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N120HS accident description

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Tail numberN120HS
Accident dateApril 20, 2006
Aircraft typeCessna U206G
LocationBloomington, IN
Near 39.154722 N, -86.616667 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On April 20, 2006, about 2345 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206G, N120HS, piloted by an instrument rated private pilot, was destroyed on impact with trees and terrain while on approach to runway 35 at the Monroe County Airport (BMG), near Bloomington, Indiana. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was on file and was activated. The pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated from the Purdue University Airport (LAF), near Lafayette, Indiana, about 2245.

The person representing N120HS contacted the Terre Haute, Indiana, federal contract facility automated flight service station (AFSS) to get a weather briefing about 2213. The AFSS briefer at position "PF-3" gave the following brief, in part, to the pilot:

2213:25 PF-3 terre haute flight service

2213:27 N120HS hi i'd like to get a weather briefing

2213:29 PF-3 yes ma'am

2213:30 N120HS um lafayette lima alpha foxtrot and bloomington bravo mike golf and any interesting weather that might be between them

2213:39 PF-3 okay uh what's the aircraft call sign you're using

2213:42 N120HS november one two zero hotel sierra

2213:45 PF-3 and what time are you leaving lafayette

2213:47 N120HS we will probably be leaving in about twenty minutes to half an hour

2213:58 PF-3 okay and is this a v f r flight or i f r

2214:02 N120HS for v f r

2214:03 PF-3 v f r only

2214:05 N120HS *(ho ho) wait i'm sorry go ahead

2214:08 PF-3 is that v f r only

2214:10 N120HS yes yes sir well depending on what the weather's like

2214:13 PF-3 okay well we do have an airmet for i f r for the southern portion of indiana now

0214:18 N120HS okay

0214:19 PF-3 and they're saying that that may continue the rest of the evening into early tomorrow morning and

2214:23 N120HS okay

2214:23 PF-3 looking at the bloomington weather they do have i f r ceilings eight hundred broken right now with visibility eight miles

2214:30 N120HS *(okay)

2214:30 PF-3 so i wouldn't recommend v f r

2214:32 N120HS okay well

2214:33 PF-3 uh

2214:33 N120HS definitely not i'm sorry i got i looked at the *(tafs they) didn't predict that okay can i file an i f r flight plan with you

2214:39 PF-3 sure would you like me to continue with the rest of the weather and and all that

2214:42 N120HS yeah that would that would be great

2214:44 PF-3 okay uh that's the only airmet uh going down that way for you uh looks like a low pressure system we've got uh one in western kentucky tennessee another one's up around the chicago area *(it's a) stationary front running from that one across northern indiana and ohio and then uh high pressure over to our east precip uh nothing really along that route there is some in southeastern indiana but it shouldn't affect your flight at all

2215:08 N120HS *(okay)

2215:08 PF-3 at lafayette uh the winds are two eighty at four ten miles skies clear below twelve thousand sixteen and seven and two nine nine one that's an automated report en route looking at a few clouds at thirteen thousand with niner miles and then again in the bloomington area winds two forty at three eight miles ceiling eight hundred broken seventeen and sixteen and two nine nine four that's also an automated report at bloomington and i don't see any uh pilot reports right now along that route for you the forecast lafayette was saying the rest of the evening a few clouds at six thousand winds three ten at five en route uh calling for *(uh) it looks like three thousand scattered six to ten thousand broken to overcast they were saying occasional showers in central indiana til zero three hundred though there's nothing really showing except for a little northeast of indy and then uh for the bloomington area uh six hundred broken five thousand overcast visibility better than six winds one sixty at four now they were saying within an hour you might see six hundred scattered five in mist around bloomington four hun four thousand broken and winds one fifty at four but the airmet was calling for i f r to continue the rest of the night into early tomorrow

2216:26 N120HS boy am i glad i called you wow

2216:27 PF-3 and

2216:28 N120HS okay

2216:28 PF-3 and then winds aloft uh would you like three and six for those

2216:32 N120HS um just three please

2216:33 PF-3 three thousand you're looking at light and variable winds at three thousand

2216:37 N120HS okay great

2216:38 PF-3 and notams uh lafayette r c o one two two three five is out of service

2216:44 PF-3 and uh it says the class d surface area and uh tower only available through zero one hundred daily down at Bloomington uh showing tower and class d surface area available through zero one thirty daily and three five pilot controlled lighting is out of service at bloomington indiana and otherwise en route i don't see anything else en route for you notam d wise as far as t f rs no unpublished t f rs along that route at this time

2217:15 N120HS *(great)

2217:15 PF-3 *(we'd) appreciate uh pilot reports flight watch is shut down for the evening but any any flight service frequencies along the route for you would you like to go ahead and file then

2217:24 N120HS yes sir

2217:25 PF-3 okay i'm ready to copy

2217:26 N120HS (unintelligible) november one two zero hotel sierra it's a cessna two oh six slash alpha airspeed a hundred and a hundred and thirty knots flying at three thousand feet departing lafayette lima alpha foxtrot lafayette direct bloomington indiana bravo mike golf five on board three hours of fuel the aircraft is based in south bend pilots name ... and aircraft is red white and blue

2218:12 PF-3 (unintelligible) uh what's your time en route from lafayette to bloomington

2218:15 N120HS time on route forty minutes

2218:19 PF-3 and you say you're leaving in just a few minutes i put that out for zero two thirty that's on the half hour

2218:23 N120HS *(perfect)

The transcript of the weather briefing showed that the pilot did not give an alternate airport to the briefer when the flight plan was filed. The briefer did not ask for an alternate airport and was not required to ask for one.

About 2319, the pilot checked on with the Air Route Traffic Control Center controller working the Shelbyville, Indiana, sector (SHB R). The transcript of their transmissions, in part, stated:

2319:57 N120HS indy center november one two zero hotel sierra is with you at five thousand

2320:01 SHB R november one two zero hotel sierra indianapolis center roger how do you hear center

2320:04 N120HS ah loud and clear

2320:05 SHB R okay and ah what type of approach are you going to shoot into bloomington this morning or this evening

2320:11 N120HS we'd like to go for a runway three five six ah i l s

2320:14 SHB R i l s three five okay you can expect that ah one two zero hotel sierra do you have the ah asos weather

2320:19 N120HS yes sir

2320:20 SHB R all right

2323:11 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra you're one two miles north of bloomington cross bloomington at or above two thousand six hundred cleared for the i l s runway three five approach report procedure turn inbound

2323:23 N120HS oh any way we can have vectors to the---ah final course

2323:26 SHB R not a problem at all ma'am what's your heading

2323:30 N120HS one seven zero

2323:32 SHB R okay turn ah right heading of ah one nine zero it'll be a vector for a left down wind entry for i l s three five straight in

2323:39 N120HS one niner zero for a---right down wind entry ah for three five zero hotel sierra

2323:43 SHB R yes ma'am and maintain five thousand

2323:46 N120HS maintain five thousand

2328:35 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel turn left heading one eight zero

2328:39 N120HS left heading one eight zero


2333:03 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra descend at pilot's discretion maintain four thousand

2333:08 N120HS descend and maintain four thousand for zero hotel sierra

2333:13 SHB R i am going to take you about two miles outside of claye if that's okay with you ma'am

2333: 18 N120HS that's great

2333:50 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra turn left heading zero eight zero

2333:53 N120HS left heading zero eight zero

2334:36 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra three and a half miles south of claye turn left heading zero two zero maintain two thousand six hundred until established on the localizer you're cleared straight in i l s runway three five approach

2334:48 N120HS turn left heading zero two zero---cleared for the approach maintain twenty six hundred til ah established zero hotel sierra

2336:15 SHB R cessna one two zero hotel sierra see you joining up on the localizer now radar service is terminated change to advisory tower frequency of one two eight point zero two is approved---and i'll need you to cancel---with ah terre haute tower on that frequency one two eight point zero two they monitor that frequency and they'll relay for ya

2336:35 N120HS radar service terminated and cancel with terre haute on one two eight point zero two thanks (unintelligible) zero hotel sierra

2336:40 SHB R and you can change to that frequency now you have a good night

2336:43 N120HS thanks

A Continuous Data Recording (CDR) airplane radar track data file was obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in reference to the accident flight. The airplane's radar returns along with their respective altitudes and times were plotted. The plotted data was consistent with an airplane that was being vectored for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway (rwy) 35. The plot showed the airplane at about 5,000 feet on a downwind. At 2334:30, the return showed the airplane was about 4,500 feet on base about ten miles from the approach end of runway 35. The airplane's return at 2337 was right of and approaching the outer marker CLAYE at an altitude of 3,300 feet. About 2337, the pilot made an advisory radio call on the Hulman Approach control frequency for BMG (128.025) that the flight was six miles south of BMG and inbound for runway 35. The last plotted return showed the airplane at 2,000 feet at 2338:34 about two and a half miles from the approach end of runway 35. About 2343, the controller from the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field air traffic control tower, near Terre Haute, Indiana, who was working the approach frequency, advised the flight that the BMG common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) was 120.77 and the flight responded with "Thank you sir." No further communication was recorded with the accident flight. That plotted chart is appended to the docket material associated with this case.

About 2345, the Monroe County Sheriff responded to telephone calls of a possible airplane crash. About 0400, the wreckage was located in a wooded area about one-half mile from the approach end of runway 35.

Witnesses in the area stated that they were awakened by a low flying aircraft. A witness said that the airplane noise was like a roar. Another described it as an engine acceleration. A thud was heard and no more engine sounds were heard.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The airplane operator reported that the pilot had completed a flight review or equivalent on July 3, 2005. It was further reported that the pilot had accumulated 379.1 hours of total flight time, 24.5 hours of actual instrument time, 51.1 hours of simulated instrument time, 30.4 hours of total flight time in the previous 90 days, 18.0 hours of total flight time in the previous 30 days, and 1.8 hours of total flight time in the previous 24 hours.

She held a FAA third-class medical certificate issued on August 19, 2003, with a limitation for corrective lenses.


N120HS, a Cessna U206G, Stationair 6, serial number U20604728, was a six-place, single engine, high-wing, all-metal airplane of semimonocoque construction. The wings were externally braced and each wing contained a standard integral 46-gallon fuel tank. The airplane was powered by a six-cylinder, horizontally opposed, air cooled, fuel injected, marked as a Continental IO-520-F (17) engine, with serial number 812264-R. The engine was rated at 300 horsepower for five minutes and 285 horsepower continuously. Maintenance records showed that the airplane's propeller was a three-bladed McCauley D3A34C404B model, hub serial number 785309. The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate and was certified for normal category operations.

Maintenance records show that the last annual inspection was performed on June 7, 2005, and that the airplane had accumulated 2,125.7 hours at the time of that inspection. An entry in the records showed that the static system was inspected in accordance with Part 91.411 and 91.413 requirements on May 19, 2005.

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments Engine Data Management (EDM) 700 system. According to manufacturer's data, the EDM will monitor up to twenty-four critical parameters in your engine, four times a second, with a linearized thermocouple accuracy of better than 0.1 percent or 2 degrees F, has a user selectable index rate, fast response probes, non-volatile long term memory, records and stores data up to 30 hours, and has post-flight data retrieval capabilities.


At 2340, the recorded weather at BMG was: Wind 230 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 1 statute mile; present weather mist; sky condition overcast 100 feet; temperature 17 degrees C; dew point 16 degrees C; altimeter 29.94 inches of mercury.


There were eight non-precision instrument approaches and one precision approach available at the airport.

The published inbound course for BMG's ILS RWY 35 approach was 354 degrees magnetic, with the published decision height (DH) of 1,045 feet msl. The crossing altitude for the final approach fix (CLAYE) was 2,533 feet msl. The distance between CLAYE and the missed approach point was 5.1 nautical miles (nm). The airport elevation was 846 feet msl.

The published weather minimums for the ILS RWY 35 approach were a 200-foot ceiling and one-half mile visibility for category A, B, C, and D aircraft.

On April 21, 2006 the FAA conducted a post aircraft accident technical inspection and found the ILS system was operating normally.


BMG had two asphalt-surfaced runways, 17/35 and 6/24. Runway 17/35 was 6,500 feet long and 150 feet wide. Runway 35 was equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR) and high intensity runway lights (HIRL). Runways 6,17, and 24 were equipped with visual approach slope indicators (VASI) located on the left side of their respective runways.

The airport was serviced by an Air Traffic Control tower. The tower was attended from 0630 - 2130 local. After hour local traffic communications were accomplished via the published airport CTAF 120.775 megahertz (MHz). The tower did not record the CTAF transmissions made after hours. Indianapolis Approach provided approach/departure control services for the airport.

The pilot controlled lighting function of the approach lights was not operative. The approach lights were turned on before the tower was closed.


The airplane came to rest inver

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.