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C-GLKX accident description

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Crash location 42.903611°N, 82.550278°W
Nearest city Port Huron, MI
42.975863°N, 82.478806°W
6.2 miles away
Tail number C-GLKX
Accident date 05 Sep 2018
Aircraft type Cessna 340A
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On September 5, 2018, about 2347 eastern daylight time, a Canadian registered Cessna 340A, C-GLKX, impacted terrain during an attempted approach to the St. Clair County International Airport (KPHN), Port Huron, Michigan. The pilot received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned by Flex Air Inc. and operated by the pilot as a business flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was on an instrument flight plan. The flight departed the St. Thomas Municipal Airport (CYQS), St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, about 2313, and was en route to KPHN.

Air traffic control (ATC) recordings indicated that about 2335, the airplane was at 4,000 ft above mean sea level (msl), and the pilot confirmed that he was inbound to the initial approach fix, WYDUK, for the RNAV RY 22 approach at KPHN.

About 2342, the ATC controller asked the pilot if had passed WYDUK, and the pilot confirmed that he had and was inbound for runway 22. The controller then instructed the pilot to cross the waypoint, ZORIX, at or above 2,200 ft and cleared him for the RNAV RY 22 approach to KPHN and approved a frequency change to the advisory frequency with instructions to report his instrument flight rules (IFR) cancellation in the air with air traffic control, or on the ground with the Flight Service Station (FSS).

About 2345, the pilot advised ATC that he had just lost his right engine, and when asked if he would still make the landing at PHN, the pilot stated, "Gonna work on it."

About 2347, the pilot advised ATC that he did not see any lights, and the he had tried to turn them on but with no success. The ATC controller responded that he did not have control over the lights and there were no Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) concerning the runway lighting. The ATC controller then asked if the pilot could see the airport, and he responded that he could not. The pilot stated that he was over the airport and was going to make a slow turn and try to re-shoot the approach. The ATC controller asked again if the pilot could see the airport and he responded that nothing "lit up." About 2349, the ATC controller tried contacting the pilot but there was no response.

The airplane impacted a grass field at a baseball complex 0.67 nautical miles (nm) from the departure end of KPHN runway 22 on a 266° bearing. The aircraft impacted the ground consistent with a vertical nose-down attitude and came to rest upright on about a 145° bearing. The right propeller separated from the engine and remained embedded in the ground. One of the left propeller blades also separated from the left propeller and remained embedded in the ground. The nose cone separated from the aircraft and remained in the initial impact crater. The ground impact marks of the left and right propeller, the nose cone, and the left- and right-wing tip fuel tanks, indicated a direction of travel of about 298°.

The nose, instrument panel, and cockpit were crushed aft, and the bottom side of the outboard section of the left wing's leading edge exhibited aft crushing. The metal compression indicated an approximately 50° nose down impact angle. The left- and right-wing fuel tip tanks exhibited ground impact compression damage. The left main, auxiliary, and wing locker fuel tanks sustained post-impact fire damage. The right main and right auxiliary fuel tank were breached; and area of fuel blighted grass about 54 ft in length was observed from the initial impact point of the right wingtip fuel tank on about a 298° bearing. The right wing-locker fuel tank contained fuel and appeared to be approximately 1/3 full. Blue fuel streaking was observed on top of the nacelle immediately aft of the right wing-locker fuel cap. The tail was separated from the fuselage at the aft pressure bulkhead. It remained loosely attached by the flight control cables.

At 2335, the surface weather observation at KPHN was: wind calm;10 miles or greater visibility; moderate rain; scattered clouds at 5,000 ft and 7,000 ft; broken ceiling at 12,000 ft; temperature 21° C; dew point 20° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

On September 6, 2018, about 0752, the airport staff checked the lighting at KPHN and determined that all the lighting, including the pilot-controlled lighting, was operable. There were no records of any reports by inbound or outbound aircraft that there was inoperable lighting at KPHN on September 5, 2018.

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