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N2010E accident description

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Tail numberN2010E
Accident dateSeptember 15, 2003
Aircraft typeCessna 310J
LocationNew Orleans, LA
Near 30.042222 N, -90.028056 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 15, 2003, at 0844 central daylight time, a Cessna 310J twin-engine airplane, N2010E, was destroyed following a loss of control during an attempted go-around on runway 36L at the Lakefront Airport (NEW), near New Orleans, Louisiana. The two commercial pilots were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the two pilots. No flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from the Hammond Municipal Airport (HDC), near Hammond, Louisiana, about 0815. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A review of the air traffic control (ATC) voice communications revealed that the pilot made initial contact with Lakefront Control Tower at 0838, and was provided the current wind information, which included wind from 060 degrees at 15 knots. About three minutes later, an air traffic controller cleared the airplane to land on runway 36L (6,879-feet long by 150-feet wide), and again provided the pilot with the current wind conditions. At 0844, a pilot reported "we're going around", and there were no further communications with the.

A witness, who was an air traffic controller working the ground control frequency at Lakefront Tower, observed the airplane when it was just about to land. He reported that it was aligned to the far left side of the runway, almost on the grass. When the airplane was abeam taxiway H (Hotel) (approximately 2,250 feet from the approach end of the runway), the pilot announced that he was executing a go-around. The airplane then pitched up, continued to drift to the left, and climbed to a height of about 20 feet above the ground. It then leveled off, descended slightly, before the airplane entered a "rapid" approximately 60 degree left bank and impacted a seawall located along the western perimeter of the airport.

The witness said the airplane impacted the wall in a left bank attitude, and collided on its right side and exploded. He could not recall if either engine was operating at the time of the accident.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot in the left seat held a commercial certificate for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration second class medical was issued on March 13, 2002. At that time, he reported a total of 700 flight hours.

The pilot in the right seat held a commercial certificate for airplane single-engine and multi-engine land and sea, and instrument airplane. He also held a private certificate for rotorcraft-helicopter. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical was issued on December 3, 2002. At that time he reported a total of 2,800 flight hours.

The pilots' logbooks were not made available for review.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The aircraft and engine logbooks were not located.

The Cessna 310J airplane was equipped with two Teledyne Continental IO-470-U wing mounted engines. Each engine was equipped with a constant-speed variable-pitch three-bladed propeller. The propeller normally rotated at a maximum certificated speed of 2,625 rpm.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at Lakefront Airport at the time of the accident was wind from 070 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, a barometric pressure of 30.12 inches of Mercury. The temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dew point was 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An on-scene examination of the airplane wreckage was conducted on September 15-17, 2003. All major components of the airplane were located at the site. The airplane came to rest upright against the approximately 7-foot high concrete seawall on a heading of 296 degrees, at a field elevation of nine feet. An approximate 7-foot long ground scar was located about 15-feet in front of the left wing, in-line with the left main landing gear. A post-impact fire consumed the cockpit area and a major portion of the right wing.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 30 degrees, 02 minutes north latitude, and 090 degrees, 01 minutes west longitude.

The throttles, propeller control levers, and mixture controls were found in the full forward position, except for the left propeller and mixture control, which were retarded about 1-inch from the full-forward poistion.

The landing gear were extended. The flap indicator was in the zero degree position, but the flap chain mechanism was found set to a 30-degree position.

The elevator trim was in the three degrees trailing-edge-down position, the rudder trim was in the three degrees trailing-edge-right position, and the aileron trim tab setting was in the five degrees trailing-edge-up position.

The left engine remained in the nacelle, but was displaced to the left. The left magneto was separated from its mount, and the oil sump was crushed and torn.

The engine could not be rotated and was disassembled. Examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft thrust bearing was sheared 360 degrees, and the fractured surface exhibited deep, rotational gouges. Examination of the spark plugs revealed a gap between some of the electrodes and terminals revealed they were below manufacturer tolerances. The fuel injector nozzles were removed and were absent of debris. A trace of fuel was drained from the fuel metering unit. The oil suction screen and fuel manifold screen were absent of debris. The oil filter was also absent of debris. The magnetos were bench tested, and spark was produced at each terminal at various power settings.

The left propeller assembly remained attached to the engine, and all three blades remained attached to the propeller hub. One blade was curled aft and exhibited deep, front-face spanwise scoring near the leading edge. The second blade was bent aft, and exhibited front-face scoring, deep spanwise scratches, and some trailing edge nicks. The third blade was bent aft slightly, and exhibited spanwise scoring near the butt of the blade. The spinner was crushed inward, exhibited deep scoring, and was partially torn.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage, and the wing, flap, and aileron sustained extensive impact and fire damage. The left wing was intact; however, it was partially separated from the fuselage at the rear carry-through spar attaching point. The flap, aileron, and aileron trim were not damaged. The empennage and tail control surfaces were intact, and exhibited some impact damage to the top of the rudder and right horizontal stabilizer. Control cable continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit. The flap chain mechanism was found set to a 30 degrees position.

The right engine was partially separated from the nacelle, and was displaced about 90 degrees to the left. The right side of the engine sustained extensive impact damage, and one of the magnetos was separated from its mount.

Examination of the spark plugs revealed a gap between some of the electrodes and terminals revealed they were below manufacturer tolerances. Valve train continuity and compression were established by manual rotation of the propeller flange, except to the #5 cylinder, the #5 intake and #1 exhaust valve due to impact damage. The fuel injector nozzles were removed, and were absent of debris. The oil suction screen and fuel manifold screen were absent of debris. The oil filter was also absent of debris. The magnetos were bench tested, and spark was produced at each terminal at various power settings.

The right propeller assembly remained attached to the engine, and all three propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. The first blade exhibited a slight s-bend, chordwise scratching, and front face scoring at the tip of the blade. The second blade was curled aft at the tip and exhibited s-bending, chordwise scoring, and leading and trailing edge nicks along the entire length of the blade. The third blade was twisted and bent aft, and the tip was missing. The remaining outboard section of the blade exhibited leading and trailing edge nicks.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on both pilots on September 16, 2003, by the Orleans Parish Coroner Office at New Orleans, Louisiana. The cause of death for both individuals was determined as multiple traumatic injuries.

Toxicological testing was conducted on both pilots by the Federal Aviation Administration Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A certified audio cassette re-recording of the Lakefront local (tower) control was sent to the Safety Board's audio laboratory in Washington DC. The recording was examined to document engine or propeller sounds that could have been heard during radio transmissions from the accident aiplane. All four of the radio transmissions examined were recorded during the airplane's initial approach to Lakefront Airport, and were examined on an audio spectrum analyzer to identify any background signatures that could be associated with either the engine or propellers.

Examination of each transmission revealed two separate engine/propeller signatures, but it could not be determined which engine (left or right) was producing which sounds. During the last transmission, when the pilot reported "we're going around", one engine recorded an rpm of 2,304 and the other engine recorded an rpm of 1,768.

The airplane wreckage was released on November 6, 2003, to a representative of the owner's insurance company.

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