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N57WR accident description

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Tail numberN57WR
Accident dateFebruary 01, 2008
Aircraft typeRaytheon Aircraft Company C90A
LocationMount Airy, NC
Near 36.463333 N, -80.550833 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On February 1, 2008, about 1128 eastern standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company C90A, N57WR, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while executing the missed approach for the Global Positioning System (GPS) approach to runway 36 at Mount Airy/Surry County Airport (MWK), Mount Airy, North Carolina. The certificated commercial pilot and the five passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight, which departed Polk County Airport/Cornelius Moore Field (4A4), Cedartown, Georgia. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witness statements, rain, low cloud ceilings, and fog were present in the local area. The pilot was first heard to check in on MWK's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), and announce "final 36, Mount Airy." The airplane was then observed to "break out of the clouds" at approximately 500 feet above ground level, in close proximity to the airport, and then descend "rapidly" for about 200 feet. It was then observed to "side step" to the left of the runway, and fly parallel to it for its entire length. The airplane then made a "hard" left turn at the end of the runway and climbed into the "fog." A few minutes later, it came out of the bottom of the clouds in a nose down attitude, disappeared behind trees east of the airport, and the sound of impact was heard.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) preliminary air traffic control voice, and radar plot data, the airplane departed 4A4 at approximately 1024 and arrived in the vicinity of MWK approximately 50 minutes later.

After arrival in the local area, the pilot contacted Greensboro Approach and advised the controller that he was level at 4,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) on a northeast-bound track toward MWK. The controller then instructed the pilot to maintain 4,000 feet msl until crossing the EDLIF waypoint, fly the GPS approach to runway 36 at MWK, and switch to the CTAF for the airport.

Radar data obtained from the terminal radar approach control facility at Greensboro, North Carolina, contained recorded radar targets for the accident airplane from 1112 until 1128. During the GPS approach to runway 36, the airplane was recorded tracking inbound to the airport. The last radar target on final was recorded at 1125:40, at 2,000 feet msl, approximately 1.25 nautical miles from the runway 36 threshold. No more radar targets were recorded until 1127:49, when the target representing the airplane reappeared on radar on a left base leg at 2,300 feet msl. It then continued to turn left to about a 020-degree heading, overfly the threshold of runway 36 at 2,300 feet, and continue on a 020-degree heading for another 14 seconds. The last target was recorded to the east of the airport 0.6 nautical miles south of the accident site, at 2,700 feet msl.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight. The wreckage was located at 36 degrees, 27.797 minutes north latitude, 80 degrees, 33.042 minutes west longitude, at an elevation of 1,219 feet msl.

The airplane came to rest in a residential area, upright on a magnetic heading of 200 degrees. Its angle of impact was approximately 45 degrees nose down. The fuel system was compromised in multiple locations and the ground around the wreckage was fuel soaked. No debris path existed, and the initial impact point was collocated with the remains of the airplane. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site.

Examination of the wreckage on scene revealed no evidence of any preimpact malfunctions, structural failures, or in-flight fire. Evidence did indicate that the landing gear was in the extended position prior to impact, and the flaps were in the approach position. Both propellers displayed S-bending, and no anomalies were identified with either engine. The rudder trim tab actuator correlated to 1 to 2 degrees of right rudder trim. The elevator trim actuators were measured and found to be in a position which correlated to 6 to 7 degrees nose up trim, and the electric pitch trim was off.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, airplane single engine land, and instrument airplane. He reported 780 total hours of flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA second-class medical certificate, dated August 6, 2007.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2005. According to maintenance records, the airplane's most recent manufacturer's recommended inspection program, phase inspection, was completed on November 9, 2007. At that time the airplane had accrued 799.7 total hours of operation.

A weather observation taken about 13 minutes after the accident, included; calm winds, visibility 2 and 1/2 miles in heavy drizzle, a broken cloud layer at 300 feet, an overcast cloud layer at 600 feet, temperature 1 degree Celsius (C), dew point 0 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.90 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained by the National Transportation Safety Board for further examination.

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