Get home-itis kills two

This October 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Beech 36TC Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Rienzi, Miss. Aircraft damage: Destroyed

What reportedly happened: Prior to departure, the pilot contacted the flight service station controller to file an instrument flight rules flight plan. During the conversation, the briefer asked the pilot, “Do you require the latest adverse weather conditions?” The pilot replied, “No, that’s why we are getting out of here.”

Before ending the phone call, the briefer confirmed with the pilot that he had been advised of the adverse weather conditions and the pilot acknowledged that he had.

The airplane departed and climbed to 14,800 feet then entered a rapid descent and disappeared from radar.

A survey of the wreckage indicated that all fracture features were consistent with overload failure induced by air-load or impact, and examination revealed no evidence of a pre-accident mechanical malfunction. The fracture signatures suggested that the primary separation point was at the wing spar carry-through.

Examination of weather radar data revealed that a line of intense or extreme thunderstorms crossed the airplane’s route of flight in the vicinity of the crash site at the time of the accident. A review of subscription information revealed that the pilot had subscribed to a satellite weather service, which could be displayed in the airplane. Some of the products available to the pilot included near real-time NEXRAD radar, Terminal Area Forecasts, AIRMETs and SIGMETs. It is unknown if the system was enabled or what features the pilot may have had displayed at the time of the accident.

A review of recorded radar track information and radar precipitation information showed that the airplane’s flight path approached and entered an area depicted as heavy to extreme precipitation. The controller who handled the airplane only provided the accident pilot with a 20-minute-old pilot report from an airplane not in the vicinity of the accident. No other information was provided to the pilot about the precipitation depicted on the controller’s display, as required by the FAA. On at least two previous occasions, the pilot had substantially damaged airplanes during encounters with adverse weather.

Probable cause: The pilot’s continued flight into known adverse weather conditions. Contributing to the accident was the air traffic controller’s failure to provide precipitation information to the pilot as required.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: ERA11FA036

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