Narrative:A Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander plane was damaged beyond repair in a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accident in Hualien County, Taiwan. All three crew members were killed.
The aircraft was contracted to perform an aerial photogrammetry mission with a captain, a first officer and an aerial photographer on board.
The aircraft took off at 07:26 from Taipei-Song Shan Airport on an instrument departure. The planned mission was to conduct an aerial photogrammetry flight in the Hualien and Taitung area, and proceed to Taitung Airport for landing.
Eighteen minutes after takeoff the instrument flight plan was cancelled and the flight proceeded according to visual flight rules (VFR).
At 08:27, the aircraft entered the Hualien County aerial photograph area, maintaining 8,300 feet to 8,500 feet altitude. From 08:37 to 08:43, Taipei Approach informed the flight crew: "Radar can't cover you...make sure maintain visual flight".
Last contact with the flight was at 09:13 when The Kaohsiung Approach Control contacted the aircraft.
ELT signals were received at 09:40 and the airplane was located on September 1, at altitude about 9,568 feet on a forested hillside.
Findings related to probable causes:
"After completing the aerial photogrammetry of Morakot No.16 measuring line, the aircraft turned 280 degrees to the right and attempted to climb to get out of the valley area. During climbing, the pitch of the aircraft was remained more than 20 degrees for a few seconds, the aircraft might nearly close to stall and activated stall warning. The aircraft performance might not be able to fly over the obstacles ahead under this condition, the aircraft flew into trees and crashed. When completing the aerial photography of Morakot No.16 measuring line from the north to the south, the aircraft could not be able to fly over mountains ahead between the direction of 9 to 3 o’clock with the aircraft best climb performance. Despite the available climbing distance was longer when flight crew chose to turn to the right, the area geography was not favorable for circling climb or turn around to escape the mountain area safely. The on board personnel choose to perform an aerial photogrammetry at Morakot when weather condition was permitted after completing the aerial photography at Wanrong Woods without any advance planning due to the Morakot aerial photography had been behind schedule."
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain
» Dapeng Airlines plane with 3 aboard missing (update) (http://focustaiwan.tw)
» Two pilots, one photographer reported missing in aerial photo shoot (China Post)
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Taipei-Sung Shan Airport to Taitung Airport as the crow flies is 260 km (162 miles).