Prelim Report: Ruidoso 310 Accident

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      NTSB Identification: CEN10FA324
      14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
      Accident occurred Thursday, June 17, 2010 in Ruidoso, NM
      Aircraft: CESSNA T310R, registration: N310RH
      Injuries: 5 Fatal, 2 Serious.
      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 June 17, 2010, about 0952 mountain daylight time (MDT), a twin-engine Cessna T310R airplane, N310RH, was destroyed during impact with terrain while on final approach for landing at the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport (SRR), Ruidoso, New Mexico. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured, and two passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Rod Aviation LLC, of Granbury, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from the Granbury Regional Airport (GDJ), Granbury, Texas, around 0630 MDT.

      A friend of the pilot reported that the pilot and male passenger departed GDJ with plans to pick up the two women and three children at the Cleburne Municipal Airport (CPT), Cleburne, Texas. The friend stated that the pilot elected to do this because the runway at the CPT was much longer then the runway at GDJ, and that he wanted the additional runway length with the expected load.

      The airport manager at CPT reported that the airplane landed and taxied up in front of the terminal building around 0710 MDT. With both engine’s running, five passengers boarded the airplane and it departed. The manager added that no fueling services were provided.

      Line service personnel at SRR reported hearing the approaching pilot transmit over the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that he was 30 miles east and was inbound for runway 24. The pilot again transmitted when he was 10 miles east, reporting that he was inbound for runway 24. Two of the line service personnel then boarded a golf cart and drove out on the ramp to wait for the arriving airplane. They first spotted the airplane when it was approximately three miles out. The line service foreman, who had worked at the airport for 25 years, reported that the airplane was a “little high” on approach. He then observed the airplane began a “gradual” descent followed by a “rapid” descent. The foreman estimated that the airplane was descending about 60 degrees nose down when it went out of site. Moments later dust was observed rising in the area where they lost sight of the airplane. The line service personnel further reported that there were no distress calls from the airplane.

      According to one of the two surviving passengers, shortly before the accident the wings were rocking and it felt like the airplane was being tossed around by wind. He then recalled directing the first responders to those still inside the airplane. In addition, the passenger correctly identified where each person had been sitting in the airplane.

      The airplane wreckage came to rest, approximately three quarters of a mile east of the end of runway 24, in a flat area adjacent to a dirt road. Ground scars were consistent with a left wing and nose low impact attitude, followed by a cartwheel in the direction of the runway. A post-crash fire ensued.

      At 0955 MDT, the automated weather observing system at the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport reported, wind from 050 degrees at 5 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear of clouds, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.23 inches of Mercury.


      7 people in a T310R?


      FAR91.107 a child less than 2 can ride in someone’s lap…. Looked this up then decided against it myself…


      The final report is now in. Here is an excerpt:

      The NTSB has long been concerned about the use of proper restraints in general aviation airplanes. In this accident, an adult and an 11-year-old child were belted in the front passenger seat together. Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91.107(a)(3) states that each person “must occupy an approved seat or berth with a safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness, properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing.” However, the regulation does not specify that all passengers occupy separate seats. On August 11, 2010, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation A-10-121 asking the FAA to “amend 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 to require separate seats and restraints for every occupant.” The Safety Recommendation is classified “Open—Unacceptable Response,” since the FAA’s proposed clarification of the rule does not discourage or prohibit the unsafe practice of allowing multiple occupants to share a seat and/or restraint system and does not provide clear guidance to general aviation pilots regarding seat belt and seating requirements.

      The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
      The pilot did not maintain proper airspeed on final approach for landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s limited experience in the airplane make and model.

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