C340 Down in Florida

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  • This topic has 24 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by joday.
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  • #84241
    #99070

    Very sad… It certainly has the tells of thunderstorm penetration. My thoughts and prayers to the families affected.

    #99073

    One report stated that the same plane and pilot had a gear up landing earlier in the year. It also stated that the pilot was a decorated pilot with 57 years of experience. I wonder if everything was fixed after the repairs. This is indeed very sad. Please keep us up to date if you find out more. I own and fly a 340.

    #99074

    Is you read the Aviation Consumer Guidebook on 310’s Paul Soule is quoted in there as saying he has owned more than 30 310’s in as many years. He said this was a result of a hobby business of buying an selling 310’s. I suspect he had quite a bit of twin cessna knowledge.

    #99146
    rtowe
    Participant

      A friend was in the area on the same frequency when this airplane was talking to center, as he was heading east, they tried to vector him west to avoid the bad stuff and the pilot apparently stated that he had a complete instrument failure and he was attemping to maintain VFR. He was surounded by congested building cumulous and multiple cells…Sad story and good reason to have a SAM(if one can be afforded)…

      #99750

      NTSB Identification: ERA13FA275
      14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
      Accident occurred Saturday, June 08, 2013 in Boynton Beach, FL
      Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N217JP
      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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

      On June 8, 2013, at 1002 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N217JP, was destroyed when it impacted shallow waters in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, near Boynton Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity, and the airplane was operating on an instrument flight plan from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Leesburg International Airport (LEE), Leesburg, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

      Voice transmissions were supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Times noted below are based on manual timing; more-specific times will be promulgated in the factual report after the official FAA Air Traffic Control accident package is received.

      The pilot was cleared to depart FXE utilizing the Fort Lauderdale Three Departure to ARKES intersection, then direct to BAIRN intersection, then as filed [direct to LEE], climb to 2,000 feet, expect 16,000 feet 10 minutes after departure.

      About 0945, the pilot was cleared to take off from FXE runway 8, and to then turn left to heading 310 degrees magnetic. After takeoff, the pilot was cleared to contact Miami Departure Control.

      About 0947, the pilot advised Miami Departure Control that the airplane was passing 600 feet for 2,000 feet, and turning to heading 310. The departure controller then cleared the airplane to 4,000 feet, which the pilot acknowledged.

      About 0948, the pilot advised that he was having “instrument problems,” and that he would like to “head west and stay v-f-r.” The controller acknowledged the pilot, advised him of traffic ahead, told him to fly heading 270, and directed him switch to the next departure frequency, which the pilot acknowledged.

      About 0950, the pilot contacted the next departure controller, who directed him to climb the airplane to 8,000 feet. The pilot responded that he would do so once he was clear of a cloud, and reiterated that he had “instrument problems.” The controller noted that the pilot would like to keep the airplane at 2,000 feet, and told the pilot to let him know when he could climb the airplane.

      About 30 seconds later, the pilot stated that he was climbing the airplane to 8,000 feet, which the controller acknowledged.

      About 0954, the controller advised the pilot to turn the airplane right to a heading of 350 degrees, which the pilot acknowledged.

      About 0956, the controller advised the pilot to climb the airplane to 11,000 feet, which the pilot acknowledged, and about 0958, the controller advised the pilot to contact Miami Center, which the pilot also acknowledged.

      The pilot then contacted Miami Center, and reported passing 6,800 feet for 11,000 feet. The controller provided the local barometric pressure, and advised the pilot of moderate to heavy precipitation along the pilot’s route of flight for the next 10 miles. The pilot was given the option of deviating either left or right, and when able, to proceed direct to BAIRN.

      About 0959, the controller instructed the pilot to climb the airplane to 13,000 feet, which the pilot acknowledged.

      About 1002, the controller advised the pilot to climb and maintain 15,000 feet, but did not receive a response. After two more queries, the pilot stated that he was trying to maintain v-f-r, “I have an instrument failure here.”

      The controller then stated, “I’m showing you turning east. That looks like a really bad idea. If you can, turn back to the west to get out of this stuff a lot quicker, going to the west.”

      There were no further transmissions from the airplane.

      Radar indicated that at 1000:26, the airplane began a turn from a northerly heading toward the east, completing it about 1001:01. At 1001:11, the airplane had reached its maximum altitude of 9,500 feet, still heading eastbound. By 1001:25, the airplane had descended to 8,100 feet, and by 1001:30, it had descended to 7,900 feet. At 1001:35, the altitude indicated 7,500 feet, and at 1001:40, the altitude indicated 0 feet (radar altitudes are indicated in nearest 100-foot increments).

      There was no radar indication at 1001:45, but a renewed eastbound track began with a 0-foot altitude at 1001:50, 300 feet at 1001:55, 600 feet at 1002:00, 1,100 feet at 1002:05 and 1,500 feet at 1002:10. The airplane then turned to the northeast, with last radar contact at 1,400 feet, at 1002:15.

      Weather radar indicated that the airplane began to initially lose altitude after entering higher intensity precipitation.

      The wreckage was located in swampy terrain with water depths varying to about 5 feet. The initial impact point located at 26 degrees 30.48 minutes north latitude, 010 degrees, 24.59 minutes west longitude, or about 1,500 feet north of the last radar position. The wreckage was highly fragmented, and was dispersed along an approximately 320-degree magnetic heading. The first recognizable item at the initial impact point was the left tip tank.

      The two engines were recovered, but without a propeller attached to either one. A propeller was eventually located, but initially unrecoverable. Both engine propeller flanges were fractured, with some material missing as were some flange bolts, and other bolts were sheared off. Neither engine exhibited any evidence of pre-impact failure, nor did either vacuum pump. The cockpit vacuum pressure gauge was found frozen at 5.8 psi.

      Subsequent to the departure of the investigative team, additional material, including the one propeller, was recovered. Examination of the additional wreckage is planned.
      Index for Jun2013 | Index of months

      #99782

      Sure seems strange to have an instrument problems/failure at night in those conditions and push on.

      Must be more to it.

      Andrew

      #99788
      rtowe
      Participant
        quote avann:

        Sure seems strange to have an instrument problems/failure at night in those conditions and push on.

        Must be more to it.

        Andrew

        It wasn’t at night but, I agree, to have a complete instrument failure? Although if (conventional six pack cessna instruments)the Attitude Indicator failed and he was trying to navigate by HDG bug on the Auto-Pilot or even hand flying, in congested cumulous, could have been confusing while scanning instruments and just flew into extreme precip…

        #99796

        Reporting loss of flight instruments is required – I think the controllers had no idea what “instrument problems” meant. When handed off to miami center, they probably didn’t even get the “instrument problems” message until too late. I have to think this would have been avoidable if he had declared a full emergency and requested priority services, no gyro, vectors, etc back to a safe landing. From the transcript it seems as if he was still trying to climb VFR and get on top (and perhaps sort it out after landing at his destination?).

        Sadly, this is what experienced pilot’s do. Maybe they have made it thru before under similar circumstances, or maybe they have high confidence in their flying abilities, etc. Experienced does not equal professional. “Am I making the professional choice?” is a good question to ask yourself in normal and emergency operations.

        Eric

        #99809

        Last week i was at Simcom for my annual training. I found it difficult to fly the Simcom simulator without the attitude gyro, and only relying on the turn coordinator. Must be a lot more difficult in turbulence….. Find it somewhat ironic that the newer much more reliable glass panels, G600 etc., require a full back-up of primary flight instruments, although the old panel that was replaced essentially had no backup instruments…. Have flown my 421 with both mechanical and glass (G600) into IFR, and the glass is SO much easier. To me it seems if a twin is in the budget, a glass panel of any kind makes a lot of sense for reliability and easier IFR flying…..

        #99810
        quote MNERHEIM:

        Last week i was at Simcom for my annual training. I found it difficult to fly the Simcom simulator without the attitude gyro, and only relying on the turn coordinator. Must be a lot more difficult in turbulence….. Find it somewhat ironic that the newer much more reliable glass panels, G600 etc., require a full back-up of primary flight instruments, although the old panel that was replaced essentially had no backup instruments…. Have flown my 421 with both mechanical and glass (G600) into IFR, and the glass is SO much easier. To me it seems if a twin is in the budget, a glass panel of any kind makes a lot of sense for reliability and easier IFR flying…..

        Most of the 400 series twins have a 4″ electric ADI/HSI with vac powered backup instruments on the co-pilot side. My simcom instructor said that partial panel in the simulator is usually frustrating and it is better to do it in the plane.

        I moved from a glass panel Cirrus SR22 to the 421C with the 4″ HSI. I had thought that I would be upgrading the panel soon, but like the 4″ displays.

        #99811
        quote MNERHEIM:

        Find it somewhat ironic that the newer much more reliable glass panels, G600 etc., require a full back-up of primary flight instruments, although the old panel that was replaced essentially had no backup instruments….

        Aviation is all about risk management and redundancy. If your ADAHRS goes out, you lose everything. That’s bad. I wouldn’t want to fly without a backup of some sort. Also, reliable is relative. Remember most of these glass panels and such are new, whereas the steam gauges are mostly old. When the glass panels get old, will they be as reliable as steam? Probably, but when they fail they fail with a “poof” like my Aspen did.

        I would be fine without mechanical backup instruments provided I had some good redundancy in my glass. Remember that Part 25 glass panel aircraft still have airspeed, altitude, and attitude gyros somewhere on the panel.

        #99812
        quote EPANNING:

        I moved from a glass panel Cirrus SR22 to the 421C with the 4″ HSI. I had thought that I would be upgrading the panel soon, but like the 4″ displays.

        That’s interesting to hear. Now that I have the glass I do in the 310, I wouldn’t particularly want to go back to flying without glass. Previously the plane had a 4″ AI/HSI, which I liked fine, but that was prior to flying with glass. Can I fly on steam? Sure, just fine. I did it for most of the past 2,000 hours. But having the extra tools is nice for sure.

        #99814
        rstanley
        Participant
          quote TDUPUIS:

          quote MNERHEIM:

          Find it somewhat ironic that the newer much more reliable glass panels, G600 etc., require a full back-up of primary flight instruments, although the old panel that was replaced essentially had no backup instruments….

          Aviation is all about risk management and redundancy. If your ADAHRS goes out, you lose everything. That’s bad. I wouldn’t want to fly without a backup of some sort. Also, reliable is relative. Remember most of these glass panels and such are new, whereas the steam gauges are mostly old. When the glass panels get old, will they be as reliable as steam? Probably, but when they fail they fail with a “poof” like my Aspen did.

          I would be fine without mechanical backup instruments provided I had some good redundancy in my glass. Remember that Part 25 glass panel aircraft still have airspeed, altitude, and attitude gyros somewhere on the panel.

          I still use my Garmin 496 (primarily for XM weather) BUT love the backup “panel” it affords me if all else fails !!!

          #99816
          quote EPANNING:

          I moved from a glass panel Cirrus SR22 to the 421C with the 4″ HSI. I had thought that I would be upgrading the panel soon, but like the 4″ displays.

          FYI, Aspen claims to be working on a 4″ unit – That would look great in the 421!

          I can’t fly on the turn coordinator (needle and ball) in my airplane. I’ve flown partial panel in other airplanes with a modern turn coordinator, but it’s not possible – for me at least – to do it with the needle/ball in my plane. However, I do have two vacuum AI’s and two vacuum systems…

          I wonder if the 340 in question had a vacuum failure and the vacuum shuttle valve didn’t work or something else prevented the remaining pump from driving the instruments?

          Robert

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