August 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm #83541bthomasonParticipant
I came across this video of a recreation of a fatal 421B accident that occurred at Palwaukee, IL in 2006. I remember it because the actual impact was caught on a security camera (shown on this video).
Below is the link to the NTSB Factual Report. The pilot clearly stalled the airplane turning downwind to base. A steep turn at 82 kts will do it. He had a grand total of 32 hours in a 421 at the time of the accident and, according to the report, some of this time was obtained before he was legally qualified to fly the airplane.
It’s amazing how so many accidents seem to feature a lack of basic airmanship – no emergency, just a simple turn in the pattern.August 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm #94925
Ugh… Stall/spin on a circling approach in marginal VFR at night.
This guy had 1,200 hours and a fair amount of twin time. I don’t know what other “heavy” airplane time he had, but he certainly wasn’t inexperienced.
I wonder why PWK tower asked him to cancel airborne? In my experience towers will keep you IFR until you land – Not sure why the rush to cancel him airborne. The distraction may have contributed to the accident, but it was minor at best.
“It’s amazing how so many accidents seem to feature a lack of basic airmanship – no emergency, just a simple turn in the pattern.”
Yup… Once of the reasons I fly aerobatics.
RobertAugust 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm #94927
I fly into PWK often. It is always the same thing coming from the west, a long run at 5,000′ from RFD or JVL to KRENA, then usually vectors to the 16 LOC.
If the wind is out of the N, you will be asked to circle R or L, most always it is to the R. The last thing Approach will ask is to cancel IFR with tower BEFORE circling to land. ATIS will advise too that if you are unable to cancel IFR to circle to land advise, this is due to ORD being so close I suspect.
And, with the forecast of ice, it is normal to expect to or have collected some coming into PWK due to the standard arrival. I have been there enough; it is part of going there. They just don’t let you come in higher or lower, 5,000′ is it due to arrivals and departures from PWK and ORD.
The ILS 16 circle to 34 is not my favorite thing. The airport is stuffed into the city, there are buildings all along the west and south, you turn in and are looking at nothing but roof tops and lights all around. With mist it is miserable. The runway is long enough that I elect to land downwind on 16 at night or if the WX is marginal and the wind is and surface conditions are manageable, the tower always accommodates me.
I can see how the scenario would unfold, flying the ILS down, leveling off to circle, gear down and not putting the power back in after leveling off. Looking out the window getting a fix on where the RW is among sea of lights and roads, AS bleeds off, a turn started with some ice or no ice on the wings and bang.
Oh my gosh, this is another sad story.August 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm #94928
Just stumbled onto this interesting article: http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/fatal-plane-crash-lawsuit-settlement-5836/
Looks like this crash ended up with a $15 million settlement against Morgan Stanley. Ugh.
Interesting that the settlement was against MS and not against the pilot, but I suppose they just went after the deepest pockets available which makes sense.
RobertAugust 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm #94930
Like Joday, I fly into PWK frequently. I typically file IFR on these flights regardless of the Wx conditions. With PWK’s close proximity to ORD and how the Class B airspace is structured around PWK there’s not a lot of flexibility on arrival procedures. The ILS 16 circle to land on 34 is the standard fare if the winds are out of the north. The turns to base and final for 34 are in tight to keep you out of ORD’s arrival/departure path. The combination of marginal VFR conditions at night circling in a tight pattern is bad mojo. Add in the lack of experience in the 421B and I think you have a combination that goes off the scale on the TCF Risk Assessment Tool. It’s unfortunate and my heart goes out to the families of those lost, but this was so avoidable… A simple request to land straight in on 16 and this tragedy could have been averted. I’m not trieing to criticize the dead. I’ve had several friends lose their lives over the years flying circling approaches at night in marginal VFR or IFR conditions. It’s a bad,bad idea…
’77 C310RAugust 14, 2011 at 12:24 am #94933quote SLWILLIAMS:
Agreed, Steve. In fact, my B-757 B-767 type rating carries the following limitation: B-757 B-767 CIRC. APCH, VMC ONLYApril 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm #98518
I landed at PWK yesterday, it was not officially sunset but dark in the clouds and rain. The WX on the ATIS was 600/3 and rain. I was cleared to circle to land but on the approach I recalled this post and got a wind check (8 kt tailwind) and requested and received a straight in.
At the 600′ AGL, I was in/out of the clouds/rain plus turbulence and could not see the RW – much lower than I expected.April 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm #98521
I’m cautious about night circling approaches, especially if I’m not going to a familiar airport. Good call on accepting the 8 kt tailwind on approach. Like Rich’s 757/767 type cert, our ops manual didn’t allow circling approaches unless VMC.
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