Eatonton, one of the pilot's advised ATC that they wanted to proceed direct to their destination on a 353° heading, and ATC approved. This was the last communication between ATC and the airplane. About a minute later, the airplane was observed on radar entering a right turn, followed by a rapid descent. Radar contact was lost about 1520. There were no distress calls made by either pilot. Several witnesses observed the airplane as it was descending and took video with their cell phones. A review of these videos revealed the airplane was spinning as it descended, was on fire and trailing black smoke. The main wreckage of the airplane impacted densely wooded terrain inverted. The airplane continued to burn and the cockpit, fuselage, empennage, inboard sections of both wings and the right engine sustained extensive fire damage. The outboard sections of both wings and the tail section had separated from the airplane as it descended and were located within 3 miles of the where the main wreckage came to rest. The left engine had also separated but has not yet been not located.

Crash of a Cessna 402C in Hampton

Date & Time: May 9, 2020 at 1513 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N4661N
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Peachtree City - Peachtree City
MSN:
402C-0019
YOM:
1979
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
7330
Captain / Total hours on type:
11.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1096
Copilot / Total hours on type:
5
Aircraft flight hours:
17081
Circumstances:
According the commercial pilot and a flight instructor rated check pilot, they were conducting their first long-duration, aerial observation flight in the multiengine airplane, which was recently acquired by the operator. They departed with full fuel tanks, competed the 5-hour aerial observation portion of the flight, and began to return to the destination airport. About 15 miles from the airport, the left engine fuel warning light illuminated. Within a few seconds, the right engine stopped producing power. They attempted to restart the engine and turned the airplane toward an alternate airport that was closer. The pilots then turned on the electric fuel pump, the right engine began surging, and soon after the left engine stopped producing power. They turned both electric fuel pumps to the low setting, both engines continued to surge, and the pilots continued toward the alternate airport. When they were about 3 miles from the airport, both engines lost total power, and they elected to land on a highway. When they were a few feet above the ground, power returned briefly to the left engine, which resulted in the airplane climbing and beginning to roll. The commercial pilot pulled the yoke aft to avoid a highway sign, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall, and subsequent impact with trees and terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. Although both pilots reported the fuel gauges indicated 20 gallons of fuel remaining on each side when the engines stopped producing power, the flight instructor noted that there was no fuel in the airplane at the time of the accident. In addition, according to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident site, both fuel tanks were breached and there was no evidence of fuel spillage.
Probable cause:
A dual total loss of engine power as a result of fuel exhaustion.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-46-310P Malibu near Watkinsville: 3 killed

Date & Time: Mar 3, 2020 at 1634 LT
Registration:
N43368
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Columbia – Tuscaloosa
MSN:
46-8408028
YOM:
1984
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
On March 3, 2020, about 1634 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N43368, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Bishop, Georgia. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan and was in contact with air traffic control (ATC) shortly after departure from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Columbia, South Carolina, at 1529. A review of the ATC communications and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the airplane was on a westerly track from CAE, about 6,000 ft mean sea level (msl), en route to Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The pilot contacted the Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) about 1613, and was provided the current altimeter setting. The controller also broadcast AIRMETs for IFR and mountain obscuration, turbulence and freezing levels. About 1616, the controller advised the pilot that the flight would need to go north or south over Atlanta. After a few seconds, the pilot advised north, and also said that he could fly at a higher altitude as well. The controller advised the pilot that flying over Atlanta's airspace probably would not work, but he would try and get him as close as possible. The controller subsequently issued a new clearance to the pilot, which included two intersections on the north side of Atlanta, and then direct to TCL. About 1621, the pilot requested to deviate left for weather, the controller approved the request and advised the pilot he would be past the line of weather in about 15-20 miles. About 1629, the controller advised the pilot there was a gap in the line of weather in about 8 miles with light precipitation, that he would turn him north to get through it, and once north of the weather the pilot could proceed on course. About 1630, the controller instructed the pilot to fly a heading of 300°. The pilot acknowledged, then a few seconds later advised that heading was directly toward a convective cell that was "pretty big." The controller explained that he would be keeping him south of the heavy precipitation and turning him north through the line where there was currently about 3 miles of light precipitation. The pilot then stated that the area seemed to be closing in fast. The controller acknowledged and advised him that alternatively he would need to fly south around Atlanta, and the pilot then stated that he would turn right. The controller advised the pilot to fly a 300° heading that would keep the airplane out of the moderate precipitation. The pilot stated "I thought I was gonna shoot this gap here, I got a gap I can go straight through." The controller acknowledged and advised that was fine if it looked good to him, but that he showed moderate precipitation starting in about 1 mile extending for about 4 miles north bound; the pilot acknowledged. About 1633 the controller asked the pilot what his flight conditions were, the pilot responded, "rain three six eight." There were no further transmissions from the pilot.

Crash of a Cessna 501 Citation I/SP near Fairmount: 4 killed

Date & Time: Feb 8, 2020 at 1011 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N501RG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Peachtree City - Nashville
MSN:
501-0260
YOM:
1982
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
On February 8, 2020, at 1013 eastern standard time, a Cessna 501, N501RG, was substantially damaged after an inflight breakup near Fairmount, Georgia. The private pilot, commercial pilot, and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Remonia Air, LLC. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at Falcon Field (FFC), Atlanta, Georgia around 0945. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and had an intended destination of John C. Tune Airport (JWN), Nashville, Tennessee. According to a fuel receipt, the airplane was "topped off" with 104 gallons of Jet A fuel that was premixed with Prist prior to departing on the accident flight. According to flight plan information that was filed with a commercial vendor, the accident flight was scheduled to depart at 0930 from FFC and arrive at JWN around 1022. Then, another flight plan was filed from JWN back to FFC departing at 1030 and arriving at JWN around 1119. In addition, the flight plan noted in the remarks section that the flight was a "training flight." A preliminary review of air traffic control communications and radar data revealed that a controller issued local weather information and instructed the pilots to climb to 7,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller issued the pilots a pilot report (PIREP) for trace to light rime icing between 9,000 ft and 11,000 ft, and one of the pilots acknowledged. Then, the controller instructed the pilots to climb to 10,000 ft and to turn right to 020°. The controller observed the airplane on a northwest bound heading and asked the pilots to verify their heading. A pilot responded that they were returning to a 320° heading, to which the controller instructed him to maintain 10,000 ft. The controller asked the pilots if everything was alright, and a pilot responded that they had a problem with the autopilot. The controller instructed the pilots to again maintain 10,000 ft and to advise when they were able to accept a turn. The controller again asked if everything was alright or if they needed assistance; however, neither pilot responded. The controller again asked the pilots if everything was under control and if they required assistance, to which one of the pilots replied that they were "OK now." The airplane climbed to 10,500 ft and the controller instructed the pilots to maintain 10,000 ft and again asked if everything was under control. A pilot responded in the affirmative and stated that they were "playing with the autopilot" because they were having trouble with it, and the controller suggested that they turn off the autopilot and hand-fly the airplane. The airplane descended to 9,000 ft and the controller instructed the pilots to maintain 10,000 ft and asked them if they could return to the departure airport to resolve the issues. One of the pilots requested a higher altitude to get into visual flight rules (VFR) conditions, and the controller instructed him to climb to 12,000 ft, advised that other aircraft reported still being in the clouds at 17,000 ft, and asked their intentions. The pilot requested to continue to their destination and the controller instructed him to climb to 13,000 ft. One of the pilots established communication with another controller at 11,500 ft and stated they were climbing to 13,000 ft on a 360° heading. The controller instructed the pilot to climb to 16,000 ft and inquired if their navigation issues were corrected. A pilot advised the controller that they had problems with the left side attitude indicator and that they were working off the right side. The controller cleared the airplane direct to the JWN and asked if they were above the clouds as they were climbing through 15,400 ft. The airplane then began a left turn and soon after radar contact was lost at 1013. The controller attempted numerous times to contact the airplane with no response.

Crash of a Cessna 560 Citation V in Atlanta: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 20, 2018 at 1210 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N188CW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Atlanta - Millington
MSN:
560-0148
YOM:
1991
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2300
Captain / Total hours on type:
110.00
Aircraft flight hours:
6854
Circumstances:
The pilot departed on an instrument flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Radar data indicated that the airplane entered a left turn after takeoff, consistent with the pilot's instrument clearance. As the airplane climbed to an altitude about 2,410 ft above ground level, its rate of climb increased from about 3,500 ft per minute to 9,600 ft per minute, the stick shaker activated, and the airplane decelerated to about 75 knots. The airplane then entered a descending right turn and rolled inverted before impacting terrain about 1 mile from the airport. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site, and examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The weather conditions about the time of the accident included an overcast cloud ceiling about 600 ft above ground level. It is likely that the pilot became spatially disoriented after entering the cloud layer, which resulted in the airplane's high rate of climb, rapid loss of airspeed, and a likely aerodynamic stall. The steep descending right turn, the airplane's roll to an inverted attitude, and the high-energy impact are also consistent with a loss of control due to spatial disorientation.
Probable cause:
The pilot's loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation during initial climb in instrument meteorological conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed WC-130H Hercules in Savannah: 9 killed

Date & Time: May 2, 2018 at 1127 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
65-0968
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Savannah – Davis-Monthan
MSN:
4110
YOM:
1965
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
9
Captain / Total hours on type:
2070.00
Copilot / Total hours on type:
9
Circumstances:
On 2 May 2018, at approximately 1127 hours local time (L), the Mishap Aircraft (MA), a WC-130H, tail number 65-0968, assigned to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, 156th Airlift Wing (156 AW), located at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, crashed approximately 1.5 miles northeast of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (KSAV), Georgia. All nine members aboard the MA—Mishap Pilot 1 (MP1), Mishap Pilot 2, Mishap Navigator, Mishap Flight Engineer, and Mishap Loadmaster (collectively the “Mishap Crew (MC)”), and four mission essential personnel, Mishap Airman 1, 2, 3, and 4—perished during the accident. The MC’s mission was to fly the MA to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona (commonly referred to as the “Boneyard”), for removal from service. The MA had been at KSAV for almost a month, since 9 April 2018, to undergo prescheduled fuel cell maintenance and unscheduled work on engine number one by 156 AW maintenance personnel using the facilities of the 165th Airlift Wing. During takeoff roll, engine one revolutions per minute (RPM) fluctuated and did not provide normal RPM when MP1 advanced the throttle lever into the flight range for takeoff. Approximately eight seconds prior to aircraft rotation, engine one RPM and torque significantly decayed, which substantially lowered thrust. The fluctuation on roll and significant performance decay went unrecognized by the MC until rotation, when MP1 commented on aircraft control challenges and the MA veered left and nearly departed the runway into the grass before it achieved flight. The MA departed KSAV at approximately 1125L. As the MC retracted the landing gear, they identified the engine one RPM and torque malfunction and MP1 called for engine shutdown. However, the MC failed to complete the Takeoff Continued After Engine Failure procedure, the Engine Shutdown procedure, and the After Takeoff checklist as directed by the Flight Manual, and the MA’s flaps remained at 50 percent. Additionally, MP1 banked left into the inoperative engine, continued to climb, and varied left and right rudder inputs. At an altitude of approximately 900 feet mean sea level and 131 knots indicated air speed, MP1 input over nine degrees of left rudder, the MA skidded left, the left wing stalled, and the MA departed controlled flight and impacted the terrain on Georgia State Highway 21.
Probable cause:
The board president found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the cause of the mishap was MP1’s improper application of left rudder, which resulted in a subsequent skid below three-engine minimum controllable airspeed, a left-wing stall, and the MA’s departure from controlled flight. Additionally, the board president found, by a preponderance of the evidence, the MC’s failure to adequately prepare for emergency actions, the MC’s failure to reject the takeoff, the MC’s failure to properly execute appropriate after takeoff and engine shutdown checklists and procedures, and the Mishap Maintainers’ failure to properly diagnose and repair engine number one substantially contributed to the mishap.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 500 Citation I in Marietta: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 24, 2017 at 1924 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N8DX
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Cincinnati – Atlanta
MSN:
500-0303
YOM:
1976
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
6000
Aircraft flight hours:
9299
Circumstances:
The private pilot departed on an instrument flight rules flight plan in his twin-engine turbojet airplane. The flight was uneventful until the air traffic controller amended the flight plan, which required the pilot to manually enter the new routing information into the GPS. A few minutes later, the pilot told the controller that he was having problems with the GPS and asked for a direct route to his destination. The controller authorized the direct route and instructed the pilot to descend from 22,000 ft to 6,000 ft, during which time the sound of the autopilot disconnect was heard on the cockpit voice recorder (CVR). During the descent, the pilot told the controller that the airplane had a steering problem and was in the clouds. The pilot was instructed to descend the airplane to 4,100 ft, which was the minimum vectoring altitude. The airplane continued to descend, entered visual meteorological conditions, and then descended below the assigned altitude. The controller queried the pilot about the airplane's low altitude and instructed the pilot to maintain 4,100 ft. The pilot responded that he was unsure if he would be able to climb the airplane back to that altitude due to steering issues. The controller issued a low altitude warning and again advised the pilot to climb back to 4,100 ft. The pilot responded that the autopilot was working again and that he was able to climb the airplane to the assigned altitude. The controller then instructed the pilot to change to another radio frequency, but the pilot responded that he was still having a problem with the GPS. The pilot asked the controller to give him direct routing to the airport. A few minutes later, the pilot told the controller that he was barely able to keep the airplane straight and its wings level. The controller asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight, which he did not. The pilot then declared an emergency and expressed concerns related to identifying the landing runway. Afterward, radio contact between the controller and the pilot was lost. Shortly before the airplane impacted the ground, a witness saw the airplane make a complete 360° roll to the left, enter a steep 90° bank to the left, roll inverted, and enter a vertical nose-down dive. Another witness saw the airplane spiral to the ground. The airplane impacted the front lawn of a private residence, and a postcrash fire ensued.The pilot held a type rating for the airplane, but the pilot's personal logbooks were not available for review. As a result, his overall currency and total flight experience in the accident airplane could not be determined. The airplane was originally certified for operations with a pilot and copilot. To obtain an exemption to operate the airplane as a single pilot, a pilot must successfully complete an approved single-pilot exemption training course annually. The accident airplane was modified, and the previous owner was issued a single-pilot conformity certificate by the company that performed the modifications. However, there was no record indicating that the accident pilot received training under this exemption. Several facilities that have single-pilot exemption training for the accident airplane series also had no record of the pilot receiving training for single-pilot operations in the accident airplane. Therefore, unlikely that the pilot was properly certificated to act as a single-pilot. The GPS was installed in the airplane about 3.5 years before the accident. A friend of the pilot trained him on how to use the GPS. The friend said that the pilot generally was confused about how the unit operated and struggled with pulling up pages and correlating data. The friend of the pilot had flown with him several times and indicated that, if an air traffic controller amended a preprogrammed flight plan while en route, the pilot would be confused with the procedure for amending the flight plan. The friend also said the pilot depended heavily on the autopilot, which was integrated with the GPS, and that he would activate the autopilot immediately after takeoff and deactivate it on short final approach to a runway. The pilot would not trim the airplane before turning on the autopilot because he assumed that the autopilot would automatically trim the airplane, which led to the autopilot working against the mis-trimmed airplane. The friend added that the pilot was "constantly complaining" that the airplane was "uncontrollable." A postaccident examination of the airplane and the autopilot system revealed no evidence of any preimpact deficiencies that would have precluded normal operation. This information suggests that pilot historically had difficulty flying the airplane without the aid of the autopilot. When coupled with his performance flying the airplane during the accident flight without the aid of the autopilot, it further suggests that the pilot was consistently unable to manually fly the airplane. Additionally, given the pilot's previous experience with the GPS installed on the airplane, it is likely that during the accident flight the pilot became confused about how to operate the GPS and ultimately was unable to properly control of the airplane without the autopilot engaged. Based on witness information, it is likely that during the final moments of the flight the pilot lost control of the airplane and it entered an aerodynamic stall. The pilot was then unable to regain control of the airplane as it spun 4,000 ft to the ground.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while manually flying the airplane, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inability control the airplane without the aid of the autopilot.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421B Golden Eagle II in Cherokee County: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 2017 at 0023 LT
Registration:
N421KL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Tulsa - Cherokee County
MSN:
421B-0015
YOM:
1970
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4000
Aircraft flight hours:
7522
Circumstances:
The 69-year-old commercial pilot was making a personal cross-country flight in the newly purchased airplane. When the airplane was on final approach to the destination airport in night visual meteorological conditions, airport surveillance video showed it pitch up and roll to the right. The airplane then descended in a nose-down attitude to impact in a ravine on the right side of the runway. During the descent over the ravine the right wing came in contact with a powerline that briefly cut power to the airport. Postaccident examination of the airframe, engines, and their components revealed no evidence of mechanical anomalies or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot's toxicology findings identified five different impairing medications: clonazepam, temazepam, hydrocodone, nortriptyline, and diphenhydramine. Although the results were from cavity blood and may not accurately reflect antemortem levels, the hydrocodone, temazepam, and diphenhydramine levels were high enough to likely have had some psychoactive effects. While the exact effects of these drugs in combination are not known, it is likely that the pilot was impaired to some degree by his use of this combination of medications, which likely contributed to his failure to maintain control of the airplane.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a night visual landing approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment due to his use of a combination of medications.
Final Report: