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N950FE accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 33.287222°N, 104.539166°W
Nearest city Roswell, NM
33.394266°N, 104.523024°W
7.5 miles away
Tail number N950FE
Accident date 30 Dec 2014
Aircraft type Cessna 208B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On December 30, 2014, about 0825 mountain standard time, a Cessna 208B, N950FE, impacted terrain during landing at the Roswell International Air Center Airport (KROW), Roswell, New Mexico. The pilot was not injured, and the airplane received substantial damage. The airplane was registered to Federal Express Corporation, Memphis, Tennessee and operated by Baron Aviation Services, Inc., Vichy, Missouri, as flight [Show-Me] 8756. Day instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 scheduled cargo flight. The airplane departed Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (KLBB), Lubbock, Texas, about 0715 mountain standard time.

The pilot reported that he encountered inflight icing and solid IMC conditions for most of the flight and due to airplane performance was unable to climb above 8,500 feet mean sea level. In the post-accident interview, the pilot thought the altitude limitation was due to ice forming on the unprotected portions of the wings.

During the approach the pilot received vectors and altitude changes by the controller; the controller issued a clearance to 4,900 feet; the pilot acknowledged and stated that he didn't have much elevator control and thought that his controls were "almost frozen". In the post-accident interview the pilot added that he controlled his descent by adjusting power. He added that based on losing altitude, by using flaps during a climb, he elected not to use flaps on the approach; stating he never went below 100 knots on the approach.

About three miles from the runway the controller cleared the pilot down to 4,580 ft, and the pilot acknowledged the transmission. Two miles from the runway the controller reported he was "on course", and 4,280 ft was the recommended altitude.

The pilot was unable to identify the runway until too late for a normal descent to land. Rather than perform the missed approach procedures, he elected to turn left, for a circling approach to runway 35.

On the second landing attempt, before crossing the runway threshold, the airplane suddenly experienced an un-commanded roll to the left and the left wing and left aileron impacted terrain.


The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with rating for airplane single and multi-engine land, with instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for single and multi-engine. He held a first-class medical certificate that was issued on September 15, 2016. On the NTSB 6120 form, the pilot reported 2,798 total flight hours with 113 hours in make and model.


The accident airplane was Cessna 208B, Caravan which is a high-wing, single-engine turbo-prop airplane, with fixed-tricycle landing gear, and powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine. The airplane was on an approved aircraft inspection plan, with the last inspection on November 20, 2014. At the time of the accident the airplane had accumulated 14,945.4 hours

The Cessna 208B Pilot's Operating Handbook and FAA approved Airplane Flight Manual, Supplement S1, Known Icing Equipment states, in part:.

Environmental Conditions

Continued flight in icing conditions is prohibited after encountering one or more of the following:

1. Airspeed of 120 KIAS cannot be maintained in level flight.

2. Airspeed decrease of 10 KIAS that cannot be prevented by increase to maximum continuous power.

3. MEA or MOCA (if applicable) on current leg falls into Area "C" of Enroute Tool for Exiting Icing chart contained in the Performance Section of this supplement.

Minimum speed in icing conditions

Minimum airspeed in icing conditions, for all flight phases including approach, except takeoff and landing.

Flaps Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 KIAS

Flaps 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 KIAS

Flaps 20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 KIAS

Required training

Specific training provided by Cessna Aircraft Company for flight into known or forecast icing conditions is required to be successfully completed by the pilot in command within the preceding 12 calendar months for any flight into known or forecast icing conditions.

The pilot reported that he took two on-line training courses, related to icing conditions.


At 0751 the automated weather observing system at KROW, reported wind from 020 degrees at 13 knots, visibility of 1 3/4 miles in light snow, broken clouds at 500 feet, temperature minus 4 degrees Celsius (C), dew point minus 6 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.41 inches. Data from the United States Naval Observatory indicated that sunrise occurred at 0702.

According to the pilot, he received the weather package from the ramp agent at KLBB. He added, that pilots do not have access to the computers at KLBB. So, pilots would have to ask the ramp agent for any update.

The weather package the pilot received, was for IFR weather conditions en route. Several airports near or along the route noted snow, drizzle, or freezing rain.


Excerpts from radio communications between air traffic controller and Show-Me 8756:

CONTROLLER: You're now 4 miles from the runway, slightly right of course, correcting. You can descend and maintain 4,000 -- or correction -- 4,900.

8756: 4,900. 8756. I don't have much elevator control. I think my controls are almost frozen.

CONTROLLER: Roger. No problems.

CONTROLLER: Two miles from the runway. You are on course, and you can begin your descent. 4,280 feet is the recommended altitude. Two miles from the runway, on course.

CONTROLLER: Show-Me 8756. In the event of a missed approach, fly the runway heading and climb to 6,000, and remain at this frequency.

8756: I'll try and see the runway as soon as I can. I want to get down. I really don't want to go around.

CONTROLLER: Okay. You're 1 mile from the runway. You're on course. The minimum descent altitude here is 4-0-6-0.

CONTROLLER: Thanks. About a half mile from the runway. You are on course.

CONTROLLER: Over the approach end of runway. You are on course. You've got about 10,000 feet to work with.

8756: What was my altitude, 4,600?

CONTROLLER: Four -- I'm reading you at 4-6. So you're about 1,000 feet above, 1,900 feet above.

8756: I got the -- I got the runway right below me right in sight. Not enough room. Can I circle around from the --

CONTROLLER: Climb, and if you can keep it in sight and circle around to land. If not, climb -- try to get to 6,000, and let me know what you're going to do.

8756: Okay. I'm going to try and circle around and fix that. I have the runway now in sight. 8756.

CONTROLLER: Just verify you are able to keep the runway in sight?

8756: Yes. I have the tower in sight. I have the runway in sight. Do the best I can here. I'm going to feel like it's -- sorry about this.

CONTROLLER: No, no. This is no problem at all. We're glad you're -- got it in sight. If you'd like to, you can change over to the tower frequency, 118.5. It's up to you.

8756: I'll stay with you at the moment. I'm a little busy at the moment. 8756.

CONTROLLER: Roger. And Show-Me 8756, you are still cleared to land Runway 3-5.

CONTROLLER: I see that. Thanks.

The winds at the field are being reported at 0-3-0-1-2, gust 1-9.

8756: All right. Turning on final now. 8756.

8756: Declare an emergency. I have had a wing tip strike the ground, and it looks like I'm not -- I may -- I'm just going to shut it down here.

While on the circling approach to runway and during radio communications between the pilot and controller, an intermittent stall warning horn is heard in the transmission's background.


The Roswell International Air Center Airport (KROW) is a publicly owned, open to the public, towered airport, located 3 miles south of Roswell, New Mexico. KROW was two runways: runway 3/21, concrete and is 13,001 ft by 150 feet, the second runway, 17/37, is asphalt, and is 9,999 ft by 100ft. The airport is at an elevation of 3,671 ft.


Examination of the airplane noted substantial damage to the wing, including the presence of frost and icing on the airplane.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed to compensate for icing on the airplane's wings and control surfaces during a circling approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with terrain.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.