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N1592T accident description

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Tail numberN1592T
Accident dateDecember 11, 2003
Aircraft typeCessna 414
LocationGreeneville, TN
Near 36.213889 N, -82.813889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 11, 2003, at 1047 eastern standard time, a Cessna 414, N1592T, registered to Young Forever Inc., operated by Young Forever Inc., and Saunders Advisory Group as a 14 CFR Part 91 business flight, collided with trees and terrain during a circling approach to runway 23 at Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport, Greeneville, Tennessee. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed and there was a post-crash fire. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. A pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from Port Columbus International Airport, Columbus, Ohio, on December 11, 2003, at 0915.

A witness, who was located next to a mailbox at 3055 Whitehouse Road, stated he observed a twin-engine airplane, with the landing gear down, in straight and level flight between 200-250 feet above the ground. He initially thought the airplane had departed from the Greeneville Airport. The airplane was heading almost due north when it made a sharp left turn; estimated at a 60-degree angle of bank. The airplane collided with trees and the ground followed by a ball of fire.

The surviving passenger stated the pilot delayed the takeoff from Columbus, Ohio, due to icing conditions. They departed Columbus and encountered icing conditions while in instrument conditions. The pilot informed him to keep a look out for ice on the leading edges of the wings and engine nacelles. The pilot did not want more than 1/4 inch of ice on the surfaces. The pilot inflated the deicing boots two times during the climb and applied propeller anti ice. He did not see the pilot apply alternate air. They leveled off at 6,000 feet and were flying above the clouds.

Upon reaching York VOR, the pilot requested and received clearance to climb to 8,000 feet to avoid clouds along their route of flight. The pilot informed him that he wanted to remain up as long as he could to stay out of the ice, and the pilot wanted to descend rapidly to keep from building up any ice. Tri Cities Approach Control cleared them to descend to 4,600 feet and to expect the Localizer 5 approach at Greeneville. They leveled off at their assigned altitude, and the pilot commented that he did not understand why ATC was keeping them in the clouds. A short time later the controller started vectoring them for the localizer approach and descended them to a lower altitude. The airplane started building up ice and the pilot activated the propeller ice, deice boots, and sprayed the windshield. The pilot contacted Greeneville UNICOM and obtained the weather and runway information. They performed the before landing check, intercepted the localizer, and the pilot lowered the landing gear and extended flaps one notch. The pilot made a call on the UNICOM frequency and informed them they were the localizer inbound.

The passenger stated he continued to look for ice. They broke out of the clouds at 1,700 AGL. The airport was to his right and below. About the same time the airplane came out of the clouds, the airplane started to buffet and shake. He asked the pilot, "What is it? What is it?" The pilot stated, "I think I know what it is." The pilot applied full throttle, full rpm, and mixture full rich. It appeared that the pilot was attempting to get some power to establish a climb while the airplane was descending. The passenger stated he knew they were going to crash, and he started removing the approach plate holders from both control yokes. The pilot made a "May Day" call. The airplane started going to the left and the mountain tops were getting closer. He turned around and instructed the passengers to fasten their seatbelts tighter and to put a coat or a blanket over their face. He turned around and tightened his lap belt and shoulder harness. The treetops were closer and the pilot made a comment as they collided with the mountain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Review of information on file with the FAA Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the commercial pilot was issued a commercial pilot certificate on November 2, 2000, with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition the pilot held a flight instructor certificate issued on June 17, 2003, with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot also held an advanced ground instructor certificate issued on September 11, 2000. The pilot held a first class medical certificate issued on June 13, 2003, with the restriction must wear corrective lenses.

The pilot's biennial flight review was conducted on September 12, 2002, and his last instrument proficiency flight check was conducted on September 13, 2002, at SIMCOM. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed his first flight in the Cessna 414 was on April 12, 2002. The pilot's last logbook entry was on December 6, 2003. The pilot's total time including the flight from Tampa, Florida, to the accident site is 4,845 hours. The pilot had a total of 341.5 multiengine hours. The pilot had flown 160.1 hours in the Cessna 414 of which 155.7 hours were as pilot-in-command. The pilot had flown one flight in the Cessna 414 in icing conditions before the accident flight. The pilot's last logbook instrument flight in the Cessna 414 was on November 24, 2003.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Cessna 414 airplane is equipped with a deice boot system that provides protection to the wings, horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer. The system is manually controlled. The complete inflation and deflation cycle will last approximately 30 seconds. The Cessna 414 Owners Manual states that when ice has accumulated to about 1/2 inch thick on the leading edges, that the deicing switch should be turned on. The manual states in a NOTE, "Since wing, horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer deice boots alone do not provide adequate protection for the entire aircraft, known icing conditions should be avoided wherever possible. If icing is encountered, close attention should be given to the pitot static system, propellers, induction systems, and other components subject to icing." No discrepancies pertaining to the deice boots were written in the airframe logbook.

The Cessna 414 airplane is equipped with a alcohol windshield deice system, which consists of an alcohol tank, a pump, left and right-hand dispersal tubes, and a switch breaker. No discrepancies pertaining to the windshield deice, were written in the airframe logbook.

A work order obtained from Lane Aviation, Columbus, Ohio, revealed the airplane underwent maintenance on December 10, 2003, for a broken wire on the right main landing gear. The left and right main down lock switches were replaced at Hobbs time was 2770.6. The airplane was topped off with 98 gallons of 100 low lead fuel on December 10, 2003.

A review of the airframe maintenance records revealed that RAM Aircraft Corporation overhauled the left and right engines on September 25, 2000. The left and right engines and left and right McCauley Propeller systems were installed on October 16, 2000, at Hour Meter 2307. The aircraft total time was 4,640 hours. The last annual inspection was conducted on July 20, 2003, at Hobbs Meter 2702.4. The airplane had flown 69.8 hours since the last annual inspection and had 4,989.2 total airframe hours at the time of the accident. The total time since the RAM conversion was 465.2 hours at the time of the accident. The pitot static system pressure test and transponder test were completed on March 28, 2003.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Greeneville 1100 weather observation was wind was 260-degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 14 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling overcast at 900 feet, temperature 32-degrees Fahrenheit, dew point temperature 29-degrees Fahrenheit, altimeter 29.97.

The Area Forecasts for eastern Tennessee was for ceilings broken at 2,500 feet agl with tops to 10,000 feet.

The Tri Cities Airport located 26 miles northeast of the accident site reported overcast skies at 1,700 feet above ground level (agl). The Terminal Forecast at Tri-Cities Airport was for winds from the 270 degrees at 15 knots, visibility better than 6 miles, ceiling overcast at 2,000 feet, with temporary condition between 0700 and 1100 of 5 miles in light snow showers and a ceiling overcast at 1,500 feet.

The National Weather Service issued AIRMET Zulu for occasional moderate rime to mixed icing in clouds and in-precipitation below 6,000 feet for portions of Tennessee and Kentucky. AIRMET Sierra was issued for IFR conditions and mountain obscuration. The Current Icing Potential (CIP) product indicated a high probability of icing at 3,000 and 6,000 feet.

The upper air data obtained from the Nashville Regional Forecast Office revealed an inversion with relative humidity greater than 75 percent existed from the surface to about 5,000 feet. A high potential for icing existed below the base of the inversion from 1,231to 4,400 feet with the high relative humidity there was an 86 percent probability of light rime to mixed icing.

Numerous pilot reports were recorded over Tennessee surrounding the time of the accident. A wide range of icing reports from light to moderate rime to mixed icing was reported below 6,500 feet. Cloud tops were reported in the range of 6,000 to 8,000 feet in the immediate area.

The pilot filed an IFR flight plan on December 10, 2003, for the flight from Columbus, Ohio to Greeneville, Tennessee, through the use of the Direct Users Access Terminal computer briefing (DUAT). In addition the pilot received a pre-flight weather briefing for the IFR flight on December 11, 2003. No deficiencies were noted in the DUAT briefing.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage of the airplane was located in a wooded area on a 20-degree upslope adjacent to 3055 Whitehouse Road, and one nautical mile north northeast of the approach end of runway 23 at Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport, Greeneville, Tennessee.

Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with a trees separating the left wing 6 feet inboard of the wing tip, left main tip tank, the outboard 8 feet of the right wing, and the right main tip tank.. The main wreckage rested inverted 106-feet 7-inches down the debris line on a heading of 003-degrees magnetic.

The airplane was fire damaged from the nose baggage area extending aft to the aft pressure bulkhead. The left fuel selector cable was not located, and the left fuel valve handle and placard were destroyed by fire. Emergency response personnel cut the right fuel selector cable. The right fuel valve handle and placard sustained fire damage. The left fuel valve and placard were not located. The flight control cables were intact from the control column aft to the elevator and rudder bell crank. The aileron control column chain and turn buckle separated from the control column sprocket and received fire damage. The left side aileron cable separated 21-inches from the end of the aileron control column chain. The right side aileron cable separated 48-inches from the end of the aileron control column chain. The remaining left and right aileron control cables extending aft to the fuselage bell crank were not located. The nose landing gear was partially separated and extended to the full down position.

The right wing separated outboard of the right engine nacelle. The separated 8-foot section of the right wing sustained fire damage and was located to the right of the cabin area. The inboard section of the right wing flap was consumed by fire. The outboard flap sustained fire damage and was attached to the wing. The aileron separated from the wing. The auxiliary fuel tank was ruptured and consumed by fire. The right main tip fuel tank sustained fire damage and was ruptured and separated from the right wing. The right fuel valve was located in the right wing. The engine assembly remained attached to the engine mounts. The left aft engine mount was fire damaged. The right main landing gear separated and was in the extended position. The landing gear actuator housing was fire damaged. The flap actuator was separated from its mounting bracket. The flaps were extended 15-degrees. Both turnbuckles to the left flap were melted. One turnbuckle was connected to the right flap and the other turnbuckle was melted. The aileron control cables remained attached to the aileron bell crank in the outboard section of the wing. The cables extended inboard to the engine nacelle and separated. The aileron wing bell crank received fire damage and was partially separated from the wing. The push pull arm on the aileron bell crank was separated. The aileron cables extending from the engine nacelle inboard to the aileron fuselage bell crank were not located.

The right propeller assembly separated from the propeller flange and was located beneath the engine. One propeller blade was bent aft from the propeller hub to the propeller tip. The leading edge of the propeller blade had gouges at mid-span of the propeller blade to the propeller tip. The propeller blade tip was bent aft 90-degrees with longitudinal scratches. The face of the propeller blade had longitudinal scratches 6-inches inboard of the propeller tip. Another propeller blade was bent aft 90-degrees 9-inches inboard from the propeller blade tip with longitudinal scratches. A 5-inch area mid-span of the trailing edge of the propeller sustained gouges. The last 2-inches of the propeller blade sustained "s" bending. No scratches were present on the face of the propeller blade. The remaining propeller blade had "s" bending with the propeller blade tip curled forward and chord wise scratching was present on the propeller tip. The leading and trailing edges of the propeller blade had gouges present 5-inches inboard from the propeller blade tip. No scratches were present on the face of the propeller blade. The propeller spinner was intact and received fire damage.

The right engine was intact and received fire damage. The throttle and fuel control assembly received heat damage. All cylinders, both magnetos, fuel manifold valve, fuel injection lines and nozzle, the top sparkplugs Nos.1, 3, and 5, vacuum pump, starter and adapter, alternate air box, turbocharger, oil pump, fuel pump, oil canister, right exhaust runner and Nos. 1, 3, and 5 ignition harness were intact and not damaged. The No. 2, 4, and 6 ignition harness and top spark plugs, air oil separator, oil cooler, left exhaust runner, freon compressor, propeller governor, induction balance tube, alternator, and air filter, were damaged. The engine was rotated by hand 360-degrees and continuity was confirmed to the magnetos and alternator. The crankshaft was dye penetrate inspected and found cracked at the aft crankshaft to propeller flange transition radius. An engine run could not be conducted. Disassembly of the engine revealed no anomalies.

The aft fuselage received fire damage. The vertical stabilizer was damaged, and was compressed aft and downward 8-inches above the rudder trim tab actuator. The rudder was bent to the left and attached to the vertical stabilizer by the lower hinge point. A 21-inch section of the rudder with the balance weight separated from the rudder. The rudder trim tab was damaged and deflected to the left.

The right horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the fuselage and received fire damage. The stabilizer was twisted downward 90-degrees. The right elevator remained attached to horizontal stabilizer by the torque tube. The elevator trim tab actuator rod was extended 1.5 inches. The trim tab push pull tube was broken 1.5 inches aft of the actuator rod and the trim tab remained attached to the elevator.

The left horizontal stabilizer was attached to the fuselage and received fire damage. A diagonal crease was present at mid-span of the horizontal stabilizer. The left elevator was attached at the inboard and center hinges. The outboard 48-inches of the elevator separated and was located to the right of the main cabin area.

The left wing separated outboard of the left engine nacelle. A 33-inch section of the left wing outboard of the

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