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.

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