Wire Strikes Cited In Three Fatalities In Two Weeks — (Aero Network)

To view original article click here

Aero Network

Aug 13, 2011

NTSB Reports Both Pilots Operating In VFR Conditions When Accidents Occurred

Two NTSB preliminary reports issued this week chronicle two similar accidents in which the airplanes struck suspended wires and then impacted the ground. The accidents fatally injured two pilots and one passenger. One was the first test flight of Jack Morrison’s experimental E-Racer aircraft after he had received paperwork for the plane making it legal to fly.

While it will likely be months before any probable cause reports are issued, the reports do serve as a cautionary tale as our summer flying season continues.

 

To view National Transportation Safety Board Accident Report click here

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA569
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Madrid, IA
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD M-62, registration: N53956
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

On August 13, 2011, about 1200 central daylight time, a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19A) airplane, N53956, was substantially damaged when it impacted power lines and terrain along the Des Moines River near Madrid, Iowa. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The World War II era military training airplane was registered to a private individual. It had been restored and was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The flight originated from Boone Municipal Airport (BNW), Boone, Iowa, about 1130. The intended destination was Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa.

The pilot flew to BNW on the morning of the accident for a fly-in event. During the event, the pilot gave rides to several attendees. The airplane was reportedly refueled prior to departure. The pilot commented that he would be returning to IKV by following the Des Moines River.

Witnesses boating on the river reported that they observed the airplane as it flew along the river. As the airplane passed their location, the wings banked apparently waving at them. The airplane was 50 to 100 feet above the river; low enough for the witnesses to notice that the airplane occupants were two men. There was no sign of distress related to the airplane.

A witness who was fishing along the shoreline of the river reported that the airplane approached his location from the north. He estimated that the airplane was initially about 500 feet above ground level (agl) and descending. The airplane subsequently struck power transmission lines suspended about 200 feet above the river. The left landing gear and the left wing contacted the static lines. The airplane nosed over approximately three times in-flight and impacted a sandbar along the river, coming to rest inverted.

The airplane impacted a sandbar along the Des Moines River, about 3 miles south-southwest of Madrid, Iowa. The site was about 13 miles south of BNW, the departure airport, and about 14 miles northwest of IKV, the intended destination airport. The airplane came to rest inverted.

On August 13, 2011, about 1200 central daylight time, a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19A) airplane, N53956, was substantially damaged when it impacted power lines and terrain near Madrid, Iowa. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The World War II era military training airplane was registered to a private individual. It had been restored and was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Boone Municipal Airport (BNW), Boone, Iowa, about 1130. The intended destination was Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa.

Fairchild PT-19 File Photo

The pilot reportedly flew to BNW that morning for a fly-in event. During the event, the pilot gave rides to several attendees. Prior to departure, the pilot apparently commented that he would be returning to IKV by following the Des Moines River.

A witness who was fishing along the shoreline of the river reported that the airplane approached his location from the north. He estimated that the airplane was initially about 500 feet above ground level (agl) and descending. The airplane subsequently struck power lines suspended about 200 feet above the river. The airplane impacted a sandbar on the river, coming to rest inverted.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine and multi-engine land airplane ratings. The single-engine rating was limited to commercial pilot privileges. The pilot held type ratings for BE-300, BE-1900, and SA-227 airplanes.

The pilot was issued a second class airman medical certificate on August 30, 2010, with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot indicated “No” to the current use of any prescription or non-prescription medication. He noted a total flight time of 6,600 hours, with 15 hours flown within the preceding 6 months.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted on August 14, 2011, at the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office in Ankeny, Iowa. The pilot’s death was attributed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology report stated:
20 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Vitreous;
No Ethanol detected in Muscle;
No Ethanol detected in Brain;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Liver;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Kidney;
Sertraline detected in Liver;
Sertraline detected in Kidney.

Sertraline, also known under the trade name Zoloft, is commonly prescribed for the symptomatic relief of depressive illness. Desmethylsertraline is the predominant metabolite of the antidepressant sertraline. Precise blood levels of the medication could not be established because a blood sample was not available for testing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s improper decision to conduct low-level flight along a river, which resulted in a collision with power lines.