Saturday, December 31, 2005

Accident of the Week

This week, we encounter a report of a student pilot on a solo cross-country who decided that landing on a frozen lake would be a -- um, um, um -- "good" idea. Obviously not.
NTSB Identification: CHI06CA052.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 26, 2005 in Pelican Lake, WI
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N6085M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

On December 26, 2005, about 1230 central standard time, a Cessna 152, N6085M, piloted by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with the snow and ice on Pelican Lake, Wisconsin. The solo cross country instructional flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from the Waukesha County Airport, near Waukesha, Wisconsin, and was en route to the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport, near Rhinelander, Wisconsin, at the time of the accident.

The pilot's accident report, in part, stated:

On the 26th day of December at 1230 AM central time I
was on a solo cross country flight from Waukesha to
Rhinelander WI. While in route I made the decision to
land on Pelican Lake located about 20 mi south of
Rhinelander WI. I made a few low passes over the lake
to observe the surface conditions. I could see that
there was only a few inches of snow on the lake and
surface seemed to be flat (no snow drifting or ice
heaves) so I set myself up for a soft field landing
configuration. Upon main gear touching down the
gear was restricted and pulled the nose of the aircraft
to the ground (ice) slid about 25 yards then settled
back onto main gear.

The pilot's safety recommendation, in part, stated:

This accident could have been prevented if I would have
just stuck to my flight plan and [federal aviation
regulations]. I realize that I made a very bad decision
to land on the lake and have learned greatly from it.

The best thing this pilot did was file an ASRS form.

Now, maybe the IFR Pilot has missed something, but his private pilot training didn't include any off-airport landings. Did any of yours?

Happy New Year!


"78S, turn left, 200, track the localizer."

JP and the IFR Pilot were smack dab in the clag. We took off from the home base, expecting to fly a couple of approaches and maybe get some actual. Did we ever!

Shortly after departing the home base, we called CAK Approach with our requests (ILS 19 at CAK, ILS 24 at BKL, VOR at 1G1). Before we knew it, we were MVFR and patiently awaiting our squawk code and an IFR clearance. Conditions had rapidly dropped at CAK, and the climb from 2500 to 3000 put us deep in the clouds. The IFR Pilot was doing the flying and JP was keeping an eye on things. This, of course, was the first time that the IFR Pilot had been in actual conditions since July's final leg home from Alaska. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Approach advised that ILS 23 was active and inquired if we specifically wanted ILS 19. We advised that we'd take the ILS 23.

As we flew outbound past EGGII and awaited our turn inbound to intercept the localizer, the ice started to accumulate. At first, it was just a very, very light rime. But after Approach instructed us to climb and maintain 3200, it started to accumulate a bit more quickly. At that point, the IFR Pilot advised approach that we'd be canceling the rest of the requested approaches and landing at CAK.

Six miles from EGGII, we received the rather strange instruction of "turn left, 200, track the localizer." The IFR Pilot wasn't 100% sure what the controller meant by this. It clearly wasn't a clearance for the procedure itself. I interpreted it as an instruction to get established on the final approach course (234 degrees), but not a clearance to execute the procedure.

That's when things started getting a bit hairy. The IFR Pilot blew through the localizer and had to make some S turns to get back on it. He was pretty quiet, but I think JP was just a tad bit nervous watching the S turns, which caused some slight altitude deviations. Never more than 100 feet, but hey, in the wrong place at the wrong time, 100 feet could be deadly.

Shortly, we were cleared for the approach and turned over to the tower controller, who cleared us for the option. At that point, there was quite a bit of rime on the wing and the windscreen wasn't looking so clear either. The IFR Pilot advised we'd be making a full stop.

We broke out at about 2500 and a bit left of the runway. Not knowing exactly how much ice we had picked up, the IFR Pilot elected to keep the speed up and make a no flap landing. After all, Runway 23 is 7597' long, so there's plenty of room to slow it down. A left turn and back taxi on the intersecting runway, then a right turn on Taxiway Charley and we were off to McKinley Aviation for a manual deicing operation (i.e., poke the ice off and dry with paper towels purloined from the rest room. Hey, they charged us $10 for sitting on the ramp, so at least we got something for our money...).

JP did the flight home. Instead of stepping up to the plate and filing for an approach to the airport next to home base, he just flew it VFR at 2500. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

A half hour in the clag for the IFR Pilot, with icing. Talk about back in the saddle.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Foiled Again

The IFR Pilot was once again scheduled for an Angel Flight, this time from CAK to AZO. JP was to co-pilot. Since the recent Angel Flights announced in advance here ended up being scrubbed, no announcement was made of this one, in hopes that the Weather Gods would favor us this time.


This afternoon's TAFs for CAK and AZO were as follows:

KCAK 292013Z 292018 31010KT 6SM -RA BR OVC004
TEMPO 2024 1 1/2SM -RASN BR OVC007
FM0000 31008KT 3SM -DZ BR OVC006
FM0200 31008KT 5SM BR OVC010
FM0500 30006KT 5SM BR OVC015
FM1000 VRB04KT 4SM BR OVC010
FM1400 10006KT 5SM BR OVC015
KAZO 291721Z 291818 33010KT P6SM OVC012
FM2100 32006KT P6SM OVC018
FM0000 00000KT P6SM OVC012
FM0600 00000KT 4SM BR OVC009
FM1200 00000KT 4SM BR OVC004
FM1500 12006KT 4SM BR OVC004
Departure was scheduled for 1500 UTC tomorrow, with arrival in AZO roughly 1:40 later. In deference to the patients, so they could make alternate arrangements before the proverbial eleventh hour, the IFR Pilot decided to cancel. Also, the pilot of leg #1 wasn't sure he was going to be able to get out anyway, due to low icing levels between BWI and CAK, so that made it easier to say "no go."

Sure, a 400 foot ceiling is double the minimums at AZO (which has the standard 200' DH). But that's pretty low, with no guarantee that conditions would be trending toward the better. More importantly, that means taking off for the return flight into extremely low conditions, well below the IFR Pilot's personal minimum of a 1000' ceiling for takeoff.

In addition, the tower at AZO isn't open all the time. The ILS 35 is noted that when the tower is closed, you must use the altimeter setting from KSBN. But, that raises the DH to 410. So, if the tower experiences a power failure (or is otherwise closed for some aberrant reason) and we're forced to use the South Bend altimeter and the forecast ceiling materializes, we're SOL from the get-go.

All in all, that's a recipe for a scrubbed flight. Again.

Hopefully, the patients are able to catch a flight via Southwest. Perhaps the IFR Pilot will spend Friday getting ready for multi-engine training, which will be here in a couple weeks! Stay tuned.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Accident of the Week

This report of an accident in Hawaii is another of those "good weather, what the heck happened" scenarios. The report doesn't provide any information about the condition of the plane following the wreck, and there's no report of any contact by the pilot with ATC concerning his status.
NTSB Identification: LAX06FA059
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 15, 2005 in Hana, HI
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N542SP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On December 15, 2005 at 1550 Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 172S, N542SP, collided with mountainous terrain under unknown circumstances approximately 3 nautical miles southwest of Hana Airport, Hana, Hawaii. Maui Aviators, LLC, who was also the registered owner of the rental airplane, was operating it under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot originally departed from Kahului Airport, Kahului, Hawaii, at 1230, and was destined for Hana. He planned to return to Kahului later that afternoon.

A local helicopter pilot was flying in the area of the accident site, which was located at an elevation of 2,400 feet mean sea level on Mount Haleakala, on a terrain slope of approximately 75 degrees. He noted smoke about 100 yards from where he had been working. He flew to the site within 30 seconds and saw a white fuselage and what appeared to be a Cessna 172. He searched for survivors and then notified his ground crew who radioed for assistance to the local fire department helicopter. According to the pilot, based on the accident site it appeared that the airplane was flying in a west-southwest direction prior to impact. The pilot reported clear skies with little wind and no turbulence. Prior to seeing the fire, the pilot did not see or hear the airplane approach the vicinity of the accident site.

Records obtained from Maui Aviators, LLC, showed that the pilot completed a company checkout in the airplane on November 26.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator interviewed the certified flight instructor (CFI) that performed the pilot's checkout. The pilot reported that he was visiting the area from Salt Lake City, Utah, and he wanted to tour the island. During the checkout flight, they flew toward the Hana airport but did not land there. Various maneuvers were completed and a total of seven landings were logged at the Kahului airport. The length of flight was 1.3 hours, in addition to 1 hour of ground instruction. On December 15, the pilot arrived 2 hours early for his flight. He had the airplane scheduled from 1200 until 1700 on December 15, and he also had it scheduled from 1200 until 1700 the following day.

The airplane was last fueled on December 14, 2005, at 1613. The airplane's fuel tanks were topped off with 9.24 gallons of fuel and were full upon the pilot's departure from Kahului airport.
The pilot held a commercial certificate, and it appears that he underwent a thorough checkout. He's from the Western U.S., so flying in rugged terrain should have been more comfortable for him than a flatland flyer from other parts of the States. He had been airborne about 3 hours, which is well within the endurance of a fully-fueled 172SP. All in all, another mysterious crash.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Accident of the (Last) Week

Unfortunately -- or, perhaps, fortunately -- there weren't too many new postings on the NTSB's web site last week to pick something to write about. And the IFR Pilot couldn't come up with any good ideas to go searching for an older report.

But today, this one showed up. It seemed timely, given that the IFR Pilot just flew with a new instructor. I think we'll file this one under the Department of "You Better Chose Your CFI Very, Very Carefully." John, I expect better treatment in March...

NTSB Identification: SEA06CA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 03, 2005 in Sandpoint, ID
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries HK 36 TTC, registration: N543MD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

On December 3, 2005, about 1600 Pacific standard time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries HK 36 TTC, N543MD powered glider, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, collided with a tractor during takeoff from a private airstrip near Sandpoint, Idaho. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The glider was substantially damaged and the private pilot owner and flight instructor were not injured. The flight departed from Sandpoint Airport about 30 minutes prior to the accident.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot stated that they had been practicing short field approaches at the Sandpoint Airport, then decided to go to the owner's property where he had a private airstrip. The pilot stated that the flight instructor was flying the glider, making a low approach over the airstrip when he unexpectedly decided to land. The airspeed was too high to stop on the remaining runway which was covered with compacted snow. After rolling about 300 feet, the flight instructor applied full throttle for the takeoff. The pilot pointed out the power lines beyond the end of the runway, and the flight instructor stated that they would fly under them. At this time the left wing struck a tractor that was positioned at the end of the airstrip. The wing separated from the airframe and the glider spun around, coming to rest.

The pilot stated that there was no mechanical failure or malfunction with the glider at the time of the accident.

Good News, Bad News

Well, it's not quite along the lines of John's latest post involving the old "good news, bad news" conundrum, but here goes.

Saturday's Angel Flight was cancelled. The pilot of the third leg pulled out and donated some miles in exchange for a ticket on Southwest for the patient. That inspired a change of plans for all, because those miles were able to get her a ticket the whole way home from Cleveland. Which was great, because the home base runway might have been useable for departure, but not for landing (1/2 inch of ice; poor to nil braking action).

Sunday involved quite a workout. Runway conditions having improved, the IFR Pilot scheduled with a new instructor, JD, to get an instrument refresher flight (and to check out possible instructors for the commercial.) JP tagged along in the backseat, and was pretty mellow acting as the peanut gallery.

The instructor started up with ground school questions before we could even get 78S turned around on the iced-up hangar ramp. Stumped the IFR Pilot with "When are you established on an approach?" Correct answer - needle movement on an ILS, +/- 2 dots on a VOR approach. Yeah, I knew that. Really, I did. I swear.

Shortly after takeoff, we flew into some low visibility conditions with blowing snow. A local IFR clearance (a/k/a pop-up clearance) ensued so that we could make some approaches: VOR-A into 29G, ILS 23 at CAK, LOC 25 at AKR, and VOR 28 into BJJ. JD's overall assessment was that I was still allowed to refer to myself at the IFR Pilot.

Recap: The LOC approach was flawless. ("Like a coupled approach in an airliner," was JD's professional assessment.) The ILS was acceptable. The two VOR approaches were, in my estimation, marginal, though JD said I'd still pass the IFR checkride. Going into 29G, the needle almost went full scale. Going into BJJ, the IFR Pilot had set the OBS wrong by 20 degrees. We could tell by the GPS that we had blown through the final approach course, which was confirmed when ATC advised us of such and gave us a vector to reintercept. "That mistake will get you killed," JD sagely advised. No kidding.

At one point, JP was kind enough to hand me the reminder note from his training with JD: "Have you identified the navaid?" You can guess what was happening to prompt that.

After the final approach and a steep descent to land at BJJ, a bit of marginal VFR flying got us back to home base in one piece. A nice landing ensued. All that remained was to write a check to JD for the 1.7 hour workout.

Putting 78S away required a bit of pushing, shoving, and grunting. Too much ice on the hangar ramp. JP and I managed to get her in the hangar without damaging anything.

Stay tuned - JP, M, and the IFR Pilot are heading here for multi-engine training in January. Clearly, this will produce multiple entries bound to keep y'all glued to your CRTs.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Could It Be

That the IFR Pilot will actually get to fly an Angel Flight mission tomorrow?

JP and I are scheduled to fly a woman that underwent brain surgery from BKL to MQJ. Weather might be a bit dicey at the outset, but I think we can handle that. The bigger concern is the runway at home base, which apparently is more like a hockey rink than a runway. Landing upon return is going to be an adventure. Stay tuned for an update.

For Some Reason...

Blue Angel #7 is parked on the ramp at BKL, visible from the IFR Pilot's office.

There isn't another Blue Angel in sight. Probably won't be until Labor Day weekend at the earliest.

What gives, people? (I suspect they're planning logistics for the show.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005



Plane flips during landing in Medina

SHARON TWP.: A single-engine Lancair 235 airplane attempting to land Tuesday at the Medina Municipal Airport on state Route 18 slid off a runway and flipped over around 2 p.m.

Ohio State Patrol Sgt. Michael Combs said the pilot, a 37-year-old Akron man, was not hurt. The pilot's name has not been released.

Combs said the aircraft left Cobb County Airport near Atlanta around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning en route to Medina.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Ohio State Patrol are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.


Plane Slides Off Runway, Crashes At Medina Airport

No One Injured In Crash

POSTED: 4:30 pm EST December 13, 2005

Icy conditions on a Medina Municipal Airport runway caused a plane to slide off and flip over while landing Tuesday afternoon.

The accident occurred at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The pilot of the Lancair 235 plane said the ice and snow caused him to slide off the side of the runway. The propeller hit the ground, flipping the plane over onto its top.

The pilot was able to exit the plane safely and was not injured.The crash scene is still being cleared.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.
Warning -- Media Rant: What's again irritating about these is that if it had been a car accident, where no one was hurt, would it have even mentioned a news report? Or this stupid photo on, which shows, well, I don't know what it's supposed to be showing!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Test Results Are In....

What Airplane Are You?

You are a BEECHCRAFT B58. You enjoy the simple enjoyments in life. You're not afraid of taking a few chances, but would prefer to live somewhat more on the safe side. You enjoy simple luxury, travel, and conversation. A day soaring above the clouds in one of these is your idea of a fun, safe, and enjoyable flight.

Take this quiz!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Accident of the Week

This week's Accident of the week involves the mysterious crash of a Beech Baron that was on final approach to KACK's ILS 6. The IFR Pilot and IFR Pilot Dad visited Nantucket during the Great Flying Vacation of '04, so this one brought back memories.

Looks like they may never recover the wreckage, and so NTSB may not ever have a probable cause determination. Always troubling when radar shows an aircraft within one mile of the airport and things go awry. Condoloences to the family and friends of the accident pilot.
NTSB Identification: NYC06FA040
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 01, 2005 in Nantucket, MA
Aircraft: Beech B-55, registration: N64PW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On December 1, 2005, at 1644 eastern standard time, a Beech B-55, N64PW, was presumed destroyed during collision with water, while on approach to Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK), Nantucket, Massachusetts. The certificated commercial pilot was not located, and presumed to be fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1530. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

Earlier in the day, the pilot flew his son to TEB, dropped him off, and refueled the airplane to capacity. The pilot then obtained a weather briefing from a flight service station (FSS), and filed an IFR flight plan for the return flight to ACK. According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight proceeded to the ACK area, and Air Traffic Control (ATC) cleared the pilot for the ILS Runway 6 approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and initiated the approach. Radar contact and radio communication were lost when the airplane was approximately 1 mile from the airport, about 200 feet msl. ATC did not receive a distress call from the pilot.

A search was initiated by the United States Coast Guard, and subsequently terminated about 1315 on December 2, 2005. As of the publication of this report, the pilot and main wreckage were not located. However, an approximate 3-foot by 5-foot section of airplane cabin roof washed up on the south shore of Nantucket, and was recovered by the Nantucket Police Department. Examination of the roof by a Safety Board investigator and the pilot's family confirmed that it was from the accident airplane.

The pilot's logbook and aircraft logbooks were reported to be in the accident airplane, and also not recovered. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for single engine land, single engine sea, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot also held a certified flight instructor certificate. The pilot's most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on February 14, 2005. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 5,000 hours. In addition, the pilot's family stated that he had accumulated approximately 1,000 total hours of actual instrument flight time, and 400 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot had flown about 15 hours within the 90 days preceding the accident; of which, about 3 hours were in actual instrument conditions.

According to the pilot's son, the pilot did not exhibit any abnormal behavior on the day of the accident, nor did he complain of any ailments. The pilot's son further stated that the airplane was operated about 250 hours during the prior year, with no difficulties noted. The airplane was equipped with new engines during 2002, and the last annual inspection was completed during April 2005.

The recorded weather at ACK, at 1653, was: wind from 020 degrees at 17 knots; visibility 2 1/2 miles in light rain and mist; overcast ceiling at 400 feet; temperature 45 degrees F; dew point 42 degrees F; altimeter 29.65 inches Hg.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kudos & Congrats... one of the IFR Pilot's partners, JP, who passed his instrument checkride today. Excellent job, dude! Especially since you didn't bust the ride, like the IFR Pilot did. (In my defense, it was incredibly windy that day and so I had a "wee bit" of trouble getting established in the VOR hold. I nailed it a couple days later, but remain humble as a result.) According to this screen grab from Flight Aware, the flight portion of JP's ride was pretty quick and efficient:

Time to plan a $100 hamburger run through the clouds. And now you need to sign up with Angel Flight too.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Return to Flight

*drumroll, please*

On Saturday, the IFR Pilot returned to flight. A magnificent 1.7 hours total, including 3 approaches, 4 landings, .9 under the hood, and some time safety piloting for JP, who takes his IFR checkride on Wednesday.

Popped over to MFD to fly the ILS 32. Did that twice. Both times were somewhat pitiful, and certainly not up to PTS standards. Chasing needles the entire time, but I suppose that's to be expected after a couple months of not flying at all. When JP flew the same approach -- from the right seat, no less -- he pretty much put me to shame. But, the IFR Pilot was pretty sharp too when he was just a couple days away from facing the Dreaded Designated Examiner.

After a low approach, the IFR Pilot reclaimed the Pilot Flying duties for the VOR 10 into BJJ. We were cleared direct PTATO, one of my favorite local intersection names. If you look at the plate, you'll see that this is not an approach you'd really want to fly in actual without the GPS as backup -- or better yet, fly the GPS overlay. At PTATO, you're about 38 miles from the BSV VOR and so the movement of the needle is pretty slow. Even at the MAP, you're 28 miles from the VOR.

JP said that the IFR Pilot busted altitude, but I countered that the airport was in sight before the descent below MDA! A smooth landing ensued, giving the IFR Pilot enough confidence to fly 78S back to home base's 2350' by 35' runway.

Both of this week's Angel Flights cancelled, so the IFR Pilot is looking for new excuses to go flying. Anyone got any new excuses that will pass muster with the boss?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Accident of the Week

Looking forward to next week's scheduled Angel Flights, this week's Accident of the Week involves the mysterious crash of a Cessna Cardinal that was on an Angel Flight mission. The fatal accident occurred over two years ago, but the NTSB still hasn't released a probable cause finding.

NTSB Identification: LAX04FA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 13, 2003 in BLK CANYON CITY, AZ
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N431DL
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On November 13, 2003, about 0930 mountain standard time, a Cessna 177RG, N431DL, collided with terrain after reporting engine problems 12 miles east of Black Canyon City, Arizona. The airline transport pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The personal cross-country flight departed Flagstaff/Pulliam Airport (FLG), Flagstaff, Arizona, about 0800, en route to the Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed. The primary wreckage was at 34 degrees 06.330 minutes north latitude and 111 degrees 57.675 minutes west longitude.

The pilot volunteered for the Angel Flight organization. The purpose of the flight was to pickup a person in DVT and transport them to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR), Burbank, California.

According to radio communications, the pilot checked in with Phoenix Terminal Radar Control (PHX TRACON). He then reported that he had engine problems and needed vectors to the closest airport. A PHX TRACON controller vectored him to the Sky Ranch at Carefree (18AZ), Carefree, Arizona. The pilot radioed that he was losing altitude at 600 feet per minute (fpm). He then radioed that he was losing 800 fpm. PHX TRACON lost radar contact at 4,800 feet, and radio contact shortly thereafter.

The accident site was located in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land area at 3,700 feet. Juniper trees, Cholla, various other cacti, and other vegetation indicative of Northern Arizona surrounded the area. The accident site was in a valley with a 10-degree upslope. The airplane was parallel with the terrain. The debris path was along a magnetic bearing of 200 degrees. The first identified point of contact (FPIC) was a tree, 37 feet from the main wreckage. An impact mark was located at 27 feet from the main wreckage. The length of the airplane was 24.6 feet.

Visual examination of the engine revealed no obvious preimpact anomalies. There were no oil or fuel stains on the external part of the engine. Investigators removed the top spark plugs, which were gray in color. The coloration corresponded to normal operation according to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug AV-27 Chart. A borescope inspection revealed no mechanical deformation on the valves, cylinder walls, or internal cylinder head. Investigators established engine control continuity from the cockpit to the engine.

The propeller remained attached to the engine at the propeller hub. One blade was straight with no chordwise or longitudinal scoring. The other blade was bowed about midspan with a nick noted on the trailing edge of the blade. Longitudinal scoring was on the tip of the blade.

Investigators established flight control continuity from the tail to the aft cabin pulleys. The cables were inaccessible from the aft cabin to the cockpit. They established flight control continuity in the wings from the left wing bellcrank to the right wing bellcrank.

Thank heavens this occurred on the pickup leg, not the passenger leg. The report gives no hints at all as to what might have happened here. There's no mention of weather, so we're probably safe in assuing that it was VFR, maybe even CAVU. Obvious mechanical issues aren't hinted at either. We'll just have to keep waiting to see what the NTSB has to say when it issues its report.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Trying again

The IFR Pilot is scheduled for two Angel Flights next week. One is MFD to UGN, the other is EYE to BKL. Weather Gods, please forgive the IFR Pilot and his sins, and favor us with conditions unfavorable for icing, would ya? Pretty please.